Jobs in Singapore for foreigners can be a challenge to track down and win a position in, but when you consider the excellent working conditions and pay of most jobs in Singapore, it’s clearly worth the effort. With a large percentage of Singapore’s employees being of foreign nationality or background, Singapore is one of the world’s most multicultural job markets.
Depending on your country of origin, getting a job in Singapore as a foreigner can be easier or harder. Some countries, like the United States, Japan, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom and Europe have arrangements with the Singaporean government that allowed their citizens to work in Singapore relatively easily. For the citizens of these countries, these applications have been streamlined or even replaced entirely.
A significant number of prospective workers who are looking for jobs in Singapore come from countries like India, China, Russia, and the Philippines. Because of the populations of these countries and the extremely eager workforces that they present, Singaporean immigration officials have much tighter control over how many visas they give out to citizens of these countries in any given period.
More flexibility is, of course, shown the citizens of countries wanting to enter Singapore to conduct business affairs, establish companies, or engage in significant international trade. It’s in Singapore’s best economic interests to let these people into the country; after all, they are the ones who create jobs and stimulate the economy.
The Singaporean government is, however, much more cautious about letting in workers from these latter countries, and the application process can be significantly more arduous. This is especially true if you are after work as an employee, not as a business or investor.
That’s not to say that the job is impossible; however, it is much more challenging, and the process may not be as speedy as most people would like. If you are looking to work in Singapore, then you should expand your timeframe of expectations and realise that this is not going to be a quick process for you.
Visa and immigration fraud have been a major problem for the Singaporean government over the last few decades and is now something that they’re cracking down on very strongly. Before a resident of, for example, India is allowed into the country, they must be able to provide a raft of documents supporting the reasons coming into Singapore, proving that they have the intention of leaving Singapore, and that the purpose of the visit is valid.
Breaching any element of immigration conditions imposed by the Singaporean government, either while travelling to or remaining in Singapore, is extremely unwise. Even relatively mild breaches of the conditions imposed on you can result in severe fines, imprisonment, deportation, and the inability to travel back to Singapore in the future.
There is little reason for the Singaporean government to display leniency in any of these cases; they already have more people trying to get into the country than is necessary, and those who make trouble or fail to obey the rules given to them are not going to be welcomed back.
Professional Jobs In Singapore For Foreigners
Getting a job as a working professional in Singapore as a foreigner can be relatively straightforward. Singapore is one of the most highly networked countries in the world, especially from a middle level and upper-level employment perspective, a significant portion of jobs in Singapore advertised, either through local papers all over the Internet. Most Singaporean newspapers have a mirror of the information contained in them on their websites, particularly those in the advertisements and careers sections.
If you’re currently living overseas or outside of Singapore and want to apply for a job in Singapore, then your opportunities for networking and cold contacting companies you might like to work for are going to be somewhat more limited. Getting past the institutional gatekeepers – secretaries, PAs and so on – can be achievable when you’re calling from within Singapore, but internationally, is much more difficult. This is because of the sheer number of enquiries directed from people interested in working in Singapore through these sorts of avenues.
If you are trained within a particular profession, for example, you’re a qualified doctor, engineer, accountants, or so on, then our suggestion is if you’re looking for work in Singapore that you start by talking to members of your professional trade organisation and see what contact or suggestions I have. Any level of having a foot in the door, some personal recommendation made to you, is better than having to try to establish yourself in Singapore from a position of having no business contacts whatsoever.
Employers in Singapore are very open and amenable to the idea of having foreign employees; considering the huge migrant workforce becomes both in and out of Singapore every year, it would be surprising if there were not already employing several other international professionals.
If you can arrange work with an employer in Singapore, then organising a visa application will usually be a joint task between yourself and hiring companies human resources firm. It is far easier to get a Visa approved yourself and any accompanying family members if you already have a job lined up.
If you’re not having any significant success in finding work from outside Singapore, you may want to consider travelling to Singapore on a tourist laser or temporary workers in order to try and secure more permanent employment while physically in the country. This gives you the advantage of being able to meet people face-to-face. Singapore, as in many other Asian cultures, places significant value on personal relationships, face-to-face meetings, and sobbed vocal, sub textual communication which is best carried out in person.
Obtaining a visa as a tourist or traveller under these conditions is relatively straightforward, even if you are travelling as a national of one of the countries with Singapore controls the immigration from very closely. The citizens of countries with a more open relationship with Singapore, like the US or Canada, there are usually Visa waivers in place which allow you to travel unhindered in Singapore the 30 or 90 days.
Of course, make sure you don’t breach the conditions in any of these papers; even if you are offered a job, make sure you updated your visa and got the correct permissions with the Singaporean immigration officials before commencing any work.
You don’t need to change nationality in order to work in Singapore, even for a long period of time. Considering the hassles involved in changing nationality, this is most likely a useful thing; especially if you are coming overseas and working in Singapore for a short period of time or as a way of advancing your career before returning to your native country.
Your taxation arrangements, contributions to superannuation, and a few other logistical details will vary depending on how long you work Singapore for, and how you will expect to remain. On the whole, Singapore has designed itself to be very welcoming foreign workers, once they are allowed into the country.
Qualifications For Jobs For Foreigners In Singapore
Having both the right qualifications and an appropriate amount of experience are essential to getting the best jobs in Singapore as a foreigner. Particularly if you are from the Philippines or India, you’ll be competing against a lot of other applicants for any given, advertised, position.
For that reason, you should make sure that your credentials are up-to-date, you remember any professional organisations whose membership may add gravitas to your application, and make sure your qualifications are from an internationally recognised teaching facility with a good character and reputation.
Many job titles, academic qualifications, and other elements of your resume may not transliterate directly into the Singaporean job market. This is particularly relevant if you were working on a combined degree, or a degree that is not as straightforward as accountancy or mathematics, but something less mainstream.
Singaporean employers are very adept and flexible at recognising your competencies, and the Singaporean professional organisations, like the Dentist’s or Surgeon’s Associations, regularly publish lists of qualifications which they will recognise on their websites. If you’re not certain whether your academic or working background would entitle you to be qualified to practice your profession in Singapore, contact the local Singaporean professional agency directly and ask their opinion.
They will usually be more than happy to assist you, and, if your qualification is not already recognised, will be able to instruct you how to go about getting recognition once you have arrived in Singapore so you are able to practice your trade effectively.
With this in mind, you can see that the job market for foreigners in Singapore the rich and varied one, particularly catering to the well experienced and well accredited hard-working professional. We wish you the best of luck in finding the right job in Singapore as a foreigner. Hopefully your stay in Singapore is a rewarding and enjoyable one, and encourage you to browse this website for more specific articles on occupations and how to approach work in Singapore as a national of various countries, particularly for Indians and Filipinos.
Best wishes on your search for employment in Singapore!