Can a company apply for work visas for its employees in Singapore?
Yes. In fact, after the company is incorporated, all foreign employees of a Singapore company need work visas to be able to work in Singapore. It is mandatory.
These range from:
- Work permits for domestic workers and labourers,
- S Pass for mid-level skilled workers,
- Employment Passes (EP) for experienced professionals, managerial personnel, executives or specialists with good credentials.
Can Singapore company incorporation help me apply for work visas for foreign employees?
Yes, certainly. We can review the candidacy, apply for work visa, liaison with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), process renewals, track the application status, as well as appeal in case there are any rejections.
What is Singapore’s work permit?
This work visa is issued to basic-skilled workers from an approved source country/territory, which depends on the sector the worker is going to be employed in. Importantly, the minimum age restriction for work permits is 18 years for all non-domestic foreign workers. While the upper limit for Malaysians is 58 years and 50 years for non-Malaysians.
Why does Singapore have a Foreign Workers Levy?
All employers in Singapore are required to pay foreign worker levy (FWL) for their work permit holders, whose amount is determined by the sector the employer/company belongs to, and the educational qualifications and skills of the workers.
This is a mechanism to regulate the foreign manpower numbers in the country.
Do employers in Singapore need to adhere to the Dependency Ratio Ceiling?
Yes, all employers in Singapore must adhere to the Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC), which refers to the maximum permitted ratio of foreign workers to the total workforce that a company is allowed to hire.
What is S Pass in Singapore?
S Pass is a notch above Work Permit and is issued to mid-level skilled foreigners (e.g. technicians). Like the Work Permit, FWL and DRC is also applicable for S Pass applications. While the monthly levy per S Pass holder ranges anything between S$315 and S$550, MOM states that “the number of S Pass holders a company can employ is capped at a sub-Dependency Ceiling (sub-DC), of 15% of the company’s total workforce in the Services sector and 20% in the remaining sectors”. MOM assesses the S Pass application “on a points system, taking into account multiple criteria”, which is as under:
- minimum monthly salary of S$2,500 (effective 1st Oct 2020) for young applicants; older, more experienced applicants need higher salaries to qualify
- degree or diploma
- years of work experience
What are the eligibility conditions for the Singapore Employment Pass (EP)?
The eligibility conditions for a Singapore EP, normally issued for three years, are:
- managerial or executive roles, or specialised jobs
- a fixed monthly salary of at least S$4,500 for young graduates and higher for older experienced applicants
- acceptable qualifications
Importantly, Singapore employers don’t need to worry about FWL or DRC while applying for Employment Pass (EP) of their foreign employees.
Are there any tips for securing an EP for my employee?
Tips for securing an EP for your foreign employee:
- pay appropriate salaries commensurate with the applicant’s qualifications and experience
- use jobsbank.gov.sg to demonstrate your intent of hiring locals first
- hire a foreigner whose skill-set compliments the work-force
- preferably hire a foreigner from tier one countries/region
- use MOM’s Self-Assessment Tool to gauge the EP application’s success chances
Can we get family passes for EP Holders?
Yes, EP holders who earn at least S$4,000 per month can bring their family members to Singapore. The two available options:
- Dependant Pass: for the legally married spouse, and unmarried children (including the adopted ones) under 21 years; spouses can work in Singapore after securing a Letter of Consent from the MOM
- Long Term Visit Pass in Singapore: for the common-law spouse, unmarried handicapped children above 21 years, step-children under 21, parents (only if the EP holders earns more than S$8,000 per month)
Can EP holders and their families apply for Permanent Residency in Singapore?
EP holders and their families can apply for permanent residency (PR) in Singapore through the Professional, Technical Personnel & Skilled Workers (PTS) scheme. But, it’s always advisable to wait for at least six months before making the PR application as you are required to furnish proof of six months’ salary.
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