This post is also available in: 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified))
A Guide About Visa and Work Pass in Singapore
There are different types of work permits (commonly known as “work pass”) in Singapore. In this article, we will introduce each Visa and work pass issued by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and provide you with brief information on the requirements of applying for these work pass.
Types of Work Passes issued by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower and the requirements of applying
All foreigner who wishes to work in Singapore needs to obtain a work pass. The type of work pass depends on the nature of the job, skillset, and earnings. In most cases, the employer is responsible for applying for a work pass for their employees. because most work passes are to be applied under the sponsor of employing a company which registered in Singapore, except for EntrePass and Personalised Employment Pass (PEP). All work passes will be assessed holistically by MOM and the outcome is solely at the discretion of the MOM.
Most of the work passes are to be submitted through MOM online portal (EPOL/WPOL), the specific instructions and requirements for applying these work pass need to be taken into consideration. It, therefore, could be challenging and time-consuming if you are not familiar with the process. To eliminate time wasted and any errors may incur during the processing of the application, most companies and individuals will prefer to work with an experienced corporate service provider (e.g. 3E Accounting) for their work pass application.
Types of Work Pass Issued by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower
Entrepass is for foreign entrepreneurs who want to open a company in Singapore. For this, you need to be 18 years old, and if you have already registered a business in Singapore, it should be no more than six months old.
According to the Ministry of Manpower website, you need to fulfil at least one of these conditions to be considered for an Entrepass as an Entrepreneur, Innovator or Investor.
- You should raise at least S$100,000 worth of funds from a Singapore government recognized investment vehicle, venture capitalist (VC) or angel investors.
- Your company should be an existing incubate or accelerator, and the government recognizes you.
- You should have a proven track record as an entrepreneur. You should have done at least one of these things:
- Founded and sold a technology company.
- Raised significant funds from investors.
- Been incubated by a renowned incubator.
- Have built a strong network in your niche.
- Have won significant awards or been recognized by the press and public for your contribution to your field.
You need to fulfil at least one of these terms:
- Either you or your company should hold an intellectual property in Singapore registered with an approved IP institution.
- You need to prove that your IP has a competitive edge to your proposed business. Your business idea should be something that others can’t easily copy.
- Additionally, one shareholder of the company should be the owner of the IP.
- Your company should have an ongoing research collaboration with a research institution under the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore,
- You should have a visible and significant level of expertise and achievements in the proposed business field.
If you want to register for an Entrepass as an investor, you need to have a good track record of investing. Additionally, you need at least eight years’ experience as an executive or senior management professional in a recognized corporation.
Please refer more information and criteria about Eligibility for EntrePass.
For applying an Employment Pass (EP), you need to be at least 18 years old and have secured a job with S$4,500 (from 01 December 2020, the qualifying salary for EP for the Financial Services Sector will be raised to S$5,000).
The foreign applicant who works as a Professional, Manager or an Executive and having a university degree may apply for an EP. The expertise and skillset of the applicant will also be taken into MOM’s consideration during the assessment.
For EP holder who earns at least S$6,000 per month, you may apply for Dependant’s Pass for your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old.
For changing employment in Singapore, please be advised that you will need to re-apply for a work pass with MOM. The approval will subject to MOM’s reassessment.
Personalized Employment Pass
The difference between Employment Pass (EP) and the Personalized Employment Pass (PEP) that the latter is to be applied by individual and will be granted based on own credentials. It is not tied to an employer. Having a valid PEP, you may work with any employer/company without applying for a work pass.
The PEP is designed for highly skilled foreign professionals with earning of at least S$18,000 per month. It valid for 3-year and is non-renewable. For an existing EP holder who currently earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$12,000 may apply for PEP. As regulated by MOM, pass holders should earn not less than S$144,000 per year while holding a PEP in Singapore.
A PEP holder will have the following flexibility in employment.
- Not be unemployed in Singapore for more than 6 months at any time.
- Not need to re-apply for a new pass for changing of job.
