I spent 3 hours at Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) today. All to submit a stack of documents to renew Zoey’s long term visit pass. The actual submission took 3 minutes. The queue to submit took 3 hours.
This is part of the frustration I have with the fact that our marriage is not recognised in Singapore. For people who say it doesn’t matter, let me assure you that it matters very much indeed.
IF we could have gotten married in Singapore, Zoey would have been a Singaporean at birth and we would not need to make multiple trips to ICA each year. However, because our marriage is not recognised here and because I am Indonesian holding Singapore permanent residence, Zoey is Indonesian like me. We could not get Singapore citizenship for her when she was born as Irene and I couldn’t get married in Singapore. Even though we are married now, Singapore law does not recognise it. So Zoey is currently on a short term social visit pass because her long term visit pass expired before the renewal was approved. We have been to ICA twice this month. Each time spending an average of 3 hours there.
The first time to surrender her FIN card and exchange it for a white short term social visit pass. The second time was today where I was required to submit the same paperwork I had submitted 2 years ago when we first applied for her long term visit pass.
For those who are wondering why I have not applied for permanent residence for her, yes I have. Her appointment date is in April 2016, more than 6 months away. That is how long it takes for me to actually get an appointment to put in the paperwork for her PR. The actual PR application process can take anything from 6 months to a year.
This is an absolutely painful process that we would not have to go through if our marriage was recognised in Singapore and Irene was legally acknowledged as her other parent. So once again, I shall repeat that these issues are real and they are affecting our family. Our daughter is now on a 30 day social visit pass which will need to be renewed or extended every month until she gets her new FIN card. And that is assuming her long term visit pass is approved. Which it better be, because if not, I would really like ICA to tell me where they expect a 2.5 year old toddler to go without her (supposedly single) mother.
ICA, speed up the approval process please! Don’t make me wait a month for you to send me an email that asks me to go and submit documents you already have, then wait another month for you to approve and another 2 months for an appointment to get the FIN card to be issued. It shouldn’t take 4 months to get a pass that only lasts 1 year. This just means the pass is useful for only 8 months before we need to apply for a new one. If the intention is for the process to take 4 months, then please consider issuing 2 or 3 year passes! This is Singapore, shouldn’t we be more efficient than this?
IF, and I am using a CAPITAL IF, there is a severe backlog from the massive amount of PR applications put on hold which is causing the domino effect of more long-term pass applications and causing this severely long time line, please remember that #GE2015 elections is over! You can open the flood gates for foreigners again. Just reminding you okay?