Burning desire to immigrate to Singapore

Hello everyone.

My name is Henry James Beck and I currently live In South Africa.

I am a married 24 year old living and working in Johannesburg as a Project & Account Manager.

I am currently studying towards an MBA with the hopes of one day reaching upper management in a high profile company who specialises in projects that change the world! This is mainly to provide my family and I with the very best that I can but also for the personal satisfaction of working with strong teams of intellectual individuals to deliver on complex and challenging projects. Although the end goal is upper management I am very enthusiastic about learning new things and taking on the unknown which I assume means picking up experiences across many different industries and roles.

So now that the introduction is out of the way I will get to the crux of this post. I have recently gone to Singapore on a holiday and was absolutely blown away. I could not believe how amazingly we managed to fit into the country. We didn't bring our Western culture to Singapore but embraced the wonderful (and honestly far superior) culture of the country. Ate exotic foods (exotic to us at least) enjoyed the wondrous outdoor inspired lifestyle encouraged by the country and its citizens and absolutely fell in love with the people's friendliness and compassion for one another. Singapore is a dream destination for me and my wife to live and work in as it is mostly free from crime, offers a general lifestyle that we adore and a culture and people that we would be very proud to call neighbours and be blessed to be welcomed by as fellow citizens.

Singapore offers freedom on a scale that I honestly did not even know could exist in this modern day and age.

All this eagerness for Singapore at this moment however is just high levels of enthusiasm as I do not have any idea of how to immigrate or how to find a job in the country. I have been frequenting just about every job site I can find (half of Singapore probably has my CV by now XD ) but have not yet had any luck, not even feedback.

If there is anyone who is willing to provide any form of guidance at all on how my wife and I can be so lucky as to make Singapore our home I would be very grateful. =)

Hi! Welcome to Singapore! I’m glad you loved it here!

Looking for a job here may not be as simple. Mostly from my foreign friends, they’ve mentioned about getting some pass.

Maybe this could help you in understanding better.


Good to see you both love this place. Certainly this place is one of the safest place on earth due to higher regulation and severe punishment in place. People are friendly in nature. The cost of living is quite high, starts with rental price. To get a job here is not that easy but also not that difficult if you have certain skills where employers looking at present (market demand). Try to see efinancial careers Singapore and
Then, check with global consultants such as MichelPages, Robert Walters etc in your county.

It is always advisable to visit here for 30 days to 2 months and try your luck as employers don’t prefer calling overseas unless until they need urgently. Before thinking of visiting here, try to complete your MBA which will give value addition and try to gain more experiences in corporate sectors. Good luck

Hello again.

Thank you both for the responses. =)

So just a bit more context before moving onto my next questions. Before I can start my MBA studies I needed to complete a diploma in management in order to meet the criteria to do the MBA.

I was thinking that perhaps as you suggested Surya I would come to Singapore again at the end of the year (after I receive my diploma) to try find work while staying with family there.

I hear that Singapore has quite a lot of job fairs which many people say are a great way to get jobs that side.

I would like to ask firstly if you guys know if these job fairs are real and if they offer a good chance of getting hired?

And secondly if you guys think a diploma will be well recognised or not?

Thanks in advance for any further guidance. =)

Job fairs are basically to meet local needs and they hire mostly local people or few from ASEAN countries people, most of jobs are pay scale low to medium. Most of people in those job offers are either Graduate or even many of them have masters degrees. So, I won’t suggest come here to find a job with holding a diploma certificate. I don’t see any chance here, unless you do have higher demand technical skills with experiences which is currently in demand in Singapore, that’s why I said complete your MBA then try your luck. Singapore is a highly competitive market (one of the TOP 4 financial centers in the world, other three are London, NY and HongKong), so higher skill sets with higher education from a well known university can help you to find a job. Good luck

...Hi Hendry, Singapore is great, as a tip try to register with professional organisations in your field, am also an accountant still in jhb...good luck

Hello HenryB-ZA,

Welcome to the forums and I'm glad you had such a lovely time in Singapore. It's so refreshing to hear a foreigner's perspective on Singapore and written in such a positive light too.

