Singapore to hike salary bar for foreigners seeking family visas

By: | Published: July 22, 2015 9:33 AM

Singapore will hike the minimum salary amount for foreign workers seeking to bring their families over to live with them.

Singapore will hike the minimum salary amount for foreign workers seeking to bring their families over to live with them.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is all set to raise the monthly salary bar to at least SGD 5,000 from September 1 in order to qualify for dependant passes (DPs) for their spouses and children joining them in Singapore. The current minimum figure stands at SGD4,000.

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

“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 was today quoted as saying by The Straits Times.

The mentioned changes are in line coupled with tougher rules which will be imposed from October 1, 2015, for employing foreign professionals.

However, the spokesman assured that the government continues to welcome highly skilled foreign professionals who wish to bring their dependants to stay with them.

The move for raising the qualifying salary will affect foreigners on S Passes and Employment Passes (EPs). There were 178,900 people on EPs and 170,100 on S Passes as of December 2014 in Singapore.

“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,” The Straits Times quoted Singapore Management University law don, Eugene Tan as saying.

Meanwhile, David Leong, MD of a recruitment firm, People-Worldwide Consulting cautioned that such a move might make Singapore less attractive to foreigners in the long run.

“When senior managers relocate to another country, they would want to bring their family, it will make people who are moving to Singapore think twice about doing so,” Leong said.

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

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