Friday, September 18, 2015

Grant long term visit pass for foreign spouses of Singaporeans

Dear Mr. Tan

I give English lessons to Vietnamese spouses of Singaporeans. I learned that some of these spouses are still on short term visit passes (1 or 3 months) and have to leave Singapore regularly. Some of them have children. This is inconvenient for the family and affects the children adversely.

Should these spouses be offered a long term visit pass (1 or 3 years) or even permanent residency?

They are the foreign spouses of Singaporeans. It is rather harsh to ask them  to leave the country every few months. I agree that this is disruptive for the family, especially for the children.

I cannot understand why these foreign spouses of Singaporeans are not granted the same long term visit passes as the spouses of foreigners who are granted e-pass to work in Singapore.

This practice seems to discriminate against Singaporeans who have served National Service! Why are they treated worse than the foreigners on e-pass?

I suggest that the government should:

1) Grant long term visit pass for the foreign spouses of Singaporean males and females on the first marriage of the Singaporean.
2) When the family has children, the foreign spouse should be granted permanent residency.
3) The permanent residency may be revoked on divorce.
4) This treatment should be extended to all foreign spouses, regardless of their working status. Non-working mothers also carry out an important role in raising children for the family.

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