With the economy in crisis in America and Europe, many people are considering to move to where the economy is still healthy. Of course Asia with its huge population and an ever-expanding economy attracts many Westerners to come to try their luck in the orient.
But where to go? Several interesting countries are available to you such as Thaïland, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other non-traditional as Phnom Penh in Cambodia. There are several things to consider before choosing the perfect place: language, economy, security, our interests, jobs offer and visas and immigration.
One of the best options is without a doubt, Singapore, for several reasons. No natural disaster threatening, a stable government recognized as the least corrupt in the world, a strong economy with one of the strongest currencies in Asia, countries which despite its small size keeps a lot of public green space, a low crime rate, good cheap public transport facilities including a highly effective train system, world-class attractions like The Night Safari , The Universal Studio, budget carriers that can take you to Phuket beach in Thailand in 3 hours for 150USD round trip and excellent food from all corners of Asia at good prices .
There are also some cons: housing and real estate is one of the most expensive in the world, owning a car is exorbitant as it costs over 30,000 SingaporeDollars just to have a license plate. Singapore has a good night life but be prepared to pay the high price, the laws are numerous and severe, and for example the sale of chewing gum is banned, drug trafficking leads to death penalties, nevertheless the police are very discrete, the countryside does not exist and work and money must be one of your top primary motivations.
Other reasons that attract foreigners to work in Singapore are the flexible recruitment policies, the low personal tax rates, the high standard of living and the only real English working environment of all Asia.
There are nearly a million foreigners working in Singapore. By cons, as elsewhere employment opportunities are greatly increase for those who have extensive experience and solid recognized training as the competition is great with the many interested candidates and local degree holders.
The largest employers of foreign talent are finance and banking, export and transport of goods (the port of Singapore is the second busiest in the world after Shanghai), the IT and communication technology specialties where government investing heavily to become the hub of telecommunications in Asia. Business and government are always looking for qualified workers in manufacturing, construction engineering, haute cuisine, education, biotechnology, various technical jobs in the electronics and tourism.
As a foreigner to get a job in Singapore you will need a lot of effort and be well prepared. If you are looking at on-line job sites, you will notice that the positions offered are mostly to Singaporeans and permanent residents. There are few jobs open to foreigners on these sites. The reason is simply because the process is faster and less expensive for companies to hire people who are already in Singapore and having the right to work.
If you come here in search of work, you are not allowed to work with a tourist visa, read the stamp on your passport (holder not permitted to work or engages in business profession or occupation without valid work pass Issued Under Employment of Foreign Manpower Act). In fact, you must have a work permit to work, but to be successful you must have a job and an employer who wants to sponsor you before obtaining the necessary papers.
Once you have found an organization that wants to hire you, they will make you sign a letter of approval. They will take your travel documents and passport copies of your diplomas, certificates and resume to the Ministry of Manpower or MOM to apply for your work permit (S-pass/employment pass). From there, the only thing that remains is to wait for the outcome, let the human resources of the company take care of the rest of the process. There are several types of work pass, but the difference is limited mainly by the right to sponsor family members for extended stay visas. Refer to the MOM website for terms and conditions.
There are several ways to seek employment in Singapore. Internet recruitment agency, classifieds, chamber of commerce, embassy, job site, send CV direct … there are several possibilities.
In Singapore all major linguistic communities are represented by their own paper so there are newspapers in Malay, Tamil and Chinese. For jobs in English, read the Straits Time in print or its online edition to find a listing of available jobs by type and industry. The Saturday edition usually has a full section devoting to career and jobs.
In Singapore, the headhunters have an important role in helping local companies to fill positions requiring specific labour and skills. Large international recruitment companies like Kelly are all based in Singapore. Contact them and submit your resume for employment if you are looking for a senior or highly specialized position.
Internet is the main source for finding a job Singapore. The Net is full of specialized sites where you can create your job profile and submit your resume. Take time to consult their guides to get some hints and tricks on Singaporean job markets.
Singapore Jobs Online – http://www.singaporejobsonline
Job Street – http://www.jobstreet.com.sgd
?Jobs Cyclone – http://www.jobcyclone.com/
Singapore IT Jobs – http://www.singaporeitjobs.com/
Here are a few quick suggestions, while looking for jobs in Singapore
1) Get ready in advance about your upcoming job search in Singapore. Make a comprehensive search on the internet, prepare your papers, diploma and resume according to the demands of work you wish to apply for. It’s essential that you get some good contacts and interviews before coming to Singapore. You will need a month or two before getting good results according to what you have to offer.
2) Arriving in Singapore by air, you will receive a social visit pass valid for one month. Some managed to extend their visa at the immigration office (ICA) or online https://www.psi.gov.sg/NASApp/tmf/TMFServlet?app=STSVP-PUBLIC&isNew=true&Reload=true you will need a sponsor who is a local Singaporean or Permanent Resident to support your application. Remember to take steps before the end of your visa or you may have problems. Sometimes the Customs may ask to see your return ticket before entering the country so make sure you have proof. A reservation can maybe help you sometimes .
For many people like me, the solution was to leave the country a few days (at least 2 full days) to receive a new visa. If you enter by land at the Causeway Checkpoint in Malaysia you will get only 2 weeks but if you come by Changi Airport you will be given a full month. I suggest you visit Bangkok, Phuket or Kuala Lumpur on the wings of Tiger Airways for less than $ 150 round trip (once again plan a return ticket just in case)
Warning: exceed the limits of your visit visa is severely punished by the law of Singapore. Some foreign workers who exceeded the limits of their visas find themselves imprisoned for six months after being arrested and stood trial at high speed. As in anywhere else in the world, don’t play games with immigration as you will lose every time.
3) Think about finding a place to sleep and be reached easily. Singapore hotels are quite expensive. There are several Guesthouses which offer rooms and dormitories for 10 to $ 30 USD and they will be happy to assist you in your job search. You will have an internet connection and telephone and to make you reachable on this great island. Do not forget to buy a disposable phone or a local “sim” card as you will need a local number to fill up your application forms. Join forums and social network where you can find good tips, help and place to stay. http://www.couchsurfing.org/, Hostelworld, http://www.hostels.com/singapore, forum.singaporeexpats.com, www.singaporeexpats.com, http://www.sgexpatforum.com/
4) On the job search sites, be patient and keep trying to find jobs open to foreigners. You must be patient. You can use meta search sites including several job sites instead of seeking one place at a time. Using the search options for jobs that are open to all or to foreigners excluding the words Singaporean and permanent resident for example.
http://www.careerjet.sg – http://www.careerjet.sg
5) Apply to lots of jobs you are interested in even if they are targeted only at Singaporean and Permanent Resident. There are good chances that they want to meet you anyway. It’s your duty to sell yourself when someone is open to you. Everything is possible. Chances are that they might open the position to foreigners if they are not able to fill the position with locals.
6) Be clear with your skills and knowledge. Put the emphasis of your research on the jobs that you are a good candidate for the job applied for. Be wide in your research, but do not apply to all the jobs available or you will waste your time and you will waste the other party’s time as well.
7) Prepare your presentation materials carefully, your resume, cover letter, qualifications and portfolio. Look at the skills required in the field that you searching for and edit your profile accordingly.
8) Be ready for the interview. Revise the standard interview questions and be prepared to tell the history of your past experience and journey with conviction. Visit this site to help prepare your interview http://www.jobcyclone.com/articles/interview/interviewcenter.html
9) Be prepared to compromise and take the job even if it was not your first choice. It’s important to get one foot in the door and have your work permit
9) Good luck!
The next article, we will talk about your next concern; finding a place to stay according to your budget in Singapore
This post is also available in: French