Every year about few thousand foreign owned companies get registered in Singapore. At the same time, the number of foreign professionals working in the country has gone up considerably and now over one-third of the entire working population in Singapore comprises of overseas professionals. Although this year saw a number of amendments introduced on the employment pass scheme to ensure only the best minds were able to live and work in Singapore, overall it is fairly simple for a company to employ foreign nationals in the country. Firstly companies that need to employ foreigners for whatever reason must ensure they apply for an employment pass for each of the foreign professional they want to employ. The employment pass is actually the main type of work visa meant for foreigners that want to work in Singapore.
Obtaining an employment pass takes about a month and authorities would check the background of both the professional who is being employed as well as the company that is employing the foreigner. With the recent changed introduced in the eligibility criteria for an employment pass, authorities in Singapore would look at the relevant work experience of the foreign professional, their educational qualifications as well as their existing and offered salaries in Singapore. The third criterion, that of salary is an important addition to the eligibility for employment pass as Singapore wants to ensure highly skilled professionals who already have a good professional background are able to enter the country. Foreign companies that are about to incorporate in Singapore and need to bring in staff from their head office can apply for the employment pass immediately after receiving the certificate of incorporation. Again it must be noted that an application has to be submitted for each of the overseas staff members they wish to relocate.
Ministry of Manpower (MoM) in Singapore processes employment pass applications and they would ensure that the employment offered is legitimate and whether all rules and regulations are being followed. If a company in Singapore wants to employ a foreigner who is already working in the country for another company, they must endorse a new application for the foreign professional as each employment pass is connected to one employer. Moment the foreigner stops working for the company that originally employed them, their employment pass expires immediately. Hence for change of companies, foreigners need to apply for the employment pass again endorsed by the new company employing them.