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ST says "Higher salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas"

Posted: Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:51 am
by ecureilx
Foreigners working in Singapore are going to find it harder to bring their families over.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is raising the minimum salary bar before they can apply for visas for spouses, children and parents. From Sept 1, they will have to earn at least $5,000 a month if they want to apply for Dependant's Passes (DPs) for their spouses and children to join them in Singapore. This is up from the current $4,000.

Those who want to bring their parents to Singapore on Long Term Visit Passes (LTVPs) face an even higher minimum salary bar of $10,000 a month, up from $8,000.

The changes, which were updated on the MOM's website in the last week, come after the ministry said employers looking to hire foreign professionals will face tougher rules from Oct 1.

"The Government updates the DP/LTVP qualifying salary from time to time, to ensure that sponsors will be able to upkeep their dependants," an MOM spokesman said yesterday. "We continue to welcome highly skilled foreign professionals who wish to bring their dependants to stay with them."

The move will affect foreigners on S Passes and Employment Passes (EPs). According to the MOM's website, there were 178,900 people on EPs and 170,100 on S Passes as of December last year.

The minimum salaries for foreigners bringing in their families were last adjusted in 2012. Before that, S Pass holders who earned more than $2,800 and EP holders could bring in their spouses and children.

Ms Cai Bi Xia, general secretary of the Huayuan Association which helps Chinese nationals settle into Singapore, said the move signals that the Government wants to attract foreigners of a certain calibre. It will put pressure on firms to raise salaries to attract this group, which is also sought after by other countries. "Companies need to recognise the higher salary requirement and raise pay accordingly to attract the talent they want," she said.

Mr David Leong, managing director of recruitment firm PeopleWorldwide Consulting, noted that raising the minimum salary will ensure that foreigners can support their families here.

But he warned that the move may make Singapore less attractive to foreigners in the long run.

"When senior managers relocate to another country, they would want to bring their family," said Mr Leong. "(The change) will make people who are moving to Singapore think twice about doing so.

"It discourages them from bringing their families and sends a signal to come alone, which may make other countries more attractive."

Singapore Management University law don Eugene Tan said: "It is a necessary rationalisation as hiring one foreign professional can open the door to, say, four others in his or her family, which can impose a cost on society. By reviewing the benchmark, the door remains open but there is a more judicious management of the inflow."

Accountant Benjamin Ang, 32, said: "I hope that this means there are more chances for promotion. With the changes, foreign professionals might be discouraged from coming here to work.

"This could be an opportunity for locals to work harder and excel."

Re: ST says "Higher salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas"

Posted: Wed, 22 Jul 2015 12:06 pm
by rajagainstthemachine
I guess this is yet another prod in the back for FT's towards the exit door.

Re: ST says "Higher salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas"

Posted: Wed, 22 Jul 2015 12:52 pm
by nakatago
rajagainstthemachine wrote:I guess this is yet another prod in the back for FT's towards the exit door.
It ain't just a prod; it's part of a full on a** r*** It's something you put in mature audiences only story that critics will either call your work sexually abhorrent or edgy.

Re: ST says "Higher salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas"

Posted: Wed, 22 Jul 2015 1:04 pm
by rajagainstthemachine
nakatago wrote:
rajagainstthemachine wrote:I guess this is yet another prod in the back for FT's towards the exit door.
It ain't just a prod; it's part of a full on a** r*** It's something you put in mature audiences only story that critics will either call your work sexually abhorrent or edgy.
I was only trying to be civil :wink:

Re: ST says "Higher salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas"

Posted: Wed, 22 Jul 2015 1:28 pm
by Barnsley
This appears to be aimed at certain demographics ........

Re: ST says "Higher salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas"

Posted: Thu, 23 Jul 2015 1:27 am
by calugaruvaxile
Barnsley wrote:This appears to be aimed at certain demographics ........
+1

only time will tell if the local workforce can compensate these leaving. if the answer is no, then it's going to be interesting.

you know, i started to ask myself how really important is sg for the foreign capitals. sg is a comfortable place for a lot of big-league money and lucrative scopes. if the grounds will become inhospitable, one will say that there is always the option to move elsewhere. but the choice in apac is quite limited. and it's always the question of costs (not only immediate costs). so it just crossed my mind, what will happen if the many trillion dollars figure will start getting annoyed at the sg's newly-acquired inhospitability. will we see a singaporean "season"?

Re: ST says "Higher salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas"

Posted: Thu, 23 Jul 2015 2:36 am
by JR8
There is a whiff of politics. It was only about 6-7 years ago they loosened (to much fanfare and headlines) the EPEC/LTVP/LTVP+ with a policy of encouraging foreigners who could contribute, and 'dependent spouses' who might wish to seek work and hence in some form continue their own careers. The idea being that FT family units could thus move to SG without having to compromise their lives too much. And now, it's more a case of let's try and get rid of most of them... or something along those lines.

