To summarise my situation --I am stuck in a Catch-22 situation.
I am currently a tax professional from Singapore, specialising in VAT, looking to move to the UK for the long term due to various reasons.
Having spoken to various tax recruitment agencies, I was told that some firms are reluctant to interview me due to a lack of work permit as I am from Singapore.
Understandably, companies may be reluctant to do the paperwork to provide a certificate of sponsorship for work permit application - they all say that you have to have the work permit before they will hire you, but since having a job is a prerequisite for obtaining the work permit, it's impossible.
I have explored other options (including the family visa/unmarried spouse visa) since my partner is a UK citizen, however, this may not be viable as there are certain conditions that need to be met (i.e. having lived together for 2 years, which is unlikely since we are both in different continents!)
All in all, I would appreciate any advice or anyone with the network to assist me with obtaining a job in the UK -- or at least be given a chance to be interviewed.