Published on : September 13, 2022
On September 12, 2022, Singapore’s Manpower Minister, Tan See Leng declared tight security and continuous government surveillance on the holders and users of the new Singaporean Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass.
“Let me be obvious. The Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass is not meant to be abused as a visit or travel document,” said Minister Tan See Leng.
Following Germany making headlines this September with the announcement of “Chacenkarte,” Singapore has now made headlines with its 5-year duration of stay allotted to the new overseas Networks and Expertise Pass holders.
The Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass is available for corporate talent that earn at least SGD 30,000 (Rs 17,09,660) in their fixed monthly allowance.
The qualified category for the new pass is like the top 5% of Singapore’s existing Employment Pass holders or quota for workers with outstanding achievements in research, arts, sports, culture, and academia. The new pass is in the pipeline for official implementation from January 1, 2023.
Salary records, Bank statements, and proof of payments have to be submitted by applicants to the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass applications.
The pass will be for five years, compared to the two years allotted to Singapore Employment Pass (EP) holders, and it is not compulsory to have a job offer in Singapore for the new pass like EP requires.
On the surveillance side, Tan mentioned that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is already conducting background checks to filter out existing potential candidates with false salary declarations.
For workers looking to convert from an existing employment pass, MOM will examine with eagle eyes the income tax filings with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore to ensure the taxes filed are consistent with the application.
Once the application is approved, the Ministry of Manpower will continue to engage the pass holders during their time in Singapore.
The new work visa mainly encourages those with high-earning professionals and top talent to come and find work in Singapore for five years with their spouses, as the country aims to bolster its economic growth symbiotically.
“MOM reserves the right to cancel the pass if there are extended periods of economic inactivity with no good reasons.” However: “take risks, explore new frontiers and make a big impact to benefit Singapore.” “It is important to allow them some ramp-up period for that to happen and not be too quick to jump to the conclusion that they are not contributing,” said Dr.Tan
The other benefit that the new work visa holders will enjoy is that the field of job opportunities is unrestricted, with every industrial avenue splayed open to them for work.
This allowance of a more extended five-year stay in Singapore for pass holders, along with the letter of consent (LOC) for spouses, is meant to give the high-earning foreign nationals “additional assurance” and encouragement to come to Singapore.
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