Singapore has introduced new work visa rules to strengthen its appeal as a global hub for foreign talent. Among the recent changes is the introduction of the Overseas Network & Expertise Pass, which allows high-earners and achievers to live in Singapore without the need to secure employment first. Applications started on 1 January, 2023, and are growing with steady interest.

Requirements to obtain the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass

Qualifying salary

Applicants for the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass will need to earn at least S$30,000 (US$21,300) per month, although individuals with outstanding achievements in the field of research and academia, science and technology, sports, arts and culture, can also qualify even if they do not meet the qualifying salary.

Duration and work criteria

The Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass allows the holder to concurrently work, start, and operate multiple companies in Singapore at any one time. Moreover, their spouse will also be able to work through a Letter of Consent with the MOM.

Santa Fe Relocation in Singapore assists organisations/candidates with ONE Pass applications

The types of questions received range from the application process, such as documentation and information to be provided, the processing time to whether the employment of a ONE Pass holder will impact the Organisations PMETs count.

The documentation and information requested for ONE Pass are more intensive than a regular EP application, given that the ONE Pass was created to allow high-earners and high-achievers to exercise additional benefits, such as living in Singapore without securing a job first.

As part of our services, Santa Fe Immigration team would arrange for a ‘Welcome Call’ to walk through our clients with the end-to-end ONE Pass application process. In addition to the welcome calls, we would arrange for a call as when needed to address any clarifications on the supporting documents and information furnished on the application.

The Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) general processing time for ONE Pass application is four weeks from the date of application submission. However, applications may take longer should the ONE Pass application be submitted under the ‘Outstanding Achievements’ (this refers to individuals with outstanding achievements in the arts and culture, sports, academia and research). There are no interviews conducted by the MOM.

The ONE Pass will not be contingent upon the applicant having a job in Singapore. Unlike ordinary EPs, the work pass holder can thus start, operate and work for multiple companies in Singapore at any one time. Unlike the PEP, there is no condition that the ONE Pass holder must look for a job within six months. The ONE Pass holder can also sponsor their dependents to join them in Singapore, and their spouses are able to work with a Letter of Consent (LOC) while holding on to a valid Dependent Pass (DP). The option for spouses to work on LOC will not apply to other work passes such as the Employment Pass (EP), S Pass and Personalised Employment Pass (PEP).

Compared to the existing work passes, the ONE Pass has longer validity of five years compared to two years for EP and three years for the PEP.

Other enhancements include providing a five-year Employment Pass (EP) for experienced professionals filling specific tech occupations as stated on the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) Shortage Occupation List (SOL) from 1 September 2023. An EP is normally valid for between two to three years.

The ONE Pass represents an additional visa pathway for highly talented foreign nationals seeking to live and work in Singapore. If you’re looking for a relocation partner that truly understands the heartbeat and opportunity of Singapore, we would love to support you and your international teams. Please get in touch with our Singapore office Benjamin Barclay to assist you.

Source: The Straits Times, Singapore

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