Parliamentary Debate on Immigration Matters – will that affect your Singapore PR chances?  

Foreign Talent Policy (e.g. CECA issues) and immigration have been in the media for one reason or the other recently.  During the parliament session, Singapore ministers have exchanged their thoughts and comments on the topic of Singaporean jobs, livelihoods, and foreign talent policies. All this has come to the forefront mainly because of the various economic and travel restrictions in post-COVID 19.

Please read our article: Does CECA have an impact on Singapore PR requirements?

There are currently many speculations around this topic such as:

  • How is the Singapore Government going to secure the wellbeing and livelihoods of Singaporeans in a post-pandemic world?
  • What is the future of foreign talent in Singapore?
  • Will there be any impact on the existing foreign talent in Singapore who wish to apply for their Singapore PR and Citizenship right now?

In today’s article, we like to share our thoughts on the same. 

Singapore keeps open doors open to global talent.

Singapore known as the Little Red Dot to the world has no natural resources but has made a place for herself globally due to many other factors. 

According to IMD World Competitiveness Ranking 2020, Singapore was ranked number one for the second year in a row. Singapore managed to achieve it partly because Singapore adopts practices that make it a fairly open economy whereby we thrived by staying open and connected globally. Singapore is a global leader on several indicators including human capital, ease of doing business, and also its competitiveness.  

Singapore with its decent living standards and security offers an attractive setup for foreign talent from all around the world to come to. It is because of this that Singapore has achieved globalisation of its talent pool. The benefits of having foreign talent are manythey bring economic growth to the country by attracting MNCs to set up the business locally, boost employment for Singaporeans while encouraging a diversified social environment.  Another reason why Singapore welcomes foreign talent is that there are not enough Singaporeans with the required skillset to fill all the jobs available in our economy.  

Like many first-world or developed countries, Singapore also faces the problem of a low birth rate. Our birth rate had fallen to 1.14 in 2019, way below the 2.1 needed to be a self-sustaining population. As such, our government has made conscientious plans to overcome this shortfall. To support Singapore’s continued growth and remain competitive at a global level, we combine and complement both local and foreign professionals by bringing in skilled professionals from across the world. 

Are foreigners taking jobs away from Singaporeans?

Most Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) who have participated in a survey conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies agree that immigration is generally good for the economy. Well, we may have also heard some disgruntled Singaporeans complaining about how foreigners are taking away the jobs from locals. But this is not true. Recent statistics have shown that about 80% of our PMET workforce are still locals and our unemployment rate has remained very low. 9 in 10 local fresh graduates were employed within 6 months after graduation! This is a huge improvement as compared to previous years.

There are more benefits of having foreign talent around than what people normally understand. Foreign talent also transfers their knowledge to our local workforce which helps, Singapore always stay competitive globally. If we fail to do so, many businesses may not be able to compete globally and we might even see multinational companies move their businesses overseas to find sufficient people with the necessary skills to run the businesses.

For the Singapore IT sector alone, there are an estimated  19,000 vacancies across various companies every year. With all these unfilled positions, we need to attract foreign talent to help drive our economy. However, the government has always ensured that it creates a system where Singaporeans are the first ones to be considered for any job opening. This is why the Ministry of Manpower has been calling for higher qualifying salaries for Employment Pass (EP) and S Pass holders, levies and quotas on foreign hires, and nationality-based caps. This is also to ensure the quality of the foreign talent that we bring into the country.

Step up and speed up your plan for attaining Singapore PR/Citizenship

Most Singaporeans understand the importance of foreign talent in the country, still, there is recent media coverage of some questions surfacing primarily because of the economic turbulence caused by the pandemic, questions like Singaporeans are not getting jobs because there are too many foreigners living and working in Singapore, etc. This has fired up debates in the parliament. Given all this, it wouldn’t be surprising that more initiatives and steps would be taken to tighten the foreign talent pool and work pass requirements. New requirements such as increasing qualifying salaries or reduced quotas for EP or S Pass, might look like a logical step in the future. In fact, in May 2021, MOM has announced that all Dependant Pass holders will not be allowed to work. That is why there is speculation that there might be changes for Singapore PR/Citizenship yearly quota and hence the Singapore PR chances might be affected too. Furthermore, in the last election, our government’s 4th generation leadership said that they support and consider all views from Singaporeans with an open mind, and will adjust their decision-making accordingly.

Singapore’s government needs to protect the interests of Singaporeans while maintaining a balanced influx of foreigners to keep our economy competitive. We have seen many measures rolled out by the government to ensure the locals get the priority for all job openings. This means, if you are a foreigner holding EP or S Pass, attaining a Singapore PR or Citizenship status will give you the much-needed stability for you and your family.

Conclusion

We strongly advise you to apply for SPR/SC if you are eligible, you should do it now so that you minimize the impact of a change of policy that looks imminent. Also, post COVID pandemic, many people have revisited the definition of what is considered safe, for a country. Singapore has done extremely well in managing the COVID-19 situation and ensuring that most of our people get vaccinated and done so effectively especially when compared to other first-world countries or even our Asian counterparts.

We hope this article will help you to step up and put your thoughts into action by inspiring you to start your SPR/SC application journey.

Please read our article: Singapore PR Eligibility Tool – How to use and get benefited from it?

Don’t wait anymore, give us a call and let us support you to increase your chances of becoming a Singapore PR. Read our article: We calculate your Singapore PR chances!

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