The Singapore Ministry of Manpower is applying stricter scrutiny towards Long-Term Visit Pass applications for unmarried couples.

Long-Term Visit Passes are generally used by unmarried partners or stepchildren of Employment Pass holders to work and reside in Singapore. Previously, Singapore accepted notarized declarations by work pass holders stating that their common-law relationship is recognized by their home country. However, the Ministry of Manpower has recently been rejecting these declarations as insufficient evidence without further explanation. The Ministry of Manpower has not stated the reason for this change. As of now, this level of scrutiny has not been applied to the stepchildren’s applications.

This new procedural trend will affect Long-Term Visit Pass applicants who want to join their unmarried partner in Singapore. When submitting the application for a Long-Term Visit Pass, in addition to the notarized declaration, it may behoove the unmarried partner to also submit a copy of their country’s law which permits and recognizes common-law relationships and marriages. While the Ministry of Manpower may still question the documents, a copy of the country’s laws will nevertheless strengthen the unmarried partner’s Long-Term Visit Pass application.