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Singapore Launches New Work Pass to Attract Top Talent

Singapore’s Minister for Manpower Tan Sri Leong on Monday (29 August 2022) announced the launch of a new work visa, the Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass (ONE Pass), to attract top talent from various industries.
Successful applicants will be granted a 5-year individual work visa to establish, operate and work in multiple businesses in Singapore at the same time. In addition, visa holders will not be subject to the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) job advertisement requirements and the recently announced Complementary Professional Assessment Framework (COMPASS).Spouses of visa holders will also be allowed to work locally with the consent of the Singapore government.The application threshold includes a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 or more, comparable to the maximum 5% of the Singapore Work Permit (EP), or for those who have achieved official recognition of excellence in arts and culture, sports, science and technology, and academic research.Visa holders will be required to inform MOM annually of their professional activities to ensure that they make the best use of the flexibility offered by the visa to make a meaningful contribution to Singapore.

 

Applications for the ONE Pass will be accepted from 1 January 2023
Singapore has also announced a special exemption for the top 10% of existing Singapore Work Permit (EP) holders, with adjustments to the Fair Consideration Framework and the upcoming COMPASS framework.Eligible holders will be exempted from the Fair Consideration Framework job advertisement and COMPASS requirements and will be able to apply for the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) for high income earners, which is more flexible than the general work visa as it is not limited to any employer.At present, PEP is available to general work visa holders earning at least S$12,000 and overseas job seekers earning at leastS$18,000.The newly introduced guidelines bring clarity and transparency to MOM’s Talent Work Visa framework.

In line with this single guideline, the Fair Consideration Framework’s job advertisement requirement and COMPASS exemption threshold will be raised from S$20,000 to S$22,500 and the salary threshold for the Individualised Work Visa will also be raised to S$22,500.

 

These changes will be effective from 1 September 2023.
The Fair Consideration Framework job advertisements and Singapore work visa processing time will be reduced.In addition, the Singapore government will reduce the time required to advertise a job under the Fair Consideration Framework from 28 days to 14 days with effect from September 1, 2022. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of Singapore has earlier extended the advertising period in response to the weak labour market following the outbreak of the new coronary heart disease.The processing time for all Singapore work visa applications will also be reduced from about three weeks to 10 days. According to the press release, 85 percent of online work visa applications will be processed within three weeks. With the Ministry of Manpower’s recent technical upgrade of the work pass system, Singapore work visas will be processed or updated to employers within 10 working days, effective in real time.The Singapore government has also made an update earlier to provide a 5-year work visa option for expatriates in shortage positions under the COMPASS framework. Applicants are required to earn a minimum salary of S$10,500 and pass the COMPASS framework with a minimum score of 10 on the multiple criteria.

Tan said Singapore continues to face a global shortage of skilled professionals and the local government believes the renewal will attract qualified professionals who wish to relocate to Singapore.

Singapore needs top talent to supplement the local workforce, so the NTUC supports the optimization of work visas,” said Tay Teck Guan, Assistant General Secretary of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), in a statement following the announcement.

But we also need to have appropriate safeguards in place to ensure that local talent in Singapore has a fair chance (of getting) a job, to level the playing field for local professionals, managers and executives (PMEs), and to maintain a strong and intact core Singapore workforce.

He added, “In addition, I believe the government will provide clear guidelines on the definition of top talent or publish a list of reputable companies that employ top talent to promote corporate responsibility. The government should also put in place measures to ensure that top expatriate professionals transfer and share knowledge with local Singaporean talent in order to promote Singapore’s talent development.”

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