On 29 August 2022, Minister for Manpower, Tan Lee Seng said that high-earners and high-achievers will soon be allowed to live in Singapore without having to secure employment beforehand. A new work pass, the Overseas Network & Expertise Pass (ONE Pass), will be introduced on 1 January 2023 to ensure that Singapore can effectively compete on a global scale for top talents.

Talent from any sector eligible for this pass must earn a salary of $30,000 per month. However, applicants do not have to meet this criteria should they have “outstanding achievements” in the following areas:

  • Arts and Culture;
  • Science and Technology;
  • Research and Academia; or
  • Sports

At the point of application, foreign talents will also need to submit supporting documents to show that they have worked or will be working for an established company either in their role overseas or future role based in Singapore.

The Ministry for Manpower (MOM) aims to work with other agencies with knowledge relevant in these fields to identify talents.

How the new pass will work 

Existing passes such as the Employment Pass (EP) is contingent upon the applicant having a job in Singapore and the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) that allows foreign talent to change employment without re-applying for an EP for up to 6 months, the ONE Pass allows for greater flexibility.

The new pass will also be valid for a longer period of 5 years compared to EP (2 years) and PEP (3 years).

What You Can Do On the ONE Pass

  • Concurrently start, operate, and work for multiple companies at one time.

Eligibility

  • Must earn at least $30,000 fixed monthly salary within the past year, or will do so under future employment in Singapore
  • Need to demonstrate that they have worked or will be working for an established company
  • Salary criterion does not need to be met if candidates have outstanding achievements in arts, sports, science and academia

Eligibility to bring in dependants

  • Eligible to bring in dependants
  • Spouses can work on Letter of Consent (LOC)

Other changes to existing work passes 

Along with the introduction of the ONE Pass comes changes to Singapore’s existing work pass framework enhanced to attract talent and streamline processes for companies looking to hire foreign talent.

  1. 5-year EP to experienced professionals in tech-related roles
  2. Changes to salary benchmark for top 10 per cent of EP holders to $22,500 starting September 2023
  3. Changes to salary benchmark for PEP holders will be adjusted from $18,000 to $22,500 as of 1 September 2023
  4. Processing time for EP applications will gradually be reduced from 3 weeks to 10 days

Development of local talent 

While Singapore is looking to attract high-achieving talent, it will not disregard local talents and MOM will continue its efforts to develop the local workforce.

The Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) has mapped out growth plans for 23 sectors, with MOM identifying in-demand jobs and skills strategies to build up local talent pipeline in Singapore. With this, MOM has also launched Jobs Transformation Maps with the aim to provide job-level insights regarding the impact of technology on the industry and workforce.If you require professional help with work pass applications for your business or need guidance to navigate the application process for yourself, Transform Borders ensures you get the latest, accurate information and adhere to the guidelines set by MOM. For more information about applying for work passes in Singapore, get in touch with us for a free consultation today!