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Commentary - Is there a Place for Foreign Talent in Singapore post Covid-19?

As Singapore nears the end of the Circuit Breaker measures, the impact that the virus has both economically and socially has been highly apparent. This does not only affect our well-being and way of life, but also business and economic confidence, as well as the ability of the Singapore government to see this through with the least impact on Singapore as an economic powerhouse.

As Immigration Consultants, we face increased concerns from existing foreign talent in Singapore (Professionals holding on to Employment Passes and S-Pass only) with regards to their job stability and likelihood of them continuing to contribute their expertise to Singapore.

This comes amidst recent reports on how organizations are trying to hold on to their foreign workforce despite cost pressures from the circuit breaker. In lieu of preserving jobs for locals and PRs, HR experts weigh in on how foreign talent could be the first to go, when push comes to shove.

 

So, Are Foreign Talents here to stay in Singapore post Circuit Breaker and Covid-19?

Commentary - Employment Pass minimum qualifying salary to be raised to $3,900; tighter rules on hiring foreign workers

 

Effective 1 May 2020,  the Ministry of Manpower Singapore (MOM) will be adjusting the minimum salary for foreign professionals to qualify for an Employment Pass (EP) to be raised to $3,900 per month (from $3,600 presently). This is in part due to the tightening of rules for hiring foreign workers as part of efforts to assure Singaporeans that they are competing on a level playing field.

This issue of maintaining a balanced approach in hiring foreign talent to complement Singapore's manpower requirement was debated in parliament recently. As inbound Singapore immigration specialists, we are fortunate to be in a position to analyse the situation from both sides. 

 

So how will this impact Singapore Permanent Residence / Citizenship application?

 

Best Immigration Consultancy Firm 2020 - South East Asia

 

Following on from our recent nomination acceptance in the APAC Insider Singapore Business Awards 2020, the judging panel have made their final decisions and have awarded Immigration@SG LLP

Best Immigration Consultancy Firm 2020 - South East Asia 

 

About APAC Insider Singapore Business Awards

The Singapore Business Awards recognises hard-working individuals within the Lion City who allow Singapore to remain a major financial hub in the Asia Pacific region. Although Singapore is known for its FinTech and manufacturing sector,APAC Insider takes pride in accepting nominations from every firm regardless of size or industry enabling even the smaller sized firms and those within niche industries the chance to receive the recognition they deserve.

Global Investor Programme (GIP) - More Investors To Qualify For Fast-Track PR Schemes

 

Effective 1 March 2020, more qualified investors can look to fast-tracking their permanent resident status (PR) under the new rules governing the Global Investor Programme (GIP).  The GIP, an initiative administered by Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB), was first introduced in 2004 and grants Singapore Permanent Resident status to eligible global investors who intend to drive their businesses and investment growth from Singapore.

To qualify, applicants need to showcase substantial business track record and possess a solid, successful entrepreneurial background.

So what are the new changes being implemented?

Impact of False Declarations for Singapore PR, Citizenship, & Work Pass Applications

The heavy hand of the Singapore Law weighs down with no remorse on applicants looking to dupe the authorities by falsifying/withholding information pertaining Singapore PR / Citizenship or Work Pass applications. This week alone, two cases made the headlines with the perpetrators dealt with accordingly.  

Singapore Inbound Immigration : Is Integrity Getting Few And Far Between?

This news report is likely causing a stir among hopeful Singapore Permanent Residence and Citizenship applicants, regardless if they are applying on their own or through immigration professionals. We understand that immigration is a big decision for individuals, families, and businesses. This is not a game.

How then should we restore back trust to the selection process as a result of the doings of rogue individuals and immigration consultancies endorsing such conduct as highlighted in the report?

While we are pretty sure the relevant authorities are working tooth and nail to tighten up these loose ends, we must also do our part to ensure due diligence in partnering individuals and companies. 

Singapore : World’s Most Competitive Economy Again (World Economic Forum)

 

Singapore has climbed to the top of the annual world rankings for competitiveness, this time, according to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The city-state beat the United States, Hong Kong and the Netherlands to the spot. 

