While Singapore remains one of the fastest growing economies in South-East Asia, there’s still a need to consolidate its growth. One such way is to ensure a continuous supply of talents within its borders so the nation can be able to compete favourably with the rest of the world. For this reason, the government is introducing the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass (ONE Pass). The reason for the creation of this new pass is simple and straightforward.
According to the nation’s Manpower Minister, Tan See Leng, “A work pass is being introduced that will allow high-earners and high-achievers to live in Singapore without having to secure a job here first.
We are now in an era where businesses follow talent as much as talent follows business. Both businesses and talent are searching for safe and stable environments to invest, live and work in. Singapore is such a place.”
For a better understanding of the new work pass, this article provides an in-depth look at its requirements and structures.
Who Is The One Pass Created For?
This work pass is being created for top talent in business, arts and culture, sports, science and technology, and academia and research. A significant difference between ONE Pass and the Tech. Pass, which was launched in January of 2021, is that the new pass applies to different sectors.
While there’s no denying the exponential growth of the tech industry in recent years, Singapore is also looking to capture the best talents in the world’s top-leading fields/industries. The One Pass seeks to bring individuals with extraordinary talents and outstanding achievements. As arbitrary as these terms may seem, taking a cue from what the Manpower Minister stated, ONE Pass seeks to target the top 5% or even the top 2 to 3% of the talents in each of these industries, anywhere in the world.
Existing work pass holders in Singapore, as well as overseas candidates, can apply for the ONE Pass if they meet the eligibility requirements.
What Is The Eligibility For One Pass?
According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), information about the procedures for the application process will be released around January 1, 2023. However, MOM has already released the eligibility criteria to access the new work pass.
In terms of salary, foreigners and existing work pass holders in Singapore are eligible for ONE Pass if:
- Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000, or its equivalent in foreign currency, within the last one year.
- Will earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 under their future employer based in Singapore.
To be eligible for ONE Pass as a foreigner, you must prove that you’ve been working for an established company for a minimum of 1 year. Alternatively, you should show proof that you’ll be working for an established company in Singapore.
According to MOM, a company is deemed to be established if:
- It has a market capitalisation of at least US$500 million, or;
- It has an annual revenue of at least US$200 million.
The purpose for which the new work pass was created ultimately supersedes the requirements for eligibility. In other words, even if candidates do not meet all of the criteria for eligibility, they can qualify for the ONE Pass as long as they have extraordinary talents and outstanding achievements in their field.
What Is The Duration Of ONE Pass?
For first-time candidates, the pass has a duration of 5 years. Subsequent renewals also have a duration of 5 years. However, renewals are not automatic, as the candidate would have to be still eligible at the time of renewal for it to be approved.
To be eligible for the ONE Pass renewal, the candidate should be able to meet either of these two requirements:
- Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 on average over the past five years in Singapore.
- Started and operates a Singapore-based company that employs at least five locals, each earning at least S$5,000 (pegged to the EP minimum qualifying salary).
To help promote this new work pass and make it easy for applicants and beneficiaries, MOM announced that the ONE Pass would not be subject to the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS). Furthermore, prospective employers who wish to hire these individuals with exceptional talents would not be subject to the Fair Consideration Framework job advertising requirement.
MOM has also put things in place to ensure that Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass holders will not abuse the work pass’s benefits and will instead utilise its flexibility to contribute meaningfully to the nation. Therefore, MOM will request certain information from the pass holders yearly to ascertain if they will be eligible for renewal at the expiration of the work pass. This information will include:
- Details on all their professional activities over the past year.
- The annual salary they have earned from all professional activities.
On What Pass Can ONE Pass Holders Bring Their Family Members To Singapore?
Yes, it does. ONE Pass not only seeks to get the best talents into Singapore but also provides opportunities for eligible applicants to bring certain family members into Singapore. Applicants’ spouses will also be able to work in Singapore on a Letter of Consent. Under ONE Pass, family members can apply for two different types of passes, depending on what category of family members they fall under.
Dependant’s Pass (DP)
Dependant’s pass applies to family members that fall into either of these two categories:
- Applicant’s legally married spouse.
- Applicant’s unmarried children below 21 years, including those legally adopted.
Long-Term Pass (LTVP)
The applicant would have to use LTVP for family members that fall into any of these four categories:
- Common-law spouse.
- Unmarried disabled children above 21 years old.
- Unmarried step-children under 21 years old.
With the world’s best economies constantly searching for global talents, the Singapore government has taken proactive steps to avoid being left behind. As such, the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass was created to bring the best brains in business, arts and culture, sports, science and technology, academia and research into the country. While the application process is set to kick off around January 1, 2023, steps are already in motion to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible for applicants.
If you are keen on knowing more and checking your eligibility, you can contact us, a trusted immigration consultant, to help you with the process.