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Commentary - Dealing with Rogue Consultancies

The number of  scams in the first five months of 2020 has increased to almost 30 times compared to the same period last year in Singapore with eCommerce scams proving to be the most common in the first three months of the year, with "Covid-19 related items" accounting for about one in four such cases.

Fake loan schemes were another common tactic as scammers got away with at least $41.3 million in total between January and March this year.

In this unprecedented times, it is common that unfortunate individuals gets taken advantage of in view of their desperation to attain specific objectives. For us in the Immigration Consultancy business, it is no different. Recently, the Straits Times reported

We are living in a time whereby foreigners who are presently on valid work passes are worried about the stability of their jobs and their ability to continue supporting their families' livelihood in Singapore.  While the situation with Covid-19 and its impact on global economies is beyond control, securing Permanent Residence in Singapore is one way which enables these foreigners to continue plying their trade here, without having to go back to their home countries.

How do foreigners ensure that the consultancies and agencies supporting their endeavors to secure Singapore Permanent Residence and/or Citizenship are trustworthy? A good and quick audit to help you is to spend a little bit of time doing some research and ask yourselves :

Commentary - Impact of General Election 2020 on inbound Singapore Immigration

We have come to the time again for Singapore to vote for a new government. Dubbed the 'Pandemic Elections', for the first time ever, the Singapore General Elections will be held amidst a global setback as Singapore looks to a progressive government that can ride us all out of this storm, together.

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?

 

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?

Commentary - Don't consider only salary when granting PR status

 

In a forum letter posting in the Straits Times, a foreigner-Singaporean couple expressed their frustrations over the elusive nature of securing a Long-Term Visit Pass and/or a Singapore Permanent Residence over multiple attempts.

They further cited that they hope for the authorities, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) to consider various other factors on top of monthly salary and income. Like them, many of the clients we meet on a daily basis unfortunately also have this 'false understanding' of actual evaluation criteria.

Singapore PR Application Approvals - Mid-2019 Stocktaking

 

We have come to the midpoint of 2019 and looking back, the first 6 months of the year has been eventful for IASG and our clients. As at end June, we have seen a record number of PR and Citizenship approvals in the firm compared to the year before, with a large portion of approvals coming from our Indian clients as well.

This came as a surprise, considering the highly competitive quotas available for Indian applicants. We also note that there have been increased approvals for applicants with certain specific skill-sets from the few industry and sectors mapped for growth and talent development. They include, but not limited to applicants from the Information Technology, Banking & Finance, as well as Engineering industries to name a  few.

While the Singapore Government reviews all cases holistically, we can also attribute the success we bring for our clients down to a few key factors:

1) We put considerable time understanding each of our customer profile

2) We invest emphatically on research in relation to understanding Singapore's short, middle, and long term economic and talent requirement - which is detrimental to strategizing each application

 

How to Evaluate Your Chances of Getting PR in Singapore?

 

 

Step 1 – Understand Annual Quotas and Selective Immigration Policy

With approximately 30,000 quotas annually set aside for new Singapore Permanent Residences, the Singapore Government adopts highly stringent yet strategic sets of parameters in evaluating potential candidates for approval.

These parameters are reviewed holistically and there is no single parameter that is more important than another – contrary to popular belief that the Singapore Government only evaluates applicants based on their income ceiling.

Singapore’s Selective Immigration policy is built on a firm notion that views immigrants not only as a booster for the local workforce but also as a solution to address our rapidly ageing population. While the government has put in place policies aimed at increasing our birth rates, at present, Singapore remains open to controlled immigration in order to fill the population gaps, as documented in the Population White Paper.

Singapore : Celebrating Progress Through Diversity

 

 

With the euphoria of Singapore's recent bicentennial commemorative S$20 note dying down, we can take a step back and reflect on the luminaries who made modern Singapore what it is today.  These individuals displayed resolute strength and grit to carve out a better life for themselves and their families. Interestingly, they all had one thing in common - all were immigrants.

Be it for commerce or cultural exchanges, Singapore's geographic locality and safe harbour has contributed much to her growth. Throughout time, Singapore has always been the port of call in the region. Today, it still is. 

As of June 2018, close to 40% of residents in Singapore are foreigners. With a country that does not have natural resources, Singapore has to look to human capital to propel its economic engine forward - and that is exactly what the Selective Immigration policy is set out to do - to get the right profiles of candidates in via Permanent Residence or Citizenship.

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Or call us at:
+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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