Singapore Expats

Current EP Situation

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.
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nelyanne
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Re: Current EP Situation

Post by nelyanne » Wed, 16 Feb 2022 2:37 pm

Global Player wrote:
Wed, 16 Feb 2022 11:17 am
nelyanne wrote:
Tue, 15 Feb 2022 1:15 pm
Regarding the banks, it is super hard to get a response if you are applying on your own, not through the agency, without a referral.
Recruitment agencies and foreign candidates don't get along well. Even pre pandemic I had the impression that every agency approach got ignored when you are a foreigner. A recruiter informally told me that most of the companies approach them for local candidates as big companies easily can get foreigners by themselves - they don't need an agency for it.
My personal experience is better - I got many interviews through the agencies, and my current job is also thanks to the agency (the recruiter reached out to me - I did not even apply for the role). Some of my friends who are foreigners shared similar stories. But, of course, it all depends. And I was already staying in Singapore.

Being ghosted at the very late phase of the process with a big company happened to me as well.

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Re: Current EP Situation

Post by Global Player » Fri, 18 Feb 2022 10:42 am

Thanks for all your replies.

To come back to my original question, so it seems there is nobody on this forum who got an EP in the last 6 months, coming from overseas, and not being an internal transfer.

I still keep an eye on Singapore once in a while, but I guess in the current situation it's better to look for a job elsewhere.

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Re: Current EP Situation

Post by Myasis Dragon » Sun, 20 Feb 2022 6:41 am

Global Player wrote:
Fri, 18 Feb 2022 10:42 am
Thanks for all your replies.

To come back to my original question, so it seems there is nobody on this forum who got an EP in the last 6 months, coming from overseas, and not being an internal transfer.

I still keep an eye on Singapore once in a while, but I guess in the current situation it's better to look for a job elsewhere.
It has NEVER been easy to walk in cold and look for (and find) a job. The government has ALWAYS predicated the issuance of EP's on a perceived need that could not be met locally. The government had previously given multi-nationals lots of leeway in transferring in foreigners because those multi-nationals also employed many locals. But, it's harder now.

Populist sentiment is convinced that foreigners are stealing jobs, and the government is very sensitive to this. The work force has continuously become more educated and more skilled. There is less need to rely on outside talent.

The reality is that the government is going to let in exactly as many EP's as necessary to keep the big multi nationals happy with Singapore. The multi nationals, if they need foreign talent, will source it internally, and not look for someone who wants to move to Singapore, preferably with someone else paying the bill. And finally, there's no good reason that the government should or will issue EP's to foreigners who want to live in Singapore.

Singapore is actually like most other countries when it comes to jobs and migration.

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malcontent
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Re: Current EP Situation

Post by malcontent » Sun, 20 Feb 2022 8:36 am

Well said Myasis, the EP has always been about the employer, not the employee. I was my employer’s first experience getting an EP rejected… even the appeal was rejected. In the end, they had to go to MOM and explain why they couldn’t just hire a local to do the job. Had they not been able to do that, I probably wouldn’t be here today.
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

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PNGMK
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Re: Current EP Situation

Post by PNGMK » Sun, 20 Feb 2022 10:42 am

I'm on a contract with a local company right now. I'm a PR. They've talked about bringing me in fulltime in part because they absolutely cannot get EP's for better qualified candidates.

I've resisted being brought in as frankly there is a lot of money around for PR engineers who can work on contract immediately.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
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Re: Current EP Situation

Post by Global Player » Mon, 21 Feb 2022 11:29 am

Myasis Dragon wrote:
Sun, 20 Feb 2022 6:41 am
It has NEVER been easy to walk in cold and look for (and find) a job. The government has ALWAYS predicated the issuance of EP's on a perceived need that could not be met locally. The government had previously given multi-nationals lots of leeway in transferring in foreigners because those multi-nationals also employed many locals. But, it's harder now.
Yep, internal transfers were easy a couple of years ago. I came via internal transfer and my first EP was approved within 24 hours. And even during Covid I know of at least 2 cases of internal transfers that went easy (though senior positions in billion dollar companies).

