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Ultimate Guide to Singapore’s Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass (ONE Pass)

An Ultimate Guide to Singapore’s Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass (ONE Pass)

In a bid to attract even more foreign talent, Singapore has introduced the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass (also known as ONE Pass) recently, which took effect on 1 January 2023. The new work visa option is targeted at those who have relevant expertise and networks in their field, and on the official Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website, it is described as “a personalised pass for top talent across all sectors, including in business, arts and culture, sports, as well as academia and research.”

So what exactly does this mean?


Who is the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass (ONE Pass) meant for?

Singapore is fortifying its attractive qualities as a business hub with some weightage on science and academic topics as well. With the ONE Pass, it hopes to convince even more from these fields to consider working in the country with an extended pass. While most work permits last two years, the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass lasts for five years, promising a more assured career.

On top of strengthening these areas, the ONE Pass was also designed to encourage talented arts, cultural and sports individuals as well in hopes of cultivating the island’s developing scene.

Because of the focus on skill sets and talent in their respective fields, the criteria for applying for this permit are more flexible than some of the other work visa options.


Criteria for applying

The main task of the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass is to attract high-performing, existing talent to Singapore in the hopes that they can contribute to vibrant growth in their respective industries. Because of this, eligibility is established as one that is offered on a case-by-case basis.

In terms of its salary criterion, the official requirements are for the applicant to be earning an existing fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000, or its equivalent in foreign currency for the last year, or to have been offered a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 under their prospective employer based in Singapore. The ONE Pass also accepts multiple employees, but at least one must meet the above criteria. Most interestingly, this is the only work visa that allows an applicant to enter Singapore without an existing job offer.

Both existing work pass holders and new applicants may apply for the ONE Pass, with the same requirements established above. The only difference is that both must prove that they have worked at least a year with an established organisation – either locally for the former, or overseas for the latter. One thing to note, “established” means that the company must have a market capitalisation or valuation of at least US$500 million or annual revenue of at least US$200 million.

That said, due to the highly personalised nature of the pass and its agenda of attracting top talent, the applicant’s reputation and achievements are also considered and can allow for eligibility without meeting the above-salaried criterion.

The official website indicates that “individuals with outstanding achievements in the arts and culture, sports, as well as academia and research can qualify for Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass without meeting the salary criterion”. More specifically, those who have demonstrated “a high level of achievement in scientific research or other academic research, with a proven record of impactful outcomes from research conducted (which may include international recognition of scientific and/or academic leadership) may apply under the academia and research track”.

Given the nature of certain industries, such as those in art, which usually do not show their value as readily in financial terms, the ONE Pass’s individualised application process allows those looking to establish themselves in Singapore a more flexible way to apply.


Benefits of the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass

The Singapore ONE Pass provides its holders with a range of benefits to help them more easily expand their businesses or careers locally or internationally while based in Singapore. Much like its criterion, the pass was created to afford more flexibility to those wishing to work in Singapore. These benefits include:

  • One can concurrently start, operate, and work for multiple companies at any one time – unlike other visas, which are pegged to a particular job.
  • Thus, unlike other visas, you do not need to reapply for a new pass if you change jobs.
  • And if married, your spouse can work with just a Letter of Consent.
  • The ONE Pass also waives the need for a Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) to be launched in September 2023, and employers who wish to hire them are not subject to the Fair Consideration Framework job advertising requirement.

This accords a lot of fluidity for the applicant and more ease in navigating local prospects, given the more generous period and less stringent protocols for change. It also allows a spouse to easily set up a base locally as well, thus adding to the appeal of long-term growth in Singapore.


So how does one apply for the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass?

To apply for the ONE Pass, one must submit an application through the official website. This can be done by the individual, an agency, or by the employer. The application process typically takes 4 weeks and includes the following steps:

Review eligibility: Based upon the previously-mentioned criterion above.

Complete the online application form: The process takes about 15 minutes and will require travel documents with one’s biodata page, along with information on your background, qualifications, and international business experience, depending on the scenario you are applying through.

Submit supporting documents: These can include a business plan, CV, and testimonials that provide evidence of your expertise and networks. For example, those coming in through the academia and research track will require a letter of endorsement by a local host research institution (i.e. Autonomous Universities/A*STAR) before they would be considered to be under the outstanding achievement track for academia and research.

Decision: The lead agency will evaluate the application and issue a letter of approval or rejection.

Logistics: If approved, the applicant must arrive in Singapore within six months of the approval date and make an appointment to have the pass issued. The administrative verifications will be done, and the applicant will receive the pass-through mail to their registered address.

It’s worth noting that the application process may vary depending on the sector and route, and the lead agency may require additional information or documentation depending on those details. Due to the customised approval process, it is worth preparing oneself by collecting as many credentials of achievements through testimonials and letters of recommendation from establishments and events. But once the approval comes through, the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass allows applicants much room for growth and expansion in one of the most connected business networks in the region.


If you require assistance in ascertaining the type of achievement that best aligns with the criterion, then seeking professional expertise from an agency could save you the guesswork. Leave your applications in the experienced hands of those at Go Global Gem.