Singapore: Government to Limit Accompanying Family Member Benefits
Singapore will introduce a minimum salary requirement and other limits for work permit holders seeking to sponsor accompanying family members for immigration benefits, effective September 1, 2012. In another development, intracompany trainees and student interns must earn at least SGD3,000 per month to apply for a Training Employment Pass, effective immediately.
Work pass holders will have to earn a minimum monthly salary to sponsor a spouse, child or parent for immigration benefits, and they will no longer be able to sponsor parents-in-law, effective September 1, 2012. In other news, intracompany trainees and student interns must earn at least SGD3,000 per month to apply for a Training Employment Pass, which will now be limited to three months in duration, effective immediately. Both changes are part of an effort by the Singapore government to reduce the growth of the country’s foreign resident population.
New Limits on Accompanying Family Member Benefits
From September 1, 2012, work pass holders must earn a fixed monthly salary of at least SGD4,000 to sponsor a spouse or child for a dependent pass.
P1 Pass holders will still be able to sponsor a parent for a long-term stay after September 1, provided the principal earns at least SGD8,000 monthly. Those holding work passes in lower categories, such as P2, Q or S, will no longer be able to sponsor a parent. No work pass holder will be able to sponsor a parent-in-law for a long term stay.
The changes will only apply to family members who will arrive in Singapore after September 1. Family members of existing work pass holders already in Singapore and those who enter before September 1 can remain in the country under existing rules for as long as the principal employee holds a valid work pass with the same employer. If the principal employee changes employers on or after September 1, his or her dependents will be subject to the new rules.
“Fixed monthly salary” is the total monthly payment made directly to an employee inclusive of basic salary, transport, housing and living allowances, while excluding variable compensation such as bonuses or commissions. The category of work pass granted to a foreign worker is at the sole discretion of Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, but it is usually based on a foreign worker’s fixed monthly salary amount.
New Criteria for Training Employment Pass Applications
Effective immediately, Training Employment Passes – used by foreign university student interns and employees of multinational companies to receive training in a Singapore office – will only be granted for a non-extendible period of three months and will require a minimum fixed monthly salary of at least SGD3,000. Previously, these passes were granted for a period of up to one year and did not have a minimum salary requirement.
The salary requirement is waived for student trainees from acceptable educational institutions who are participating in a training program with a Singapore company as part of their degree program.
Foreign students who do not meet the new criteria may still apply for the Work Holiday Program, which allows nationals of eight countries to work in Singapore for up to six months.
This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen Global or send an email to SGInitiations@fragomen.com.