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'Home is Singapore': Russian woman was born and lived here most of her life, but can't get PR

She said she feels like a Singaporean, even though she is not.

Russian Elena Tsvetkova was born in Singapore and has lived most of her life here, but is unable to get permanent residence here.

The financial consultant said in a 12-minute YouTube video posted on Friday (May 12) that she is on an employment pass.

"I’m a full-on expat, even though I was born here."

She was being interviewed by YouTuber Max Chernov, who has made a number of videos about foreigners living in Singapore.

Elena said her parents were working on board a ship when her mother went into labour and the nearest port was Singapore.

"At the point when I was born, my parents didn’t have an address. So they just put my dad’s office address, which was a shipping company. That was 78 Shenton Way."

Coincidentally, that is also Elena’s current office address.

She said that Singaporeans would react with shock when she told them about her background.

"In taxis, they’re always like: ‘Oh, yeah, how long have you been in Singapore for?’

"And it’s like ‘Oh, I was born and raised here.’

"And they’re like ‘Oh, okay, so you’re a Singaporean?’

"And that’s 'Uh, no.'

"And they’re like ‘Oh, okay.’"

She added that her clients are even more shocked.

"Because when they see my name it’s Elena Tsvetkova, they expect a Russian accent and then it’s an American accent and then it’s not American. And it’s actually born and raised in Singapore and people get super confused."


She said she feels like a local because when she was growing up, she would eat only chicken rice when she was out.

"Because I’ve been here all my life, home is Singapore. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s Russia just because I’ve never lived there."

But she said she had never applied for Singapore citizenship."

"I tried to apply for PR. It didn’t happen, unfortunately. I’m still trying."

But there is one thing she does not like about Singapore that everyone can relate to, especially now.

"The heat," said Elena.

"I cannot get used to the heat in Singapore and it's just not friendly to my hair. Despite the fact that being born here, every time when it's humid, my hair just like frizzes up."