Monday, December 12, 2011

Employment Pass rules: Foreigners, firms gear up for changes

With less than three weeks before stricter qualifying criteria for the Employment Pass (EP) kick in, some foreign job-seekers are prepared to settle for lower-level permits which come with less pay.

Some current EP holders are also feeling jittery about their chances of renewing their passes when they expire.

Some recruitment agencies have noticed a dip in approval rates for renewals before the new requirements take effect.

From next year, the minimum salary level for Q1 pass-holders, the lowest rung of EP, will be raised to $3,000, from $2,800. Older applicants will have to earn even more to qualify. 

Changes to framework from Jan 1
Q1 PASS: Applicants will have to earn a minimum monthly salary of $3,000, up from $2,800
  • To qualify, young graduates must be from good institutions and earn at least $3,000, among other conditions.

  • Older applicants will have to command higher salaries to qualify, commensurate with the work experience and quality they are expected to bring.
P2 PASS: The qualifying salary will be bumped up to $4,500, from $4,000

P1 PASS: No change in the qualifying salary, which remains at $8,000

  • Before next Jan 1: They will get a one-time renewal of up to two years based on the pre-July EP criteria (in which the lowest qualifying salary was $2,500).
  • Between next Jan 1 and June 30: They will get a one-time renewal of up to one year on the existing EP criteria.
  • On or after next July 1: The new EP criteria will apply.

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