New pass scheme for Singaporeans' foreign spouses

A new scheme will be introduced to help Singaporean families with foreign spouses.

Starting April 1, the Long-Term Visit Pass-Plus (or LTVP+), will provide foreign spouses of Singapore citizens who qualify, with greater certainty of staying here.

The LTVP+ aims to grant the holder a longer period of residency. To qualify, couples should have at least one Singaporean child from their marriage.

For couples who do not have a child who is a Singapore citizen, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will look at other factors such as the duration of marriage, and consider more favourably those who have been married for at least three years.

The LTVP+ will be for a duration of three years in the first instance and will be for up to five years for each subsequent renewal. These pass-holders will also be able to enjoy eligible for healthcare and employment benefits at levels close to that of permanent residents.

Such spouses will also be able to find jobs more easily, as prospective employers can apply to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for a Letter of Consent (LOC) for them, instead of an Employment/S Pass or Work Permit. Such employees will not be counted as part of a company's foreign worker quota, and employers will not have to pay foreign workers' levy for them.

For more information on the LTVP+ scheme, please visit the ICA website at www.ica.gov.sg. You can also email ICA at: ICA_Visit_Pass@ica.gov.sg.

cynloh@sph.com.sg