New Work Pass to Launch in Singapore, Hoping to Attract Top Global Talent
Applications will commence on 1 January 2023.
To be eligible for this work pass, applicants will need to fulfill certain criteria. Among the criteria is a fixed monthly income of at least $30k or more. This criterion is comparable to what the top 5% of Employment Pass (EP) holders in Singapore are earning.
The work pass will attract the best talent from all sectors.
Introduction Of the New Work Pass in Singapore
The Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass is one of the several initiatives Singapore has in place. It is all part of the Lion City’s plan to strengthen its standing as a global hub for talent.
The planned changes include updating the job requirements as per the Fair Consideration Framework. The existing EP Scheme is also set to undergo some changes.
There is a good reason for these changes. With the changes in place, businesses can respond faster to their operational needs. They will also be ready to compete effectively as Singapore and the rest of the world works hard to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.
The work pass framework is undergoing targeted enhancements. In doing so, it will be better able to attract top talent from around the world. Experienced and highly skilled tech professionals are needed in areas where skill shortage is still prevalent.
Looking Outward for Global Talent
Unlike a lot of countries that have chosen to go inwards after the pandemic, Singapore is doing something different. Instead, Singapore and many other countries are choosing to compete for global talent. The city-state is taking every step needed to prove to investors there is no reason to doubt whether Singapore is still open.
The New Work Pass Versus the EP
Holders of the new Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass will have the flexibility to operate, start concurrently, and work for several Singapore companies at once. On the other hand, Employment Pass holders are only allowed to work with one company for the job specified on their work passes.
The new work pass also has a longer validity period of 5-years. The EP would typically only be valid for two or three years. Like the EP, you will be able to sponsor dependents. Once you obtain the Letter of Consent, spouses will be able to work too.
If you have no recent work experience history in Singapore, you must show that you have worked (or will be working) for an established company. The company must have a market cap of at least US$500 million. Alternatively, the company could have annual revenue of US$200 million.
Individuals who have achieved “outstanding achievements” in the fields of sports, science and technology, arts, culture, academia, and research can also apply for the new work pass. Even if they do not meet the $30k salary criteria, they may apply.
The new work pass is designed to be flexible because it wants pass holders who are able to make meaningful contributions to Singapore.
Changes to the Employment Pass (EP) Visa
Beginning 1 September 2023, new changes will be made to the existing EP work pass. The top 10% of pass holders will be pegged against a new benchmark. This group will be exempt from the Fair Consideration Framework’s job advertising requirements and Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS).
Compass is an upcoming system that is a framework based on points. EP applications will be evaluated based on these points. Points are gathered from firm-related and holistic sets of individual attributes.
The new salary threshold to meet is $22,500 a month. Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) will have a salary criteria update of $22,500. The PEP is for EP holders who earn a high income and for foreign professionals overseas. PEP has more flexibility because pass holders are not tied to one employer alone.
Job advertisements will now only be advertised for a duration of 14 days compared to the previous 28 days. After 14 days, employers are free to hire EP holders. EP application processing times will now be cut to just 10 business days for online applications compared to the previous 3-week processing period.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Singapore will give the option of a 5-year EP period for those experienced professionals in specified tech occupations. Your job must be on the Compass Shortage Occupation List to be eligible. The list is currently being compiled.
All changes are set to take place on 1 September 2023.