Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Singapore: a bad time for expats?

Singapore's financial district
We've had a few posts about Singapore in this blog. There's been discussion of Singapore being the "soft landing" in Asia and how to get a passport in Singapore. This is because Singapore is a hot destination for expats. The cnngo.com Web site has a great discussion of five reasons expats love Singapore. All things considered, it's a very attractive destination for those seeking another country.

Unfortunately, Singapore is trying o make itself a touch less attractive. In a Telegraph article, Singapore becoming 'less attractive' for expats, three recent changes targeting expats are covered:

  1. Added 10 per cent hike in stamp duty for any foreigner wanting to buy property in the city
  2. Ended a program that let graduates of foreign universities stay in Singapore for one year while they look for work
  3. Due to a strong Singapore dollar, Singapore is now more expensive for expats than Hong Kong

Obviously, Singapore can't necessarily control how expensive it is relative to other expat destinations, but points 1 and 2 are clearly aimed at expats. For those who stay, more money will be extracted. Otherwise, it may be a slightly less attractive option compared to other destinations (were it not for my family and great job, I'd be tempted).

Expats aren't experiencing fewer options on where they can go, but those options are changing, particularly as the popular destinations tighten their borders a bit. So stop with your excuses and just go!
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