What’s important especially for Singapore is to have a very good knowledge of what the options are and at Fragomen we spend a lot of time discussing with our clients understanding their needs and make sure the right strategy is taken.
For Singapore it’s possible to apply for employment passes, personalized employment passes, training employment passes and quite often our clients aren’t aware of what the options are and so it’s important to make sure the right approach has taken and especially if it’s possible to find a shortcut which is compliant we will help them take that.
More recently in Singapore there are some changes which allowed for work pass exemptions however the immigration authorities take a very tight policy when allowing it and so we help our clients with the determination to make sure that the assignees are eligible to go under the exemption and we then help with a notification and that way it may be possible to avoid having to go through the employment pass process if people are coming for less than 60 days and the nature of their activities allow for it.
There a lot of contrasts on one hand the government makes it very easy to do business in Singapore and they encourage foreigners to come in to work in Singapore as well however people do become complacent and they have like I say a lot of people coming in as business travelers and you know sometimes you see people falling between the cracks.
Again there’s another client who had an intern for a period of time and the intended to get an employment pass for him but forgot about it and the person was from Indonesia and he came back and forth from a visit pass for over a year and the company then found out that he was working illegally in Singapore.
They came to us for help to resolve it and it can be a very complicated situation because if they’ve been paying the person the salary in Singapore they then to have to account to the tax authorities as well as other obligations so under the circumstances it’s necessary in that type of situation to be forthcoming with the authorities to explain it’s a mistake and it’s not going to happen again and it also helps a lot to show that they’ve got a comprehensive program in place and that they take immigration seriously.