On 31 August 2022, associate director Nicholas Ngo gave his views to online publication International Employment Lawyer for their story on the new Overseas Networks and Expertise (ONE) Pass.
The ONE Pass was announced by the Manpower Minister Dr Tan See Leng on 29 August. It is aimed at attracting top talent globally to work in Singapore – offering, for one, a five-year pass compared to the current Employment Pass’s two- to three-year validity and for foreigners across any sector who earn SGD30,000 a month.
Describing the ONE Pass as a potential “holy grail of sorts”, Nicholas commented that the new scheme is “a great move forward” that is completely in line with Singapore’s refreshed foreign employment and wider post-covid policies.
“As horrible as it has been – and still is – I think the Covid pandemic has pushed Singapore to consider its next steps very carefully. Pre-covid, there were just periodic updates to the work pass qualifying salaries, but Covid struck and, like many other countries, Singapore needed to place greater consideration on its local workforce,” he says.
“So the question then was how does Singapore remain open to global businesses and top foreign talent, while also developing and considering its local workforce?
“The considered response is this: new passes that bring greater benefits and security to top talent – Tech.Pass and now ONE Pass – but tighter criteria around the areas where one would ask ‘do you really need foreign talent, or are local talents just as good?’”