In this page, you will find out more about the various passes that will allow you to work legally in Singapore and relocate your immediate family members to Singapore.
Employment Visas in Singapore
Singapore Employment Visas For Professionals
The Employment Pass allows professionals such as managers, executives and specialists to work in Singapore. To qualify, an applicant must earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $4,500 (effective 1st September 2020) and have sound qualifications. An applicant in the financial sector must earn a minimum salary of $5,000 with effect from 1st December 2020. The application can be made only by the employer. The validity of the EP is tied to the employer. Consequently, a change in employers will require a new pass application.
The EntrePass is made to attract entrepreneurs to come to Singapore, enliven its startup scene and generate employment for locals.
To qualify for an EntrePass, an applicant must meet one of the following requirements:
- Has funding from a government accredited VC or business angel
- Holds an intellectual property
- Holds significant business experience/network and promising entrepreneurial track record
- Has exceptional technical/domain expertise in an area related to proposed business
- Holds good track record of investing in businesses and want to grow new or existing businesses in Singapore
- Has research collaboration with A*STAR or a university
- Is an incubate at a government-supported incubator
If successful, entrepreneurs will be awarded a 1-year pass.
For the EntrePass to be upgraded and renewed annually, entrepreneurs must fulfil the employment and business spend, as follows:
|Years||Full-time local jobs created||Minimum total business spend (TBS)|
|8 or more||12 FTEs
*FTEs refer to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who earn a monthly salary of at least $1,100 and receive CPF contributions for at least 3 months.
**PMEs refer to professionals, managers and executives who are Singaporeans or Permanent Residents, earn a monthly salary of at least $3,600 and receive CPF contributions for at least 3 months.
***1 local PME counts as 3 local FTEs.
**** Total Business Spending (TBS) = [Total Operating Expenses – (Royalties/Franchise Fees/Know How Fees to Overseas Companies + Work Subcontracted to Overseas Companies + Remuneration to Applicant & Immediate Family)]
EntrePass holders can only apply for Depedant’s Passes for their immediate family when they meet the Year 2 renewal criteria of minimum annual business spending of $100,000 and employment of 3 local FTEs or 1 PME.
The Personalised Employment Pass is designed especially for top-tier professionals. The PEP accords its owner some flexibility as it is not tied to any employer. This allows its owner to change jobs without re-applying for a new Pass. A PEP holder may stay in Singapore for up to 6 months while in between jobs. The pass is valid for 3 years and cannot be renewed.
However, the flexibility comes at a price. To qualify, existing EP holders must earn a fixed monthly salary of S$12,000. Overseas-based applicants must not be unemployed for longer than 6 months at the time of application. On top of that, they must show proof that their last drawn fixed monthly salary was at least S$18,000. In sum, the minimum annual fixed salary must be S$144,000.
PEP holders enjoy dependants’ privileges very much like P1 EP holders. They may relocate immediate family members (legally married spouse and children under 21 years) and parents via the Dependant’s Pass and LTVP respectively.
Letter of Consent (LOC)
The Letter of Consent (LOC) allows select Dependant’s Pass (DP) holders to work in Singapore.
DP holders must be dependants of Employment Pass holders and are required to demonstrate proof of their profession. For example, if they are regional representatives or engaged in the legal, medical, nursing, sports and food sectors, they must provide supporting documents from the relevant Singapore government agencies.
The dependants of S Pass holders are not eligible for the LOC. Instead, they must apply for a work permit, S Pass or Employment Pass.
The LOC application will be made by the employer and remains valid as long as the candidate is employed and the Pass is not cancelled.
Singapore Employment Visas For Mid-Level Skilled Workers
The S Pass allows mid-level skilled workers (e.g. technicians) to work in Singapore. To qualify, an applicant must command a fixed monthly salary of S$2,200, demonstrate relevant work experience and possess a degree, diploma or technical certificates. Older applicants must command higher salaries that are commensurate with their work experience.
Like the Employment Pass, the application can only be made by the employer on behalf of the applicant.
