By Marlené Brewis, Consultant, MCG&Co Creative & Digital
As fancy as some may find the word Expat, it rolls off one’s tongue easier than the lifestyle projects. It’s bloody hardcore! Anyone who has mastered the skill of this lifestyle deserves a Cannes award, or maybe, just a pat on the back will do…
Being an expat for the past 6 years, I have been across the world from the UAE to the UK, Malaysia and now Singapore. Living in these diverse cities where overalls are traded in for designer suits, brunches become drunches and flipflops Jimmy Choo’s; the world of an Expat sounds Lush, I know…but not quite. Behind the scenes of all these amazing things lie deeper challenges when it comes to being an expat.
Over this time abroad visa’s have not come easy, they come with a ton of paperwork, a host of immigration and passport restrictions and of course a hefty cost attached to it. As if all of this isn’t enough, employers are now finding it harder and harder to employ expats due to the immigration requirements of hiring locals over global talent. Ask me, I am in the business, and until you are in it you wouldn’t understand the extent it goes to.
I remember applying for hundreds and hundreds of jobs trying desperately to move to Singapore, this beautiful country I now proudly call home. I received rejection emails by the day where no employer was in the position to provide me with an EP regardless of my experience. It was soul destroying, until my determination paid off when I reached out to MCG&Co.
Just fresh off the circuit of going through the process for my Employment pass I was faced with multiple frustrations that made me anxious, insecure and fearing that I would not be able to live in Singapore or even work for MCG&Co. This is when I started to realise that not many people outside of the community living here realise what it takes and thought to myself let me share my experience with you so you too can learn from it.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind if you are thinking to move to Singapore:
Make sure you have a degree, or some sort of higher education, if you do not have a tertiary degree, it can be compensated with an excellent employment history and high salary. But having a degree just makes the process of applying for an EP easier and more likely to be approved.
- For your application to be successful, you are required to have a fixed monthly salary of at least S$3,600. The more experience you have the higher the required salary amount will be.
- Your Citizenship or passport (mine is South African) counts when going through this process, Tier one countries are more likely to get an EP. I faced a delay in my application and I only had 30 days on my visitors pass and had to leave the Singapore for 4 days before returning. If you’re not a Tier one passport holder like me, check what your visitor’s visa requirements are and apply for extensions at immigration in advance to avoid unnecessary travel costs.
- Make sure your Resume is immaculate – leave an impression, stand out from the crowd. I go through tons of Resume’s a day from all sorts of candidates and when a CV doesn’t read easily, has errors on it or just doesn’t look clean and sleek you can be sure that any employer will look over it. Your CV needs to speak about you with as much information about what you do and what makes you great but with as little words possible.
- There are ways around all of this with the help of a professional Public Relations Officer (PRO), they know the process! It will make life so much easier. Consulting with such a professional in advance could just save you a lot of time, money and stress.
All in all everything is an experience, and at the end of the day, the juice is most definitely worth the squeeze!