Eyeing a job in Singapore? Government to tighten employment pass rules from 2025

Singapore sets new salary requirements for foreign professionals starting next year.

Singapore tightens rules for hiring foreign professionals.(Representative Image)

Starting next year, Singapore will increase the salary criteria for foreign executives and professionals that companies can hire, announced the government on Monday.

What are latest rule changes in Singapore for hiring foreigners?

Starting in January next year, the qualifying salary for employment passes, typically granted to high-paid professionals, will increase for foreigners.

The new threshold will be S$5,600 (around ₹3.45 lakh) or more a month, up from the current S$5,000 ( ₹3.08 lakh).

In the financial sector, professionals will need to earn at least S$6,200 ( ₹3.82 lakh), compared to the current S$5,500 ( ₹3.38 lakh).

Only those who meet this criteria will be eligible to proceed with the application for an employment pass.

The employment pass is a permit that allows foreign professionals, managers, and executives to work in Singapore.

Alongside the salary requirement, employers must also show that they have thoroughly considered all potential candidates for the position, the government rules mandate.

Why is Singapore raising the salary floor for hiring foreigners?

Singapore’s ministry of manpower has said that the adjustment in the employment pass-qualifying salary is aimed at ensuring high-quality professionals and maintaining a fair playing field for locals.

Singapore, a preferred location for the regional headquarters of foreign firms, has grappled with concerns about foreign labour competition and its impact on local employment opportunities.

As of June last year, Singapore had 1,97,300 foreigners on employment passes out of a total foreign workforce of approximately 15 lakh, in a country with a population of 59 lakh.

Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, the salary floor for hiring foreigners has been raised three times. The last adjustment, from S$4,500 to S$5,000, came into effect in September of last year.

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