Connecticut, US

Nov 15 2019

Forthcoming Increase in Minimum Salary Threshold for S Pass Applicants

Singapore

At a Glance

  • As a reminder, starting January 1, 2020, the minimum salary threshold for foreign nationals applying for initial and renewal S Passes in Singapore will increase from SGD 2,300 to SGD 2,400.
  • This minimum salary threshold essentially applies to young graduates. More experienced applicants will need to be paid higher salaries commensurate with their work experience to qualify for an S Pass.

The situation

As a reminder, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is increasing the minimum salary threshold for S Pass applicants on January 1, 2020. Foreign nationals applying for initial or renewal S Passes on or after this date will need to earn a monthly salary of at least SGD 2,400, up from SGD 2,300 (this includes salary and any fixed monthly allowance). The exchange rate at the time of the publication of this alert is 1 SGD to .73 USD.

A closer look

The new minimum monthly salary requirement generally applies only to young graduates. More experienced applicants will need to show higher salaries commensurate with their work experience in order to qualify for an S Pass.

Impact

  • Existing employees. Passes that expire between January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020 can be renewed for up to one year based on the current minimum salary amount. Passes that expire starting July 1, 2020 will have to meet the new minimum salary amount.  
  • Initial applications. Employers of foreign nationals seeking to obtain an S Pass submitted on or after January 1, 2020 will need to increase the foreign national’s minimum salary to comply with the new rule. S Pass applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be rejected. 

 

Reminders on other requirements 

  • Benefits and allowances. As before, benefits and allowances may only be included in the minimum salary calculation if they are specified in the employment contract, guaranteed and fixed, are not paid in kind and paid directly to the employee. Holiday allowance cannot be included in the minimum salary calculation. 
  • Currency. As before, employers are required to guarantee the salary in SGD regardless of payroll location.  

 

Background

This salary threshold adjustment for the S Pass has been planned since the MOM announced it in March 2018. The most recent adjustment was in January 2019, when the fixed monthly salary threshold was increased from SGD 2,200 to SGD 2,300.

Looking ahead

The MOM will continue to review and update the S Pass qualifying salary to keep up with rising local wages and to maintain the quality of Singapore’s foreign workforce.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to SGInitiations@fragomen.com.