More than a third of foreign spouses of Singaporeans who are granted long-term visit passes have lived here for more than three years, said Second Minister (Home Affairs and Trade and Industry) S. Iswaran on Tuesday.
While he did not say how many of them tried to obtain permanent residency and failed, he said this group includes those who are granted the enhanced Long Term Visit Pass-Plus (LTVP+).
Introduced last year, the pass allows foreign spouses to stay longer than the usual one-year period, and gives them hospitalisation benefits on a par with permanent residents. They can also work here without a work pass.
As of the end of last year, 11,736 foreign spouses of Singapore citizens were on long term visit passes, he said in response to a question from Mr Zainal Sapari (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC). This is higher than the 9,400 foreign spouses on long term visit passes each year, between 2008 and 2010, reported previously.
In last year's group, 30 per cent had stayed here for less than a year, 19 per cent for one to two years, 14 per cent for two to three years, and 37 per cent for more than three years, he said.