Singapore’s MOM Announces Changes In Dependant Privileges For Work Pass Holders
The Singapore government tightens the rules for foreign workers as part of the overall direction to moderate growth of non-resident population, including workforce inflow in Singapore.
An announcement was made by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) that the Government is tightening the criteria for work pass holders to sponsor dependants as part of the overall direction to moderate the growth of Singapore’s non-resident population.
Singapore Work Pass (S Pass) or Employment Pass (EP) holders are now required to earn at least S$4,000 a month to be able to sponsor their family (spouses and children) for Dependant Passes. At present, the salary requirement for S Pass and EP is only S$1,800.
MOM also said that the changes will only apply to all dependants of S Pass and EP who arrive in Singapore on September 1, 2012.Dependants of EP and S Pass holders who are already in Singapore before September 1, 2012, will be allowed to stay if these work pass holders have valid passes with their existing employers.
According to the Ministry of Manpower, this new rule for foreigners will help ease the pressure on Singapore’s social infrastructure. “Nonetheless, Singapore remains a global talent capital. We continue to welcome highly skilled foreign professionals who wish to bring their dependants to stay with them,” MOM added.
Meanwhile, in line with this initiative to moderate the inflow of foreigners in Singapore, the government is also setting out to formulate a sustainable population policy. Aside from the requirement of a higher income among foreigners, the government also set several measures such as higher levies, higher education criteria, and lower Dependency Ratio Ceilings.
The National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) noted that the government has to regulate the inflow of foreigners into the workforce to “support a shift to a higher value, more productive economy.”
Based on NTDP’s statistics, Singapore’s total population as of December 2011 stands at 5.26 million. Two (2) million or 38% are permanent residents, who largely consist of work permit holders. There are currently 3.27 million Singapore citizens. This suggests that 1 out of 3 people in Singapore is either a foreigner or permanent resident.
The government is now seeking the public’s view in areas such as marriage, parenthood, immigration, and integration. The government hopes to solicit feedback from the people to build a shared understanding on the issue of population and immigration in Singapore.