Partner Visa Charges Increased by 50%

A lesser known fact. I became a Permanent Resident here via a Spouse Visa and not a Skilled Migration Visa. Back then, I was in a hurry to get a PR and was told by a migration agent that if he were to nominate my profession based on my IT degree, I would be required to work at least 4 years in either one of the roles on the SOL to be qualified. We always thought that 2 years of relevant working experience of the nominated profession would be sufficient. In truth, it varies from vocation to vocation. So what the migration agent told me was a blow in the nut.

I asked the Si Ang Mo would he be able to nominate me as a construction professional if I were to find some construction work with my relevant diploma. He told me 2 years of working experience in any supervisory role would be sufficient. I left his dainty office with a heavy heart.

Within the next few months, I left the cushy manager role in a stat board and joined a local construction company, who took the opportunity to exploit me because I had no working experience. I took it up willingly and told myself 2 years were all I needed. It didn't matter whether I had to work 6 days a week, enduring common 16-hour day streaks. It was only 2 years, scant comparison to the miseries of wearing green. At least I get paid enough to save and fervently did I save. I was obsessed with my goal and never let it go like a pit bull, despite periods where I was too tired from work and put migration thoughts at the back of the mind.

When 2 years were finally up, Jen's PR was already approved. She was qualified to go anytime but I couldn't and didn't even know if my application would actually be legit. I had placed my bet entirely on a migration agent's words, doing no verification whatsoever on my part. Besides, an application would set us back to another 2 years of wait. Back in 2009, migration rules were different. The SOL as well as experience requirements across vocations would have changed a lot since too. So have the costs and that is the purpose of this post. I'll come to that later.

It was then we contemplated a spouse visa. The problem was marriage was never on my mind. I was just a wandering soul, not your usual dependable Singaporean man with rolls of plans in the bag. So while some men married women for HDB flats, I literally got married for a spouse visa. Lest you cry foul for fraud, you should understand that the woman I married happened to be the only person I would marry because she was the only woman I knew who were willing to do anything for and with me, regardless how preposterous.

We also came to find out that a spouse visa would take half the time required (then) of a classic skilled migration. So we got married and lodged the application. We faced a lot of difficulties because we were a newly wed and it was a near impossible task to prove our case as a genuine relationship. The experience allowed me to write a great guide [link] on it which I believed most, if not all, the information is still useful and relevant today. By deciding to go the Spouse Visa route instead, we cut our waiting time by at least 1 year, which turned out to be a blessing because Albany would have to be born in Singapore instead. Applying permanent residency for her would be another administrative (and financial) nightmare for me. In that scenario, leaving Singapore would be highly unlikely. I would probably still be in Singapore today, stubbing out any remaining thoughts of emigration, if any.

Can't believe I ended up talking grandfather stories when all I wanted to do is to inform the Partner Visa charges increase. Really getting old too fast.

From 1 January 2015 (thus already applicable), Partner visa charges increase by 50%!

Onshore application (probably not applicable to most of you) previously A$4,575 increased to A$6,865

Offshore application previously A$3,085 increased to A$4,630

Painful. Application charges across any visa category will only increase as the government continues to regard immigration as a cash cow. So when a question pops up in the page the other day, what else can I answer?

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