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Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Process of Marriage and applying for Long-Term Visit Pass for my wife (non-citizen spouse)

My wife has finally gotten her Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP)! :) I feel so happy for ourselves that this day has finally come.

My motivation for writing this article is to aid other couples who experiences similar cases to us - we hope this information will help you, and if there is any way we can further improve the information given in this post, please let us know, and well wishes to the other similar couples out there! :)



The process is broken down into the following stages:
1) Permission to Marry*
2) Pre-Marriage Assessment for LTVP*
3) Marriage
4) Formal Application of LTVP after marriage
5) Appointment 

* Permission to Marry and Pre-Marriage Assessment for LTVP can be done concurrently,

Permission To Marry
Due to her being a Work Pass holder, we had to request from Controller of Work Passes (Ministry of Manpower) permission to marry.

As given on MOM website (link):
If you are a current or former Work Permit holder who wishes to marry a Singapore citizen or permanent resident (PR), you must seek approval from MOM.
However, you do not have to apply for approval if you:
  • Do not hold a Work Permit (e.g. you are an S Pass or Employment Pass holder).
  • Are a former Work Permit holder whose last held work pass was upgraded to Employment Pass or S Pass.
  • Are a former Work Permit holder who is now a Singapore citizen or Singapore PR.

Download the form here and follow the instructions given.

We received our letter of approval after 3 weeks.

Pre-marriage Assessment of LVTP
It was advised to us that doing the pre-approval would help us expedite our waiting period. With this done, the approval of LTVP will be up to 6 weeks. If application for LTVP was done without completing this step, the approval will take up to 6 months instead. Successful application will result in a Letter of LTVP Eligibility (LLE) given. Link to the portal here.


It took 3 weeks overall before the letter was sent to us. Do note that this letter is valid for 1 year.

Marriage
We then proceeded to plan and make arrangements for our marriage after permission to marry was granted.

This is broken down into these steps (link here for steps in ROM website):
- Deciding on our solemnisation date/time/venue*
- Reaching and getting a licensed solemniser (If you are planning to have your solemnisation outside ROM, we recommend Mr Pua, HP: 9634 4085).
- File for Notice of Marriage (to be done no later than 21 days in advance. Can be up to 3 months in advance)*
- Document Verification a few days before our marriage
- Solemnisation

* If you plan to have your solemnisation at ROM, please note it can only be done on weekdays during their opening hours, and the slots tend to be fully booked for up to 2 months!

We kept the event simple and gave our solemniser a $138 ang pow for his service.

Formal Application of LTVP
On the evening of the day we got married, I immediately get to work in applying for the LTVP (link to the e-application portal here). It prompted us to enter the reference no. for our approved Pre-marriage Assessment for Long-Term Visit Pass.

You will find most of the details are furnished from the Pre-marriage Assessment (if you had done it), with details that needs to be updated such as:
- Marriage Status (obviously, hahaha)
- Giving reasons if staying apart
- Any other changes

We were granted her In Principle Approval (IPA) in 2 weeks after applying - much faster than we anticipated. A payment of $90 was done for this process. We then made an e-appointment with ICA and prepared our documents we will need on the day itself (see next section for documents required - this can also be found in your IPA document).

On the day of Appointment... 
We headed to Level 4 of ICA Building and scanned the Approval Letter to get ourselves in queue.

The process required us to visit three counters:
- One for submitting in the required documents
- One for verification of the details and scanning thumbprint
- And finally, one for pass collection

During verification of the details, we had some slight complications with us staying apart, which we had to explain to the staff our circumstances (inconvenience due to lack of my own room at home and her staying at her aunt's place. We then mitigated by mentioning we are in the process of getting our own home.) Thankfully I had my Option-to-Purchase (OTP) with me and I gave her my photocopied document as proof. This made the process smoother.

We had to write a hand-written letter addressed to the ICA officer explaining our circumstances, endorsed with both our name, signature and IC.

After handing in the letter, we waited about a 30 minutes before we collected her new IC and temporary Letter of Consent and then happily make our way home.

