Singapore to introduce a new visa policy for foreign workers

SINGAPORE: From 2023, Singapore will introduce a new work permit approval system to help screen and approve foreign professionals, the Manpower Minister has advised. This comes amid following concerns over a tight jobs market and calls to upskill the local workforce.

Manpower Minister Tan See Leng noted that the new points-based system would ensure a "high-quality diverse workforce" with foreign talent complementing locals. Applicants would receive points according to the number of other hired workers of their nationality at the target employer, and how many other foreign workers there were in proportion to local employees. The applicants’ salary and qualifications are the other key criteria for consideration.

Candidates with skills that are scarce will get bonus points, moving them to the top of the pile for new opportunities.

Tan accepted that some companies would have to "make adjustments" to their business models under the new regime. The ministry has urged some businesses to diversify their recruits and hire more local workers.

Based on government data, non-residents have recently increased in number from 10% to almost 30% of Singapore's stable 5.5 million population.

Starting September 2022, Singapore will also increase the monthly minimum salary requirement for employment pass applicants to SGD 5,000 (USD 3,700) in most industries, and SGD 5,500 (USD 4,000) per month in the finance sector.

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