Overview of Budget 2020
The Singapore Government introduced a slew of measures geared towards the support of Singaporeans in the various stages of their lives. While promising that there is still much to be done to stabilise the economy(more so with the Covid-19 upon us) – the immediate focus will thus be toward growing and transforming the economy that can greatly effect a positive influence on employability and paving better opportunities for Singaporeans, and Permanent Residents.

Impact of Covid-19
At the turn of the new year, amidst signs of a recovering global economy, the Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19, outbreak happened. Industries that have directly been impacted include the Aviation and Tourism industries, just to name a few.

The Government has also acknowledged that the virus outbreak has also disrupted supply chains and created ripple effects on other sectors, especially now that our economy is so much more integrated with China’s.

While there is a short-term impact for our Chinese foreign staff unable to return into Singapore and the tightening of various pass issuance to Chinese nationals, there is no immediate impact to the Singapore immigration industry in 2020 where Singapore Permanent Residence, or Citizenship quotas and/or policies are concerned.

Singapore : A Global-Asia node of technology, Innovation, and Enterprise
The Singapore economy will still continue to be driven by innovation and digitalisation – an ongoing trend since 2018. With the digital transformation of enterprises and the country close to realising its SmartNation initiative, the authorities will also look to talent within these industries and expertise as one of the key criteria in the assessment of Singapore Permanent Residence and Citizenship approvals in 2020/2021.

Boasting one of the strongest economies in ASEAN and Asia, Singapore will continue to serve as a launch pad for multi-nationals and regional corporates to access Asia, and for Asian enterprises to go global. It is this imperative that the country matches up professionally on the talent front. To that end, the Singapore government will be allocating a total of $8.3 billion over the next three years to enable the Transformation and Growth plans as well as the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 Plan, amongst others.

Impact on Foreign Worker Policy and Permanent Residence / Citizenship applications
While the Singapore Government aims to specifically reduce the reliance of foreign workers specifically in the Construction, Marine and Processing sectors, our policy makers also acknowledge that foreign workers are a necessary complement to Singapore so long as our birth rates remain low and our ageing population remains high. Therefore, Singapore must continue to look to regulate the inflow of foreign talent carefully, in a way that creates opportunities for our locals.

This is perfectly encapsulated in the selective immigration policy that we have always been enlightening our clients on. With no major immigration policy change since the issuance of the Singapore Population White Paper in 2013, if anything, showcasing one’s industry specialisation and focus continues to play a key role to increasing application chances, should the applicants fall into the bucket of EDB’s choice sectors of Financial & Technology , Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology, Aerospace, Chemicals, Medical, Health & Fitness,  and Tech Start-ups to name a few.

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