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The Impact of Singapore’s Foreigner Policies On Your PR Application Chances

The issue of foreigners and immigration policy is a hot topic that has headlined Singapore’s national newspapers time and again.

This sensitive topic has been re-occurring since 2008 when the total PR application given out for that year hit a record high of 79,167 approved cases. That particular incident continued and took centre stage in the 2011 General Elections where the ruling party saw their first-ever Group Representation Constituency (GRC) loss.

No surprise then that this issue has resurfaced time and again.

But how do this topic and issue affect your Singapore PR application chances?

Here are a couple of key points to consider if you are serious about boosting and improving your chance of approval.

Employment in Singapore

In his 2021 National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made the announcement that there will be a tightening of criteria for Employment Passes (EP) and S Passes.

While this would be done gradually, it also means the country is on a path to shift away from a high dependence on foreign workers.

One of the strategies at work here is to raise the salary cut-offs for these work pass holders, especially in the finance industry.

This particular move would likely result in a major displacement for lower-income job holders as companies hiring these individuals now need to pay a minimum monthly wage of S$1,400.

However, with every tightening of resources comes a silver lining for those who are not affected. For foreigners who are already earning above the minimum qualifying income range, this sets a level of prestige that will help boost approval chances.

By tapping on your job qualifications, education level, and career progression in the country, you’re in a much better position to build and solidify your application profile.

Total Foreigner Population

Prior to 2010, Singapore’s focus has always been economics. This resulted in an influx of foreigners entering the city-state with many subsequently becoming PRs and citizens.

The Ministry of Manpower, Population in Brief 2020, reported that the citizen population grew by 0.6% to reach 3.52 million as of June 2020. The permanent resident population remained stable at 0.52 million while the non-resident population decreased by 2.1%.

While the global pandemic was a large contributor to the decline as many foreign general workers went back to their respective countries, Singapore took the opportunity to change its employment stance.

The government wrote into law the guidelines of the Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices that would seek to weed out unfair treatment of employees at the workplace. This tribunal’s goal is to provide Singaporeans with more job opportunities from foreign companies.

Kinship and familial ties are now discouraged when it comes to the employment of workers and there should be more focus on the individual’s merit and qualifications.

No doubt the country still needs foreigners but on the higher spectrum of jobs, there is now a stronger push for hiring locals instead of foreigners.

This “natural selection” can therefore be in your favour for your PR application. By including proofs of “long term interest” in your supporting documents, you can strengthen the merits of your profile.

Building a Strong PR Profile

Ultimately, with over 196,000 EP holders, another 196,000 S Pass holders, and 65,000 Student Pass holders, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) is selective of who they award a PR status to.

While the online submission portal requests for only a few key documents, the tremendous number of applicants means a basic submission won’t ever make the cut.

Your profile has to fit their definition of an “ideal” Singaporean permanent resident.

That’s where a team of immigration specialists can help review and analyse your application and customise it into a unique profile that stands out and checks off ALL their requirements.

If you would like to understand more about our services and how we can help you boost your PR application approval chances, then fill in the enquiry form you see on this page.

Our friendly support team will assist you and help set up a free, non-obligatory consultation to assist you.