As of June 2011, EP holders make up 12% of Singapore’s non-residents. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) carefully evaluates every application for the Singapore Employment Pass (EP) on its own merits. In order to provide a holistic assessment of the application, MOM also considers five factors including the candidate’s:
- educational qualifications,
- work experience,
- scope of work,
- economic contribution and
- the hiring company’s track record.
According to MOM, the EP will be issued to foreign professionals stepping into managerial, executive or specialised roles, provided they fulfil the qualifying criteria namely:
|Category of EP||Qualifying criteria (as of 6 February 2012)|
Recently, MOM has amended the qualifying criteria for older EP candidates in the Q1 category. According to the revised requirement, an experienced and older candidate must command a salary that is higher than what is required for a younger graduate to qualify for the Q1 EP. It stressed that the salary quoted must be commensurate to his work experience and the level of professionalism he is expected to bring.
Rikvin opines that this amendment is fair for the following reasons:
On an organizational level, an older and experienced worker deserves to be paid his worth and fairly for the quality of his work. A higher salary indicates that worth of the professional. It demonstrates that he has earned that salary because of his experience, the value of his work and his contributions to the organizations he has worked for. It also demonstrates that he has the soft skills and wisdom that comes with years of experience. This experience bodes well for him as it would be considered an asset to an organization that encourages exchanges between mentor and mentee.
On a macro level, it is counter-intuitive to command a lower salary when one’s experience and merits command for more. If a candidate negotiates for a salary that does not reflect the worth of his work vis-a-vis that of a junior employee, he will be sending a message to a reviewer of his EP application that his contributions to the firm as well as the Singapore economy are not significant and that his experience does not add high value to the workforce.
A lower salary, then, positions him as competing for a Singaporean PMET’s position instead of complementing the Singapore workforce. This could in turn lower his chance of acquiring an EP.
In order to ensure that professionals are paid their worth and have a higher chance of securing their EPs, Rikvin recommends checking the market rate for the occupational role in Singapore before negotiating their salaries. This would in turn help professionals position themselves more advantageously for better salaries that meet MOM’s current standards of review.
* Acceptable qualifications can include good degrees, professional qualifications or specialist skills.
Rikvin has been providing professional immigration services since 1998. You can leave your concerns to rest and trust our specialists to provide a thorough assessment of all factors of your application and ensure that they meet the current standards of review.
Our reliable guidance and high success rate come with years of experience and continually staying abreast with Singapore’s regulatory updates. In the event that your work pass or renewal application is rejected by the authority, our specialists will establish a firm appeal in defence of your position.
Rikvin is committed to putting your best case forward in every application or appeal.