In a bid to manage the growth of the non-resident population as well as the foreign workforce inflow in Singapore, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower has yet again introduced a new set of requirements.
In the current installment of changes to the singapore work visa framework, the Ministry has set higher qualifying requirements for Singapore employment pass (EP) and S Pass holders wishing to relocate with dependants.
Under the new framework, which comes into effect on 1 September 2012, EP and S Pass holders may only relocate with and sponsor the stay of their dependants (i.e. spouses and children aged under 21 years) if they earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $4,000.
“The higher salary threshold ensures that the work pass holders are able to support their families, especially in light of higher cost of living in Singapore. From a macroscopic point of view, this strategy is prudent and ensures that Singapore does not incur additional socioeconomic pressure,” explained Mr. Satish Bakhda, Rikvin’s Head of Operations.
Additionally, with effect of 1 September 2012, the higher spectrum of employment pass Holders are not excluded from the tighter framework.
- Parents-in-law of P1 Pass holders as well as
- Parents or parents-in-law of P2 Pass holders are no longer allowed to apply for the Dependant Pass.
On the bright side, parents of P1 pass holders, common law spouses, children of common-law spouses, handicapped children aged over 21 and stepchildren aged under 21 who are not eligible for the Singapore Dependant Pass program may instead apply for the Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP). The LTVP Scheme grants holders up to 5-years stay in Singapore, depending on the type of application.
CURRENT EP OR S PASS HOLDERS
Dependants of EP and S Pass holders who are in Singapore or will be arriving before 1 September 2012 need not worry about the status of their stay and may reside in Singapore as long as the main employment passes remain valid.
Dependants are also allowed to remain in Singapore when the EP or S Pass holder has his/her Singapore employment pass renewed on or after 1 September 2012 with the same employer. However, a change of employers with effect of 1 September 2012 will be considered as fresh work visa applications, rendering dependants subject to the new framework as well.
“As communicated by the Ministry of Manpower, the dependant pass framework incentivizes highly-skilled foreign talent to live in Singapore by allowing their family members to relocate as well. As dependant privileges are intimately linked to one’s economic contribution and ability to support his/her dependants’ stay in Singapore, highly-skilled professionals are in better stead to be granted broader dependant benefits,” added Mr. Bakhda.
“While this news may not be advantageous for mid-skilled professionals, it is in line with the national strategy to attract and retain more higher-skilled workers and wean off Singapore’s dependence on foreign basic-skilled labor. By doing so, this may open up more work and housing opportunities for Singapore professionals and introduce some breathing space into Singapore’s already densely-populated city,” affirmed Mr. Bakhda.