Higher Salary Bar Criteria for Singapore Employment Pass Holders
In efforts to ensure that work pass holders can sponsor their dependents in Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower (MoM) are reviewing their criteria by increasing the minimum salary bar for Singapore Employment Pass and S Pass holders before they can apply for dependant privileges for their spouses, children and parents.
From 1 January 2018, Employment Pass and S Pass Holders need to fulfil the following minimum monthly salary requirements:
- $6,000 to bring in their spouse or children on Dependent Pass (current minimum monthly salary is $5,000)
- $12,000 to bring in their parents on Long Term Visit Pass (current minimum monthly salary is $10,000)
All Dependent Pass applications for spouse and children along with Long Term Visit Pass applications for parents received before 1 January 2018 will be assessed based on existing criteria. Renewals for these passes approved or issued before 1 January 2018 will also be assessed on the old criteria provided that the main pass holder has a valid work pass with the employer. If there is a change in employer from 1 January 2018, the revised salary criteria must be complied with in order to retain the dependent privileges. The changes are also applicable if you are working for an overseas company but hold an Employment Pass sponsored by a local entity. However, the changes are not applicable if you hold an Entrepreneur Pass or the Personalised Employment Pass, both of which are assessed based on a different set of criteria. Employers now need to be more wary of these changes which may affect their employees’ eligibility to support their dependents in Singapore.
While foreigners working in Singapore are going to find it harder to bring their families over, this signals that the government aims to attract only foreigners of a certain calibre, putting pressure on many firms to increase salaries to attract this specific demographic which is being sought after by other countries as well. The high salary bar might discourage foreign workers from bringing their families here, and perhaps pave way for more promotions among the local workforce, encouraging them to work harder at the workplace.