Singapore moves to attract top talent with new Work Pass

Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass aims to bring in top performers with niche technical skills in areas such as data science and vaccine development, as well as entrepreneurs

Singapore’s Minister of Manpower, Tan See Leng, announced yesterday (August 29, 2022) the launch of a new Work Pass for foreign professionals that will become open to applications on January 1, 2023.

The new pass, called the Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass, will allow individuals with a fixed monthly salary of $30,000 and above to take on multiple jobs or set up a business. The pass is also open to those who may earn less on a monthly basis but have outstanding achievements across arts and culture, sports, science and technology, and research and academia.

The target group earning $360,000 per year fall in the top 5% of expatriate workers in the city-state, and is expected to attract more high-level executives in the Banking and Finance sector, as well as law firms and senior executives in chemicals and engineering firms.

The idea behind the new work pass is to allow individuals with niche expertise to work for multiple companies. This would provide these companies with access to such expertise, as well as allow them to cut costs as they would only pay for the duration of the project.

Furthermore, it is hoped that this enhancement will also allow Singapore to become more globally competitive and attract top talent in the face of stiff competition. The individuals sought through the new work pass are highly mobile and by giving them more flexibility, it is believed that Singapore will become a more attractive destination.

Additional changes to the Work Pass framework include updated job advertising requirements which falls under the Fair Consideration Framework. Companies looking to hire foreign talent now need to advertise for local talent for 14 days, as opposed to 28 days previously.

For more information on setting up a company in Singapore and hiring talent, contact Alpadis Group.