July 23, 2012

Effective September 1, 2012, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will restrict the criteria for work pass holders to sponsor dependents and is also implementing July 2012 changes to the Training Employment Pass requirements.

What’s Changed?

Employment Pass Holders

The September 1st changes are as follows:

  • S Pass and Employment Pass (EP) holders will be required to earn a minimum, monthly salary of S$4,000 in order to sponsor the stay of their immediate family (e.g., spouse and children).
  • EP P1 pass holders can no longer sponsor parents-in-law. They may sponsor their spouses and children and may also sponsor an adult pass holder’s parents provided the primary P1 Pass holder earns a minimum monthly salary of S$8,000;
  • EP P2, Q1 and S Pass holders will no longer be able to sponsor their parents or parents-in-law. They may still sponsor their spouses and children.

Dependents of EP, Q1 and S Pass holders who possess valid status in Singapore prior to September 1st will be allowed to remain in Singapore and renew their Dependent Pass provided the primary pass holder remains in valid status.

For a comprehensive guide of those accompany family members eligible for either a Dependent Pass or Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP), please see:

http://www.mom.gov.sg/MOMDoc/Dependant_Privileges_FAQ.pdf

Enhanced Training Employment Pass (TEP) Framework

As of July 1, 2012, the MOM has revised the TEP eligibility criteria. Foreign nationals may be eligible for a TEP if they meet the new criteria outlined as follows:

  1. Undergraduates

    • The training program in Singapore must
      • Be part of the undergraduate’s degree program from an acceptable institution;
      • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$3,000.
  2. Trainees from foreign offices or subsidiaries

    • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$3,000.

Please note that maximum validity of TEP’s issued on or after July 1, 2012 will be reduced from one year to only three months. In addition, no TEP status will be renewed.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

Assignees considering sponsorship of extended family members should file prior to September 1st. As a reminder, Singaporean immigration law considers immediate family members (i.e., spouse and children) as those family members presenting a copy of an official marriage certificate and children are defined as unmarried children (adopted or biological) under age 21.

Companies considering foreign students for short-term or rotational assignments on or after July 1, 2012 should work with their Singaporean immigration providers to confirm candidates qualify for the new TEP.

Those students who do not meet the above criteria may consider applying for the “Work Holiday Program” if they are students enrolled in a qualifying academic institution in eight countries.

(http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/passes-visas/work-holiday-programme/before-you-apply/Pages/default.aspx).

For semi-skilled or unskilled foreign trainees, companies may also consider applying for the Training Work Permit (TWP) (subject to the prevailing pass criteria).

Glenn Faulk, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management, has written this alert in coordination with our Pro-Link GLOBAL Singapore office.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This content is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or final guidance for any immigration matter. Readers are reminded that a country’s immigration laws and requirements may change with little to no advance public notice. Questions regarding specific immigration matters should be addressed to your Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist.