New:The Policies That Affected Working Foreigners

Let’s take a quick recap on the government policies – namely from MOM, ICA & MOE – That affected the working foreigners last year in 2015

Ministry of Manpower (MOM)

mom logo

Their stance towards working foreigners is much stricter. For those starting a business here, the rules are looser. Here are six of their main changes.

From 1st June, 2015, applications for WP/SP/EP/DP/LTVP/TEP, the MOM no longer accept hand written requests. All will go through the internet – WPOL and EPOL. Companies can also apply through official agents to help them facilitate. This move is to improve the work efficiency of MOM.

From July 2015, there will be no more qualification restrictions when renewing a Entrepass. Previously, you need to have a university degree to qualify.

From 1st September, 2015, SP and EP holders’ salary must exceed S$5,000 before they can apply for DP. EP holder salary must be more than S$10,000 before he/she can apply for LTVP. The barriers were S$4,000 and S$8,000 previously.

From 1st October, 2015, Singapore companies when they apply for EP, will need to apply based on three conditions to ensure Singaporeans and Singapore PRs are treated fairly. The number of applications submitted by Singaporeans, whether Singaporeans were interviewed for the vacancy and the firm’s current share of Singaporeans in PME (Professional, Manager, Executive) positions.

From 7th October, 2015, the MOM will give employers a one-year offset of 0.5% of wages for Singaporean and Singapore PR employees. The offset is based on a salary ceiling of S$5,000 per month. In 2016, that ceiling will be raised to S$6,000 with a 1% offset. In 2017, it will be S$6,000 with a 0.5% offset.

From 17th December, 2015, occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Speech-Language Therapists will need to be registered with the Allied Health Professions Council before they can start work.

Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA)

ICA

The changes this year are mainly related to PR applications and holiday visas. The rules are tighter for PR applications, while it’s the opposite for holiday visas.

From 1st June, 2015, the Multiple Journey Visas issued to China citizens are now up to 10 years. If the applicant matches all the conditions, his/her spouse and child (aged 21 years and below) can even apply for a further extension. The application process remains the same.

From August, 2015, ICA accepts a privately translated copy by the applicant’s embassy. It can be of any language as long as the translation is done by the embassy, or done by a local notary public.

From November, 2015, those applying for PR status online will need to obtain a Singpass first. You will need that before getting into the e-appointment part, which can be found on WWW.ICA.GOV.SG

ACRA

From 1st December, 2015, registered private companies that fail to lodge the Annual Return and hold the Annual General Meeting are subject to fines starting S$300, and up to S$900.

MOE

From November, 2015, all secondary schools are not to take in transfer pupils whose Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) scores did not meet their cut-off points during the school transfer season.

BCA

Last October, they introduced this website, WWW.FCWDS.COM.SG, where foreign construction workers can put in their particulars and list their skill sets. This allows potential bosses to better source for trained workers that are reaching the end of their work permits. Membership is free but workers must pay a registration fee of $15 to be considered for jobs during the 90-day window before their permits expire. Upon a successful match with an employer, they must pay $150. Employers pay the directory a $2,000 annual subscription fee.

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