21 May 2011

How to Marry a Thai in Singapore

You should refer to here - https://www.rom.gov.sg/reg_info/rom_marriage.asp

Please spend some time to go through and understand the information on that section (legal provision, other information, filing of notice, solemnization and etc), if your still not sure, feel free to drop a comment here or you can use their FAQ.

The ROM website did a really good job of putting together the information that you need in a well-organized manner. I've done it once and I think the guide is very easy to follow.

The only hiccup I've had with my marriage is during the Appointment for verification & Statutory Declaration where both of us were required to read out a wall of text and my wife had difficulty getting past the first few lines and the counter guy got fed up and told my wife to stop.

Definitely my oversight as I didn't arrange for an interpreter beforehand but luckily, there was a licensed interpreter at the scene and we managed to get her to do the interpretation for my wife and that was a S$200 interpretation. Damn good money for a less than 10 minutes interpretation. So better make sure both of you can read English, Mandarin or Tamil quite well, if not, get a licensed interpreter beforehand.

And you might wonder, what is Appointment for verification & Statutory Declaration, as it's not specified on the ROM website. It's an appointment at ROM to check both your documents and do some swearing and you cannot choose the date as it seems to be automatically allocated. It should take place 3 days before your date of solemnization.

Example, your solemnization day is 29 Jul 2011 (Fri), so your Appointment for verification & Statutory Declaration will on 26 Jul 2011 (Tue).

Marriage Rings

Useful links

Updated on 20 Aug 2014.

09 May 2011

Document Translation from Thai to English

Where to Translate

If I remember correctly, they charge around S$40-S$45 per page at Golden Mile but personally, I have not tried any of the above.

I had my wife's documents translated at Professional Thai Linguistic Services. They charge S$30 per page e.g. birth cert, S$20 for a page with not many characters e.g. front and back of Thai ID card. If you are interested, following is more information.

Professional Thai Linguistic Services
36B Hong Kong Street
Holly Building
Singapore 059675
Tel: +65 6774 2703
Fax: +65 6773 2778

Certification after Translation

Note that the certification part is not specified on ICA website, as of publication of this article.

Also note that according to one of my readers who did a translation recently, the Royal Thai Embassy in Singapore only accept submission on weekdays from 8am to 11am.

After you receive the translated copy, according to ICA hotline, you need to get it certified by a lawyer or at the Thai Embassy. I have not tried a lawyer but I can share with you the process of certifying at the Thai Embassy.

You need to bring along:
  • The translated document.
  • A photocopy of the translated document.
  • The Thai document
  • Two photocopies of the Thai document.
  • Total 5 pieces.
So for example you are translating a birth certificate, you need to bring along:
  • The translated birth certificate.
  • A photocopy of the translated birth certificate.
  • The Thai birth certificate, yes, the original one.
  • Two photocopies of the Thai birth certificate.
  • Total 5 pieces.
For every document, you need to pay S$30. They charge by per document, not by per page. For example, you need to certify birth certificate, Thai ID card and household census list so you need to pay S$90. Maybe you have 5 or more pages for household census list, don't worry, it's still S$30.

I had my wife's birth certificate, Thai ID card, household census list and name change certificate certified for S$120, a total of 8 pages.

Remember to bring along local identity cards if any or passport as the guard may require you to change for a visitor pass.

You also need to fill up a form in Thai, allow your Thai spouse to handle it and upon submission of all documents for certification, you will be given a receipt with a date and time to collect. The certification takes at least a day.

Note that when you are applying for PR or LTVP, ICA will not keep the translated copy, but still, a good practice is to make a photocopy and also scan it into your computer if possible.

Updated on 21 Oct 2013.

24 February 2011

Property Agents in Singapore Must Display Agent Card

24 Feb 2011 AsiaOne
http://business.asiaone.com/Business/News/Story/A1Story20110224-265130.html

Starting from 01 Mar 2011, all property agents in Singapore must display their Estate Agent Card when representing their agency.

Estate Agent Card
  • Agency Logo
  • Agency Name
  • Agency License Number
  • Agent Name
  • Agent Registration Number
  • Recent Photograph of Agent
  • Agent Registration Expiry Date
Non-Compliance

Agents can be fined up to S$10,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 6 months.

Verify Agent Card

We can visit CEA's Public Register to verify agent card information.

For more information about CEA, you can visit http://www.cea.gov.sg.

17 February 2011

Buy HDB Flat with Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) Spouse

Eligibility

You are a Singaporean Citizen (SC) and you are planning to buy a HDB flat with your SPR spouse.

