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Andy_sx

Original Poster:

2,381 posts

92 months

[news] 
Tuesday 11th September 2012 quote quote all
Afternoon all

Wasn't expecting to be writing this quite just yet, more Jan - March time.

My OH is looking to work abroad for a few years (she is a teacher, and its bloody good for her CV) so is doing the rounds for term begining September. She has just been put forward for a position starting in January! redface

So, what i need to know, what kind of visa's etc would be needed (and lead time). Also, as I would be looking to move with her, what would I need to seek work out there? I am relatively versatile, but at the end of the day, no keen on my industry, can still do it as its a transferable skill set.

I'm a little on the back foot at the minute, so the more info the merrier! Don't even know the schools name yet :s

XJSJohn

14,069 posts

105 months

[news] 
Wednesday 12th September 2012 quote quote all
ok, two threads for some background reading

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

Your wife will be on an EP, you will be on a dependants pass unless you find work yourself.

Your wife's employers will organise this for you (they have to). Her EP will take between 2 weeks and 6 weeks to process, depending on what she is earning (over $9k a month and will be closer to 2 weeks).

If SWMBO is not getting a package significantly more than $9k a month, don't bother, you will not have enough dosh for the lifestyle that you will end up socialising in. Its not that everyone is flashy, just that accomodation, booze and western food are expensive - the SGD is very strong against European and US currencies so most products & travel here cost that much more etc.

I see you work in Shipping / Logistics, there is lots of that here! Work on all your contacts in the UK to see if anyone can put you in touch with anyone here to refer you to a job, or start looking at these companies hiring websites and see if there are jobs being advertised. If you can, get the ball rolling on a job before you even arrive.

http://www.singaporeexpats.com/ will give you an idea of accomodation, but again, get wife's company to provide a serviced appartment for at least a month so that you can get a feal of where you want to live.

Out of interest, School or University level study? I just heard on the radio that Nanyang Technology University has just been ranked as 47th in the world!

finally, don't look at the price of car's - they will make you cry! If you hankered after riding a motorbike but don't have the license, (biked much cheaper here) get your license in UK, its much faster and simpler process!

Feel free to fire away here / PM any more questions.


Andy_sx

Original Poster:

2,381 posts

92 months

[news] 
Wednesday 12th September 2012 quote quote all
XJSJohn said:
ok, two threads for some background reading

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

Your wife will be on an EP, you will be on a dependants pass unless you find work yourself.

Your wife's employers will organise this for you (they have to). Her EP will take between 2 weeks and 6 weeks to process, depending on what she is earning (over $9k a month and will be closer to 2 weeks).

If SWMBO is not getting a package significantly more than $9k a month, don't bother, you will not have enough dosh for the lifestyle that you will end up socialising in. Its not that everyone is flashy, just that accomodation, booze and western food are expensive - the SGD is very strong against European and US currencies so most products & travel here cost that much more etc.

I see you work in Shipping / Logistics, there is lots of that here! Work on all your contacts in the UK to see if anyone can put you in touch with anyone here to refer you to a job, or start looking at these companies hiring websites and see if there are jobs being advertised. If you can, get the ball rolling on a job before you even arrive.

http://www.singaporeexpats.com/ will give you an idea of accomodation, but again, get wife's company to provide a serviced appartment for at least a month so that you can get a feal of where you want to live.

Out of interest, School or University level study? I just heard on the radio that Nanyang Technology University has just been ranked as 47th in the world!

finally, don't look at the price of car's - they will make you cry! If you hankered after riding a motorbike but don't have the license, (biked much cheaper here) get your license in UK, its much faster and simpler process!

Feel free to fire away here / PM any more questions.
Hi John, that is superb, many thanks! Will have to have a proper readof the threads and your reply and digest / discuss with SWMBO tonight.

Couple of things, firstly, she is my girlfriend, not wife... I would guess this would casue potential issues.

Package wise, accomodation and a drver are provided, salary is a bare minimum of 2.5k per month sterling, but reading between the lines and looking at the start date, something could easily be done. Is the 9k SGD for one person or could a couple live on it. Re lifestyle, we arent massive on going out too often, but i guess if the shoe fits etc, you go with the flow (bad analogy granted... not having a great day and a hell of alot to take in). Work wise, I could easily jump into logistics / shipping again, I used to be a port agent and would love to get back into it in a bigger port.

Pets... now this is a question. We have a dog, love her to bits and wouldnt want to leave her. Is it possible to take her, and would you know about the rigmarole etc? I am guessing the heat would annoy her, but are most appartments air con'd?? She is getting on a bit so doesnt ned masses of exercise, just a strol for the morning ablutions and then a walk in the evening.

Cars, ill gloss over that one for now frown I do wnt to do my bike test anyway, so that could be the impotus needed to peed it up!

