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Quota for Employment Pass: Does Singapore Set Bounds for Your Talent?

Lee November 4, 2015
Posted by Lee on November 04, 2015  /   Posted in Employment Pass
quota employment pass for singaporevisanet Singapore constantly reduces the access to local jobs for foreign workers. Now it reminds a slit through which only the strongest candidacies can force. Crowds of talented (and sometimes not very) foreigners create unwanted competition on the “brain market” and squeeze natives from their jobs. Such situation compelled the government to toughen rules for getting various work visas for foreigners. Most efficient restrictions that were intended to “repel” overseas workers from Singaporean jobs are quota, levy, salary bar, and others. And despite there is no quota on Employment Pass – the most “saleable” Singapore work visa – it still has restrictions worth talking about.
Employment Pass that was created for professional immigrants such as executives or specialists isn’t subject to quota. It means that Singapore-based companies are theoretically able to hire unlimited number of foreign pros. However, the fact that there is no Singapore quota to employ Employment Pass holder doesn’t mean no restrictions at all.

Fair Consideration Guideline

By giving Singaporean companies more freedom in HR strategies, the MOM expects them performing within its Fair Consideration Framework. This framework obliges firms to advertise the job position for locals during 2 weeks before hiring a foreigner. A foreigner can be hired only after there was no fit found among local talents. Violating this rule may lead to rejection.
Another rule MOM implies for local companies is giving preference to native manpower. If the company discriminates locals by preferring foreigners to them, it also can lead to rejection when such employer decides to apply for the Employment Pass for one more foreign worker. So it looks like the quota for Employment Pass Singapore does exist, but it is latent.
If the company that wishes to apply for Employment Pass is new and has a few (or none) local workers, the issue can be saved if the employer provides a business plan that sees hiring more locals in the future.
Pleasing demanding Ministry of Manpower isn’t an easy task if you decide to DIY. In reality it requires an elaborate approach and attention to every detail. It is better to involve a competent advisory and benefit from abundant experience of visa agents who know all ins and outs of EP processing. Our visa firm assists not only in visa matters, but also in incorporation. We know MOM’s latest regulations on business strategy and how hiring foreigners can be accomplishable within various business structures. We can give a piece of advice on where you should hire overseas talents, and where it’s better to rely on local ones.

Salary Threshold

Salary ThresholdThe minimum salary that makes your qualification possible is $3,300. However, it doesn’t mean commanding this salary is enough. EP has three levels, and each of them was designed for specific category of holders. $3,300 is the threshold for the lowest level – Q1. It is for young graduates with degrees from respectable universities with at least 1-2 years of experience. Older seekers must be more experienced and command higher salaries: at least $4,500 for P2 and at least $8,000 for P1.


Skills and Relevant Work Expertise

Skills and Relevant Work ExpertiseAs was mentioned on the very beginning, MOM isn’t interested in boosting the competition between foreign and local talents on the job market. That’s why the government gives green light only for those applicants who can contribute experience and skills which are asked-for in the local economy. There are developing niches where foreign expertise would be more appreciated: construction, finance, manufacturing, digital media and so on. Please check the situation in your specific sector with our visa specialists.
We gave general points about EP requirements. MOM decides about each case individually at their own discretion. It’s important not to rush things and have your chances evaluated before brewing an application process. If rejection happens at least once, it will be very difficult (though still possible) to get approval after it. At our visa agency we have developed a free assessment service which is intended to determine the eligibility of the applicant-to-be and weigh pros and cons of the future application. This test, which takes only a couple of minutes, gives you understanding of your eligibility and smart advisory on how to raise your application chances.

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