Singapore used to be receptive to labour migration and Japan more restrictive. Recently, trends in both countries have reversed and a selection based on racial background has been noted by migrants. Using qualitative data of young white Europeans, this paper argues that amidst changing immigration policies, the way these migrants are received and perceived as “skilled” is not necessarily due to their acquired skills but rather to the passively accrued value of whiteness. This in turn fuels migrants’ self-identification as white and their perceptions of a market demand for white foreigners. However, their migratory trajectories underline that in a changing landscape of skill appreciation, meanings of whiteness are changing, too. The paper links migration with critical whiteness studies and argues that white privilege is sustained differently in Singapore and Japan, yet that in both cases, whiteness increasingly acts passively rather than being actionable capital and that its benefits are questionable.