change job during application

Can You Change Job While ICA Is Processing Your Application?

Changing jobs while your Singapore permanent residency application is pending is a common concern by many customers. As this is a commonly asked question, we seek to answer this query here.

This question is specifically for those who have already submitted your documents to ICA, and are awaiting for the results of your PR status.

If you have not yet applied with ICA at all yet and are considering changing jobs before you apply, then this does not directly apply to you.

If you want the short answer, the answer is yes. However, there are two main caveats, and several things that you should inform ICA of if you so wish to do this.

First of all, while some people change careers due to a better work-life balance, if you are serious about getting your application approved while changing employment, then try to make sure that you only accept the offer if it offers a significantly higher income or salary. The higher your salary, the better your chances of getting a pass. (However, do note that paying more in taxes does not automatically mean higher chances of approval success.) The last thing you want to do is to change jobs to a similar pay but more relaxed work scope during the pending process.

Second of all, regardless what new work in the country you are considering right now, the key is to portray to the authorities that you are a responsible and stable adult and applicant. However, if you are always constantly changing your work place, then you will probably get onto their naughty list and it will be really difficult for your PR to get granted!

Here are some things that you should ideally inform ICA beforehand, so that you still can change your career while still keeping your chances of status granted high.

You can either choose to email them at ICA_PR@ica.gov.sg or contact them physically at their offices at Immigration & Checkpoints Authority ICA Building 10 Kallang Road Singapore 208718 the following information or documents:

  • An explanatory document which explains your situation and why you are considering to make the change in work. Keep in mind that this explanatory piece should illustrate that you are a responsible, sensible adult who is only changing jobs because it is clearly the only logical thing for anyone in your position to do and accept.
  • To provide them with a copy of your new work pass
  • To send them the Annex A from the new company you will be working for
  • A copy of your passport biometric page

Something additional that you want to note is also that you should only do the above steps if you have already received an official offer from the company or organization. If it is a soft offer, and you inform ICA authorities on the supposed change in employment, and right after that, the organization or company rescinds on their job offer to you, resulting in you backtracking your explanation to ICA, that can cause confusion and cause the officers in charge to view you as a wishy washy permanent residence applicant.

We always recommend that you will need to be thorough when you apply now, and while some people may have gotten away without informing ICA of such changes, or keep changing careers and still get their status granted in the past, keep in mind that many of those easy approval stories happened before 2008 to 2009 and getting your documents approved is getting harder these days. Therefore, being thorough will ensure your chances are kept highest.