Singapore offers start-ups and multinational corporations’ access to a global talent pool, allowing you to form business relationships with strategic partners and gain insights with professionals from across the world. While the recent economic slowdown that began with the Covid-19 pandemic has caused the Singapore government to re-examine foreign employee visa considerations, the region continues to be an open and connected hub for internal business opportunities that can create a wide array of job opportunities for foreigners and locals alike.
Singapore’s flexible immigration policies offer a wide range of visa options to allow Singapore- incorporated companies to sponsor their foreign employees, most prominent among them being the Employment Pass and the S Pass.
Employment Pass: These are mainly offered to foreign professionals, managers, and executives to work in Singapore. Candidates need to earn at least S$4,500 per month (as of September 2020) to qualify for an Employment Pass. For older and more experienced candidates, they would need to earn higher salaries to qualify for Employment Pass. For financial sectors, this has been raised to S$5,000 for new applications beginning 1 December 2020. The salary criteria will also apply to those renewing their EP, if their passes are expiring from 1 May 2021.
S Pass: These are typically offered to mid-level staff to work in Singapore. Candidates need to earn at least S$2,500 a month to qualify for an S Pass (with effect from September 2020). Similarly, for older and more experienced candidates, they would need to earn higher salaries to qualify for S Pass. The salary criteria is also applicable to those renewing their S Passes, if their passes expire from 1 May 2021.
As the government ramps up their efforts to ensure fair consideration of local candidates, all positions (that are open to Employment Pass & S Pass applications) would first need to advertise locally for 28 consecutive days before they can be filled by a foreign worker unless the companies are exempted from advertising requirements. This is an increase from the previous advertising requirement of 14 days.
Apart from these, there are several other options such as the EntrePass, Personalised Employment Pass (“PEP”) and Work Permits. Foreign entrepreneurs and investors who are interested in starting or investing in a business in Singapore and looking to settle here permanently can also make use of the Global Investor Programme (GIP) to acquire a Permanent Residency (PR).
You can read more about Singapore visa options through our dedicated business guides.