Singapore Work Permit for Foreigners

Singapore Work Permit for Foreigners: All You Want To Know

Singapore work permit for foreigners applies to foreign workers from approved source countries working in the construction, manufacturing, marine shipyard, process or service sector.


An employer or an appointed Employment agent can apply for the permit. No qualifying monthly salary is specified for the foreign workers in specified sectors.

The validity of Singapore work permit for foreigners is two years and tied to the validity of the worker’s passport, security bond and employment duration. No family passes are allowed.

Employers are limited by a quota depending on the industry type and must pay a monthly levy for each worker. Employers must also provide medical insurance to all foreign workers. Singapore legislation for Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, S 569/2012 is applicable for Singapore work permit for foreigners.

Eligibility Criteria-Sector Specific Rules

Sourcing, application and receiving work permits are allowed only for some certain foreign nationals subject to complying with work permit requirements such as medical insurance, security bond, quota and levy.

While employing foreign workers for any company, a set of work permit conditions must be complied with during the employment.

  • Singapore work permit for foreigners is usually issued for unskilled and semi-skilled workers generally for two years. The worker is only allowed to work for the employer and in the construction sector.
  • Employers and Work Permit holders must comply with the requirements as stipulated in the Conditions of work permit.

An employer must meet the following requirements

  • Pay the workers salary along with upkeep and maintenance costs as well as the cost of medical treatment.
  • Only employ workers holding a valid Work Pass.
  • Buy and maintain insurance for each worker for in-patient care and surgery costs.
  • Don't demand and receive any sum or any other benefit from any employment agency or any person in connection with employment or change in employment of the foreign worker.
  • Buy a security bond for each non-Malaysian worker.
  • Refer to the Local Qualifying Salary (LQS) to determine the number of local employees who can be counted towards your Work Permit and S Pass quota entitlement.
  • Pay the workers fixed monthly salary declared to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
  • Ensure proper housing for foreign workers.
  • Refer to the guidelines on how to calculate your quota and levy bill and S Pass quota and levy rates.
  • Send your workers for medical examination by a Singapore registered doctor and in case, they are declared medically unfit their work permit will be revoked.
  • Pay the monthly foreign worker levy for each worker.

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Foreign workers need to meet the following conditions

  • Carry Work Permit Card all the time and produce for inspection whenever demanded by Singapore officials.
  • Never take part in any other business or start their own business.
  • Don't get pregnant or deliver a child in Singapore during the validity of the work permit unless already married to a Singapore citizen or permanent resident with the approval of MOM. This is applicable even after the work permit is expired, cancelled or revoked.
  • Work only for the employer and in sectors mentioned in the Singapore work permit for foreigners Card.
  • Not marry a Singapore citizen or permanent resident without informing MOM in or outside Singapore. Thus applies even after expiry, cancellation or revocation of the work Pass.
  • Reside only at the residence mentioned and inform MOM whenever there is any change in residence.

On ending of employment on completion or termination or resignation, comply with the following

  • Cancel the work permit within 7 days
  • Bear the cost of repatriation
  • Clear all outstanding salaries

The sector-specific rules issued by MOM need to be adhered to while applying for Singapore work permit for foreigners.

Applying For Singapore Work Permit for Foreigners

For the employment of foreign workers, you can apply for their Work Permits online. You can also check the status of your application online and need to follow certain steps before the pass is issued.

Singapore is progressively re-opening its borders and approvals for any new applications are still limited.

Application for Singapore work permit for foreigners can be done for persons are already in Singapore.

The applicable fees for each Pass are SGD 35 when an application is submitted and SGD 35 when the pass is issued.

The Singapore work permit for foreigners is usually issued in a week unless more information is needed.

Application and status checking can be done online by logging in to the official website WP Online. The delivery status including fixing an appointment can be done online.

A non-Malaysian worker must not be in Singapore at the time of a work permit application.

For the first time application of a Work Permit, you need to declare your business activity. You should also refer to the requirements for Work Permit.

The duration of the Work Permit is usually 2 years, but it may be shorter depending on:

  • The validity of the worker’s passport: validity will be 1 month before the passport expires.
  • Duration of the security bond: validity will be 2 months before the security bond expires.

The procedure for Singapore work permit for foreigners application consists of the following steps

Submitting an Application by obtaining written consent from the foreign worker and applying online by paying the fee and receiving In-Principle-Approval ( IPA) or rejection information.


Getting the Permit Issued within a specified time frame and as per guidelines of MOM and receiving Notification letter.


Registering Fingerprints and Photo is done by checking the notification letter for any such requirement and within one week after the Pass is issued.


Receiving the Card within 4 working days after fingerprints and photo registration. If card delivery fails, it can be collected by the authorized person from MOM Services Centre Hall C.


Preparing for workers’ arrival

  • Buying a security bond for non-Malaysian workers.
  • Printing and completing the Security Bond Form with the signature from appropriate authorities based on company types.
  • The security bond must take effect when they arrive. Otherwise, they will be refused entry into Singapore and you will have to pay to send them home immediately.
  • Sending the worker for a medical examination within two weeks of arrival.
  • Ensuring that the insurer sends MOM the security bond details. It takes up to 3 working days.
  • Buying medical insurance for them.


Renewal of Singapore Work Permit for Foreigners

Singapore work permit for foreigners can be renewed online 6 to 8 weeks before it expires after making payment of SGD 35 renewal fee and submitting necessary documents. The renewal is valid for two years and tied to the validity of a passport.

Before renewing, certain steps need to be completed such as checking quota and extending the worker’s security bond and medical insurance.

The Work Permit renewal notice and application form will indicate whether your workers are required to do a medical examination for you to get their Work Permits renewed.

For workers who are currently on Stay-Home Notice or Quarantine Order and cannot do their medical examinations, you can request for time to get the Work Permit renewed. You can also submit this request if your workers are waiting for a new passport.

For workers who are unable to return to Singapore to have their Work Permits renewed, please cancel the Work Permits and re-apply for them when the COVID-19 situation has stabilised.

Quota And Levy

A company is limited by a quota for specific industry and must pay the monthly foreign worker levy for each Work Permit holder employed.

Sector-specific quota and levy requirements can be obtained from MOM.

Conditions of Work Pass and Employment of Foreign Manpower Act are the two legislations relevant to Singapore work permit for foreigners.

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