Two construction workers at work.Image via Wikipedia

Ong Dai Lin

FOR a skilled worker, how much weight does the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) place on his educational qualifications when approving his permanent resident application?

This was the question raised by Judge of Appeal V K Rajah during an appeal hearing involving China national Lin Shuliang. The latter is appealing against his two weeks' jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to lying to the ICA.

Lin, 38, submitted a permanent residency application form to ICA in July last year, claiming that he had graduated from the Fuqing San Shan Middle School in Fujian province and also attached a school-leaving certificate with his application.

ICA found the information to be false. Lin had only completed half of his studies in the school and did not graduate from it.

Lin came to Singapore in 1993 and was employed as a construction worker. He later rose to become the boss of two building firms.

During yesterday's hearing, Justice Rajah said in Lin's case, it is "quite clear that the basis for any approval of his status will be based on his skills more than the educational qualifications".

Justice Rajah said that for him to assess the severity of Lin's offence, he needs to know how much weight the ICA places on education qualifications when assessing a person's permanent resident application.

"The more material it is, the bigger is the sin."

Justice Rajah has instructed the prosecution to get more information from ICA on the criteria it uses to approve a person's permanent resident status.

The case will be heard again in the Court of Appeal on Friday.

From TODAY, News – Wednesday, 16-Sep-2009

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