She will be School based, and I believe its a UK school that specialise in the Reggio Emillia cirriculem (or teaching method... it doesnt mean much to me, she is the teacher not me wink)

I think we have a hell of alot to learn, read, research and digest, in a fairly short space of time! I am certain I will have many many more questions, so your help is massively appreciated!

XJSJohn

14,069 posts

105 months

[news] 
Wednesday 12th September 2012 quote quote all
Dependants passes are still fine in your situation.

GPB2.5k after housing and transport - don't bother ..... they are taking the piss,

you will see one of my threads on general living costs on my origional post for a baseline, but remember you will still pay tax on the whole package. Tax may be low but it still adds up if your available is not that much.

based on some one at either UWC or SMU (your SWMBO should know or be able to figure out who they are) she should be on an all in package of minimum $120k before tax - aim higher - $150+

Sorry to be blunt but this is not a cheap place to live if you get your rate wrong.

The mutt is no problem, get him a pet passport and can come out here with no quarentine - however the flight alone for a dog is GBP3k upwards i believe!!!

ETA a quick google suggests its Eaton House - what you have outlined money wise does not make sense from what i understand they pay. (i don't have kids but i do know a few teachers here so can ask them for advice)

(BTW - no one outside of an ambassador has had a "driver" here for 20 years, i guess this is a travel allowance, if so should be between $1 - $1.5k minimum!)


alfaman

5,021 posts

120 months

[news] 
Thursday 13th September 2012 quote quote all
less than $ 5k per month would be a bit tough - you'd have about 4- 4.5k after tax on pay and accomodation benefit.

However - bear in mind the average local family income is only around $3k +/- per month.

If you earned $10k gross .. this is how your costs may pan out [by being reasonalby frugal]

10 gross
9 after tax

3 - 3.5 : rent for 2 bedder about 20-30 minutes commute from town centre [older condo not right next to an MRT].. rent would be more like 4-5k for a newer 2 bed condo in the city centre.

that leaves 5.5 - 6 for everything else :

0.5 : utilities , internet , phone
0.5+ basic food [groceries or food court ]per person...a bit more if you like imported western stuff

0.1- 0.2 : commuting on bus or MRT [public transport is cheap ]

0.2 - 0.5 : taxi's when u cant get public transport [assuming you dont have a car on $10k / month]

So that leaves you with around 4k+ for leisure spend, holidays , drinks , clothing, and saving, plus flights home ... which is not massive - but is doable.

Also need to bear in mind what your lifestyle and outgoings would other wise be in the UK as a teacher...

Some may say my costings are a bit lowish..

I'm just illustrating you dont have to be on $20k+ / month to live in SG ... the average expat wage is around 18-20k IIRC , but there will be plenty on less than that .. not everyone is in banking , oil and gas , or an MNC director..there are expats with 'normal' jobs here.








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XJSJohn

14,069 posts

105 months

[news] 
Thursday 13th September 2012 quote quote all
alfaman said:
However - bear in mind the average local family income is only around $3k +/- per month.
Household is 5k average i believe

But remember that they have CPF that will in most cases be paying / have completely paid off their home so no accomodation costs. They will have medical and pension also covered by CPF, (which is paid above salaries)

They will not have expensve flights home to see family, repatriation costs etc etc, and they will have the local knowledge to know where to go for general shopping at the best price which takes time.

So a local household income probably works out to an expat household income of $10k (add housing, medical, pension, savings etc)

but you don't travel half way around the world and take a job to be on a basic income, and if companies are approaching you to do this, you must have skills that are not available locally, therefore are a premium.

The basic premise of what i am saying is that i have seen many people come out here on ok but lower rates ($8 - 10k) and without being extravagant have realised that they were better off staying in the UK, and usually end up leaving within 6 months with a bad experience when the correct advice early on could have made all the difference.

OP, do you have a property in the uk, this is another overhead that you will need to maintain also.

Edit - would also agree with Alfaman, you don't need to be earning mega bucks, but there does seem to be a threshold pain point that i have seen from people coming out here, and it seems to sit at about 11.5 - 12k a month as the correct starting point.

If you can get an all cash package this is better as it gives you flexability on accomodation that can give you more in pocket.







Edited by XJSJohn on Thursday 13th September 03:01

alfaman

5,021 posts

120 months

[news] 
Thursday 13th September 2012 quote quote all
To add:

1/ try and negotiate '6 months notice' at least in your contract ..you will be on an EP ... if for whatever reason you lose your job here, you have 30 days to get another job or leave the country .. which is a bit tough if you are out here with your family and possessions. Your employment pass is immediately revoked and is not transferable to another employer.

2/ also best to sign your contract in the UK , for a UK entity if at all possible as your employment rights are much stronger. My contract is with an SG entity - but under SG law .. employees have almost no rights [ perm contracts can be terminated for no reason at all ...unlike the UK]

3/ Once you have been here for 6 months + and assuming you are on a reasonable salary .. you can apply for a "personal" employment pass ..this is tied to you , and you can work for anyone..and gives you 6 months to find another job if you are made redundant / terminated.