- Can stay in Singapore for a continuous period of up to 6 months without a job to search for new employment.
The S Pass is for mid and semi-skilled workforce (mostly technical staff). To be eligible for applying this pass, you must secure a job in Singapore, a monthly salary of S$2,400 (from 01 October 2020, the qualifying salary for S-Pass will be raised to S$2,500). Additionally, you need to possess a degree or a diploma (a technical certificate of at least one-year study).
S-Pass holders who earn S$6,000 per month can also provide apply dependant’s pass for their family members.
Work Permit for Foreign Worker
The work permit (WP) is catered for semi-skilled and unskilled workers who working in Singapore under Manufacturing, Construction, Marine, Process, and Services. There is no minimum salary, but Singapore work permit requirements vary by sector. The validity of the work permit is two years.
Work Permit for Foreign Domestic Workers
This is for an applicant who works as a foreign domestic worker (FDW) in Singapore. Individual must be between 23 and 50 years old at the time of application, and existing FDW holders can renew WP until they are 60. Besides they should have completed at least eight years of formal education and not be related to their employers. The approved countries are Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, South Korea, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Work Permit for Confinement Nanny
The work permit (WP) for confinement nanny is for Malaysian who secure a job as confinement nannies in Singapore. The employer needs to pay a monthly levy, and the permit is valid for up to 16 weeks starting from the day of the birth of a child.
For applying the WP for confinement nanny, the employer must be at least 21 years old and have a child under four months old. The nanny should be a Malaysian, between 23 to 70 years old, and work at the home of the employer.
The employer needs to pay a monthly levy when hiring a Malaysian nanny, and the rate is as follows:
- If the newborn is Singaporean citizen: at least S$60 a month.
- If the newborn is not a Singapore citizen: at least S$265 a month.
Also, the employer must buy medical insurance coverage of at least S$15,000 for the nanny.
Work Permit for Performing Artiste
Work permit for performing artiste is for performers who can work in a restaurant, bars, karaoke, etc. The permit is valid for six months, and the pass holder can only perform jobs related to stage performance. Once WP for performing artiste is expired, you are not permitted to hold another work permit including other work passes for at least one year.
Training Employment Pass
The training employment pass (TEP) is for international students or trainees willing to undergo specialized training in Singapore related to their field. For this, the training provider should be a reputed Singapore organization, and the trainee should earn a monthly salary of at least S$3,000. The pass is valid for three months and non-renewable.
Training Work Permit
The difference between Training Employment Pass (TEP) and Training Work Permit (TWP) is that the former is for skilled and the latter is for semi-skilled trainees. International students currently studying in Singapore may also apply for the training work permit as per their course requirements. There is no minimum salary requirement for applying TWP and is valid for six months.
Other Work Pass
Work Holiday Pass
There are two types of work holiday passes:
Work Holiday Pass (Under Work Holiday Program)
Work Holiday Pass (Under Work Holiday Program) is for students who want to work and holiday in Singapore. For this, they need to be a student or a recent graduate of a reputable university from Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom or the United States. Additionally, the applicant needs to be 18 to 25 during the time of application.
The pass is valid for six months and non-renewable. The quota is 2,000 applicants.
Work Holiday Pass (under Work and Holiday Visa Programme)
This is for Australian citizens who want to work and holiday in Singapore. The applicant should be between 18 to 30 years old during the time of application. They must complete at least two years equivalent of university undergraduate study.
The pass is valid for twelve months. A Work Holiday Pass holder can neither work as a freelancer nor work with the same employee for six months.
Miscellaneous Work Pass
The Miscellaneous Work Pass is a short-term pass issued by MOM and valid up to sixty days. Eligible foreigners on short-term assignments, such as speakers at a seminar, religious workers or journalists can apply for this Miscellaneous Work Pass.
Work Pass Exempt Activities
In some cases, certain short-term work activities can be performed in Singapore without a work pass. This includes journalism supported by a Singapore government agency and location filming.
You may approach 3E Accounting should you require assistance in applying for work pass in Singapore.