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Can Employment Pass Holder Be the Director in Singapore?

Many people have been asking this question: “Can the Employment Pass (“EP”) holders take up secondary directorship appointments?”

In general, EP holders can only work for their employer as specified on their work pass. As such, when EP holders take up directorship appointments (be it executive or non-executive) in another company, they must discharge directorship duties under the Companies Act.

However, an EP holder can be registered as directors in another company (other than the company the EP is approved for) if the EP holder has been granted a Letter of Consent (“LOC”) from Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) pursuant to regulation 11 of the Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations 2012.
 

What Type Of Company Is Considered Eligible?

The MOM recognises that a secondary directorship position in related company, for example a subsidiary, might be critical to the EP holder’s role and job scope. In this light, MOM allows EP holders to take up secondary roles by giving an additional LOC.

In the case that the secondary directorship position is in an unrelated company (not related the EP holder’s primary employer or company that have an indirect shareholding relationship with the EP holder’s primary employer), for example fund entities, MOM will still grant the LOC if the second directorship is related to the EP holder’s primary occupation.

In summary, MOM will grant an LOC if:

  1. The company of the second directorship is related by shareholding to the EP holder’s primary employer.
  2. The EP holder is taking up the second directorship position in another company that is related to his or her primary employment.

 

How to apply for a LOC

Steps to apply for a LOC are rather simple and straightforward:

  1. Have the request form properly filled up and signed.
  2. Submit the signed request form via iSubmit.
  3. On iSubmit, under “Request Type”:
  4. Select “option 1: Work Pass Application Matters (Excluding Work Permit)”, and
  5. Select “Appointment of pass holder from related company to your Board of Directors”.

The LOC application request will be processed in a 5-week window.