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As the COVID19 lockdowns affect more and more economies around the world, businesses close and as a result, citizens and residents become unemployed. Governments are forced to look after their own citizens and residents first. Singapore is a very small and affluent country but the principles of economics apply to us all the same.
Following COVID19 and the elections of 2020, the government has become even more vocal about their Local-first policy. Here are the policy changes and our suggestions on how to react.
Unlike other countries that require just an employer to support your visa application, all visa applications in Singapore must be approved by the government. This means that in the eyes of the government the new foreign-hire must justify the role. How is a role justified? By creating and bringing value to Singapore.
Just because you are willing to do work for a lower rate than other people are does not mean you bring value to Singapore. This might form part of a larger justification but cannot be the only basis for your visa application!
Value is created through unique knowledge or skills that you possess and are hard to find (or cannot be found) locally. Alternatively your employment in Singapore for that company is likely to bring about unique and lasting value in Singapore like tremendous intellectual property value or economic value (like say, convincing a major tech company to host all their servers in a Singapore datacentre).
This value creation must be undeniably evident in your visa application
If you’re an S-Pass holder you will need to justify salaries of at least SGD 2600 per month and supporting a 1:10 foreigner-to-local-ratio. Also during PM Lee’s speech here, it was very clear that S-Pass holders compete with local polytechnic diploma holders.
That means that companies you work for will need to be:
Large enough to hire 11 staff; and
Willing to pay 2600 for an entry level role; and
Can find you, interview you, and hire you
If you’re an E-Pass holder, you will need to justify a monthly salary now of $4500 (Previously $3600 then $3900). While there are no quotas, expect that these roles are going to be scrutinized much more heavily for that “value creation” element. Also there are qualification expectations for this role such as having a recognized degree and reasonable experience to justify the employment. Applicants for these roles are competing with our local degree graduates.
This means that if you’re hoping for an E-Pass visa you will need to:
Earn a recognized qualification (not all university degrees are recognized); and
Find a company that is willing to employ you for an above-median salary of $4500 and justify this internally; and
Beat the hordes of people applying for these amazingly lucrative roles from all over the world as well as locally.
|Scenario A: New hire is a 35 year old, earning $2600 salary, sent for $2500 worth of training over 5 days a year||Scenario B: New hire is a 45 year old, earning $4500 salary, sent for $2500 worth of training over 5 days a year|
|Cost if worker is a Local||Salary Cost for 1 year including CPF: $36,504 Training Cost for 1 year: $2500 JGI (25%) – (9126) Training Grant – (2250) Absentee Payroll – (425) Total cost – $27,203||Salary Cost for 1 year including CPF: $63,180 Training Cost for 1 year: $2500 JGI (50%) – (31,590) Training Grant – (2250) Absentee Payroll – (425) Total cost – $31,415|
|Cost if worker is a Foreigner||Salary Cost for 1 year including levy: $35,160 Total Cost – $35,160||Salary Cost for 1 year (no levy): $54,000 Total Cost – $54,000|
|Nett additional cost of hiring a foreigner…||$7957 (3 months salary)||$22,585 (5 months salary)|
Here’s what you need to do:
If you’re looking for a course that is less academic and more vocationally inclined you may want to consider our Specialist Diplomas that complete in just 9 months part-time and are highly focused on roles that are tough to fill in the engineering world:
We’re living in “strange and unusual” times (or is the phase now… ‘difficult and unusual’… I forget), remember that he who fails to plan, plans to fail.
We recommend that you start looking for degree programmes and hopefully, you choose us.
Many people ask where do I start.
Everyone starts in different place. Your past qualifications and work experience is critical in determining where you go and start. If you’d like to speak to a consultant about joining, please complete the form below and we can get back to you about fees, duration and more.