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Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo Minister for Manpower to PQ on the Rationale for Requiring Work Permit Holder to Seek Approval to Marry Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident

NOTICE PAPER NO. 2004 OF 2020 FOR SITTING ON 2 MARCH

QUESTION NO. 1620 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

MP: Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang

To ask the Minister for Manpower what is the rationale for the requirement that a current or former work permit holder who wishes to marry a Singapore citizen or permanent resident must seek approval from the Ministry when S Pass and Employment Pass holders are not subject to the same requirement.

Answer

  1. Work pass holders are meant to be transient. Persons who wish to stay in Singapore for the long-term must meet stringent criteria. Work permit holders (WPHs) are much less likely to meet the criteria than Employment or S Pass holders. As marriage to a Singapore citizen (SC) or permanent resident (PR) does not confer an automatic right of stay, it is better to have conveyed a clear signal in certain cases by not permitting the marriage in the first place. That said, in the last five years, about 8 in 10 WPHs have been granted approval to marry an SC or PR.