The Global Competitiveness Report evaluates countries along 12 basic pillars, including the strength of their institutions, capability for innovation and workforce skills among others. They key takeaways for us as Immigration professionals are :

  • The pillars which Singapore ranked highly at are in tandem with the key reasons for individuals to settle in Singapore as PRs or Citizens
  • There is much room for improvement in the areas of labour markets and the foreign talent policies
  • While having the ability to attract MNCs and Tech bigwigs such as Google, Facebook and LinkedIn,  the local talent pool may not offer the necessary expertise these companies require
  • The gap between the skills of its current and future workforce underscores the need for lifelong learning


Some of the pointers above present opportunities in sharpening the talent pool and funneling only qualified applicants to attain Singapore PR and Citizenship approvals. This also echoes what the authorities have been implementing in the last few years thru the Selective Immigration policy. As Immigration professionals, we value add to our clients by applying well-thought out strategies backed by research and current affairs. We identify key areas in our client profiles to present to ICA through a solid Singapore PR / Citizenship documents package.

The result? Our stellar track record.


Singapore Population Trends 2019 - Insights from Immigration Specialists

 

The Singapore Department of Statistics have recently released their Population in Brief (PIB) 2019 Report with fresh data on Singapore’s population. It provides key updates and trends on Singapore’s population, particularly in relation to citizenship marriages, births and Immigration.

As Immigration Specialists who meet hopeful Singapore PR and Citizenship applicants daily, our industry insights has once again proved vital in assisting many of our clients attain approval for the year 2019. As we deep dive into the data presented in these reports we would like to bring focus on the following findings :

 

1) Singapore's Citizen Population continues to age. In tandem, our resident old-age support ratio stands higher. The citizen population grew by 0.8%, to reach 3.50 million citizens as of Jun 2019. The citizen population continues to age, with 16.0% aged 65 and above compared with 15.2% last year. 

2) The PR population remained relatively stable with an increase in the total number of PRs in Singapore from 522,300 to 525,300. The non-resident population grew by 2.0%, to reach 1.68 million as of Jun 2019. This was mainly attributed to foreign employment growth due to sustained growth in Services and the turnaround in Construction.

3) 22,550 Singapore Citizens (SCs) and 32,710 PRs were granted between June 2018 - June 2019 (an increase from the year before)

4) The majority of our new PRs granted are in the prime working ages of 21-40 years 

5) Southeast Asian and Other Asian Countries makes up 93% of total quote allocation


How does one then take advantage of increasing opportunities for their Singapore PR / Citizenship application to be given strong consideration for Approvals? 

Commentary - Increased Immigration Interest amongst Hong Kongers

 

A hundred days of protests (and counting) in Hong Kong has pummeled and bruised its economy, causing a surge in migration applications from locals within the Special Administrative Region (SAR). Closer to home, Immigration@SG LLP has recorded about 20%-25% increase in immigration inquiries of all forms. This include possible Employment switch, as well as Singapore Permanent Residency. Additionally, we have also entertained interests from several business owners on business relocation and bringing investments into Singapore.

In a recent interview with Thomson Reuters, our views on the matter were also shared on several news outlets such as Channel News Asia (CNA), Japan News, and Daily Mail UK.

Commentary - Pilot programme to facilitate access to talent and support growth of Singapore's technology ecosystem

 

The Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore laid out plans to pilot Tech@SG, a targeted programme to help grow technology companies in Singapore and expand regionally.

The sectors in focus includes those in digital, medtech, biotech, cleantech, agritech and fintech where professionals equipped with skills in frontier technology, such as Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and Internet of Things will be in high demand.

In lieu of of such specific talent requirements, how does this affect the Singapore PR and Citizenship application landscape?

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+65 6493 1830

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Immigration@SG LLP
1 Raffles Place
#37-00, One Raffles Place, Tower 1
Singapore 048616

General Enquiries:
+65 6493 1830

PR & Citizenship Consultation:
+65 6493 1830

Work Pass Enquiries:
+65 6493 1825

Mondays to Fridays, 8.30am to 7pm
Saturdays, Prior arrangements necessary

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