The Overseas Network & Expertise Pass (“ONE Pass”) is a new initiative announced by the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) on 29 August 2022 to attract top international talent from diverse sectors. Unlike other work passes issued by the MOM, the ONE Pass has three distinctive attributes, namely its unprecedented validity period, its status as a “renewable personalised pass”, and two unique sets of eligibility criteria.
All foreigners who intend to work in Singapore must have a valid work visa or a letter of consent issued by the Ministry of Manpower. The ONE Pass provides a validity period of 5 years and it may be renewed upon meeting the renewal criteria for another 5 years. Along with its own “Dependant’s Pass for ONE Pass”, ONE Pass holders can relocate family members. Typically, work passes issued by the MOM provide a validity period of up to 3 years, although the upcoming employment pass to be issued to experienced tech professionals under the COMPASS Shortage Occupation List (“SOL”) from September 2023 may also be valid for up to 5 years (further details are to be released in March 2023).
Renewable Personalised Pass
Similar to the Personalised Employment Pass (“PEP”), the ONE Pass provides greater employment flexibility as it is tied to the individual rather than to a particular employment. This also means that an employer does not need to apply for a work pass on behalf of an employee holding a PEP or a ONE Pass. Otherwise, it is necessary to apply for a new pass when a work pass holder changes jobs as the pass is tied to their employment. Additionally, ONE Pass holders are allowed to concurrently start, operate, and work for multiple companies in Singapore at any one time.
Unlike the PEP which cannot be renewed, the ONE Pass may be renewed for 5 years each time. To apply for renewal, the pass holder must either:
- Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 on average over the past 5 years in Singapore; or
- Have started and be operating a Singapore-based company that employs at least 5 local employees, each earning at least a S$5,000 monthly salary.
One Pass holders must also provide to the MOM on an annual basis details of their professional activities for the past year and their annual salary earned from the professional activities.
There are two different routes to apply for the ONE Pass, which are the “salary criterion” and the “outstanding achievement” routes.
The salary criterion route is meant for:
- An existing work pass holder who has worked in Singapore for at least a year or will be working for an established company in Singapore; or
- An overseas candidate who has been working for an established company overseas for at least a year or will be working for an established company in Singapore,
and earns or will earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 a month (or its equivalent in foreign currency) for the last year or under their prospective employer based in Singapore. While the fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 should come from one employer, other sources of income may be assessed accordingly.
On the other hand, the outstanding achievement pathway allows applicants to apply for ONE Pass without meeting the salary criterion above. This is tailored for individuals who have demonstrated a high level of achievement in scientific research or other academic research, illustrated by the applicant’s Curriculum Vitae and letter(s) of endorsement by a local host research institution.
The ONE Pass attracts top international talent and skilled foreign workers across all sectors by providing career flexibility, greater stability, and ease of relocation. Along with the other changes to the requirements for employment passes, the ONE Pass initiative seeks to reinforce the quality of work visa holders and strengthen Singapore’s competitive edge.
Disclaimer: This update is provided to you for general information and should not be relied upon as legal advice. The editor and the contributing authors do not guarantee the accuracy of the contents and expressly disclaim any and all liability to any person in respect of the consequences of anything done or permitted to be done or omitted to be done wholly or partly in reliance upon the whole or any part of the contents.
With the cross-border flow of workers gaining momentum around the world, workplaces are becoming increasingly eclectic.
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