SINGAPORE – Singapore on Monday announced new work visa rules to bring foreign talent to the country — and the new visa rules will favor agri-tech talent.

Singapore is a small city-state with limited land and resources. However, it has a vision to become a global leader in agri-tech, or agricultural technology, which aims to improve food production and sustainability. To achieve this goal, Singapore needs to attract and retain skilled workers who can contribute to the development and innovation of the agri-tech sector.

That is why the government has introduced new work visa rules that will make it easier for foreign agri-tech talent to work in Singapore. The new rules, which will take effect from July 1, 2023, are as follows:

– The minimum salary requirement for the Employment Pass (EP), which is the main type of work visa for professionals, managers, and executives, will be lowered from S$4,500 to S$3,500 for agri-tech workers. This will make it more affordable for agri-tech companies to hire foreign talent.

– The validity period of the EP will be extended from two years to three years for agri-tech workers. This will provide more stability and certainty for both employers and employees.

– The quota for the S Pass, which is another type of work visa for mid-level skilled workers, will be increased from 15% to 20% for agri-tech companies. This will allow them to hire more foreign workers with relevant skills and experience.

– The government will also launch a new Agri-Tech Talent Scheme (ATTS), which will provide fast-track processing and approval for EP applications from agri-tech workers who have at least three years of relevant experience and a degree from a recognized institution. The ATTS will also offer a one-time relocation grant of S$5,000 for eligible workers.

These new work visa rules are part of Singapore’s efforts to build a vibrant and competitive agri-tech ecosystem that can support its food security and resilience. By attracting and retaining foreign talent, Singapore hopes to foster more collaboration and innovation in the agri-tech sector, and create more opportunities and benefits for its economy and society. Photo: Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa