The Straits Times has recently reported how expats are not only no longer coming to Singapore on lavish expat packages, but they are also increasingly willing to come without first having a job lined up – especially young professionals trying to escape poor job markets in Western countries.
However, its gotten harder for would-be expats in Singapore after the 2011 discontinuation of the Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate which allowed foreign professionals to remain in the country for up to one year while searching for a job. Expat professionals still have the right to apply for jobs while visiting Singapore on visit passes, but its also up to the authorities to decide whether to extend one’s visit pass – meaning there is some risk involved in moving to Singapore without a job lined up (along with a big enough savings that will last until one is found).
Moreover, Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Chua Hak Bin was quoted as saying that that the number of employment passes given out last year was “basically flat” although job growth was strong. He added:
“Finding jobs now could be harder because of stricter manpower policies.”
Nevertheless, the Straits Times article profiled several expats who were able to find jobs in Singapore after they came without any job offers already on the table while one recruiter commented about seeing more young professionals coming from Britain, the Philippines and India to look for work plus the secretary general of the Italian Club estimated that some five university graduates arrive from Italy every month to look for jobs.
In other words and depending upon your qualifications and salary expectations (don’t expect a lavish expat package), its possible to come to Singapore without a job already lined up.