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international immigration

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Owing to declining fertility rate, Singapore government recognise that her people will not maintain nor increase her population by themselves. Singapore needs to therefore attract more immigrants into the country. In her outreach efforts to talented immigrants that come from diverse backgrounds, the Singapore government has tailored programmes to meeting the immigrants' specific needs and helping them to be aware of the different aspects of Singaporean's way of life. For instances, the government leverages on existing programmes by the People's Association and foreign support groups' associations like American Association Singapore to reach out to the new residents (DPM Wong KS, Aug 2006), Singapore Deputy Prime Minister (DPM), Mr Wong Kan Seng, also Minister in charge of Population issues, quoted Singapore government surveys to show that while most Singaporeans agree that foreign talents have and can contribute to her continued success, many of them tend to still view immigrants with some distrust and discomfort. He attributed such misgivings to the cultural differences and the concern about foreigners competing for local jobs. ...read more.


One of the key functions of CPU is to attract foreigners to study, work and live in Singapore, with interested and suitable immigrants being encouraged to sink roots permanently. DPM Wong had shared in his interview on August 2006 that the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in its policy review would facilitate foreign graduates and adults who meet the relevant requirements and can afford to stay on in Singapore at their own expense to spend more time looking for a job. This involved the extension of 6 month social visit pass for talented immigrants. for To further help attract and retain them working in Singapore, a new personalised employment pass introduced by Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is tied to the person rather than the employer. This is to provide greater flexibility of career opportunities for eligible foreigners to stay and work in Singapore. An online self-assessment points system for citizenship eligibility had also been put up by Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA). This online checklist enables interested foreigners to take proactive steps to meet the relevant criteria, to facilitate a successful application for Singapore citizenship. ...read more.


These stringent requirements are reasonable standards to benchmark the quality of this group of foreign workers to the local skilled workforce (MoM Website). The minimum salary is set such that young and upcoming Singaporeans with University degree and Diploma Certificates earning starting pay of S$2,200 and S$1,600 will not lose out in the competition for jobs. The older Singaporeans who face challenges looking for jobs beyond their retirement age, may also attribute their difficulty to the influx of immigrants in taking away their jobs. In Aug 2006, the Singapore government announced to commit $30million to the ADVANTAGE scheme to help older Singaporean remain economically productive. The scheme incentivised the employers with lower employee CPF contribution rate for employing old Singaporeans while at the same time, encourage these workers to stay employed with Workfare Income Supplement. These initiatives will help Singaporeans work longer, save more and give them peace of mind for their golden years. These government efforts will significantly strengthen Singapore's economic and social systems, which will help to minimise discrimination and prejudice against immigrants and facilitate their smooth integration into the country. ...read more.

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