Singapore - Higher Work Pass Fees from December 2011

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The first ever increase, since fees were introduced in 2005, will considerably impact the companies applying for Employment Pass for foreign workers, as this category witnesses the sharpest increase in charges” says Satish Bakhda of Rikvin Consultancy, a Singapore based corporate and immigration services provider. http://www.rikvin.com/

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The government is seeking to keep the overall share of foreigners in the workforce at no higher than one-third over the long term, and has recently raised the bar by enhancing the qualifying framework for employment pass applicants.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), after careful review, has raised the administrative charges for most of the work passes in tandem with the full cost recovery principle. The revised framework will kick in commencing from 1 December 2011.

According to the new framework the application fees for Employment Pass, S Pass and Work Permit has been increased from S$10 to S$20. While the issuance fees for Employment Pass and S Pass has been increased to $120 and $70 respectively and it will be charged per transaction. Currently both passes draw an issuance fee of S$30 per year.

The subsidy enjoyed by the employers using Work Permits Online (WPOL), an online portal for business employers and employment agencies to perform Work Permit transactions, will be withdrawn when the new fee framework kicks in.

The revision in fees is purely an operational change in line with the ministry’s principle to recover the full cost from users of public service. Originally when the fees for work passes were introduced they were set considerably lower than the costs incurred by the ministry. Although the government has taken a stringent stand against excessive recruitment of foreigners by local companies, the latest fee revision is not believed to be part for the agenda. Nevertheless, employers are going to feel the pinch, especially those seeking employment pass for their new foreign recruits.

Commenting on the latest changes, Satish Bakhda says, “The government is seeking to keep the overall share of foreigners in the workforce at no higher than one-third over the long term, and has recently raised the bar by enhancing the qualifying framework for employment pass applicants. At the Work Permit and S Pass levels, it implemented a schedule of Foreign Worker Levy increases which began from July 2010 and will continue until July 2013. At the Employment Pass (EP) level, qualifying salaries were raised in July 2011. From January 2012, EP applicants will be subjected to more stringent criteria including better educational qualifications and higher qualifying salaries. Such measures sent strong signals to employers to invest in productivity and mitigate reliance on foreign workers however certain sectors are highly reliant on the foreign workforce and the fee hike along with the tightening of the policy will definitely impact them. ”

Mr. Bakhda further added, “It will be pertinent to mention the latest enhancements in Rikvin’s service offerings, we have recently secured Employment Agency license and are now capable of providing a full fledged staffing service for our clients. Equipped with the license we can now provide a seamless incorporation and staffing service for new companies that are setup in Singapore. Rikvin has been conferred a comprehensive license therefore is allowed to provide recruitment and placement services for any type of worker and both local and foreign workers. We have a large resource network and well experienced staff to meet the requirements of the companies in Singapore.”

About Rikvin:
Rikvin offers business solutions for both local and foreign investors and entrepreneurs. The firm’s specialties includes company registration services, offshore company setup and other related corporate services. Rikvin also provides professional services on accounting, taxation, immigration and application of Singapore work visa for foreign workers to work and relocate in Singapore.

Rikvin PTE LTD
20 Cecil Street, #14-01, Equity Plaza, Singapore 049705
Main Lines : (65) 6438 8887
Website: http://www.rikvin.com/

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