My Job hunting experience and EP Approval

I just want to post my experience of the long process of getting employment here in Singapore. My experience I guess is slightly unique, so hopefully it will provide some insight to people similar to me. I found a lot of good advice in this blog, so I thought I will give back.

Backstory.
My wife came over to Singapore last August through her work (permanent role) via EP, so I came over at end of December via Dependent Pass, the plan was to take some time off before looking for work. I started to actually look for work in March and from what I had read online was relying on a letter of consent for a job. Advice - look for work asap, unlike in Australia, the process here is long, sometimes one interview in Australia can get you a job.

Who I am.
Male. 29yo. Australian, but technically Hong Kong Chinese. My background is in Finance, graduated from the top University in Australia and had 7 years of experience at one of the top 4 banks in Australia, making a good salary (6 figures).

I was hoping to find a job in one of the banks here also, however DBS, Maybank and OCBC pretty much outright rejected me for roles I thought I would have a chance for (SA,AVP,VP roles, I tried directly applying online). I also tired in industries that were different to my background (Lego, P&G, etc). No real leads there. So I got some help from a recruitment agency (multiple ones in fact, Michael Page, Robert Walters etc)

This was the main catalyst for getting real job opportunities which lead to two roles I interviewed for, one at SC Bank and one with a top Silicon Valley company.

I wanted to try something different so I pushed for the latter one. I won't bore you with the details, however the process was strict and drawn out (multiple interviews ~6 , case studies etc), but eventually I got an offer. This was when things got even more drawn. My offer was subject to a background check and EP approval.

I had nothing to hide from from the BC, however just getting documents to them and them replying back took 2 weeks.

I was actually more nervous about the EP check because everything now was reliant on it, even though I had a backup - letter of consent. The employer submitted my application on Thursday and I got approved on Monday morning (3days turnaround - pretty amazing, given some horror stories of waiting 2 months).

However my advice if you want your EP approved quickly is find a reputable employer, which have a good record of a balanced work place (locals and foreigners) and corporate image - that is in your control in which company you want to work for. The basic requirements like salary (8000+) and university degree (good uni) will get you 3/4 way there, if not more. I am lucky I am Australian, and Singapore and Australia has good ties with each other. The thing I was worried about was my experience in a different industry and that they will view that as unacceptable given my high(er) salary.

The MoM website actual says, there is a 90% chance your application will get approved if SAT says you are eligible.
I was skeptical about this given all the stories I read on this blog. However if your fundamentals are sound, I think you don't need to worry!

Good luck all.

Thanks for posting your experiences in such detail here - I am sure this will help others in a similar situation!

sarm3 wrote:

However my advice if you want your EP approved quickly is find a reputable employer, which have a good record of a balanced work place (locals and foreigners) and corporate image - that is in your control in which company you want to work for.

There are other factors influencing processing times and EP chances which are less in your control:
You are lucky to be educated, come from a well-organised Western country and racially Chinese - all these are high in the list of desirable properties for an applicant in the eyes of the Singapore authorities.
Others, who do not fulfill these criteria, will face MUCH higher obstacles!

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