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Immigration in Singapore and the USA

A Presentation Report

Seminararbeit 2008 14 Seiten

VWL - Internationale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen



1 Introduction

2 Overview

3 Economy and Demographic
3.1 Singapore
3.2 USA

4 Immigration Law
4.1 USA Immigration Law
4.2 Singapore Immigration Law

5 Efforts to Attract and Discourage Immigrants
5.1 Singapore
5.2 USA

6 Target Groups of Policy

7 Jobs Immigrants are used for

8 Discussion

9 Reference List

1 Introduction

The aim of this report is to outline the key features of our presentation and write a summary of the class discussion that we initiated. The aim of the presentation was to critically analyse two countries of our choice, then choose a topic relating to industrial relations and then compare the two countries. Singapore and USA were chosen for the presentation and the topic chosen was immigration. The body of this report is divided into seven main sections. The first section of the report gives an overview of each country, stating information such as the size and population of both countries. In the second section the economy of both countries is discussed and some demographic data is given. The third section explains the immigration laws within both countries while section four compares the ways both countries try to attract or discourage immigrants. The fifth section identifies the target groups of policies within both of the countries. The types of jobs immigrants are usually used for within both counties is discussed in section six. The seventh and final section explains what was discussed within the presentation amongst the class and shows ideas and opinions that students gave to us from discussing our topic.

2 Overview

The United States of America are a federal republic and the current president is George W. Bush. With a size of 9,161,923 km2 they are 13,420 times as large as Singapore (The World Factbook 2008). The U.S. has a boundary line of 12,034 km and their neighbouring countries are Canada and Mexico, the latter covering 3,141 km of that (The World Factbook 2008). The population of the US amounts to 303,824,640, which is 66 times the population of Singapore (The World Factbook 2008). The U.S has a density of 33 persons per km2 and the population grows by 0.883% per year, whereas we find 2.92 migrants per 1,000 (The World Factbook 2008).

Singapore is a parliamentary republic with Sellapan RAMANATHAN as its president. Singapore covers 682.7 km2 of land, which is 3.5 times Washington D.C (The World Factbook 2008). As Singapore is an island it has 0 km of borders but its neighbouring countries are Indonesia and Malaysia (The World Factbook 2008). Singapore’s population is 4,608,167 which is only 1.5% of the US (The World Factbook. 2008). The density in Singapore is 6,750 persons per km2, about 204 times the density of the US (The World Factbook 2008). The Singaporean population grows by 1.135% per year (The World Factbook 2008).

3 Economy and Demographic

3.1 Singapore

Around one quarter of Singapore’s population is foreign and foreign workers comprise around 30% of Singapore’s labour force (Economy 2008). In recent years Singapore’s economy has been growing strongly (Singapore Country brief 2008). Economic growth was 7.7% in 2007 (Singapore Country brief 2008). In 2008 the state of the global economy will be a key factor in the shaping of Singapore’s economy and also the state of the U.S. economy (Budget Speech 2008 2008). Singapore’s economy is still expected to grow this year (Budget Speech 2008 2008). The economy continues to be upgraded and restructured by the Singapore government (S ingapore Country brief 2008). ‘Singapore's economy has always depended on international trade and on the sale of services’ (S ingapore Country brief 2008). Singapore has a relatively small population compared to many countries and it depends on external markets and suppliers for its economy to thrive (S ingapore Country brief 2008). This has opened up Singapore’s economy and has pushed it into free trade and free markets (S ingapore Country brief 2008). This and government policies have helped Singapore’s economy to remain strong in growth (S ingapore Country brief 2008). Also the acceleration of globalisation has contributed greatly to Singapore’s prosperity (S ingapore Country brief 2008). The Asian financial crisis in 1997, the slowdown of the global economy in 2001 and the outbreak of SARS in 2003 are some of the challenges Singapore has had to face and adapt to (S ingapore Country brief 2008).

