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Law and Policy Group
Singapore expands Work Pass framework to fill skill gaps
September 06, 2022
Singapore’s government recently announced changes to the Work Pass framework to attract foreign expertise and technology professionals with the aim of addressing current skills shortages, and to support companies’ workforce planning.
Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass. Applications for this new five-year pass can be submitted from 1 January 2023. The pass is open to all experts, and will allow them to start, manage and/or work for multiple companies in Singapore. Applicants must earn SG$30,000 or more per month — although certain lower-earning experts could be eligible. Passholders will be exempt from the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) job advertising requirement and the upcoming COMPASS Shortage Occupation List. Spouses of passholders will be allowed to work on a “Letter of Consent.”
Employment Pass (EP) applications. The Ministry of Manpower has reduced the time that employers must advertise jobs to local candidates to 14 days — down from 28 days. The EP processing timeframe for applications is reduced to 10 days.
Technology pass. A new five-year EP Pass will allow employers to hire for specific technology roles listed on the new COMPASS Shortage Occupation List (to be published in March 2023).
Exemption for the top 10% of EP passholders. Top talent applicants will continue to be exempt from the FCF job advertising requirement and the upcoming COMPASS Shortage Occupation List and also will be eligible for the Personalised Employment Pass. They must earn SG$22,500 per month or more. These changes take effect on 1 September 2023.