..not being pessimistic - but you need to try and mitigate against some downside risks you may not be thinking about.

V41LEY

1,873 posts

124 months

[news] 
Thursday 13th September 2012 quote quote all
If you can, try and get a job with an employer here before you arrive. It is very difficult (not impossible) to find any work here on a dependents pass.

XJSJohn

14,069 posts

105 months

[news] 
Friday 14th September 2012 quote quote all
V41LEY said:
If you can, try and get a job with an employer here before you arrive. It is very difficult (not impossible) to find any work here on a dependents pass.
You are certainly seen as less employable, mainly i believe because as the trailing spouse you rprospective employer assumes that you may up and leave the job at any time because your spouse has been relocated.

I have heard of some people who come over on a long term tourist visa (up to a year) sponsored by the spouse, this seems to have worked better!

Having said that V41ley's recomendation to get the job / contacts / ball rolling before you leave is the best option.


V41LEY

1,873 posts

124 months

[news] 
Saturday 15th September 2012 quote quote all
XJSJohn said:
You are certainly seen as less employable, mainly i believe because as the trailing spouse you rprospective employer assumes that you may up and leave the job at any time because your spouse has been relocated.

I have heard of some people who come over on a long term tourist visa (up to a year) sponsored by the spouse, this seems to have worked better!

Having said that V41ley's recomendation to get the job / contacts / ball rolling before you leave is the best option.
Also helps if you have at least 3 degrees, a masters, MBA and professional experience not less than 10 years in your chosen field ! Common sense and a can-do approach optional !

Rich_AR

926 posts

90 months

[news] 
Sunday 16th September 2012 quote quote all
As John says, do your motorbike license in the UK first and then convert it when you get here (6 months after you pass) otherwise you'll be stuck learning here which is dreadful by all accounts and you will be stuck with maximum 200cc for two years. Not that bad, but not ideal if you'd like to ride into Malaysia.


Oh at least 10k pm is needed for a reasonable life style.

Edited by Rich_AR on Sunday 16th September 03:22

crazy about cars

3,750 posts

55 months

[news] 
Sunday 16th September 2012 quote quote all
wow...Singapore must be a very expensive place if £2500/month doesn't even cut it anymore even with accomodation and transport thrown in!

That is roughly 70% of my take home pay and I do just fine over in the UK...

XJSJohn

14,069 posts

105 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
crazy about cars said:
wow...Singapore must be a very expensive place if £2500/month doesn't even cut it anymore even with accomodation and transport thrown in!

That is roughly 70% of my take home pay and I do just fine over in the UK...
currently rates 6th most expensive city in the world to live in.

London by comparison is 25th.

Sorry, its a Guardian link but they are the only ones that show the whole list.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jun/1...


alfaman

5,021 posts

120 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
That table is interesting with the costs by item..pity Singapore isnt on it.

..though what is a bit puzzling - looking at the central London costs by item : most of them are close to SG [+/-] [ rent for prime location 2 bedder about the same , petrol is cheaper here in SG, groceries more , McD's meal cheaper ..., cinema cheaper here ..]

..but London is 25th and SG 6th ... maybe the basket of costs is highly weighted by cars, alcohol and imported food? smile


XJSJohn

14,069 posts

105 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
http://uk.mercer.com/costofliving some details on teh background of the survey, but it uses a basket of 200 items including food, entertainment, clothing etc. It also factors in currency fluctuations and i guess although they don't mention it, probably also factors in that most corporate expats have some sort of tax equalisation policy.


alfaman

5,021 posts

120 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
I'm glad not to be a US citizen - who has to pay US income taxes wherever they are globally ..bit grim if you have an ME or Asia posting!

phumy

3,927 posts

123 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
alfaman said:
I'm glad not to be a US citizen - who has to pay US income taxes wherever they are globally ..bit grim if you have an ME or Asia posting!
Same for NZ people too..

XJSJohn

14,069 posts

105 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
phumy said:
alfaman said:
I'm glad not to be a US citizen - who has to pay US income taxes wherever they are globally ..bit grim if you have an ME or Asia posting!
Same for NZ people too..
for US citizens i think it is only on income after $USD90k (or something like that)

Think kiwi tax man is not so serious as most that i know don't pay home taxes, naughty kiwi's!

Nick M

3,420 posts

109 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
alfaman said:
I'm glad not to be a US citizen - who has to pay US income taxes wherever they are globally ..bit grim if you have an ME or Asia posting!
It can be, but there is something called the foreign earned income exclusion which can remove large chunks of earnings (up to $95k last time I checked) and housing benefit from tax.

And anything left over can be mitigated by offsetting foreign tax credits against the remaining US liability. In practice, it's possible to ensure that very little is actually taxed in the US, unless you're eaning mega-bucks.
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