What kind of experience level should I realistically have before applying for an employment pass? [Software Engineering]

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Cameron_
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What kind of experience level should I realistically have before applying for an employment pass? [Software Engineering]

Post by Cameron_ » Tue, 29 Jun 2021 9:36 am

Quick background -- I'm a recent American computer science graduate looking for work in Singapore as a software engineer, and I'm trying to do some planning for the next couple years to make that possible.

That being said, one of the factors when applying for an EP is your experience level. How many years of experience should I be aiming for before I start looking for work in SG? Even though there's a shortage of IT workers (that's what I've heard/read, correct me if I'm wrong) I don't expect MOM to approve an EP for an entry level position.

I'm aware MOM doesn't publish a lot of the details on how it makes its EP decisions and no one knows all the details on how they do it, but if anyone has been in a similar position or could offer any useful advice it would be greatly appreciated :)

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Re: What kind of experience level should I realistically have before applying for an employment pass? [Software Engineer

Post by Myasis Dragon » Tue, 29 Jun 2021 11:41 am

I'm aware MOM doesn't publish a lot of the details on how it makes its EP decisions and no one knows all the details on how they do it, but if anyone has been in a similar position or could offer any useful advice it would be greatly appreciated :)
They publish enough details, and from my readings and observations, the chances are less than 5 percent that you'll ever get an EP, no matter your experience level, unless you are already working for a company with a Singapore office that transfers you in.

The government is heavily focused on hiring citizens first. You're a hassle to hire if you're not local and most companies don't want to do it. They'd rather steal someone else already on EP with another company.

You've got no Asian network. The company has to agree to repatriate you. You'll have salary expectations in excess of the locals, perhaps rightly so. And IT jobs are leaving Singapore.

So... don't hold your breath. Go to work for a company that has offices in Singapore and ask to be transferred.

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Re: What kind of experience level should I realistically have before applying for an employment pass? [Software Engineer

Post by bro75 » Tue, 29 Jun 2021 3:27 pm

The first time I received an EP, I had about 4+ years working experience in the Philippines. I know of engineers who were approved with less than that (2-4 years experience). I know of exactly 1 person who was hired as a fresh (or very recent) graduate and approved by MOM (R&D position). This is all more than a few years ago and I am not sure how strict Singapore is currently.
My opinion is if you have several years of experience, MOM may approve your pass if your salary is commensurate to that experience. They do not want very experienced guys (10 years exp or more) from developing countries competing with new or recent Singapore graduates. They also rarely approve fresh graduates from overseas.

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Re: What kind of experience level should I realistically have before applying for an employment pass? [Software Engineer

Post by Myasis Dragon » Tue, 29 Jun 2021 11:16 pm

^^^^^^^^
And I will bet money that bro75 was working for a company and was transferred into Singapore by that company.

bro75 also makes a very good point. The more experienced you are, the higher your salary must be, precisely to keep low salaried, highly experienced foreigners out of the country, who would compete against lesser experienced locals working for the same money.

There are probably some industries that remain robust in Singapore because of physical infrastructure... shipping and petroleum come to mind. But, IT has no real infrastructure, and beyond the mega datacenters that provide computing as a service, the trend has been to move back office IT functions out of the country to save money. I did two such migrations myself... call centers to Manila... and observed tier 2 tech support move from Singapore to KL.

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Re: What kind of experience level should I realistically have before applying for an employment pass? [Software Engineer

Post by bro75 » Wed, 30 Jun 2021 12:01 am

Myasis, in my case, i jumped to Singapore from the Philippines in a different company (competitor) but it was more than 20 years ago when such things were common. I do not know how easy it is now.

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Re: What kind of experience level should I realistically have before applying for an employment pass? [Software Engineer

Post by smoulder » Wed, 30 Jun 2021 12:32 am

There are still cases I know of guys in IT transferring in from India to roles here. The thing is that they are all in fairly senior roles (at least 15 years of experience).

Also, here's the thing. You don't apply for an EP. Your employer does. So first find someone who will hire you. Quite unlikely if you are fresh out of college and a foreigner, but who knows - you might get lucky if you try. Else, like others have suggested, find a company in the US with a Singapore office and try to get them to transfer you here.

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Re: What kind of experience level should I realistically have before applying for an employment pass? [Software Engineer

Post by Cameron_ » Wed, 30 Jun 2021 2:02 am

Well, even though it would be difficult and unlikely with a few years experience that's better than not possible at all I suppose. Thank you for your input everyone :)

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Re: What kind of experience level should I realistically have before applying for an employment pass? [Software Engineer

Post by Myasis Dragon » Wed, 30 Jun 2021 6:50 am

You'd have a greater chance of getting into the technology corridor, aka, outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. All sorts of tech firms are migrating there.

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Re: What kind of experience level should I realistically have before applying for an employment pass? [Software Engineer

Post by the observer » Wed, 30 Jun 2021 6:21 pm

Biggest irony of all is that many are using sg as a launchpad to get to the US of A

And you’re looking to come here

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Re: What kind of experience level should I realistically have before applying for an employment pass? [Software Engineer

Post by smoulder » Wed, 30 Jun 2021 7:14 pm

the observer wrote:
Wed, 30 Jun 2021 6:21 pm
Biggest irony of all is that many are using sg as a launchpad to get to the US of A

And you’re looking to come here
Green grass and the other side 😜

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Re: What kind of experience level should I realistically have before applying for an employment pass? [Software Engineer

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 30 Jun 2021 8:17 pm

Yellow fever?
Life isn't about avoiding the bruises. It's about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it!

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