Singapore – A rising number of foreigners are willing to return portions of their salaries to prospective employers in return for employment visas to secure jobs in economically prosperous Singapore, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
The Straits Times cited a case of two professionals from Myanmar and the Philippines offering to pay a technology company a fee of half their salaries for an employment pass (EP), which grants dependent visas for spouses and children of foreigners working in the city-state.
The daily cited Henn Tan, chief executive officer of Trek 2000 International Ltd, as saying he rejected the offers in April from the applicants who had wanted to work as a webmaster and as a software engineer.
‘They told me if I allowed them to be hired on EP, they would kick back the balance to me,’ the daily quoted Tan as saying.
Other employers, however, appeared to be taking up similar offers. The daily cited the Manpower Ministry as having taken to task five employers for making false declarations in work pass applications in the first three months of this year.
One employer was fined 5,000 Singapore dollars (4,100 US dollars) while the rest were jailed for one to six months. Similar cases were being investigated against several others employers.
The ministry said 141 foreigners were convicted in the first nine months of last year for lying in their work pass applications, up from 137 for the whole of the year before.
Employment pass holders in Singapore increased to 142,000 last year from 115,000 in 2009 as the city-state is becoming increasingly dependent on foreign workers.