The one overwhelming memory I have of this exercise is the busy cacophony of the place and the mind-numbingly long waiting times. From the queue at reception and the queue number dispensers, to the seemingly endless waiting before your number is flashed to submit your documents. All paperwork submitted, the card was then produced, which in most cases would take about a few hours.
This was the good news, i.e. generally, you were able to drop by the MOM building again that same day in order to pick up and pay for your new EP card. The bad news was that this would mean queuing up all over again. Then the MOM went high-tech.
Nowadays, extending your EP is a much less painful process. Of course you still need to await your extension application letter that MOM sends you. This, amongst other things, determines which medical test - if any - you need to undergo.
Once the medical procedures are done, you log onto the MOM website on www.mom.gov.sg and register for an EP Online Account. This account is usually processed within a single day. Using this account, you can apply online for an e-Appointment at the Employment Pass Services Centre with the MOM EP Registration Department, located at The Riverwalk.
At the Employment Pass Services Centre, you'll get your thumb and passport picture scanned so both can be incorporated onto your new EP card. By the way, at this point you'll be amazed at the low-volume buzz of the goings-on and the lack of the droves of people waiting for their turn, as was the case at the MOM building previously.
In addition, there are assistants available at every turn, who will swoop in and offer assistance the moment you look like you're not sure where to go next – excellent. By the way, if you didn't bring your passport pictures, you can have them taken in the next room. Cost: S$6. Your passport and filled out EP extension letter obviously are required to complete the in-take.
Once all the in-take proceedings have been followed through, you're directed to the payment counter, where you can pay cash or by NETS. Generally, your new EP will be ready for collection a week later. However, this time you won't need to wait longer than several minutes for your turn.
Note: Make sure you bring your EP form, your passport and your old EP card. Kudos to the Singapore MOM for streamlining the entire EP renewal process whilst keeping cost to a mere S$35.
This article has been submitted by Bry, Renting in Singapore (www.rentinginsingapore.com.sg) - Telephone: +65 90079345