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EI Article Series

Singapore PR Rejection Appeal Letter Guide

Is your Singapore PR or citizenship application rejected? That is disheartening news. However, now you need to decide on the next steps. You have two options, 1) File an appeal letter and 2) File a new application may be few months down the line. Or the third option is to do both File appeal, and if it is unsuccessful, you can file a new application later.

However, when it comes to the appeal letter, many people are clueless as to what to write in it, when to submit and many common questions. So this guide is for people like you. It will explain you in detail, all the factors you should consider before deciding to file an appeal letter.

Deciding on PR appeal letter

Basics About Singapore PR / Citizenship Rejection Appeal Letter

Basics of PR Appeal Letter

What is a PR appeal letter for Singapore PR Rejection?

The immigration and checkpoint authority is the government agency that approves Singapore Permanent residency and Citizenship applications. By rejecting your application, they have conveyed their decision.

The appeal letter is the mechanism by which you can request the agency to reconsider its decision, and instead of rejection, you are requesting them to approve your application. In a way, you are appealing to the ICA to overturn their decision to reject your PR or citizenship as the case may be.

When Can You Submit a PR appeal letter for your Singapore PR to Citizenship Rejection?

An Appeal Letter to the ICA, can be submitted anytime within six months from the date of rejection. However, it is recommended that if you plan to submit an appeal then you should do so as early as possible. It would be best to submit an appeal letter in the first 2 weeks after the rejection. If you take too long, the chances of PR rejection appeal letter being considered positively are low.

How to submit the PR rejection Appeal Letter? Is there an option in the e-PR system?

There is no option in e-PR system to submit an appeal. The appeal letter that you have prepared needs to be emailed to the relevant ICA department with your application number. After submission normally you will get an acknowledgment that the appeal letter is received and the decision of the ICA will be communicated to you in due course.

How much time does the ICA takes to reply on your PR Appeal Letter?

It depends. There is no fixed time for this. Once the matter is lodged with the ICA, it is completely at their discretion. After all, ICA is the government authority that will have complete discretion over the approval of your appeal letter. Based on our experience, the average time for a response from ICA is 6-8 weeks. However, there are also cases taking as low as 2-3 days and as long as 6 months.

Can you file another PR or Citizenship application while your appeal is in progress?

If you have already filed an appeal then it wouldn’t make sense to file a new application until the outcome of the current appeal is received. So it would make sense to wait for some time. However ICA does not prohibit you from filing another application while appeal is in progress. So if appeal is taking too long, then in that case you can consider filing a new application.

What can you do if there is no response to your PR appeal letter for a long time?

If no response is received on your appeal letter then you can email to ICA and ask them to expedite your appeal letter processing.

How Many Times Can you Submit a PR Appeal Letter To ICA?

You can submit only one appeal letter for the rejection of your PR or Citizenship application. If that appeal is also rejected then there is no point in submitting another appeal.

What is the success rate for an ICA appeal letter?

While any official statistics are not available (As ICA does not publish any), based on our experience, the success rate of an appeal letter is quite low especially when there are no significant factors to warrant a deviation from the decision by ICA. In other words chances of success for a PR rejection appeal letter are quite low.

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Should you submit a PR Appeal Letter at all for your PR rejection or is it better to file a fresh application?

To submit? or not to submit the PR rejection Appeal Letter?

This is the most important point about filing an appeal letter which people are trying to decide. Oftentimes it is not easy to decide about this.

You need to understand one thing here. You are requesting a government agency to deviate from its original decision of the rejection of PR. So the reasons you present in support of this request have to be strong enough to warrant the attention. Therefore you should assess your situation carefully, and decide if you can present these kinds of compelling factors to the ICA.

However, if you do not have such strong reasons to justify your request then it is better not to file an appeal and instead go for a fresh application.

Here is the list of some of the example scenarios which may justify the filing of a PR appeal Letter

If during the processing of your PR application, any of the below events happened (And was not previously reported to ICA) then it might be worth presenting it via an appeal ;

  • You got a promotion, or you changed a job and it resulted in a significant salary increase
  • You attained a new educational qualification which is of repute
  • Your family circumstances changed positively (Marriage or birth of a child)
  • You achieved something significant (For example an award worth mentioning)

What points should you include in the PR appeal letter?

Points to consider in preparing your PR rejection Appeal Letter?

This is also one of the most important questions. What you should write in your appeal letter?

For the above discussion, it should be clear that your appeal letter should be brief and to the point. It should include the key one or two reasons why you are requesting ICA to deviate from their original decision. However, people often do a mistake here. They think that they need to write a lengthy explanatory letter with lot of irrelevant information.

Common Mistakes to avoid when writing a Singapore PR Rejection Appeal Letter

Avoid Generic Reasons

Do not write about how you like living in Singapore, How you have made friends in Singapore, how you are making social contributions etc. Write the specific points as to what has changed in between to warrant an overturn of the original decision only.

Keep it brief

The cover letter's length should not be more than one and half pages. If it goes beyond this, then you are most likely adding something irrelevant in it.

Don’t make it emotional

the appeal letter is meant to reverse your rejected permanent resident application to get the ICA officers to reconsider, so avoid any sad story or one that does not stand out from the crowd.

Not attaching the proof

If you have gotten a promotion, increment, received certificates and acknowledgments, or achieved some new educational qualification since you submitted your application, then you should definitely include the relevant copies as a proof in your appeal letter.

Adding irrelevant points

Some people try to add irrelevant points like, their long-term plans, family ties, investments they have done, voluntary services etc. However, you have disclosed all these factors while filing the application. In spite of this, your application got rejected. So there is no point in repeating the same thing here again. Moreover, adding all these points will result in a loss of focus. It will also dilute the power of key reasons to influence the ICA decision.

Other Factors to Consider about PR Appeal Letter

You should always start by checking your original application to see if there are any possible reasons why your PR application was rejected. Although the reason might not always be obvious at first glance, consider the details you provided in your PR application form, the supporting documents (quality and relevance), and the contactability of your contact details (have you missed important communication from immigration officers?). Do you want to attempt an appeal, or would you prefer to submit a new PR application later? Do you have the opportunity to mention anything worthwhile?

You might want to take the obvious route in a situation like this (i.e. to file an appeal), but it might not always be the best course of action in your unique situation. If your appeal is rejected, you will have to wait a few months for your next application. The ultimate goal remains approval. But you might not want to go through the entire immigration process again and feel that the PR rejection can be overturned. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation if you feel like you could use advice and support throughout the process.

Final Words on PR Appeal Letter

Ultimately it is your decision whether you want to file an appeal or do you want to go for a new application. However, we will advise going for an appeal only if there are reasons strong enough. An appeal letter should not be filed only as a formality. Submit it only if you believe that there are enough grounds to request a deviation.