MOM's reply

Mr Y. C. Chen had tried appealing against his wife's entry ban, but to no avail.

Last Tuesday, he received a letter from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) telling him that his appeal through his MP has been rejected.

It stated: "Ms Li Qiaoyan has breached the Work Permit conditions as she had married you and was pregnant prior to obtaining marriage approval from the Ministry of Manpower. She would have to continue serving the entry ban."

Existing and former work-permit holders who wish to marry Singapore citizens or permanent residents must first seek approval from the Controller of Work Passes, said an MOM spokesman.

"This is a condition that all work-permit holders agree to, before they are allowed to work in Singapore.

"If they do not do so, their privileges to work in Singapore could be withdrawn, and they may also be prevented from entering Singapore for a period of time."

Former work-permit holders who are now Singapore citizens or Singapore permanent residents are exempted from this requirement, she added.


MOM declined to comment on Mr Chen's case for confidentiality reasons.

In 2012, The New Paper reported that a Singaporean woman who applied for approval to marry a Malaysian work-permit holder was initially rejected.

She was pregnant with his child.

The woman was told that her husband had infringed a clause stating that a work-permit holder is not allowed to have any illegal, immoral or undesirable activities in Singapore, including breaking up a family.

MOM responded to the initial rejection by explaining that work-permit holders, as transient workers, ought to come to Singapore only for work.

"MOM reviews all marriage application on a case-by-case basis. Factors taken into consideration include the economic contributions of the applicants, the ability of the applicants to look after themselves and their family without becoming a burden to the society or state."