If you are currently working in Singapore, you should quickly try to get a permanent residence as explained here. Since most immigrants and foreigners are in Singapore on a E pass or S pass, it is important for you to convert that into a Singapore permanent residency status if you wish to remain in Singapore during uncertain times.
Especially in 2020, when lots of retrenchments and massive layoffs continue, and with the latest Singapore General Elections just over in July 2020, priority for keeping jobs are provided to local Singaporean citizens and permanent residents over others.
If you are on an E pass or S pass, the issue is that in the unfortunate event that sometime untoward happens to you in your job, your spouse and kids’ ability to remain in the country is also at jeopardy. This is because their visa status is tied to you. However, if you already have intentions to live and work in Singapore for the long term alongside your family, seriously go through a PR application. If you and then your family are permanent residents, then your children’s education locally is still guaranteed, and you can still calmly look for greener pastures at another company in Singapore. That is certainly not the case if on an expired E pass or S pass, as you and your family would then be on a temporary 30 days VISA only. That can be very stressful if you are still required to pay rent, and make living arrangements for your entire family while rushing to find a new job all at the same time within weeks.
Some of you may have questions, and I shall answer them below.
Question 1) But I thought my spouse and kids are here in Singapore now under a long term visit pass, should they not be allowed to stay on regardless of me?
Answer 1) The validity and extension of your family’s long term visit pass, otherwise known as LTVP, is based on the validity and type of status the main applicant has. If you are a permanent resident, then yes, you can just renew yours and their status indefinitely. But that is not the case if you are holding an expired or invalid E pass or S pass.
Question 2) Will this potential layoffs affect permanent residents too on top of foreigners?
Answer 2) There is no fixed answer to this. But from the looks of what the government and companies in Singapore has been doing, it seems that it is only the foreigners on E pass or S pass who are affected. Permanent residents and citizens are largely unaffected wherever possible. They are essentially given the same priority.