Singapore for Foreigners

As a foreigner, working in Singapore can be very exciting. This is because the package for expatriates in Singapore can be very attractive with a lot of benefits and returns. There are several types of working permits in Singapore that a foreigner can apply for.

Getting a work permit

The Ministry of Manpower is the authority in Singapore that handles all the manpower issues for foreigners if you plan to chart your career here. Like any other countries, any foreigner who intends to work in Singapore will need to get a working permit. Take note that there are several types of permits in Singapore. They are:

Permits for Professionals

There are 3 types of permits if you hold a professional qualification. This includes:

  1. Employment Pass – This includes applications for executives, managers and professionals who hold a professional qualification with a minimum salary of SGD3,6000 per month
  2. EntrePass – this permit is intended for foreigners who are planning to start a business in Singapore.
  3. Personalised Employment Pass – this pass gives better flexibility than the Employment Pass intended for foreigners and high-earning foreigners who are currently holding the Employment Pass

Permits for skilled and semi-skilled workers

For those who are under this category, there are 5 different types of permits available. They are:

  1. S Pass – there is an assessment criteria to pass with a minimum monthly salary of SGD2,200. This pass is catered for mid-level skills workers
  2. Work Permit for foreign worker – this is the type of permit for those who are semi-skilled.
  3. Work Permit for foreign domestic worker
  4. Work Permit for confinement nanny
  5. Work Permit for performing artiste – a very unique permit for those performing in entertainment outlets

How to get working permit?

As a foreigner, you can obtain a work permit in Singapore either on your own or through your employer. In most cases, your employer will obtain the permit for you which means you will only need to provide the necessary documents. However, if you decide to apply for the permit on your own, there are several procedures that you must follow.

Requirements for foreigners

You must first make an assessment of where you stand and who you are so that you know what permit to apply for. The requirements are quite many and can sometimes be complicated. In fact, they can be confusing even. There are certain agencies that help to make the assessment required so that you know the likelihood of you succeeding. The criteria for application for work permit depends largely on your country of origin and the sector you intend to work in.

Loans and banking accounts for foreigners in Singapore

Singapore is considered as one of the major financial hubs in the world. With a large community of foreigners working here, there are banks that operate in helping them settle down. After all, banking services would be required for the employers to connect with their foreigner employees in terms of money and wages transfer, among other things.
It is possible to get a loan in Singapore but the procedure might be a bit more complex as those applied by the locals. However, there are certain types of loans that are specifically catered for foreigners which helps them get started. With a certain amount of funding, the candidate can use this money to pay for rental in the first few months or to have a capital to start before work commences.
On the other hand, it must be noted that it is easy to open a bank account for foreigners in Singapore. Once you have secured an employment offer, the company would usually help you to start a bank account for easy of salary transfer. With your employment contract however, you can also open an account with any other bank of your choice.

Protection and insurance and CPF

When it comes to healthcare and insurance, this can be quite different for foreigners as compared to the locals. For the latter, both citizens and PRs are subjected to subsidized government healthcare because they contribute to the CPF or Central Providence Fund. This is a national savings scheme which is compulsory for local residents but not for foreigners. This means that foreigners will not be able to enjoy the subsidized healthcare services.
As such, as an expatriate, you will need to obtain this differently. It can be purchased or it could be provided by your employer. It must be noted that healthcare in Singapore can be quite costly. As such, you need to ensure that you have some form of insurance plan before heading to the country. Buying health insurance in Singapore is quite straightforward where it usually covers you across the world. What you want to look for is a policy which is comprehensive and affordable.

Salary for foreigners

In Singapore, the salary scale is very attractive but it must be noted that the standard of living in Singapore is quite high as well. As such, there is a need to ensure that the salary is able to cover your expenses. In a recent report, an expatriate living in Singapore for many years claimed that it would need as high as SGD 7,000 per month in order to survive in Singapore.
Unlike many other countries in the region, Singapore does not have a minimum wage policy. At average, the salary package should be around SGD 300,000 per annum including tax and any benefits provided. The benefits that usually come included in such packages could include areas like children’s education, healthcare, family insurance and even transportation. Meanwhile, most packages usually do cover the payment of income tax as well.

The Expatriates’ Community in Singapore

If you have decided to relocate to Singapore for work, then you would need to find the best places where you can settle down as soon as you can. There are a few places in Singapore known for its large expats community. You can consider staying in Tiong Bahru which is only about 20 minutes drive away from the city centre. There are several apartment blocks and condominiums here with a lot of new designer shops around known as the Brooklyn of Singapore.
Holland Village is perhaps one of the most renowned places known for its Expats’ community. Its location which is strategically placed not far from the city centre is close to some of the most popular places among foreigners. One of the highlights of this place include Dempsey Hill, Fusionopolic and Mediopolis while there is a lot of international schools here as well.
Sentosa Island is known as the ‘resort island’. It is one of the most beautiful places to stay in Singapore with a large community of expatriates and very active in conducting auctions. With world class theme parks here, it is no wonder why you will feel just at home when staying in Sentosa Island where you can enjoy some of the best facilities and public amenities. However, it must be noted that Sentosa Island is quite out of the way from the main island and the standard of living can be higher as well.

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