I would say a 4-year degree is preferable. The competition for jobs is fierce and you'll want to present the best academic credentials possible.
Since you mentioned still being in school, have you considered an international student exchange program between a school in Singapore and S.Africa?

I wasn't sure if you mentioned the length of your stay in Singapore but a week or two may not be enough to know if emigrating is right for you. However, a semester on an exchange program will give you more time to assimilate to the lifestyle and culture there, to see if it is truly something you want for your family. It is a big decision. There are other consequences you might not have considered: No dual-citizenship, mandatory National Service, very strict laws in general (and especially controlled substances), high cost of living and property ownership...etc.

You mentioned looking for a job while visiting family in Singapore. I would advise against that, as visas are issued based on the purpose of the visit. So seeking employment while on a tourist visa may be illegal. You wouldn't want to ruin your chances to immigrate on a technicality. Seek legal advice on this.

All said, I would love to have you as a neighbor! Best of luck!

Hello Meloosa

Thank you very much for the informative reply.

Our stay in Singapore was a month in which time we thoroughly enjoyed taking walks and night rides  (scooters or cycling) all over the city at any time of day or night in complete freedom and safety.

South Africa is a terribly crime ridden country with a murder, rape and robbery rate so high, people spend all their time and money trying to protect themselves by means of staying indoors, buying expensive security systems, electrical fences and paying armed private security companies to patrol neighbourhoods in attempt to keep themselves and their families safe.

Singapore's very strict zero tolerance law is actually one od the biggest attractors to the country for me and I really appreciate the law because I have seen first hand the tragedy that can befall a country when the criminal are provided more rights then the upstanding citizen's.

Anyway not to stay on a depressing topic, South Africa is still an exceptionally beautiful country, but Singapore's focus on law and order as well as almost everyone working together to make the place great is a wonderful feeling, people are so friendly and kind.

I would gladly serve time in the National Service if we make Singapore our home. As the son of a father who defended South Africa during a war with northern countries in the 1980's and the grandson of a general in the police force, I would not hesitate to serve and if necessary even take up arms to protect a country which stands for principles I so strongly believe in, something I cannot say I would be happily willing to do for South Africa.

I am working towards my MBA from this year as I am getting my certificate soon, so hopefully that can give me a good opportunity to get into Singapore. Unfortunately I study part-time with an international school that offers distance learning so I can't look at an exchange program but thank you for the thoughtful suggestion.

Noted, we will not try find a job while visiting in Singapore, I was hoping to expedite the process but I guess all good things in life require work and effort and Singapore will be well worth it.

Again thank you for your response, it was nice to hear from you. =)

Meloosa :

You mentioned looking for a job while visiting family in Singapore. I would advise against that, as visas are issued based on the purpose of the visit. So seeking employment while on a tourist visa may be illegal.

LOOKING for a job, i.e. writing and sending applications, attending interviews etc. are allowed on any visa, incl. tourist. You just cannot do any actual work.

Hello Beppi

That's great news! Thank you very much for clarifying that. =D

I think that may give me a better opportunity. I guess I'll need to plan another trip back to Singapore real soon ;p

Kind regards

This was always the case where most people from ASEAN countries and India & China come here on tourist visa then start searching jobs (ICA knows it very well). But getting a job is not that easy but if luck is at your side then you may landed a job in your hand. Try to stay 1 month at least, with higher education will give more chances. Good luck

Hello Surya

Thank you for your response.

My wife and I are considering moving into a country closer to Singapore such as Kuala Lumpur, it is easier to get into KL and also a lovely place to live. Then the hope is to be a lot closer to Singapore so interviews and visits to SG are a lot easier and more affordable.

This will also make life for my wife and I safer and more pleasant in the interim while we are finishing our studies.

Kind Regards =)

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