In a statement issued March 26, 2012, the Ministry of Manpower announced that work permit holders from “non-traditional sources” such as Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand, as well as from China, can be employed for a maximum of ten years, up from six years previously.  The statement can be seen at

The ministry is doing this to allow businesses to retain “their trained, experienced, and, therefore, more productive”  employees for longer, as part of the aim to raise productivity.

However, overall dependency ratios continue to apply. These control the number of foreign workers a company can hire as a ratio to Singaporean workers; the ratios vary from industry to industry.

MOM is also considering relaxing prohibitions against cross-deployment of foreign workers to different job functions within the same firm. It will begin with “a pilot run to relax the occupational restrictions in the hotel sector. If successful, this could be later extended to other Services industries,” it said in its statement.

See also TWC2’s Press Release on this subject.