The Singapore government has recently introduced a brand-new work visa called the Overseas Networks & Expertise (ONE) Pass which will be officially launched on 1 January 2023. With this new Singapore ONE Pass, the government looks to rejuvenate its top talent pool by attracting them with a longer work visa to drive stability.
In this article, we will shed some light on the current foreign talent landscape, the ONE Pass requirements, some foreseeable challenges for such pass holders, and also comparing it against the existing work visas available in Singapore.
Singapore ONE Pass Requirements & Eligibility
The Singapore ONE Pass is a work visa with a validity of 5 years and is aimed at top talents in the business, arts & culture, sports, science & technology, and academia & research sectors.
Aside from the industries above, here are the main requirements to apply for the ONE Pass:
Earning a fixed salary of at least S$30,000 per month within the last 12 months OR will be earning a fixed salary of at least S$30,000 per month under their future employer in Singapore
Showcase past experience in working for an established company overseas for a minimum period of 12 months or will be working in an established company in Singapore
NOTE: An established company is deemed to have a market capitalisation of at least US$500 million or an annual revenue of minimum US$200 million.
The other alternative route to apply for the ONE Pass is through your past achievements. If you have outstanding achievements in the areas of your expertise, you are able to apply for the ONE Pass even though you do not fulfil the above salary requirements.
Steps to Apply for Singapore ONE Pass
The steps to apply for the Singapore ONE Pass, a work visa for foreign professionals, can be summarized as follows:
Check eligibility: Ensure you meet the criteria for the ONE Pass, including having a job offer in a qualifying sector.
Secure a job in Singapore: Search for employment opportunities and secure a job offer from a Singapore-based company.
Employer submission: Your employer will submit the application on your behalf through the Ministry of Manpower website.
Gather documents: Prepare necessary documents such as passport details, educational certificates, employment contract, and CV.
Submit the application: Your employer submits the application along with the required documents.
Application processing: Wait for the application to be processed by the authorities, which may involve additional document submission or an interview.
Notification of outcome: You and your employer will be informed of the application outcome through an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter.
Collect the pass: If approved, collect your ONE Pass from the Ministry of Manpower or designated collection centers.
Complete formalities: Follow instructions in the IPA letter to fulfill remaining requirements, such as medical examinations and registration.
Remember to refer to the official Singapore government websites for the latest information and specific guidelines.
Renewal Criteria for Singapore ONE Pass
The ONE Pass can be renewed upon expiry if the conditions of renewal are met. Here are the renewal criteria:
Past 5 years in Singapore averaging a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000
Incorporated and operating a company in Singapore that employs at least 5 locals who are earning a minimum salary of S$5,000 per month.
As for the renewal requirements for the second route based on past achievements, it will be released closer to the launch on 1 January 2023.
Benefits of the ONE Pass in Singapore
The benefits of the ONE Pass are:
1. Greater flexibility for employment
As you do not need to be tied to just one employer, you are able to take on multiple roles to add up to the fixed monthly salary of S$30,000. You are also eligible to start your own company in Singapore as a business owner.
Aside from that, you do not have to have an existing job offer to apply for the ONE Pass as long as you can show that you received S$30,000 per month previously overseas.
2. Dependant Pass holders can apply for Letter of Consent (LOC) to work
If you have dependants who are moving with you to Singapore under the ONE Pass and have a valid Singapore dependant pass, they are allowed to apply to work via the Letter of Consent (LOC). This helps them to retain their employment when relocating to Singapore.
3. Longer validity for long-term stability
The ONE Pass has the longest work visa validity as compared to others. With the 5-year validity, it offers foreign talents the long-term stability of residing in the country.
While on paper there are many strong points about the Singapore ONE Pass, every applicant is encouraged to consider all options as there are certain challenges that we foresee that these pass holders may face.
1. Stringent approval process
As this new work visa grants extreme flexibility, the government will vet every application thoroughly. Some of the measures that they are taking to ensure that the application is aligned to their requirements are:
Reviewing companies with limited track record
Verifying documents to ensure declared salary will be paid
Assessing market capitalisation & revenue for the companies
Existing Singapore Employment Pass holders can convert their EP to ONE pass. The Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will review the Personal Income Tax filings with IRAS to ensure that information in the application is consistent with the application.
2. Inability to secure a job in Singapore that meets the minimum salary requirement
One of the core benefits of the ONE pass is that you do not need an existing job offer to apply for the work visa. However, this could be a double-edged sword given that you may not have financial security in Singapore for a long period of time.
As not all companies can afford to hire a senior management staff with a monthly salary of S$30,000, job opportunities may be lower than expected. The long-term solution here is to leverage on this ONE pass to set up your own company in Singapore – this helps to bridge the gap and ensure that you have economic contributions in the country.
