02 August 2013

Discrepancy in Procedure for Surrendering Long-Term Visit Pass (Update)

So today a lady from ICA named Nabila called me, she explained that there could be a miscommunication, she asked me what was said to me by my wife, I told her when my wife tried to surrender her LTVP at the immigration counter, the officer asked my wife to provide a cancellation form, my wife then called me while I was on my way back home, and I had to rush back to the departure area, I think I told her almost the whole story which I wrote in my last post, except the part where I tripped and fell at the escalator LOL.

After I finished with my storytelling, Nabila sounded very sorry and she apologized, she then said the officer at the counter should have clearly informed my wife on what to do. She said the procedure for surrendering LTVP is to go to the DO Counter (DO for Duty Officer), there my wife will need to fill up a cancellation form to surrender her pass, but this has not been conveyed to my wife. She also said the officer who attended to my wife is her junior and she has spoken to her about this matter.

I felt that Nabila sounded like I might blow up the matter, but actually as long as they would acknowledge their mistake, it's good enough for me, but my concern is whether we would get fined or anything if my wife were to return to Singapore after the expiry date of her LTVP. I told Nabila my concern and she said there would be no fine or penalty, she said they handle many such surrender of LTVP daily.

I wasn't sure why she told me they handle many surrender daily but the "no fine or penalty" part was what I wanted to hear, so I asked whether she would reply to my email with what she said, I explained that I want everything in black and white in case something goes wrong when my wife returns next year, but she said since she has responded to me via phone call so there would be no email reply.

I remained and sounded very skeptical, so she went on to assure me that there would be no fine or penalty, she then mentioned that there were people who surrendered years after leaving Singapore, and they did not receive any fine nor penalty, I was then both surprised and felt a bit glad, sounds like ICA has its merciful side.

Nabila was also kind to ask about my wife's condition when she heard that my wife is pregnant, she also asked why we have decided to follow-up on her pregnancy in Thailand, I told her the story and she sounded sympathetic. She said she has a friend or relative who also had a heart operation and this person cried or something, actually I didn't get her clearly because my phone was having a lot of static.

I forgot how we ended the conversation, but after I hanged up, I realized that I overlooked something important, luckily Nabila called me again, she wanted to close the case with me so I asked whether my wife's LTVP application would be affected if she surrender her pass after the expiry date, she told me she has noted everything in my wife's file, what she has said to me, what my wife should do when she comes back, everything in black and white, exactly what I needed, I can't tell you how glad I felt, it's beyond words.

Phew, a load off my mind.

Oh wait, I forgot something again, I think I should have told her to update their Terms and Condition, instead of writing,

Under regulation 8(5)(f) of the Immigration Regulations, should you intend to leave Singapore and return only after the expiry of the Pass issued to you, you are required to surrender this Card to the Immigration Officer at the Checkpoint at the time of your departure.

They should just write,

Under regulation 8(5)(f) of the Immigration Regulations, should you intend to leave Singapore and return only after the expiry of the Pass issued to you, you are required to proceed to the Duty Officer Counter at the Checkpoint to cancel your Card before the time of your departure.

Isn't it like so much clearer, cancel just say cancel, Duty Officer Counter then just say so, and of course do it before the time of departure because if my flight is 10.55am, that means the plane will fly at 10.55am, so when you ask me what time I depart Singapore, of course it's 10.55am, so just imagine departing and trying to cancel your pass at the same time, how does it make sense?

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