There was a lot of talk and discussion recently after Government of Singapore announced revised eligibility criteria for overseas professionals applying for the employment pass scheme in the country. The two most significant changes in the new immigration policy were that skilled foreign professionals would need to have a better educational qualification and must possess jobs that pay higher than the current requirement. Many felt that these new amendments introduced to Singapore’s employment pass scheme would make things difficult for companies that need to employ foreign nationals and the country may even seem to be less attractive for many foreign companies investing in Singapore.
However, while there will be some impact of the new changes introduced, overall the immigration policy of Singapore is still seen as one of the best in the world. To talk about foreign professionals first, the laws are extremely clear and straightforward. Companies in Singapore that want to employ foreign nationals have no restrictions and there are no quota systems. All that the company in Singapore has to ensure is that they are offering the job to a foreigner who qualifies for the employment pass scheme. Authorities in Singapore even allow newly formed companies to employ overseas professionals as long as the business is legitimate and follows all compliance requirements. Unlike many nations where immigration is not encouraged, Singapore welcomes foreigners to its shore and has used its immigration policy as an economic tool for many years now. Foreigners now make up over one third of the entire working population of Singapore and they have added to the skillset of Singapore’s work force over the past many years.
Shifting focus from foreign professionals to foreign entrepreneurs and you will see that this is where Singapore’s immigration policy has been a resounding success. One of the reasons why the country has such a vibrant economy is because it has managed to continually attract innovative entrepreneurs who relocate to Singapore and start some of the best companies in the world. The eligibility criteria for entrepreneurs to shift base to Singapore is quite simple. All you need to have is a relevant business background and capacity to invest SGD $50,000 as paid up capital in your proposed Singapore Company. If the entrepreneur has already acquired funding for their company, then it is a bonus and likely to positively affect their entrepreneur pass application. When most nations discourage foreign business owners to relocate to their countries, Singapore actively looks to attract business owners from all over the world and makes it really simple for them to invest in the country.
Bryan Wong is a business analyst in the Asia-Pacific region and in his free time writes business articles. In this article, Bryan talks about Singapore Employment Pass and Singapore EntrePass.