By Biodun Busari
Singapore has announced new work visa rules to woo talented foreigners as it gathers momentum to strengthen its recovery from COVID-19 pandemic.
The Asian financial hub added that it will commence January next year.
According to Reuters, the measures have a new five-year visa for people earning at least S$30,000 ($21,445.42) a month that permits holders to seek job for multiple companies at one time and grants their spouses eligibility to work.
Singapore, a popular location for foreign firms to base their regional headquarters, tightly controlled its borders during the pandemic.
This led to many expatriates leaving and its population dropped for the first time in almost two decades.
“We cannot leave any room for investors to doubt or have questions as to whether Singapore remains open,” Tan See Leng, the city-state’s manpower minister, told a news conference.
“As a country with little or no resources, talent is our only resource and talent acquisition is an offensive strategy for us,” he added.
Among the other measures, some tech professionals whose skills are in short supply will, from September 2023, be eligible for five-year visas, up from a two- to three-year currently.
The processing time for employment passes — typically granted to high-paid professionals — will be also be immediately reduced to 10 days.