What Can You Buy

For a SC/SPR household, you can either go for subsidized housing or a Resale Flat.

You can purchase under the following schemes
CPF Housing Grant

As a SC/SPR household, you are eligible for a Family Grant of S$20,000.

14 February 2011

Buy HDB Flat with Foreigner Spouse

Eligibility

You are a Singaporean Citizen (SC) and you are planning to buy a HDB flat with your Foreigner Spouse (FS) who is holding a social visit pass or work permit.

What Can You Buy

For a SC/FS household, you are not allowed to purchase subsidized housing. Subsidized housing refers to any housing that is bought directly from HDB.

List of subsidized housing
  • New flats from Build-to-Order (BTO).
  • A flat from Sale of Balance Flats.
  • Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS).
  • Executive Condominium (EC).
But you can buy a Resale Flat from the open market and you must buy under Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme.

Note that you can buy a subsidized flat if your spouse is a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR).

CPF Housing Grant

As a SC/FS household, only the Singaporean is eligible for housing grant i.e. Singles Grant of S$11,000.

UPDATE: For resale applications received on or after 15 Aug 2011, the grant amount will be S$15,000.

10 February 2011

Make Cheap Calls from Singapore to Thailand

Use Callback Card
It's the cheapest way to make an international call if you have a number with free incoming calls. You can use either pre-paid or post-paid sim cards.

Where To Buy
Price
For a card with a value of S$10

Buying at phonecard.com.sg
S$8.50 for fund transfer
S$9.70 for eNETS

Buying at phoenixcomms.com.sg
S$10 for eNETS

Buying at mycard.sg
S$8.72 for eNETS

Buying at handphone shops
Around S$8 to anywhere below S$9. It really depends on which shop you go to.

There's a shop (actually it's just a outdoor counter) at Tampines Central Block 503 that sells at S$8.20.

Which To Buy
Why Callback Card
We shall compare Skype, Phoenix Callback Card, Phoenix Card, Starhub IDD 018 and Starhub IDD 008, and assuming we are using a Starhub post-paid line with free incoming calls.

Calling Rates S$/Min
Skype: 0.09 for landline and 0.17 for mobile
Phoenix Callback Card: 0.023
Phoenix Card: 0.016
Starhub IDD 018: 0.40
Starhub IDD 008: 0.95

Calling Rates S$/Min Plus Starhub Local Airtime Charge (S$0.15)
Skype: 0.09 for landline and 0.17 for mobile
Phoenix Callback Card: 0.023
Phoenix Card: 0.016 + 0.15 = 0.166
Starhub IDD 018: 0.40 + 0.15 = 0.55
Starhub IDD 008: 0.95 + 0.15 = 1.10

Note that when using Skype or Callback Card, you only need to pay for the calling rate, you do not have to pay for local airtime.

Comparing 10 Hours (600 Mins) Talktime
Skype: 0.09 x 600 = S$54 for landline and 0.17 x 600 = S$102 for mobile
Phoenix Callback Card: 0.023 x 600 = S$13.80
Phoenix Card: 0.166 x 600 = S$99.6
Starhub IDD 018: 0.55 x 600 = S$330
Starhub IDD 008: 1.10 x 600 = S$660

Note that I have not included the dataplan charge for Skype, so expect Skype to be more expensive unless you already have a dataplan.

Final Notes
  • Do not confuse Callback Card with International Calling Card.
  • Phoenix Callback Card is a Callback Card.
  • Phoenix Card is an International Calling Card.
  • Make sure you are buying a Callback Card.
UPDATE: I added mycard.sg as a online purchase, the site looks phony but I decided to try, well, works better than expected, don't judge a book by its cover.

Buy Cheap Air Tickets To or From Thailand

Budget Airlines

There are 4 budget airlines in Singapore that fly to Thailand and back:

  1. Tiger Airways - http://www.tigerairways.com
  2. Jetstar Airways - http://www.jetstar.com
  3. AirAsia - http://www.airasia.com
  4. Scoot -  http://www.flyscoot.com

Buy Early

The earlier you buy, the more you save because ticket prices increase over time as more people buy.

Compare

  1. Determine which day to depart and which day to return.
  2. Check out the one-way ticket prices for each airline for the depart trip.
  3. Then check out the one-way ticket prices for each airline for the return trip.
  4. Buy the cheapest fare for both depart and return.
  5. Save.

Subscribe

No matter which airline you decide to take, remember to sign up for their offers mailing list to receive their latest ticket offers.