Bringing in foreigners from outside Singapore was never easy, true, but easier compared to now. During my first stint in Singapore we could (relatively) easy bring in technology guys from India and Malaysia. Also when I tried to move back to Singapore (2019), it wasn't difficult to land interviews even when coming from overseas. But now, ZERO.
Myasis Dragon wrote:
Sun, 20 Feb 2022 6:41 am
Populist sentiment is convinced that foreigners are stealing jobs, and the government is very sensitive to this.
That is definitively true for Singapore. And I understand it, similar sentiment in many other countries in Europe. I was the same and took me 20 years to realize what rubbish that is.

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Re: Current EP Situation

Post by Global Player » Mon, 21 Feb 2022 11:33 am

Myasis Dragon wrote:
Sun, 20 Feb 2022 6:41 am
Singapore is actually like most other countries when it comes to jobs and migration.
Agree. Notable exception is Thailand. They just introduced new visas to attract foreigners especially in the technology area - even for digital nomads. There is still plenty of red tape, but compared to Singapore it's actually pretty easy to get a visa here from the government side.

The challenge is that there aren't many open jobs for foreigners due to the language barrier. Also jobs with a decent salary package are few and far between.

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Re: Current EP Situation

Post by Myasis Dragon » Tue, 22 Feb 2022 12:31 am

Global Player wrote:
Mon, 21 Feb 2022 11:33 am
Agree. Notable exception is Thailand. They just introduced new visas to attract foreigners especially in the technology area - even for digital nomads. There is still plenty of red tape, but compared to Singapore it's actually pretty easy to get a visa here from the government side.
This would be very welcome news... and based upon my experience, hard to believe... just because they are Thai's... why use 2 pieces of paper when 25 will work just as well... in quintuplet. And don't forget the all important "chop".

I formed a company in Thailand. It was a many months long process. I had to keep Thai nationals on my board. I had to put a million Baht into a Thai bank in order to get a work permit. I could loan it back to a director, of course... but never could figure out how to straighten this mess out when I wound the company down. Getting the bank account opened took an act of god... and tons of more paperwork... all in Thai, of course.

I had a serviced office on Soi Sukhumvit... Thai company law required a physical office in order to have a company. But, you couldn't just rent a shared office... it had to be YOUR office... so the serviced office company had a package. They would keep a box full of your mementos... I had a wedding picture, a picture of a sailboat, business cards... mail with my name on it... and the serviced office company would setup all this crap in an empty office whenever the Thai authorities came to check on my "physical" office... my pictures would be on the credenza! Can you dig it?

And this was my annual tax return... all in Thai, of course... and requiring a long form signature on every page of what was over 200 pages. Doing business in Thailand was a serious pain in the ass, and I have never ultimately figured out if I made money or lost money from my adventures there.

Image

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Re: Current EP Situation

Post by Global Player » Tue, 22 Feb 2022 11:47 am

Yeah, this is Thailand :lol: It got better, e.g. you can make electronic appointments with immigration or can do online 90-day reporting (if the page works that is), but overall still a lot of paperwork and multiple copies of it. But if something doesn't work as planned (and it often doesn't), there are usually 5 other ways to reach an objective - somehow everything can be solved.

At least the government goes into the right direction. Here is a good summary about the new visa: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/21 ... smart-visa . And here more about the reasoning behind: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/22 ... -wanderers

Founding a company in Thailand as a foreigner is still a no-go in my opinion. I would never consider founding at a place where I can't own 51% of MY company. No change so far that 51% must be owned by a Thai person or entity.

But overall, Thailand's nature, its people,... the country is just a dream to live in - especially now with most of the places nearly empty.

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malcontent
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Re: Current EP Situation

Post by malcontent » Tue, 22 Feb 2022 8:27 pm

Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

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Re: Current EP Situation

Post by Lisafuller » Thu, 24 Feb 2022 1:21 am

malcontent wrote:
Sun, 20 Feb 2022 8:36 am
Well said Myasis, the EP has always been about the employer, not the employee. I was my employer’s first experience getting an EP rejected… even the appeal was rejected. In the end, they had to go to MOM and explain why they couldn’t just hire a local to do the job. Had they not been able to do that, I probably wouldn’t be here today.
Just out of curiosity, what was the explanation? Must have been a very special position.

