Paid Thousands for Your Singapore PR Application?
Have you (or know of someone who) paid exorbitant fees to an "agency" to complete your application for Singapore Permanent Residency(PR), and yet still had application rejected?
In recent years, Singapore has seen a spike in the number of such agencies, or Professional Immigration Firms in Singapore, where their sole business is in consulting with foreigners who are working in Singapore and have a need for a Singapore PR status.
Some of these companies even claim to greatly assist with an applicant’s chances of success, with some even boasting up to “98% Success Rates”.
All applications for Singapore PR are assessed holistically based on all aspects of an applicant's profile, and is up to the discretion of the ICA to approve or reject an application. Engaging an agency to prepare your application can improve neatness and clarity, but does nothing in influencing the ICA on favoring your application over others.
Foreigners who wish to apply for Singapore Permanent Residency can do so by applying online on the ICA website. The entire process, if briefed properly prior to commencing your 48-hour submission time frame (refer to the ICA's Self-Explanatory Notes), but should take no more than 2 hours to submit.
Looking into the matter of such high success rates, which would baffle even the ICA itself, we wanted to find out exactly what it was that these firms do that could guarantee such extraordinary success rates for their clients. We managed to interview five of these Immigration Consultants from two of the bigger “Professional Immigration Firms” who agreed to give their input on the basis of anonymity, on what the actual success rates were for their clients.
The results were, you guessed it.....staggering.
Two of the Immigration Consultants from one such firm based in the heart of Raffles Place (and boasts a 400+ square feet office) mentioned that up to 85% of their clients actually get rejected. However they also admitted that even if they knew the applicant stood a low chance of success, they would still ‘take up the case’ as they would still have to hit their sales targets for the month.
Three other Consultants from another firm based in Suntec City mentioned that the “90% success rates” that their company was marketing, was referring to their Malaysian clients, and that “80-90% of our clients are actually rejected”.
All five Consultants agreed that their clients overpay their companies purely for the convenience and preparation of their paperwork, which could have all been done by themselves in just a few hours.
But what was it that contributed to the success of such agencies, if their success rates were so low?
Speaking with a client who engaged such consultancies before, Mr Chandran (not his real name) mentioned that during the initial consultation with one of these firms,
“I attended one such consultation with a company in Raffles Place. The consultant will usually say whatever it takes to get you optimistic about the application and get you to sign on their contract. They say all sorts of things such as they are confident and there is a 90% chance I would get approved. "
"Feeling optimistic, I paid S$2,800 for the service. 3 months later, my application was rejected, and when I requested for help, I was told to pay another S$1,000 in ‘processing fees’ if I wished to appeal against the rejection."
"Deciding to give it one more try, I decided to pay this S$1,000 and proceed with the appeal. The appeal letter returned as if it was written by a high school student, with absolutely no personal effort to my appeal. I had to re-write the entire appeal on my own. They then refused to answer my calls. It was only when I visited their office unexpectedly did they amend their mistake.”
"Once they take your money, they prepare a substandard application because they are no longer incentivised for your application's approval."
The application process for Singapore Permanent Residency is tricky and complicated, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out.
If you need help on submitting your PR Application, we want you to know we have helped over 10,000 expats in Singapore with their relocation to Singapore for free.
You can book a free PR Submission with an Immigration Specialist (+65 6909 6150) or via walk-in to our office at:
Move to Singapore
10 Anson Road
Submitting your application with Move to Singapore is completely free. Only pay government and administrative charges.
Why are we completely free? As Singapore Relocation Advisers, information such as this should be free, and do not charge* for preparation of your eSubmission for PR.
Have you had a similar experience with such an agency, or perhaps care to share your story on how much you paid a firm for similar services? Leave your comments in our comment section below - We'd love to hear you out.
*Except for Government and Administrative Fees