Effective from 1 May 2020, the Ministry of Manpower Singapore (MOM) will be adjusting the Employment Pass or EP minimum qualifying salary for foreign professionals to $3,900 per month (from $3,600 presently). This is in part due to the tightening of rules for hiring foreign workers as part of efforts to assure Singaporeans that they are competing on a level playing field.
This issue of maintaining a balanced approach in hiring foreign talent to complement Singapore’s manpower requirement was debated in parliament recently. As inbound Singapore immigration specialists, we are fortunate to be in a position to analyse the situation from both sides.
How will this impact Singapore Permanent Residence / Citizenship application?
Having been in the industry and equipped with the intricacies of all inbound Singapore immigration policies, we have opined that :
- The tightening of EP and S-Pass issuance will create more employment opportunities for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents
- We can expect higher quality professionals in the talent pool – only very highly qualified and specialised professionals for the respective industries and roles will be granted pass approvals
- We could be looking at an increase in PR and Citizenship approval quotas – to convert the talent pool from existing pass holders to Permanent Residents and/or Citizens. This is so that Work Passes can be issued to talent that Singapore is truly lacking in.
How will this impact current expats in Singapore?
Expatriates who do not fulfill the new EP minimum qualifying salary might not be able to renew their current work passes once it has expired. They may be able to qualify for an S-Pass, however, this is subject to the company’s available quota for S-Pass holders. In order to be able to continue working in Singapore, it is advisable that those who will be affected by the policy change to apply for a Singapore Permanent Residency. The Singapore Permanent Residency offers flexibility and freedom in career opportunities.