EMPLOYMENT PASSES FOREIGN TALENT GOVERNMENT
Singapore – The application fee for the employment pass, the S pass and the work permit will double to S$20 from 1 December this year.
The issuance fees for the passes will also rise. It will cost S$120 for the employment pass to be issued, up from S$60. The S Pass will cost employers S$70 instead of S$60. The work permit, which is currently free if applied online, will cost S$20. The manual issuance fee for the work permit will remain at S$20.
However, the existing subsidy of S$20 for bosses who request for issuance or renewal online will be withdrawn. The subsidy was initially introduced to encourage more employers to apply online.
The Business Times reported personalised employment passes will cost S$150, and the Singapore Entrepreneur Pass, training employment pass, dependent’s pass and work holiday pass will be issued at S$120 per transaction.
The increments follow the changes in the qualifying salaries for foreign talent in Singapore, which will take effect from 1 January 2012.
Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said the move was to cap the number of foreign talent to a third of the local labour market.
But some are not certain the higher administrative cost will result in companies hiring more locals. “Employers hire foreigners for certain positions because they really can’t find Singaporeans who would do the work,” K. Jayprema, head of the Association of Employment Agencies, told The Straits Times (ST).
Local bosses and employment agencies are expecting this new round of increments to affect their bottom line revenue. “At the end of the day, if the cost gets too high, we may just have to pass it on to consumers,” Wei Chan, business development director of delicatessen Baguette, told ST.
Employers have been paying administrative and issuance fees for the passes since its introduction in 2005, where they were set at below cost-recovery levels. ST added that the prices have remained unchanged since.
MOM said the increments are aligned with “the government’s financial principle that the full cost of providing a public service should be borne by users of the service rather than taxpayers in general”.
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