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Should You Write an Appeal Letter? When Singapore PR Applications Get Rejected

It’s been a year. And finally, that postage from ICA arrives.

Anxiously, you carefully tear open that envelope, unsure what to expect.

And with a heavy heart, a line of text that sends your heart crashing… “We regret to inform you…”

This sad and tragic scenario plagued many Singapore hopefuls when they realised their Singapore PR application was rejected. And while it’s normal to feel dejected, it’s also important to remember that it is not the end of the world.

In fact, there are many cases of applicants who have been rejected several times. Still, by tweaking and improving their application, many have turned a rejection into a successful one.

So, as long as you’re serious about being a Singapore PR and integrating with our society, we’re here to help. That’s why we’ve compiled together a list of things you can do to keep your SG dreams alive.

Inside: Should You Appeal a Rejected PR Application?

  • Consider your available options.
  • Know when to write an appeal letter and when it is better to submit a new application
  • Assess whether you have a strong case against the rejection
  • Be very clear on what you must do when submitting an appeal letter
  • Familiarise yourself with the 5 steps of preparing and sending a PR application appeal package
  • Avoid the common mistakes at all cost

Determine What Your Available Options After a PR Application Rejection Are

If your Singapore PR application is rejected, you have two options – you can submit an appeal or submit a new application.

Appealing the rejection may be a better option if you think the grounds for rejection were incorrect or unjustified. However, submitting a new application is also an option, and it may be more successful if you make some changes to your original application. Let’s take a closer look at each of these options.

Option #1 – Writing an Appeal Letter

If your Singapore PR application is rejected, you can submit an appeal to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA). You must submit this appeal within 6 months of receiving your results letter from the ICA.

Your appeal letter to ICA can be submitted anytime within the 6-month cooldown period after your application has been rejected; however, we advise that you evaluate your likelihood of success before taking action. If you have had a significant change for the better in terms of your living circumstances or qualifications, you will likely appear more favourable to ICA as it shows Dedication and enthusiasm towards wanting to improve Singapore’s society. Remember that you must submit your appeal letter within two months of the rejection date to be considered.

Being rejected for PR status can be tough to take, and it’s common to feel like there’s nowhere left to go. However, it is crucial that you don’t give up just yet. There might still be a chance for your application via another avenue. As immigration specialists, we are familiar with the whole process and cooperate with other agencies so that we’re always aware of any changes or new information that could help your appeal or future applications. Furthermore, we have successfully helped many people in your situation- giving us first-hand knowledge of what works best.

Option #2 – Submitting a New Application

In certain cases, submitting a brand-new pr application might be advisable. This is usually when an application isn’t very strong, and the applicant needs to work on their profile and portfolio. If you’re unsure whether your application is suitable, check out our PR application tips for a better idea or arrange to speak with our consultants.

If you’re proceeding with a new application, it is important to wait at least 6 months from the date stated on your rejection letter from the ICA.

While it may feel like you’re starting over from scratch with a new application, there are some advantages to doing so.

  • The first is that you save time as you don’t have to wait for the results of your appeal – this is especially useful if you know your application needs more work.
  • You save on the online application administration fee.

How to Decide Whether to Appeal Against the Rejection

When deciding whether to appeal against a Singapore PR application rejection, there are several factors you need to consider.

The first factor is whether you have a strong case. If the grounds for rejection were incorrect or unjustified, you might have a good chance of winning your appeal. However, if the rejection was based on valid reasons, such as not meeting the eligibility requirements, your chances won’t be good.

(Read: A Guide to Understanding ICA ePR Submission Process)

Another factor to consider is how much time and effort you’re willing to put into appealing the rejection. If you think the process will be lengthy and complicated, and there’s a good chance you won’t win, it might be better to submit a new application instead.

Finally, you need to weigh up the costs and benefits of appealing the rejection. Appealing the decision can be costly, both in terms of money and time, so you need to ensure it’s worth it.

You should think carefully about your options if you get a PR rejection letter because if your appeal to ICA isn’t successful, it will delay any future permanent residence applications in Singapore. It’s advisable not to try and appeal unless something has changed drastically for the better in the time since you originally applied.

Here’s a rule of thumb: you want your appeal to be compelling enough that submitting it is worthwhile.

