International law firms in Singapore are facing increasing barriers in hiring expatriate lawyers as a result of the government’s moves to appease concerns over soaring unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government raised the cost of hiring expatriates by increasing the minimum salary needed to qualify for work permits by 15%, to $3,000 per month. The government for the first time also introduced a sector-specific qualifying salary of at least $3,700 a month for those working in the finance sector, and double that amount for those who are age 40 or older.

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