I am a Bruneian while my husband is a foreigner. We have been living in Brunei since we got married over 10 years ago. Due to Immigration Department rules, we had to wait seven years before he could apply for a Permanent Residency (PR).
Once we went through all the paperwork and interviews, we were informed that it would take a long time for it to be approved.
In January 2020, more than three years after the application process, we checked again and we did not receive any news about our application. When we asked Bandar’s Immigration office about the application, they had no records in the system and asked us to submit photocopies of the documents we submitted.
We thought that there would be integration between Bandar and Kuala Belait’s Immigration systems.
Currently, we do not know at what stage our application is, or in fact where it is.
Without the PR status, it is very difficult for my husband to get employment as employers would need an employment quota (which costs money) to hire him and hiring a foreigner like him would adversely affect their local employment targets.
When we applied for the PR, we also inquired about my husband being sponsored by me while waiting for the PR approval.
However, we were told even with my sponsorship he is not permitted to work or earn an income, and the sponsorship would have to be renewed every 90 days too (no different from doing a border run).
Without a PR status and even with my sponsorship, how is he then supposed to properly provide for the family, have retirement savings, save for healthcare etc?
Instead of helping us find a solution, the Immigration Officer lectured us in front of his guest, on how we should be grateful for everything given to us.
For more than 10 years my husband has no possession or wealth to hand down to our two children. As a Muslim country we are told that the man should provide for the family but how can he do this when all odds are against him?
If a local man marries a foreign woman, she only has to wait two years to apply for PR. However, when a local woman marries a foreign man, he has to wait seven years to apply for PR. On top of that we have to wait many years indefinitely to hear of any update on the application, let alone to have it approved. And during all that time, he is not able to provide for his family.
Can the authorities look into the matter so that we can get on with our lives here instead of doubting our future?
A Concerned Wife