Statistics on Work Passes Issued to Foreign Nationals Belonging to any of 127 Professions Listed under Annex 9A of India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement

Written Answers to Questions

Ms Hazel Poa asked the Minister for Manpower to date, what is the total number of work passes that have been issued to foreign nationals (not restricted to Indian nationals) who belong to any of the 127 professions listed under Annex 9A of the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

Dr Tan See Leng: I refer to the reply to Question No. 29 for written answer standing on the Order Paper for 2 August 2021 filed by Mr Leong Mun Wai. It was already explained in the 6 July Ministerial Statements that the 127 professions listed under Annex 9A of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) do not have any bearing on our assessment of work pass applications. In processing work pass applications, the Ministry does not ask if an applicant is seeking to enter under Annex 9A of the CECA as there is no such route. All foreigners who wish to work in Singapore need to meet prevailing work pass criteria before they are granted a work pass. As such, the Ministry does not track or report employment data based on the occupational grouping requested by the Member.

Moreover, it is not meaningful to look at the number of non-Indian professionals belonging to any of the 127 professions, as requested by the Member. A foreign professional from any other country would be unlikely to have any link to India or the CECA.

Nevertheless, if the Member is interested to know broadly the share of work pass holders (all nationalities) amongst all workers under the much broader Singapore Standard Occupational Classification (SSOC) Group 2 (Professionals)1, the answer is that they make up less than one-quarter of all employed persons in SSOC Group 2.