Necessary documents to prepare for our case:

General
- LTVP Approval Letter
- Signed copy of Form 14(a)
- Signed copy of Form 14(b)

Applicant
- Work Pass (original and photocopy)
- Passport (Original and Photocopy)
- Letter Of Employment (Original, but bring photocopy just in case) (valid only within 1 month from date of letter)
- Last 6 months Payslip (original and photocopy)
- Medical Report
- Passport Photo taken within the last 3 months

Sponsor (in this case, myself)
- NRIC (original and photocopy)
- Letter Of Employment (Original, but bring photocopy just in case) (valid only within 1 month from date of letter)
- Last 6 months Payslip (original and photocopy)
- Last 12 months CPF Contribution

Additional documents that is useful to have:
- Evidences that you are purchasing a home for your spouse and yourself (In this case, I used my OTP form)
- Where any document we have mentioned only original copy, it will be safer to have a photocopy as well. We did this but was a bit surprised by them taking our original Letter of Employment.

Overall, the whole process took us a total of 4.5 months, but the process can be expedited further for marriage arrangement (the marriage process took 2.5 months).

Other helpful things to note:
- There are plenty of photocopy shops 5 minutes away from the ICA building. If you had forgotten to make any photocopies, don't panic and visit these shop(s). It costs 20 cents a copy.
- Keeping the documents in a ring file with file pockets also helps to keep your documents organised.
- It's said that the age gap of the couple also matters (the closer it is, the faster it will be).

12 comments:

  1. Just a question regarding the OTP, do you happen to be 35 to be able to purchase a HDB? Usually i would understand that i can only start search for a place only after my spouse's LTVP is approved. Please enlighten me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      I'm turning 30 this year and am applying for a resale under Non-citizen Spouse Scheme. This requires the Work Pass or LTVP holder to have at least 6 months validity period. This validity period will not be necessary if you are 35yo or older.

      The searching for a place and getting OTP can be done before your spouse's LTVP is approved, but must meet the above criteria when you are going to submit the resale application.

      I hope this answers your query! Please let me know if you have further clarifications. :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much for your prompt reply!

      Somemore questions:

      "I'm turning 30 this year and am applying for a resale under Non-citizen Spouse Scheme. This requires the Work Pass or LTVP holder to have at least 6 months validity period. This validity period will not be necessary if you are 35yo or older." >>Do you mean i can start applying for a resale under Non-citizen Spouse Scheme after i apply the LTVP for my partner?

      "The searching for a place and getting OTP can be done before your spouse's LTVP is approved, but must meet the above criteria when you are going to submit the resale application."
      >>>what do you mean by the above criteria? Do you mean the LTVP criteria?

      Delete
    3. Hi,

      >>Do you mean i can start applying for a resale under Non-citizen Spouse Scheme after i apply the LTVP for my partner?

      Yes that's correct.

      >>>what do you mean by the above criteria? Do you mean the LTVP criteria?

      Yep! However, the processes before that such as Intent to buy, HLE, OTP, and request for valuation can be done, I believe, as long as your spouse is a WP/LTVP holder even if not at least 6 months vaidity.

      I hope this helps! :)

      Delete
    4. Thank you so much!

      Think i will check with HDB on the second part! =)

      Delete
  2. Hi I would like to ask if its a must to get letter of employment for my spouse ? if lers say she does not want to continue employment in her current company?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Ray,

    I believe it's necessary while she is employed. Is she planning to seek employment in another company after getting LTVP?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes she is planning to seek employment in another company after getting ltvp. so i was thinking whether can we choose not to give ?

      Delete
    2. oh anyway, i got one more question is that, i got two employment now. one is full time and the other one is part time job. However, I had already stopped working for the part time job. but when i am working for the pt, they contribute cpf too. i was wondering if this will affect my application or not.. hope you can help.

      Delete
    3. Hi Ray,

      Re: Letter of Employment - Unfortunately I can't advise on that... based off my wife's Approval-In-Principle (AIP) at that time, it has mentioned my wife has been AIP subject to the production of documents including Letter of Employment (Original and Photocopy).

      Re: Two employments - I don't think this will be an issue. However, as a sponsor, you need to produce the payslip for the last 6 months and your CPF contribution for the last 12 months. In the event you need to elaborate to the officer more, you may have to write a letter. I had to elaborate about living apart from my wife myself.

      Delete
    4. Hi Marksman, Thank u for answering my questions. guess i had to explain why my wife is unable to get the letter of employment. I was wondering if the MOM letter is sufficient.

      Delete