Forum: ICA will facilitate foreign spouses' stay here during divorce proceedings

We refer to the letter, Do more to help migrant spouses in divorce cases (Jan 28), by Ms Chong Ning Qian.

We would like to assure Ms Chong that for foreign spouses undergoing divorce proceedings, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will typically facilitate the renewal of their long-term visit passes (LTVP) until the end of their divorce proceedings if they have Singaporean children and a local sponsor supporting their application.

ICA will consider whether there are mitigating factors for foreign spouses undergoing divorce proceedings to stay in Singapore, should their Singaporean spouses choose not to renew their LTVP.

ICA will generally also renew foreign spouses' LTVP after their divorce if they have custody of Singaporean children.

We would like to clarify that the Singaporean spouse cannot unilaterally cancel the LTVP held by the foreign spouse without the latter's consent.

ICA requires both the Singaporean spouse-sponsor and foreign spouse to attend an interview to assess the cancellation request.

Both parties must acknowledge and sign the necessary documents before ICA proceeds with the cancellation.

Foreign spouses with valid LTVP and who wish to work are issued with pre-approved letters of consent (PLOC).

PLOC holders can work for any employer, and the employer is required to notify the Ministry of Manpower only at the start of employment.

As for foreign spouses who are short-term visitors, those who require a longer period of stay beyond the short-term visit pass granted on entry may apply for an extension of stay online, using our e-services portal.

Foreign spouses who experience marital issues and require professional case management can approach the nearest family service centre.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development strongly encourages transnational couples to attend marriage preparation courses before settling down.

These courses are offered by transnational family support centres, the Care Corner Family Journey Programme and Fei Yue's Project Family, and can help build a strong foundation for marriage.

These centres also offer programmes for couples during marriage, including assigning buddies to help the foreign spouses settle down well in Singapore.

Patrick Ong

Head,

Public Communications & Protocol

Corporate Communications & Service Division

Immigration & Checkpoints Authority

Ms Nancy Ng

Director, Family Support Division

Ministry of Social and Family Development