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Here’s What to Do When Your PR Application Gets Rejected

Receiving the news that your Permanent Resident (PR) application was rejected can never be easy. Especially when ICA doesn’t provide you with any reason for their rejection. But before you call it quits or give up on your Singapore dream, let’s discuss your options.

But before we dive into the steps, you need to understand that there are many different reasons why the authorities might disqualify you as a candidate. And while it might seem like you’re left in the dark about your application, there are steps you can take to uncover and determine the areas you should be working on.

Once you’ve gotten a better gauge of your standing, you can decide whether to appeal against your rejection or re-submit your application after the six months cooldown period.

Overview: Steps to Take After Your PR Application Gets Rejected

  • Determine whether you are eligible for an appeal or wait to reapply again after six months
  • Uncover the various reasons for a PR application rejection to analyse how to improve your profile
  • Assess whether you have had a significant change to your profile since your application
  • Send in your PR application rejection appeal with documents highlighting those changes
  • Alternatively, work on buffing up and strengthening your profile
  • Reapply after waiting the minimum period and after you have a much stronger application profile

Determine Whether You Are Eligible for An Appeal?

It’s natural that the first thing anyone wants to do is send in an appeal. But before you scramble to do just that, review your profile to determine whether you qualify for an appeal.

Ultimately, the appeal option is intended for two groups of applicants, and you want to make sure you fall under either one of these groups:

  1. Your circumstance has significantly changed since your original application. For instance, you’ve added new qualifying criteria that indicate long-term interest in Singapore. (*hint: we aren’t saying anything here, but you might want to take a closer look at your Singapore-based insurance policies)
  2. You failed to include a significant accomplishment or contribution in your original application.

Unfortunately, rejection appeals get thrown out in many cases as there weren’t any significant changes in an applicant’s situation compared to their original application.

Here’s a simple “rule-of-thumb” you can use to gauge your appeal chances… List down the events or things that have changed since your application, and if none of them shows any signs of long-term interest in Singapore, then…

We usually recommend waiting for the cooldown period and sending in a new application for such clients.

Naturally, you don’t want to sit around and do nothing during these six months but quickly buff up your application profile and build up your long-term interest qualifications.

Why Most PR Application Gets Rejected

And to do so effectively, we must first have a good understanding of why applications get rejected. While ICA doesn’t openly reflect those reasons in their email, there are several common reasons, and a number of them are because of technical issues.

Start by looking through your application again and see whether you have missed out on any of the following:

  • Information was missing in your online form submission – Since the ePR application system is now entirely digital, should it detect an empty value in the online form, an automatic rejection is issued even if everything else is perfect.
  • There is a mismatch of your compulsory documents – Another common mistake is to submit the documents wrongly such as a high school certificate in place of a diploma and vice versa.
  • Your application doesn’t highlight any sinking roots commitment – One of the most important criteria mentioned in parliament is an applicant’s commitment to establishing sinking roots in Singapore, and your application must showcase this.
  • No indication of contribution to Singapore’s 6Ds – Many applications that we review only talk about why they want to become a Singapore PR but fail to emphasize what their 6D contributions are.

What You Should Do Before Reapplying for a Singapore PR

The good news is that you can reapply as many times as you wish for a Singapore PR. The only criteria are you wait for six months before sending in your application again.

But that doesn’t mean you keep sending in the same application repeatedly.

Remember, there are hundreds of thousands of employment work pass holders in Singapore, and many of them apply every year. Only 30,000 gets approved, giving the authorities ample choices to pick only the best of the lot.

While the open secret foreigner quota policy is at play here, in most cases, your application would have been delayed if you qualified. A rejection letter indicates that things are missing from your application. Items that you should work on during this cooldown period.

In such situations, it helps to speak with an immigration specialist who can look through your application details and advise you on the areas to improve.

Alternatively, you can go directly to the various solution providers to beef up those specific areas.

And to do that effectively, you first must uncover which areas need help.

That’s why your first course of action is:

Analyse Where You Fell Short

There are 5 main areas ICA is considering when it comes to any PR application. These are:

  1. Your Education and Job Certifications
  2. Your Historical and Current Employment
  3. Your Duration of Stay in Singapore
  4. Your Economic Contributions
  5. Whether you have any Family Relations in Singapore

On average, if an applicant has failed in a previous application, the cooldown period should improve the first 4 criteria.

The reasoning is that any strong potential candidate would continue improving themselves as they live and work in Singapore. Their education should improve, they should be getting promoted, or they should earn more.

Unfortunately, the reality is that not everyone gets such improvement within half a year. In such situations, you’ll want to consider this next step…

Showcase a Significant Change

The worst mistake anyone can make is to re-submit the exact same application after it has been rejected. Remember, it’s not going to improve if nothing has changed miraculously.

That’s why one of our recommendations is to add something to your profile that shows progress in your life. More importantly, it should help you to stand out.

One example is getting a promotion or starting a business, which shows progress. But I know it’s not something most people can demand and achieve immediately.

For these people, there are other steps they can take.

Such as owning a local property. It shows a commitment to living in Singapore for the long term. But private property prices are at a record high, so this isn’t a solution for everyone.

Thankfully, there is a simpler (and less expensive) way, and that is owning a personal whole-life insurance plan. (Oops, I might have revealed a little too much, but you might want to speak with an experienced insurance agent about this)

Be Open and Informative

There’s a fine line between revealing too much information and not revealing any information.

When you put yourself in the approver’s shoes, you have to consider the type of candidates ICA wants to bring into the country.

They want people who can contribute to the development and growth of Singapore and are looking for clues and signs in the application. Your application.

Thus, any information that highlights this point and paints your profile in a better light is good. Let them know about it.

That’s where a good cover letter helps to bring this message across now that there are no more interviews. You’ve got to let your application documents shine. More is always better than fewer when it comes to a PR application.

Apply Through a Different Category – EntrePass Application

Sometimes the best cause of action for standing out from the crowd is to play in a different field altogether.

After all, while most applicants go through the employment pass route, an alternative is available with a much smaller competition.

And that is the EntrePass application route.

However, this may not be an option for everyone as you would need to make a substantial amount of local investment and meet the EntrePass requirements to qualify.

If you do, you will fall under the Foreign Business Owner category and help contribute to the Singapore economy and workforce.

Final Note About Resubmitting an Application

While it is tempting to resubmit your application, wait another six months, submit again, and repeat this process until you succeed…

Each additional application is tracked and recorded.

Now, imagine if you were in charge of approving an applicant and you noticed this applicant had submitted the same document countless times… what would your impression of this applicant be?

Likewise, don’t rush when you’re submitting your application but go through your documents to ensure you have something you’re proud to send in.

If you’re still unsure, then why not let our friendly and professional immigration specialists take a look and advise you accordingly?

Oftentimes, we’ve found some applicants were almost there but gave up after one try because they thought they would never qualify. Instead, our advisors are here to give you a realistic evaluation of your chances and the steps you should take to improve them.

You’re on your way to becoming a Singapore PR and, in the future, a Singapore citizen.

Let us help get you there.

Have You Calculated Your PR Eligibility Score Yet?

Fill in our online “PR Eligibility” Quiz and calculate what your current chances of approval are like using our Proprietary Scoring Metrics based on industry experience and information.