Those with caregiving needs will get priority for new maids
Applications for the entry of new maids into Singapore opened last Friday.
Employers can now apply for domestic workers who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter Singapore from Nov 1 through the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority's SafeTravel portal.
In a Facebook post yesterday about the updated regulations, Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang said that while the Government has increased entry approval quotas, numbers will still be regulated for public health reasons and preference will be given to families with caregiving needs.
"Some employers may not be successful in getting entry approvals within the immediate period. They may want to access the portal again in the subsequent weeks, when further entry approval slots will be available," she said.
She advised those who urgently needed maids to tap the commercial programme run by the Association of Employment Agencies (Singapore).
The pilot programme was started four months ago to help meet the demand for foreign maids.
Working with overseas business partners, the association puts in place additional safe management measures for maids in their home countries before they can enter Singapore.
Maids from the Philippines and Indonesia have entered Singapore under this initiative since July.
Homes that need maids urgently can tap the programme, which has been effective in guarding against domestic workers infected with the virus slipping into the country.
Unvaccinated maids who enter Singapore through the programme will need to take both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine within two months after they arrive.
"With the latest increase in entry approvals for domestic workers, I hope more families will be able to meet their caregiving needs at home," Ms Gan added.
In a written reply to parliamentary questions on Oct 5, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng had said that priority for entry approvals would be given to homes with urgent and challenging caregiving needs, especially those with sick and elderly family members as well as those with special needs.
While new maids can enter from Nov 1, Mr Tan cautioned that it would take some time before employers can expect their helpers to arrive.
He said: "As entry approvals continue to be limited for public health reasons, it could take around three to six months before their migrant domestic workers can enter, depending on the Covid-19 situation at source and locally.
"If the situation improves in the region, we can approve more to enter."