These streamlined procedures are part of the nation's efforts to accelerate the entry of workers necessary for ongoing projects, and alleviate the labour shortage these sectors are facing.
Effective 13 March 2022 (Sunday), the entry requirements for fully-vaccinated new work permit holders (WPHs) with in-principle approval (IPA) in the construction, marine shipyard & process (CMP) sectors will be streamlined into two procedures, according to Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) latest statement.
The first is a pre-departure preparatory programme (PDPP), and the second is a specified travel lane.
Pre-departure preparatory programme
For the first procedure, the industry-led process will be streamlined into a shorter two-day pre-departure preparatory programme (PDPP) in the source country. This is followed by a three-day stay-home notice (SHN), and onboarding at MOM’s Onboard centres — which integrate SHN with enhanced medical examination and settling-in programme for migrant workers — upon arrival in Singapore, which is the current requirement.
This latest approach, the Ministry shared in its statement, retains some of the existing health protocols (i.e. pre-departure testing) under the industry-led process, which succeeded in reducing imported cases even during surges in COVID-19 cases at source countries. Further, the duration of the PDPP may be adjusted, depending on the global COVID-19 situation.
"For instance, it could be lengthened if new COVID-19 variants of concern (that require tighter border measures) emerge. The PDPP is intended to be the main channel for new CMP work permit holders going forward, and will enhance the resilience of the CMP sectors," MOM explained.
Specified travel lane
Regarding the second procedure, from 1 May 2022 (Sunday), each fully-vaccinated new CMP WPH holding an IPA will enter through only one specified lane, except for Malaysians and female CMP WPHs who are also allowed to enter Singapore via the Vaccinated Travel Lane. As such, new CMP work permit holders will be required to undergo the PDPP process, where available at their source countries.
Employers and work permit holders can take note that the PDPP will be available in Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar from 13 March 2022.
New CMP WPHs entering from source countries where PDPP is not available will continue to enter Singapore via the Work Pass Holder General Lane, where they will be subjected to prevailing border measures, and will complete an onboarding programme where applicable upon arrival.
"All existing CMP WPHs holding issued work permits will continue to enter Singapore via the Work Pass Holder General Lane. Entry approvals under this lane will be prioritised for them," the Ministry added.
In the interim from 13 March to 30 April 2022, fully-vaccinated new CMP work permit holders holding IPAs from source countries where PDPP is available can enter via either the PDPP or the Work Pass General Lane.
Applications to enter via the PDPP lane will be open from 13 March 2022 through PDPP partners who are companies, and industry associations that have been involved in the industry-led end-to-end process, including BCA-approved overseas testing centres.
"This streamlined process will help the CMP sectors accelerate the entry of necessary workers for ongoing projects, alleviate the labour shortage that the sectors have faced over the past year, while building greater resilience in their workforce," MOM said.
Image / Ministry of Manpower