However, unlike the EP, there is a quota for the number of S Pass holders a company may employ. This number is capped at a sub-Dependency Ceiling (sub-DC). For firms in the service sector this sub-DC is 15% (which means that the percentage of S Pass can only be a maximum of 15% of the total work force). For other sectors, it is 20%.
Singapore Employment Visas For Skilled Workers
Work Permit (WP)
A Work Permit is meant for workers in the manufacturing, services, construction, process and marine sectors. There are also specific WPs for domestic helpers, confinement nannies and performing artistes.
Once issued, the Work Permit is valid for two years, unless the validity of the worker’s passport, the Banker’s/Insurance Guarantee, and the worker’s employment period, is shorter. The WP holder is only allowed to work for the employer and in the mutually-agreed occupation.
There is a levy imposed on every WP holder employed and it is determined according to the qualification and skills of the workers. There is also a Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC) for every sector to put a quota on how many WP holders it may employ.
Related Reading » How to Hire a Maid in Singapore
Short Term Passes in Singapore
Miscellaneous Work Pass (MWP)
A Miscellaneous Work Pass is meant for people on assignments which do not exceed 60 days.
Eligible applicants include:
- Persons involved in the coordination of a seminar, conference, workshop, talk or gathering related to religion, race, community, cause or politics.
- Religious workers giving talks relating to any religion
- Journalists, reporters or accompanying crew member covering a story or event in Singapore but not supported by any Singapore government
As part of the application, candidates must provide the official stamp and signature of an authorised officer from the local sponsoring organisation.
Work Holiday Programme
This programme is available to undergraduates or former full-time students aged 18-25 from universities in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States.
The programme allows successful candidates to work in Singapore for up to 6 months.
There is no restriction on the industry the candidate may enter unless the occupations require prior approval from respective national agencies.
The Work Holiday Programme has a capacity for 2,000 applicants at any one point in time and applicants must not hold a Work Holiday Pass within 12 months from the submission of the application.
Training Employment Pass (TEP)
The Training Employment Pass allows candidates to come to Singapore for a short-term training attachment lasting up to 3 months. It is available to 2 types of applicants.
- Undergraduates whose training attachment in Singapore is part of his/her degree programme; or
- Trainees from overseas offices or subsidiaries
All applicants must earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$3000 and cannot possess a TEP before. The Pass is non-renewable.
Training Work Permit (TWP)
The Training Work Permit allows an employer to:
- Bring semi-skilled workers from affiliated overseas companies to undergo training in Singapore. In this case, the DRC and foreign worker levy applies.
- Employ foreign students studying in Singapore. In this case, the employer will not incur a levy for every worker. Instead, it can only hire a maximum of 15 TWP holders or have them make up 5% of its total headcount, whichever is lower.
The TWP is valid for up to 6 months.
Relocation for Dependants in Singapore
Employment and S Pass holders who earn $6,000 and above may relocate with their immediate family members by applying for the Dependant’s Pass. Immediate family members include spouses (legally married) or unmarried/legally adopted children under 21 years of age.
Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP)
The Long Term Visit Passes is available to the immediate family members of EP holders who earn $6,000 and above per month.
Eligible family members include the common-law spouse as well as unmarried step-children (under 21 years old) and unmarried handicapped children (above 21 years). Those earning S$12,000 and above per month may apply for the LTVP for their parents.
For Long-Term Relocation in Singapore
Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) Status
Having a Permanent Resident status allows a person to live in Singapore over a longer term and enjoy related privileges. Currently, there are 2 avenues to attain the PR status – via the PTS Scheme and the GIP.
The PTS Scheme is the Professional, Technical Personnel and Skilled Worker scheme. It allows skilled workers holding the EntrePass, Employment Pass or S Pass to apply for a PR status in Singapore.
GIP means Global Investor Programme. It is launched by the Singapore Economic Development Board to give business investors long term residency in Singapore.
At present, under the GIP Scheme, you can choose either of the following investment options:
- Option A: Invest at least S$2.5 million in a new business startup or expansion of an existing business operation.
- Option B: Invest at least S$2.5 million in a GIP-approved fund that invests in Singapore-based companies.
Related Reading » Clearer Guidelines on Singapore Employment to Benefit Companies
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