The context behind the trend of seeking employment in Singapore has changed significantly post-pandemic
31,200 and 22,100 applicants are granted Permanent Residency and Citizenship status yearly
6 in 10 feel immigrants are not doing enough to integrate into Singapore
Media OutReach – 6 May 2022 – Data-centric immigration firm Fergus Consultancy Group revealed that with the further easing of covid-related measures, Singapore is expected to be popular among expatriates again. However, what challenges await in front of immigrants in their quest to achieve permanent residency or citizenship status in Singapore, especially after coming out of the pandemic? In this report, Fergus Consultancy Group has tried to find the answer to this important question.
Source: Immigration & Checkpoints AuthorityThe figures are based on the full calendar year (January to December).
As Singapore’s borders open progressively, it is expected that foreigners will begin to seek employment in the country and may subsequently decide to reside here for the long run. While this phenomenon is familiar, its context has altered since the pandemic.
When Covid-19 took the world by surprise, many countries gasped at the seemingly draconian measures the Singapore government implemented via “Circuit Breaker Lockdown1” sometime in April 2020. However, statistics from regulations proved the anti-vaxers and naysayers wrong.
Singapore painfully but carefully opened the community through vigorous testing while concurrently vaccinating the entire population. These calculated moves, carefully deliberated by the entire cabinet of Ministers, were closely watched by the rest of the world. And through a nation’s effort, we inched upwards in the charts to be within the top 5 countries in the world that have the highest rate of vaccination, with almost 92% of the entire population in Singapore.
However, as the country began its painstaking recovery process, articles on putting Singaporeans first also emerged concurrently. This, coupled with the increment of the minimum qualifying salaries of Employment Pass holders, seemed like the final nail to the coffin when it comes to achieving a permanent status in residency in the country.
Selective Immigration Framework
With reference to the infographic above, the immigration framework was tightened between 2009 and 2010, resulting in a significant dip in the average number of PRs and Citizenship granted per year. Expectedly, the pandemic had caused the approval numbers to dip further to an unprecedented ten-year low of 27,470 due to the closure of the borders and exodus of many foreign talents in a bid to support their loved ones back home.
Data, data, data
Regardless, the number of applications for both categories of residency did not cease as the ICA portal remains open and foreigners on eligible work pass kept up with their hopes and dreams to sink roots in Singapore successfully.
Being a data-centric immigration firm, Fergus Consultancy Group pivoted its approach and dug deep into trend analysis. Market and individual surveys were done religiously to build an archive of approved case studies within the past 3 years, including the pandemic season. With this valuable information, the approach in assisting their clients began to widen in scope. Documents validation aside, the firm began to place equal importance in ensuring the pillars of supporting elements are met during their extensive intervention period prior to the clients submitting their applications.
Solely based on numerous data points gathered from their surveys of successful cases, the team managed to create a proprietary checklist as a guide for clients to fulfill to their best abilities, and these will ultimately form the supporting elements evident in those cases.
The intervention period, also known as Profile Modelling, takes months to a year to complete and is achieved with a forward-thinking mindset and approach, bearing in mind what the Singapore government would wish to see in an applicant 5 years down the road. During this period, Fergus Consultancy Group aims to “model” an applicant’s profile to one that will be of interest and value to the country. Albeit the high number of applications put in every single month, no two are identical, but there is bound to be a group that triggers the interest of the screening officials. To be surefooted in an application is to have the Government gain confidence in areas of an applicant’s profile, e.g., integration and contribution to the community or financial stability, to name a few. These different pillars of confidence are built during the Profile Modelling stage.
“I’m too busy,” “It is not my focus at this juncture!”, “Where do I begin?” are the common feedback of prospects and clients of Fergus. However, years and years of accumulated articles and even mentions of the importance of integration have always been openly shared on media and the ICA platform. To quote,
“ICA considers factors such as the individual’s family ties to Singaporeans, economic contributions, qualifications, age, family profile and length of residency, to assess the applicant’s ability to contribute to Singapore and integrate into our society, as well as his or her commitment to sinking roots in Singapore.” –
With an ever-growing list of partners and collaborators in the form of schools, universities, and non-profit organizations under their belt, Fergus Consultancy Group can, therefore, proactively allocate relevant integration opportunities to its clients. With an unwavering focus on skills alignment, purposeful intervention, and knowledge transfer, clients can contribute to the community effectively during the profile modeling period. Whether it is stretching a helping hand towards the poor and challenged or educating the next generation of leaders in Singapore, all clients will have a personalized catalog of options to consider and contribute to according to their passion and schedule.
Unlike countries with point-based systems, Singapore has never and will most probably not ever reveal the extensive allocation matrix for Permanent Residency and Citizenship. However, as experts connect the dots coupled with extensive research on successful cases, it is not impossible to look through the lenses of the approving authorities in accessing an application. Therefore, the journey to achieve one’s immigration dreams in Singapore is a marathon and never a sprint. Work needs to be done, extensive preparation will be required, and focuses may be required to be recalibrated, but ultimately, Fergus Consultancy Group remains a strong partner throughout, like a pacer in a race. The dream to successfully immigrate will, therefore, not remain a dream but a goal to be worked towards. And to begin that journey, one will have to take the first step in the right direction.
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