When it comes to Singapore, foreigners, one who is neither a Singapore Citizen nor a Singapore permanent resident, intending to work in Singapore must have a valid pass, commonly known as the Singapore Work Pass ( also known as Work Visa) before they start work. Employers engaging foreigners to work in Singapore must ensure that they hold a valid pass and make application to Ministry of Manpower
Singapore authorities issue the work permit or Singapore work pass which enable foreigners to take up temporary or permanent work in the country. The work pass can be applied for by any qualified and skilled foreign national who wants to work in Singapore through an appointed employment agent or an employer.
As per the rules of Singapore work pass, employers engaging foreign employees must provide them with a salary for their services as determined by the Ministry of Manpower and maintain a security bond as well as health insurance.
The Singapore work pass allows semi-skilled foreign workers from approved source countries to work in certain sectors such as construction, manufacturing, marine shipyard, process or service sector where special Singapore regulations apply.
Foreign workers seeking work in Singapore shall need to comply with the following requirements
- The applicant must have a valid Passport
- The applicant must be a minimum of 18 years of age
- The applicant can only work within the scope of work mentioned in the work permit issued by the Singapore authorities
In addition to the above-mentioned points, foreign workers working in Singapore shall also need to comply with
- Shall work only in the occupation and for the employer specified in the work pass or work permit
- Shall not marry a Singapore citizen or permanent resident in or outside Singapore without having the approval from the Ministry of Manpower
- Shall not take part in other business or start their own business
- Shall reside only at the address set by the employer at the start of the employment
- Shall carry the original work pass at all the time and produce it for inspection on demand by any Public Officer
The Ministry of Manpower issues different types of Singapore work passes and allows all foreigners who wish to work in this country. All foreigners must avail a valid Singapore work pass before they start working in Singapore.
The different types of work visa which are issued by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower officials based on applicants qualification, skill level, experience, nature and scope of work, purpose and status etc. and are categorized as
Employment Pass allows foreign professionals, managers and executives to work in Singapore. Candidates must earn SGD 4500 per month and have acceptable qualifications.
EntrePass allows eligible foreigners to start and operate a new business in Singapore.
Personalized Employment Pass is for high earning employment Pass holders and overseas foreign professionals.
S Pass allows mid-level skilled staff to work in Singapore and candidates need to earn a minimum SGD 2500 per month.
Work Permit for foreign workers allows semi-skilled foreign workers from approved source countries to work in certain sectors.
Work Permit for foreign domestic workers applies when you are hiring a foreign domestic worker to work in Singapore.
Besides, there are other forms of Singapore Work Pass including Work Permit for confinement nanny and performing artists.
- Training Employment Pass
- Work Holiday Pass ( under Work Holiday Programme)
- Work Holiday Pass ( under Work and Holiday Visa Programme)
- Training Work Permit
- Dependant's Pass
- Long Term Visit Pass
- Pre-approved Letter of Consent
- Letter of Consent
- Miscellaneous Work Pass
- Work Pass Exempt Activities
- Work Pass Exemption for foreign students
- Work Passes for holders of Long Term Visit Passes issued by ICA
Singapore Work Pass fees for some main types are
|Type of Pass||Existing Fees||Revised Fees|
|Employment Pass||SGD 70 for application & SGD 150 for issuance/renewal||SGD 105 for application & SGD 225 for issuance/ renewal|
|EntrePass||SGD 70 for application & SGD 150 for issuance/renewal||SGD 105 for application & SGD 225 for issuance/ renewal|
|Personalized Employment Pass||SGD 70 for application & SGD 150 for issuance/ renewal||SGD 105 for application & SGD 225 for issuance/renewal|
|S Pass||SGD 60 for application & SGD for issuance/renewal||SGD 75 for application & SGD 100 for issuance/ renewal|
|Work Permit (Foreign Domestic Worker)||SGD 30 for application & SGD 30 for issuance/renewal||SGD 35 for application & SGD 35 for Issuance/ renewal|
|Work Permit (Foreign Worker)||SGD 30 for application & SGD 30 for issuance/renewal||SGD 35 for application & SGD 35 for issuance/ renewal|
In the wake of Singapore’s weakening economy and job prospects for local Singaporeans during post-pandemic, the Ministry of Manpower announced on 27th of August 2020 that Singapore would amend the minimum salary requirement for Employment Pass (EP) and S Pass categories of Singapore work Pass including the job advertising requirements under the Fair Consideration Framework (“FCF”).
A brief outline of the proposed amendments are
- Increased salary requirement for EP @ 4500 SGD per month against SGD 3900 earlier.
- Reduction of S Pass sub-DRC along with an increase in monthly salary. DRC, the dependency ratio ceiling refers to the maximum permitted ratio of foreign workers to the total workforce that a company is allowed to hire.
- Fair Consideration Framework extending job advertising to S Pass applications.
Penalties for non-compliance include debarring employers from applying for new passes, renewing existing work passes for up to 12 months and in case if major non-compliance might extend up to 24 months, prosecution of employers and key personnel and if convicted, imprisonment up to 2 years or SGD 20K fine or both.
The update reflects the Singapore Government’s recognition of strong Singaporean workforce as an important part of the country’s labour market.
Following steps need to be followed if you wish to avail Singapore work Visa or work permit
- Submitting an application
- Receiving In-Principle Approval (IPA)
- Preparation for Entry into Singapore
- Getting Permit Issued
- Biometric Data Registration
- Receiving Work Pass or Work Permit
- Returning of Old Pass or Permit
Submission of Application involves the following steps
- Obtaining a written application from the foreign worker
- Logging into Work Permit Online with CorpPass
- Filling out the Application Form
- Paying the applicable fee using General Interbank Recurring Order (GIRO), Visa, Mastercard etc.
- Checking on the status of the application after 7 working days
Singapore’s workforce is made up of more than 40 per cent non-residents and post-pandemic, the nation is tightening their rules and standards for Singapore Work Pass for overseas workers to protect local jobs.
Besides becoming more complex, the Singapore work pass is both harder to get and more time consuming than before as the MOM officials are scrutinizing the Work Visa cases more stringently and critically. The Work Visa processing that used to take 7 to 10 days earlier is currently taking more than 3 weeks.
Needless to say, outsourcing a local consultancy providing Work Visa Services in Singapore and aware of local laws and requirements has become a present-day necessity for Singapore Work Pass aspirants.