Singapore’s population is aging, their fertility rate is low and below the required rate to maintain the population (Key Demographic Indicators 2007). This is considered to be a main issue within Singapore. The demand for foreign workers has increased with industrialisation and globalisation (Foreign Workers in Singapore 2008). 61% of the jobs created last year went to foreigners (Foreign Workers in Singapore 2008). ‘Singaporeans alone will not be able to meet the high manpower demand. In addition, there are many unskilled / low-skilled jobs where Singaporeans are unwilling to take up’ (Foreign Workers in Singapore 2008). Singapore is facing a marked shortfall of people in the workforce and needs immigrants for the economy to thrive (Immigrants needed for Singapore’s economy to thrive 2007). Immigrants are needed to tackle the low fertility rate problem.

3.2 USA

‘The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world’ (The World Factbook – United States 2008). The economy of the U.S. is a major force of the global economy as its GDP represents around 25% of global GDP (United States of America Country Brief 2008). The U.S. suffered a mild recession in 2001 (USA Economy in Brief 2006). 9/11 showed the flexibility of the U.S. economy as they bounced back from a recession in 2001 quite quickly (The World Factbook – United States 2008). The major increases in oil prices has affected the U.S. economy but the economy still continued to grow (The World Factbook – United States 2008). ‘Long-term problems include inadequate investment in economic infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, sizable trade and budget deficits, and stagnation of family income in the lower economic groups’ (The World Factbook – United States 2008). The U.S. economy is considered to sink into a recession (USA economy: Worst of all worlds 2008). Fertility in the United States has remained steady in the past couple decades and doesn’t seem to be a major problem as compared to Singapore (International Fertility Comparison 2007). So attracting immigrants to increase their population isn’t high priority.

4 Immigration Law

4.1 USA Immigration Law

Immigration in the US is regulated by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 2008). The notorious Green Card is the permission for permanent residency in the US (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 2008). It is regulated in §245 of the INA. The law itself has more than 60 subsections (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 2008). Application for permanent residency costs 1,010 USD (GDP per Capita of a Mexican 12,800 USD) (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 2008). To receive a Green Card there are several ways:

- Immigration through the Diversity Lottery (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 2008)
- Immigration through employment (‘Priority workers, Professionals with advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability, skilled or professional worker, special immigrants’) (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 2008)
- Immigration through a family member (husband/wife or unmarried child) (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 2008)
- Immigration through “The Registry” Provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (people living in the U.S. prior 1972) (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 2008)
- Immigration through investment (minimum investment of 1,000,000 USD, employment of a minimum of 10 qualified individuals) (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 2008).

Illegal immigrants face deportation (INA §237). The unlawful bringing of aliens into the U.S. on purpose can bring imprisonment for up to 10 years (INA §277) and a 10,000 USD fine (INA §257) (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 2008). Also employing illegal immigrants knowingly can get you a fine of a maximum of 3,000 USD and imprisoned for a maximum of 6 months (INA §274A f 1) (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 2008).

4.2 Singapore Immigration Law

In Singapore, immigration is regulated by the Immigration Act (Singapore Statutes Online 2008). The application fee is 100 SGD (=70 USD) (Apply for Permanent Residence 2008). To become a Singapore Permanent Resident you must be:

- Spouse or unmarried child of a Singapore Citizen/Singapore Permanent Resident (Apply for Permanent Residence 2008)
- Aged parent of a Singapore Citizen (Apply for Permanent Residence 2008)
- P, Q or S Work Pass Holder (Professional/Technical Personnel or Skilled Worker) (Apply for Permanent Residence 2008)
- Investor or Entrepreneur (Apply for Permanent Residence 2008).

For the unlawfully entering and remaining longer than 90 days, the punishment for this is imprisonment up to 6 months and a caning with no less than 3 strokes (if not punishable with caning a fine of a max of 4,100 USD is given) (Immigration Act §15) (Singapore Statutes Online 2008). Illegal immigrants are in any case removed by from Singapore (Immigration Act §33) (Singapore Statutes Online 2008). Employers are much stronger punished for knowingly employing an illegal immigrant. They are fined between 10,200 USD and 20,400 USD and imprisonment of a max of 12 months (Immigration Act §57A) (Singapore Statutes Online 2008).



ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
494 KB
Institution / Hochschule
Curtin University of Technology – Curtin Business School
Industrial Relations Singapore USA Immigration




Titel: Immigration in Singapore and the USA