Two key immigration changes came into effect in Singapore in August 2014, impacting employers and employees:
1. New advertising regulations for vacant positions as laid down in the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) require employers to advertise job vacancies to Singaporeans and permanent residents on the national Jobs Bank for 14 calendar days before submitting an Employment Pass application to the Ministry of Manpower. Employers should sign up for a Jobs Bank account as soon as possible as it may take up to 2 weeks to activate accounts. (Note: companies with less than 25 employees or positions with a fixed monthly salary of $12,000+ are exempt from this requirement. MOM is yet to publish clarification regarding whether ICT applications that meet existing criteria will also be exempt from the requirement).
2. Transfer of Employment Pass holders from their current employer to a subsidiary or affiliated companies as part of a secondment or due to career progression is now treated as a change of employer, and, as such, the employee is required to apply for a new Employment Pass under the sponsorship of the new entity; a notification of change to the MOM is no longer permissible. The new visa application will be subject to the above Fair Consideration Framework (FCF). Companies are required to cancel the existing Employment Pass only once the new EP has been issued.
Companies affected by business restructuring due to takeover, merger or corporate restructuring, or a change in their Unique Entity Number are not affected by the Transfer of Employment changes as long as:
- The old entity terminates its registration with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority
- The business activities remain the same
- All outstanding levy charges are paid by the old entity
- At least one of the sole proprietors, partners or directors of the old entity remains in the same position within the new entity
This change is likely to negatively impact processing times given the fact that a new visa application will generally take longer than a notification of change. If you require further advice on Singaporean immigration, please contact us.