GuideMeSingapore: Singapore Fine-tunes Immigration Policies to Skim the Cream

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GuideMeSingapore analysis of the recent immigration statistics released by the government shows that Singapore is focusing on a ‘quality over quantity’ approach in allowing new immigrants into the country.

Janus Corporate Solutions

Singapore Company Incorporation

In some ways, the increased difficulty of securing a Singapore work pass or permanent residency is similar to how top universities filter their applicants and accept only the absolute top performers.

The immigration data recently disclosed this week by Singapore’s Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan Jin shows that the government is tightening the requirements for both Singapore Employment Pass and Permanent Resident (PR) applications in order to ensure that only the best and most qualified foreigners are able to relocate to Singapore.

The data shows that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) rejected 30 percent of all the Employment Pass and S Pass applications it handled from January 1 to July 31 this year. The number, which represents both new applications and renewals, shows an increase of more than 15% in the rejection rate as compared to the rate for 2011.

According to Mr. Tan, the number of rejections have increased because the government has implemented new regulations to improve the overall quality of the country’s workforce. He cited factors such as the increase of qualifying salaries for Singapore work passes and the implementation of more rigid educational requirements.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean also revealed that the number of new PRs being accepted annually has dropped significantly from an average of 58,000 during 2004-2008 to only an average of 28,500 from 2010 onwards.

The tightening of regulations on Singapore immigration comes as no surprise given that local Singaporeans have been growing increasingly frustrated over the rapidly growing immigrant population.

“Foreign professionals and entrepreneurs have long been a part of what has made Singapore one of the top business hubs in the world. The Employment Pass scheme is primarily meant for company staff, while the EntrePass scheme is targeted for business owners who wish to start a business in Singapore. The government is not merely reducing the number of foreigners entering in Singapore, but rather increasing the quality of foreign talent in the country,” said Ms. Jacqueline Low, Chief Operating Officer of Janus Corporate Solutions, a leading Singapore business registration services provider and parent of

“For example, the greater scrutiny on education credentials signals that Singapore is only looking for the cream of the crop in order to boost its overall workforce productivity. It is simply emphasizing quality over quantity,” explained Ms. Low. “This serves to carefully maintain the stability of the population while steadily increasing the country’s collection of talent and expertise. In some ways, the increased difficulty of securing a Singapore work pass or permanent residency is similar to how top universities filter their applicants and accept only the absolute top performers.”

She concluded, “In the short term, this will ensure that foreigners entering the country are able and willing to contribute their talents for the country’s economy. In the long term, this will keep Singapore competitive and elevate it to the upper echelons of the world’s foremost business hubs.”

About Janus Corporate Solutions Pte Ltd

Janus Corporate Solutions Pte Ltd is a leading Singapore-based firm that provides comprehensive and cost-effective Singapore company registration, immigration visa, accounting and tax filing services to businesses and entrepreneurs worldwide. For more information, visit

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