3. Yearly assessment of economic contributions
To ensure that the ONE pass holders are actively contributing to Singapore’s economy, MOM will request for the following documents every year:
Details of professional activities for the past year
Total sum of annual salary earned from your professional activities
If MOM deems that you do not contribute to the economy meaningfully, the ONE pass may be revoked. This means that you will not be able to reside in Singapore and will affect your stability, especially if you have dependants. All these information collected will also be reviewed during the ONE pass renewal process.
Similar to the above, the best option is to register a Singapore company and operate it as your own business – there are many types of business entities to choose from, with private limited companies being the top choice for foreign talents.
Comparing ONE Pass with Other Singapore Work Visas
Here are the key pointers that compares the ONE pass with the other Singapore work visas that are for highly skilled foreign talents.
The ONE Pass in general has a longer visa validity of 5 years & is renewable for another 5 years. Dependants are also allowed to follow ONE pass holders into Singapore with the option to work with a LOC.
Starting a Singapore Company with ONE Pass
Thinking of starting a company in Singapore and apply for the Singapore ONE Pass? We get you! The following are the steps you can take:
Develop a business plan outlining objectives, target market, and financial projections.
Register your company with ACRA.
Consider engaging a professional service provider for assistance like Paul Hype Page.
Determine the required capital and open a corporate bank account.
Arrange for a registered office address in Singapore.
Ensure compliance with statutory requirements and regulations.
Apply for the Singapore ONE Pass or other applicable work passes through the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
Seeking professional advice throughout the process is recommended to ensure compliance and a smooth application process.
Different Routes to Apply for Singapore ONE Pass
There are different routes to apply for the Singapore ONE Pass, which is a work visa for foreign professionals. The specific route you choose depends on your individual circumstances and eligibility criteria. Here are the main routes:
Direct Employment: a. Find a job in Singapore: Search for employment opportunities in Singapore and secure a job offer from a Singapore-based company. b. Employer submission: Your employer submits the ONE Pass application on your behalf through the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website, providing necessary documents and information.
Intra-Corporate Transfers (ICT): a. Work for a multinational company: If you are currently employed by a multinational company with a presence in Singapore, you may be eligible for an ICT ONE Pass. b. Employer submission: Your employer submits the ICT ONE Pass application through the MOM website, providing relevant documents and information.
EntrePass: a. Start a new business: If you plan to start your own business in Singapore, you can apply for an EntrePass, which is a work visa for entrepreneurs. b. Individual application: You can submit your EntrePass application directly through the MOM website, providing the necessary business plans, financial projections, and other supporting documents.
Global Investor Programme (GIP): a. Invest in Singapore: If you are a high-net-worth individual interested in making substantial investments in Singapore, you can apply for the GIP ONE Pass. b. Individual or company application: You can submit your GIP ONE Pass application through the Economic Development Board (EDB) or Singapore Economic Development Board (SEDB) by providing the required investment details and supporting documents.
It’s important to note that each route has its own eligibility criteria, documentation requirements, and processing procedures. It is advisable to consult the official websites of the Singapore government, such as the MOM, EDB, or SEDB, for detailed information and specific guidelines based on your situation.
Converting Singapore Employment Pass (EP) to ONE Pass
Existing Singapore EP holders can convert their EP to the ONE Pass if they fulfil the criteria. It is expected that the 5% percent of EP holders are eligible to apply for this new work visa, which is about 8,000 professionals. The big question for these group of pass holders is that should you switch?
Based on our recommendation, we would recommend you to keep your employment pass, especially if you already have your own company in Singapore. Although there are many benefits to the ONE pass, one must consider the personal income tax that they have to pay based on their salaries.
Singapore has always been one of the top destinations for foreign talents to live, work, or set up a company. However, in recent years, the country has found it difficult to retain highly skilled talents for a couple of reasons.
Length of work visas and employment passes may not be long enough to attract them
Level of competition in the economy
As Singapore looks to go full force to strengthen its work force, now is the best time to apply for your employment pass or work visas. We have seen high number of approvals for our Singapore Employment Pass applications recently.
Here are the outcomes of our EP applications for the past months:
93% SUCCESS RATE FOR SINGAPORE EMPLOYMENT PASS APPLICATIONS
Come down to our office or get in touch virtually for a work visa assessment to determine your best chance to move to Singapore today.
Application process and information will be released closer to the date of launch on 1 January 2023. It is expected that individuals can apply for the ONE Pass on their own. However, it is always recommended that you get a MOM-licensed employment agent like Paul Hype Page & Co to help with your application.
Can existing Singapore Employment Pass holders convert to the ONE Pass?Paul Hype Page2024-01-23T15:40:41+08:00
Yes, existing Singapore EP holders can convert to the ONE Pass if they fulfil the salary requirements or have outstanding achievements in the business, arts & culture, sports, science & technology, and academia & research sectors.