Author Topic: Singapore -- Need a residential address  (Read 1563 times)

AH013

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Singapore -- Need a residential address
« on: December 09, 2017, 05:30:51 AM »
Hello Fellow Mustaches and especially Sing Mustaches,

I ended up taking a consulting job in Singapore.  Thing of it is, even though I "work" in Singapore (P-pass and all) I end up mostly being sent around the rest of Asia living in hotels while working for different clients.  I need to have a primary address in Singapore for official mail, but it seems a nonsense excessive waste of money to rent a flat or even get a roomshare if I only sleep in Singapore like a week every other month.

I've looked into virtual offices and PO boxes to collect whatever mail official bodies feel the need to send me, even if it costs me S$15-20 a month.  However most of the official mail requires a "residential address", so virtual offices & PO boxes wouldn't work for everything.

Initially I thought about asking a colleague if they could let me use their address to send mail, but it's clear I would seem incredibly odd and it would cause professional judgment issues.  Nobody here has a care in the world spending S$300 a night at bars or throwing S$30,000 a year on a flat they live in 6-7 weeks of the year, so having a roomshare would earn ridicule and trying to avoid a residence entirely...I'd likely never hear the end of it.  But the Mustachian in me thinks any waste of this magnitude for essentially nothing is batshit crazy.

The best thought I have right now is rent a roomshare or dorm on the island about as far away from downtown as possible, and then basically never live there (AirBnB closer to downtown the few nights I end up on the island) and then figure out having the roommate/leasing office forward my mail locally to work.  That still puts me at about S$4,000/yr for essentially a mailbox.

Any better suggestions from Sing 'staches?  Thanks for any help!

SunnySaver

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Re: Singapore -- Need a residential address
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2017, 10:10:32 AM »
I ended up taking a consulting job in Singapore.  Thing of it is, even though I "work" in Singapore (P-pass and all) I end up mostly being sent around the rest of Asia living in hotels while working for different clients.  I need to have a primary address in Singapore for official mail, but it seems a nonsense excessive waste of money to rent a flat or even get a roomshare if I only sleep in Singapore like a week every other month.

It's more than just official mail: your employer is required to ensure you live in approved housing.
http://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permits/work-permit-for-foreign-worker/housing/employers-responsibilities

If you are willing to discuss it with your employer, they could ask MOM for guidance. Foreign employees are allowed to live overseas. Plenty live in Malaysia and commute to Singapore. Perhaps your overseas hotel address would be allowed as your residential address (it would need to be constantly updated), keeping your Singapore office as your mailing address? Beware that airbnb or other short term rentals are not legal in Singapore, so your "week every other month" would have to be in a hotel or serviced apartment, at least if that was going to be your registered residential address during those periods.

If you don't want your employer involved, look at the approved types of housing and pick the cheapest one. If you make some non-work friends, you might find someone able and willing to legally rent you a room at below-market rates based on the understanding that you'll rarely be there.

Goldielocks

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Re: Singapore -- Need a residential address
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2017, 12:46:23 AM »
Could you talk with one of your preferred Air Bnb landlords in Singapore and set up a recurring weekly rental (once every two months) and ask / pay for use of the mailbox as your mailing address?   They would need to forward or keep your mail for you.

Freedomin5

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Re: Singapore -- Need a residential address
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2017, 06:25:31 AM »
Can you not use your office as your official address? I send mail all the time to the office. Also, what kind of mail do you expect to get? I've lived abroad for six years, moving pretty much every year, and have Never gotten any important mail. I'll get packages from people sometimes, but I just give them my address du jour and they just mail it to my current address. I never get letters - people just send me emails.

Official letters/taxes/important correspondence get sent to a trusted family member in my home country, who then scans and emails me what I need to know.

AH013

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Re: Singapore -- Need a residential address
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2017, 05:51:46 PM »
Thanks for all the replies so far.  I think SunnySaver is right -- it seems the Ministry of Manpower requires knowledge of a primary residence for all foreign workers, the intent being to ensure that foreign workers aren't abused by being brought here and made to live in the equivalent of refugee camps or sleeping on the beach.