Singapore Gets Strict on Expat Influx

Expat Globe

The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore has introduced a new law stipulating that any expats earning under £2,000 a month will not be able to bring their families with them in future.

The population of Singapore has exploded in the last few years leaving a lack of space and a strain on resources. Approximately 20% of people in Singapore are non-Singaporeans and locals have expressed concern about being pushed out of the job market whilst housing and local infrastructures are squeezed to capacity.

This new law comes into effect as of September 1st and arrives amidst unrest from citizens about the nature of the rapid influx of people.

Those with families already in the country will not be adversely affected by the new rules unless they change employer after the start of the month. The new legislature will also reduce the amount of expats bringing parents and in-laws of long-term visit passes.

As part of a general tightening of laws in respect to foreign migration, the Ministry of Manpower is also criminalising marriages of convenience in order to gain immigration privileges. From the start of August, manufacturing companies have also been forced to cap the proportion of foreign workers they hire at 60% which has been reduced from the previous amount of 65%.

The ministry was quoted as saying that the new measures will “ease the pressure on our social infrastructure” whilst maintaining that “we continue to welcome highly skilled foreign professionals who wish to bring their dependents to stay with them.”

In the last twelve months, several other measures have already been introduced to control the influx of migrants to the country. Fees for expats for schools have increased and all expats are subject to an extra 10% on stamp duty when buying property.

Singapore will be able to continue to introduce such measures as long as it remains an attractive location for expats from across the globe.