25 March 2019
Foo Soon Yien
Cancellation of one’s Dependant’s Pass by an estranged spouse in the midst of ongoing divorce proceedings is one’s greatest worry. This article discusses the various ways you can go about reinstating your Dependant’s Pass and your rights in such circumstances.
When your spouse attains employment in Singapore under the Employment Pass or S Pass, he/she can apply for a Dependant’s Pass on behalf of you and your children, permitting your family to join him/her in Singapore.
Serious implications ensue when your spouse cancels your Dependent’s Pass in the midst of ongoing divorce proceedings to gain an upper hand in the proceedings. Such cancellation is immediate and after the cancellation, you will be issued a short-term visit pass which allows you to stay in Singapore only for a period up to 90 days. During this period, you may encounter financial difficulties if you are not permitted to work.
This results in an uneven playing field and causes undue pressure on the dependent spouse who no longer has rights to reside in Singapore and is forced to leave the country at short notice. You will also be placed in a very unfavourable position in contested ancillary proceedings as you are at risk of being separated from your children if their Dependant’s Passes are renewed instead. This practically means that your spouse with the Employment Pass would have de facto care and custody of the children.
Hence, being aware of how to reinstate your Dependant’s Pass and protect your rights is crucial in preventing yourself from falling into such an unfortunate situation. There are various solutions that could help safeguard your immigration status in Singapore until the divorce is finalised.
Firstly, you can make an application to the Family Justice Courts for an interim injunction prohibiting your spouse from terminating your Dependant’s Pass against your will while divorce proceedings are still ongoing.
What if your Dependent’s Pass is already cancelled? You may apply to Court for your Dependent’s Pass to be reinstated and for an interim injunction to be granted against your spouse. This was held in the case of TYC v TYD  SGFC 23, where the Court ordered that the aggrieved spouse’s Dependant’s Pass be reinstated and granted an interim injunction on the following grounds:
Secondly, if you are not keen on the idea of escalating matters to the courts, you may seek employment within the grace period of up to 90 days in order to hold a valid work pass or permit in the meantime. This ensures that you are permitted in your own right to stay in Singapore without depending on your spouse.
Lastly, you could also apply for a Long-Term Visit Pass which can ensure your stay here in Singapore for up to 2 years. However, attaining this pass is subject to the approval of the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) based on whether your child is a Singapore citizen or a Singapore Permanent Resident and if you are a mother or grandmother of a child or grandchild studying in Singapore with a Student’s Pass.
Divorces can be a long and tedious process. Ensuring that you take the necessary steps to protect your own interests and right to a fair trial may secure a more favourable outcome for you and your children.
Foo Soon Yien
Senior Director, BR Law Corporation
Post date. Edit this to change the date post was posted. Does not show up on published site. 25/3/2019
The materials in these articles have been prepared for general informational purposes only and are not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. If you require legal advice for your particular circumstances, please consult a suitably qualified legal counsel. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely or act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Whilst we endeavour to ensure that the information in these articles is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and we do not accept any liability for error or omission. The authors of the articles are or were employees of BR Law Corporation at the time of publication, but may no longer be, now or in the future, in the employ of the firm.
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Subscribe to our quarterly newsetter to keep up to date with a wealth of insights from the BR Law, BR Family Assets and BR Corporate services team.