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SINGAPORE - Changes to Foreign Workforce Policy Announced

The Ministry of Manpower has announced upcoming changes to its foreign workforce policy, including an expansion of the Fair Consideration Framework job advertising requirement for Employment Pass (EP) applications to include more companies and more positions, and an increase in the minimum salary requirement for S Pass holders.

Job Advertising

Effective 1 July 2018, for EP applications, jobs must be advertised if both the following conditions are met:

  • The firm has 10 or more employees (currently if the firm has more than 25 employees); and
  • The position pays a fixed monthly salary of less than SGD 15,000 (currently less than SGD 12,000).

Therefore, firms with 10 to 25 employees, and positions paying between SGD 12,000 and SGD 15,000, will no longer be exempt from the advertising requirement.

S Pass Salary Criteria

The minimum qualifying salary for S Pass applicants will be increased from SGD 2200 to SGD 2400 in two steps:

  • From 1 January 2019 from SGD 2200 to SGD 2300;
  • From 1 January 2020 from SGD 2300 to SGD 2400.

Candidates with more years of experience are still required to command higher salaries.

Transition Arrangements

Under the first step increase, existing S Pass holders whose passes expire:

  • Before 1 January 2019: Will be allowed to renew based on existing S Pass criteria;
  • Between 1 January 2019 and 30 June 2019 inclusive: Will be allowed to renew based on existing S Pass criteria, for a duration of up to one year; and
  • 1 July 2019 onwards: Will have to meet the prevailing S Pass criteria for renewal.

Under the second step increase, existing S Pass holders whose passes expire:

  • Before 1 January 2020: Will be allowed to renew based on the 1 January 2019 S Pass criteria;
  • Between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020 (both dates inclusive): Will be allowed to renew 
based on the January 2019 S Pass criteria, for a duration of up to one year; and
  • 1 July 2020 onwards: Will have to meet the prevailing S Pass criteria for renewal.

Action Items

  • Employers of foreign nationals in Singapore should contact their immigration specialist for help planning for these upcoming changes.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Newland Chase.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.