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Measures to deter foreigners with fake certs

  • The Straits Times (24 July 2013) : Measures to deter foreigners with fake certs
  • The Straits Times (20 July 2013) : Foreigners with fake certs: Should checks be tightened?

Measures to deter foreigners with fake certs
- The Straits Times, 24 July 2013

  1. We refer to the letter, “Foreigners with fake certs: Should checks be tightened?”, 20 July.
  2. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) takes a firm stance against foreigners who submit false qualifications to fraudulently obtain work passes.
  3. Over the years, we have strengthened our processes and fraud detection capabilities. This include enhancing our internal database checks, supplementing these checks with third-party screening agencies, and checking the certificate’s authenticity directly with the issuing educational institute. MOM also conducts retrospective audits.
  4. Since February this year, employers and employment agents are required to upload verification proof of diplomas and higher qualifications for applications for the Employment Pass, S Pass or Training Employment Pass. The requirement was introduced for educational qualifications obtained in the People’s Republic of China as there were already established channels for verification. We are also identifying similar verification channels for qualifications from other source countries.
  5. We also amended the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act last year and made the submission of false qualifications a standalone contravention with stiffer penalties. Offenders may be fined up to $20,000, and / or jailed for up to two years.
  6. The 25 foreigners convicted recently for using false education certificates in work pass applications were investigated after MOM had verified that the certificates were forged. MOM will also take action against errant employers and employment agents if they have abetted such acts.
  7. Members of the public who have information of such offences can contact MOM at (65)6438 5122 or email

Foreigners with fake certs: Should checks be tightened?
- The Straits Times, 20 July 2013

I was surprised to read that 25 foreigners were convicted of falsifying documents to obtain work passes ("More foreigners caught with fake certificates"; Thursday).

It was also mentioned that the number of foreigners caught for this offence so far this year has exceeded the total for the whole of last year.

The jobs they took could have gone to qualified Singaporeans.

One needs to ask serious questions about the process of dishing out work passes.

Can the Manpower Ministry comment on the process of verifying academic qualifications before approving work passes for foreigners?

Can the process be reviewed and tightened? How did the 25 foreigners obtain approval, and how were they found out? Does the ministry conduct retrospective checks on work pass holders?

With the insatiable demand for foreign labour in Singapore, we need a robust process to weed out frauds.