Monday, May 9, 2011

HDB Rental: Verification of Foreigner Immigration Status (VERIFI)

Illegal immigration and overstaying pose a serious problem in Singapore. The authorities have taken a number of measures to tackle the problem; however, as long as immigration offenders can get work or find a place to stay, the problem cannot be
effectively tackled.

Homeowners who wish to rent their premises out to foreigners must exercise due diligence in checking the status of their prospective foreign tenants to ensure that they are in Singapore legitimately. Persons or organizations who are in doubt, are also encouraged to check the foreigners' status before transacting with them.

Everyone has a role to play in ensuring the security and safety of Singapore. It concerns not only the safety and security of the
community, but also your personal safety.

Due Diligence Requirements

Before renting your room out to a foreigner, you need to screen the immigration status of your prospective tenant by conducting the following 3 specified checks:

  • Check his original immigration pass or/and work pass;
  • Cross-check particulars on these passes against particulars in his passport; and
  • Verify with the Controller of Immigration or the Controller of Work Permits, as the case may be, that the permit or pass is valid at the material time or Verify with the employer if prospective tenant is working in Singapore.

If you are in doubt about the status of a foreigner, you may:

  • Contact Immigration & Checkpoints Authority at Tel: 6391-6100 (immigration passes) during office hours or MOM (work passes) at Tel: 6438-5122 to verify the status of the foreigner. Alternatively, you can also call in person at Immigration & Checkpoints Authority or MOM during office hours to verify the authenticity of the immigration or work passes.

Consequences of Harboring Immigration Offenders

Under the Immigration Act, the homeowner is liable to be charged for harboring immigration offenders in his house if investigations reveal that he has not exercised due diligence as required by law. If the homeowner is found guilty of the offence, he shall be sentenced to an imprisonment of not less than 6 months and not more than 2 years and shall also be liable to a fine up to S$6,000.

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