As a general guideline, the following two factors usually help make an appeal stronger and more likely to be approved:

  1. You have made SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS since you submitted your PR application. Some examples of this could include new professional achievements, innovations, or contributions. It could also come in the form of completing further educational or professional certificates that are recognised worldwide in your industry.
  2. You can include other important MERITS in your appeal that you may have left out of your initial application. This can include information on any significant work or volunteer experience and extracurricular involvement.

The next section provides key pointers if you choose to move forward with an appeal.

What Should You Do When Submitting an Appeal Letter

When submitting an appeal letter to ICA, make sure to check against the following:

Evaluate the Likely Reasons for the Rejection

To improve next time, it is important to understand where you went wrong. Make a note of these areas so that you can explain them further in your letter.

Explain Your Appeal Letter’s Intent

While writing your letter, bear in mind to be clear and concise. You should also describe why you believe the rejection is unfair, giving all vital pieces of information such as your professional life, social life, and other accomplishments or contributions inside Singapore.

  • Familial Ties in Singapore (Relatives who are PRs/Citizens)
  • Duration of stay in Singapore
  • Accomplishments in your Work
  • Contributions to Singapore
  • Your plans for the Future
  • Integration with the Local Community
  • Other Sinking-Roots Factors

The 5 Steps to Writing a PR Rejection Appeal Letter

Step 1: Review your original PR application form

Before getting started, take a look over your original application. This will help you see any mistakes that may have been made and get an idea of areas where you could improve your explanation or be more detailed in your description. You can use these as the main talking points in your appeal letter.

Step 2: Examine any changes to your achievements

Your application to become a Singaporean Permanent Resident will have higher chances of success if you can demonstrate your merits in terms of your professional life, social life, and other achievements or contributions in Singapore. Specifically, points that would show your commitment to Singapore and the ability to contribute long-term. If you possess unique (and useful) skills or knowledge, make sure to mention this in your appeal, as it will work in your favour.

Step 3: Remember to support and substantiate any claims

Before writing your appeal, gather supportive documents to prove the statements made within your letter. Remember that less is more in this case – only include documents relevant to the authorities’ review and those you feel will help your case.

Step 4: Draft and edit your appeal letter

Keep your appeal letter clear and concise, and provide evidence where it will be helpful for clarity. You want to include all the relevant information in your letter because ICA makes decisions based on a comprehensive view of you.

Always ensure you review your appeal and edit it for grammar and spelling. Even more crucial is ensuring the essential points you want to get across are clear.

Also, remember to include your application ID in your appeal letter and if you don’t have an addressee, address the letter to the Controller of Immigration.

Step 5: Send out your appeal package

You can send your appeal package with all your supporting documents included to the ICA by email or post.

If you’re sending it out by post, this is the address to mail it to:

ICA’s mailing address

Immigration and Checkpoints Authority
Permanent Residency Department
ICA Building
10 Kallang Road
Singapore 208718

What NOT to do when submitting an appeal letter

There are several things you should avoid doing when submitting an appeal letter:

  1. Don’t attack or insult the person who rejected your application. This will only damage your chances of success.
  2. Don’t make false statements or provide misleading information. This can lead to further penalties and could even result in imprisonment.
  3. Don’t give up if your first appeal is unsuccessful. You can submit another appeal if you think there is still a chance of being successful.
  4. Avoid providing All-too-common reasons. ICA has heard countless times the strong appeal of Singapore, such as our economy, security, cleanliness and so on. You must give them a stronger reason why you deserve to become a Singapore PR.

The Typical PR Appeal Processing Time

The amount of time it takes for a PR appeal to go through varies depending on the case. Generally, you can expect to wait 4-6 months, which is similar to ICA’s standard application processing time. However, we have seen extreme cases on both ends where it took a few weeks for some and up to a year for others to get a response.

Final Considerations before Appealing

Start by checking your original application to establish the possible reason for PR rejection. Sometimes, the issue is not clear immediately, but think about things like the details in your PR form, the quality and relevancy of supporting documents, and whether or not you provided contractible contact information (Did you miss any communication from immigration officers?).

If you want to improve your chances of success, think about whether you could submit additional documents. Another option is to save time by submitting a new application, even though it’s more expensive.

Though it may be tempting to follow the conventional path, that might not yield the best results for your specific case. An appeal may only take a few weeks, but you’ll have to wait months before reapplying if it’s rejected. If starting from scratch feels discouraging and you believe the PR rejection can be overturned, an appeal is worth applying for.

If you would like professional help and advice throughout this process (or whichever route you decide on), feel free to reach out to us today.

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