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Re: Current EP Situation

Post by Lisafuller » Thu, 24 Feb 2022 1:23 am

PNGMK wrote:
Sun, 20 Feb 2022 10:42 am
I'm on a contract with a local company right now. I'm a PR. They've talked about bringing me in fulltime in part because they absolutely cannot get EP's for better qualified candidates.

I've resisted being brought in as frankly there is a lot of money around for PR engineers who can work on contract immediately.
Good for you, if I could find my own opportunities I wouldn’t want to get locked in to a contract either.

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Re: Current EP Situation

Post by Lisafuller » Thu, 24 Feb 2022 1:24 am

Myasis Dragon wrote:
Tue, 22 Feb 2022 12:31 am
Global Player wrote:
Mon, 21 Feb 2022 11:33 am
Agree. Notable exception is Thailand. They just introduced new visas to attract foreigners especially in the technology area - even for digital nomads. There is still plenty of red tape, but compared to Singapore it's actually pretty easy to get a visa here from the government side.
This would be very welcome news... and based upon my experience, hard to believe... just because they are Thai's... why use 2 pieces of paper when 25 will work just as well... in quintuplet. And don't forget the all important "chop".

I formed a company in Thailand. It was a many months long process. I had to keep Thai nationals on my board. I had to put a million Baht into a Thai bank in order to get a work permit. I could loan it back to a director, of course... but never could figure out how to straighten this mess out when I wound the company down. Getting the bank account opened took an act of god... and tons of more paperwork... all in Thai, of course.

I had a serviced office on Soi Sukhumvit... Thai company law required a physical office in order to have a company. But, you couldn't just rent a shared office... it had to be YOUR office... so the serviced office company had a package. They would keep a box full of your mementos... I had a wedding picture, a picture of a sailboat, business cards... mail with my name on it... and the serviced office company would setup all this crap in an empty office whenever the Thai authorities came to check on my "physical" office... my pictures would be on the credenza! Can you dig it?

And this was my annual tax return... all in Thai, of course... and requiring a long form signature on every page of what was over 200 pages. Doing business in Thailand was a serious pain in the ass, and I have never ultimately figured out if I made money or lost money from my adventures there.

Image
If I wanted to make money in Thailand I’d just go for investment properties. Bought and sold in PH and saw a pretty great return.

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Re: Current EP Situation

Post by Myasis Dragon » Thu, 24 Feb 2022 5:00 am

Lisafuller wrote:
Thu, 24 Feb 2022 1:24 am

If I wanted to make money in Thailand I’d just go for investment properties. Bought and sold in PH and saw a pretty great return.
My business partner and I were trying to build a boutique project management company that spanned multiple countries in Asia, so that we could put our exit strategy in place and sell it off to a big computer manufacturer. Unfortunately, the 2008 recession bunged that idea up.

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malcontent
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Re: Current EP Situation

Post by malcontent » Thu, 24 Feb 2022 8:31 am

Lisafuller wrote:
Thu, 24 Feb 2022 1:21 am
malcontent wrote:
Sun, 20 Feb 2022 8:36 am
Well said Myasis, the EP has always been about the employer, not the employee. I was my employer’s first experience getting an EP rejected… even the appeal was rejected. In the end, they had to go to MOM and explain why they couldn’t just hire a local to do the job. Had they not been able to do that, I probably wouldn’t be here today.
Just out of curiosity, what was the explanation? Must have been a very special position.
I worked for a US subsidiary of the same company for over a year prior to moving over. They postulated that since I was already familiar with the products, the distribution network & the systems, it would take a year to bring someone up to my level - that got it over the line. But it still took a month for approval and they only gave me a 12 month EP to start with. No red carpet treatment, that’s for sure!
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

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