What's changed. Anecdotally we have seen something of an exodus of FTs. Is this 'slamming the stable door after the horse has already bolted'? Is it part of the enforced tightening vs FTs that is supposed to open up the mass/higher jobs market to the legions of qualified locals supposedly currently excluded from it?

I concur with CV above, it has something of an air of socio-political experimentation about it. Being known as a country that welcomes FT is probably something a country takes a long time to nurture. Easy to lose, harder to gain or indeed regain.

Re: ST says "Higher salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas"

Posted: Thu, 23 Jul 2015 7:01 am
by calugaruvaxile
JR8 wrote:There is a whiff of politics. It was only about 6-7 years ago they loosened (to much fanfare and headlines) the EPEC/LTVP/LTVP+ with a policy of encouraging foreigners who could contribute, and 'dependent spouses' who might wish to seek work and hence in some form continue their own careers.
only 6-7? mmm, i think it should be more. i came with my wife nine years ago, as a "foreign talent" working for astar. i remember they gave us NDP tickets the year we came in (for the main event, not for a rehearsal!) from the PM's office - as a welcome gift. and i think this was running for at least 2-3 years already.

in any case, without trying to insist too much, let me say it again: 80% of the taxes are paid by 20% of the economic actors (coincidentally, the foreign-capital MNCs). there are a lot of these companies which came in SG with SPRING and so on, others which invested heavily. but many of those will lose money. maybe a lot of money. that's why i was wondering if spring may come early next year

Re: ST says "Higher salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas"

Posted: Thu, 23 Jul 2015 8:58 am
by martincymru
Please refer me to any report on subject matter:
"numbers of foreigners (table out their nationalities/countries) working here now compared to 10 years ago, 5 years ago, 2 years ago. Specify group; E, PEP, S, work permit"

Re: ST says "Higher salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas"

Posted: Thu, 23 Jul 2015 9:42 am
by ecureilx
martincymru wrote:Please refer me to any report on subject matter:
"numbers of foreigners (table out their nationalities/countries) working here now compared to 10 years ago, 5 years ago, 2 years ago. Specify group; E, PEP, S, work permit"
I doubt there is any such report, in such detail, available to the public, nor would they want to publish in such fine grain detail.

To the policymakers, it is definitely available..

Re: ST says "Higher salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas"

Posted: Thu, 23 Jul 2015 9:54 am
by Strong Eagle
While I think there is truth in a lot of the posts above, there is also the case to be made that the gahmen has made an analysis, and based upon the cost of living in Singpore, has determined that the new salary numbers are required to keep people from living on the poverty line.

I suspect they DON'T want shared rooms in HDB, and they DON'T want subsistence level food. They may also have made an analysis of how much money is being sent out of the country by the FT and have determined that more of it needs to stay here in the form of higher salaries.

Re: ST says "Higher salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas"

Posted: Thu, 23 Jul 2015 10:16 am
by bgd
I know someone impacted by this. I suspect he will relocate because he will fall short (just) on the parental requirement. Shame, because he is a skilled individual and will be hard to replace.

Re: ST says "Higher salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas"

Posted: Thu, 23 Jul 2015 10:31 am
by Sporkin
Perhaps its related to the infrastructure strain? The lack of hospital beds, trains groaning...Its a fine line balancing the need to increase the workforce to improve the infrastructure yet at the same time make sure the family members of the incoming workers do not worsen the situation.

Re: ST says "Higher salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas"

Posted: Thu, 23 Jul 2015 10:40 am
by singapore eagle
martincymru wrote:Please refer me to any report on subject matter:
"numbers of foreigners (table out their nationalities/countries) working here now compared to 10 years ago, 5 years ago, 2 years ago. Specify group; E, PEP, S, work permit"
This document tells you as much as the government wants you to know:

http://population.sg/population-in-brie ... f-2014.pdf

The most striking table for me is table 1 in the annex. It shows that ten years ago, the ratio of SCs to non-PR foreigners living here was 4:1. Now it is 2:1.

I don't think we should be too critical if the locals/government feel that the open door policy has been taken too far and that some sort of correction is needed.

Re: ST says "Higher salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas"

Posted: Thu, 23 Jul 2015 10:55 am
by singapore eagle
Here is more of a breakdown of non-PR foreign workers by pass type:

http://www.mom.gov.sg/documents-and-pub ... ce-numbers

And some of the data for previous years for comparison:

http://www.momsingapore.blogspot.sg/201 ... mbers.html

Edit: and some even older data on the number of EP and S Pass holders back to 2004:

http://siewkumhong.blogspot.sg/2008/08/ ... yment.html