To attract more skilled foreign workers to Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced the Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass (ONE Pass), which launched on January 1, 2023. This new pass aims to attract foreign talents who “possess valuable networks, as well as deep skills and expertise, that can help Singapore grow,” according to Minister of Manpower, Dr Tan See Leng.
Let’s analyse how this benefits foreign talents and examine the qualifications to apply for ONE Pass in Singapore.
What is ONE Pass?
Singapore already has many different work passes available for professionals, like the Employment Pass (EP), EntrePass, and the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP). What makes the ONE Pass any different from the rest?
The ONE Pass in Singapore is a personal pass that will belong to a qualified individual and not to a specific employer. As such, should a ONE Pass holder decide to switch employment, there should be no need to apply for a new work pass. The validity of this work pass is for five years and can be renewed for another five years.
If you compare the ONE Pass directly with other work passes, one may see that it offers more flexibility compared to other work passes. Holders of this pass can work for multiple employers simultaneously, or even be entrepreneurs or shareholders themselves. As shared by the Minister, this new work pass will allow its holders to “concurrently start, operate, and work for multiple companies in Singapore at any one time.”
EPs and PEP holders don’t have this kind of flexibility because the first pass would only allow you to work for one employer since they are the ones who would be applying on the employee’s behalf, while the second does not allow holders to be entrepreneurs or shareholders during their stay in the country.
|Employment Pass (EP)
|Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)
|Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass (ONE Pass)
|Eligible foreign professionals, managers and executives with a job offer in Singapore.
|Foreign professionals or EP holders earn more than S$18,000 a month.
|Top talents worldwide, especially in the areas of business, arts and culture, sports, as well as academia and research.
|The minimum salary required
|S$5,000 per month (for new applications)
|S$18,000 per month (Starting 1 September 2023)
|S$30,000 per month
|2 years for new applications
|Work pass limitations
|EP holders must apply for a new EP if they plan to change their employment.
|Can change jobs without reapplying for a new visa, provided conditions will be met.
|Can work for multiple companies at the same time and change jobs without having to reapply.
The ONE Pass is a part of the efforts to enhance Singapore’s current work pass framework. During a parliament sitting on 12 Sep 2022, the Minister shared the four enhancements, namely:
- Instituting the ONE Pass to target talents earning at least SGD 30,000 in fixed monthly salary, comparable to the top 5% of EP holders, or with outstanding achievements in arts and culture, sports, research and academia.
- A new benchmark pegged to the top 10% of EP holders for Singapore’s existing schemes, namely the exemption from the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) job advertising requirement and COMPASS, as well as salary criterion for the Personalised Employment Pass.
Here are some related articles, that can shed light on the details mentioned above:
- 3. Restoring the FCF job advertising duration from 28 days to 14 days with effect from 1 Sept 2022 and improving the processing time of EP applications.
- 4. The option of a 5-year EP to experienced professionals filling tech occupations on the COMPASS Shortage Occupation List.
Now what are the benefits of the ONE Pass?
Benefits of the ONE Pass
With the ONE Pass being more flexible than other work passes, it has some other benefits that make it more attractive to many foreign professionals. Here are some of the benefits shared by the Minister during the Ministry of Manpower’s press conference:
- Holders of the ONE Pass are not subject to the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS).
- Pass holders are not subject to the FCF job advertising requirement.
- They can take as much time to look for work while having the ONE Pass.
- Can work for as many companies as possible.
- Has a 5-year pass validity compared to two years for EP and three years for PEP holders.
- Does not need to apply for a new pass when the holder has to change jobs.
- Spouses of pass holders can work as long as there is a Letter of Consent.
Who is Eligible for ONE Pass?
According to the Ministry of Manpower’s ONE Pass page, there are different ways for an individual to qualify for the ONE Pass, either under the salary criterion or through an individual’s outstanding achievements.
Under the salary criterion, eligible pass holders must meet any of the following:
- Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least SGD 30,000, or its equivalent in foreign currency, within the last year.
- Will earn a fixed monthly salary of at least SGD 30,000 under their future employer based in Singapore.
On top of these criteria, overseas candidates with no active work passes must also demonstrate that they have been working for an established company overseas for at least one year or are about to be working for an established company here in Singapore.
For candidates to be eligible for renewal, they must meet either of the following:
- Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least SGD 30,000 on average over the past five years in Singapore.
- Started and operates a Singapore-based company that employs at least five locals, each earning at least SGD 5,000 (pegged to the EP minimum qualifying salary).
If the candidate does not qualify under the salary criterion, they may try to showcase their outstanding achievements in arts and culture, sports, science and technology, and academia and research. The Ministry would consider these achievements and may make one eligible for the Singapore ONE Pass visa.
For candidates eligible under this outstanding achievements criterion, they must provide the following:
- Detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) (including academic qualification, professional experiences and accomplishments), and;
- Letter(s) of endorsement by a local host research institution (i.e. Autonomous Universities/A*STAR).
Lanturn’s Immigration Services
Just as there are specific ONE Pass criteria, such is the case for other Singapore work visas. Lanturn’s immigration services have a proven track record of successful applications. Our visa support services start with a consultation for the most applicable work pass for your career needs. Included in our services, is to guide you through the visa application process from start to finish, and if such appeals are necessary, Lanturn will assist you all the way through.