Parliamentary Question on 4 November 2014
CREDENTIAL CHECKS ON FOREIGN PROFESSIONALS SEEKING EMPLOYMENT IN SINGAPORE
Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song asked the Minister for Manpower what are the Government’s plans to facilitate credential checks on foreigners coming to work in Singapore in light of cases of foreigners on employment passes who are revealed to have used false credentials.
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin: Our Employment Pass (EP) eligibility framework is based on a range of factors, such as the applicant’s salary level, qualifications and experience, to identify individuals that are likely to possess expertise and capabilities to contribute to our economy. Hence, possessing acceptable qualifications alone does not guarantee that the EP application will be approved. Conversely, not possessing acceptable qualifications does not automatically rule one out of being eligible for an EP.
In 2012, we tightened our legislation and increased penalties for making false statements or submitting false documents in support of work pass application, including those relating to academic qualifications. Offenders may be fined up to $20,000 and/or imprisoned up to two years. Since 2012 to the first half of 2014, we have successfully prosecuted about 150 foreigners for false credentials. All were sentenced to imprisonment terms and subsequently had their work passes revoked and were barred from working in Singapore.
We have also taken a risk-based approach to improve and strengthen our credential checks, including supplementing these checks with third-party overseas screening agencies, verifying the authenticity of certificates directly with the issuing educational institution, and requiring the applicant to upload proof of diplomas and higher qualifications authentication.
MOM will take strong actions against those who make false declarations in work pass applications. If members of the public know of such offences, they should report the matter to MOM.