COUNTRY

Singapore

SINGAPORE EMPLOYMENT VISA (WORK VISA)

All Singapore Employment Visas, aside from the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), are connected to employers. Therefore, any change in employment will require a modification in the applicant’s Singapore work visa.

Singapore has developed into the ideal economic and commercial hub in Southeast Asia, in part because of its innovative immigration rules created to attract experienced entrepreneurs and working professionals from around the world.

If you wish to incorporate a new business here, refer to Singapore company incorporation for more information.

TYPES OF SINGAPORE WORK VISAS

SINGAPORE WORK VISAS FOR PROFESSIONALS

If you’re a professional worker, you can apply for the following categories of Singapore work visas:

  • Employment Pass – Foreign managers, executives, and professionals may apply for an Employment Pass. They must earn at least S$3,600 each month.
  • Personalized Employment PassIf the applicant is a high-earning foreign national or a current holder of an Employment Pass, they may apply for a Personalized Employment Pass. Compared to other work Passes, the PEP allows more flexibility.
  • EntrePass – EntrePass is an option for investors or business owners looking to launch a venture in Singapore. For any of the aforementioned passes, there are no foreign worker quotas or levies.

SINGAPORE WORK VISAS FOR SKILLED AND SEMI-SKILLED WORKERS

  • S Pass: accessible to mid-level skilled individuals who will earn at least S$2,300 per month in salary. There are quotas and a tax on foreign workers.
  • Work permit for foreign workers: Only foreign employees from certain countries are eligible for work permits, which only permit employment in specific industries (such as construction, manufacturing, maritime shipyards, processes, or the services sector). There are quotas and a tax on foreign workers.
  • Work permit for foreign domestic workers (FDW): Only workers between the ages of 23 and 50 from a limited number of nations, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, etc., are eligible for the Work Permit for Foreign Domestic Workers (FDW).
  • Work permit for confinement nanny: offered to Malaysian nannies who are able to work in Singapore for 16 weeks starting from the birth of a child. A foreign worker’s employer is required to pay a levy.
  • Work permit for performing artists: Artists who plan to work in pubs, nightclubs, or hotels that qualify as places of public amusement may be eligible for a work permit. There are quotas and a tax on foreign workers.

SINGAPORE WORK VISAS FOR TRAINEES AND STUDENTS

  • Training employment pass – Foreign nationals who desire to do training in Singapore that lasts no more than three months have access to this option. There is no quota or tax on international workers.
  • Work holiday pass – Work Holiday Passes are available to foreign nationals from Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, or the United States who are participating in Singapore’s Working Holiday Program. It is only available to citizens who are 18 to 25 years old (18 to 30 for Australians) and is only good for up to six months (one year for Australians). It can only be given to the holder once and is not renewable.
  • Training work permit – Unskilled or semi-skilled foreign students/trainees who will complete a practical training program in Singapore for no more than six months are eligible for a training work permit.

SHORT-TERM WORK PASSES FOR SINGAPORE

Foreign workers in Singapore on a short-term Visit Pass are often prohibited from engaging in any employment-related activity. However, the holder may be eligible to apply for a Miscellaneous Work Pass in some circumstances (such as those involving journalists or speakers at public events). It permits the holder to work for a time frame of no more than 60 days.

If they meet certain criteria, such as being enrolled at an authorised educational institution, foreign students who are studying in Singapore on a Study Visa may also be permitted to work.


PROCESS OF APPLYING FOR A SINGAPORE WORK VISA

  • The applicant must first have a valid job offer in Singapore.
  • Their company or an employment agency (EA) will use EP Online to submit a work visa application while the applicant is still in their home country. They will be required to pay a processing charge.
  • The employer will be given an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter, which the applicant can use to enter Singapore if the application is approved.

The employer will be sent an In-Principle Rejection letter if the application is turned down. In this case, the work visa won’t be granted to the applicant.

  • The applicant is able to go to Singapore using the IPA letter.
  • Once the applicant has arrived, the employer or an EA will submit an application through EP Online to get a Singapore work visa approved. They will be required to pay another fee, but this time it will be for the work Pass itself.
  • The applicant will be notified by letter if their work Pass is issued. They can find out if they need to get the photo and fingerprints taken in this letter. Until the applicant receives the employment card, it also enables them to start working and travel in and out of Singapore.
  • The applicant has two weeks to register at the Employment Pass Services Center (EPSC) after their Pass is issued.
  • They will receive the Pass Card after enrolling, usually in 4 working days.

With A Singapore Work Visa, Are Family Members Permitted To Travel With The Applicant?

Yes, certain professionals and skilled employees are permitted to travel to Singapore with their immediate family (married spouses and kids under 21) using a Dependent’s Pass.

The Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP) allows family members who do not qualify for the Dependent’s Pass to move in with working family members in Singapore.

New Changes to EP Eligibility

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) implemented gradual changes for EP applications as of 1 September 2022.

They require passing two steps, including:

Stage 1: As of September 1, 2022, meet at least the EP qualifying salary.

Stage 2: Pass the new, points-based Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS).

Beginning on September 1, 2022, EP holders will need to earn a higher qualifying salary:

Sectors Current Minimum Qualifying Salary New Minimum Qualifying Salary
All, except financial services S$4,500 S$5,000
Financial services S$5,000 S$5,500

Older EP holders (in their mid-40s) also require a higher qualifying salary:

Sectors Current Minimum Qualifying Salary New Minimum Qualifying Salary
All, except financial services S$8,400 S$10,500
Financial services S$9,300 S$11,500

New Changes to S Pass Qualifying Salary

Sector New Minimum Salary (for new applications from 1 Sep 2022) New Minimum Salary (for new applications from 1 Sep 2023) New Minimum Salary (for new applications from 1 Sep 2025)
All, except financial services S$3,000 (S$4,500 for mid-40s) S$3,150 S$3,300
Financial services S$3,500 (S$5,500 for mid-40s) S$3,650 S$3,800

HOW DOES A COMPASS WORK?

Four characteristics and two extra criteria will be used to determine how many points are given under COMPASS. The EP application can receive up to 20 points for each of the following characteristics: the applicant’s income, his or her credentials, the employing company’s nationality diversity, and the firm’s support for local employment.

An individual or organization will receive 10 points if they fulfil each attribute’s requirements and 20 points if they go above and above. The candidate or business may also receive points based on two bonus criteria. One is a “Skills Bonus” that can add up to 20 points for applicants for jobs where there are talent shortages.

The second is a “Strategic Economic Priorities Bonus” of up to 10 points given to businesses that collaborate with the government on innovation and internationalization projects.

The company must also fulfil two requirements:

  • If between 5% and 25% of the company’s employees share the applicant’s nationality, the company receives 10 points. If the proportion is greater than 25%, it receives a score of 0, and if it is less than 5%, it receives a score of 20. If the firm’s percentage of local PMETs is between the 20th and 50th percentages when compared to its subsector, it receives an additional 10 points.  
  • Small businesses with fewer than 25 PMET employees automatically receive 10 points for supporting diversity and local employment.

Reach out to us at Relin Consultants for further assistance with our Singapore Work Visa services.

FAQs

Do I require a work visa to work in Singapore?

Yes, in order to begin working in Singapore, you must obtain a work visa through your company. Except for the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), the majority of work visas are linked to employers.

What kind of work visa in Singapore is appropriate for managers and executives?

For employees in managerial or executive roles, an Employment Pass or S Pass is appropriate. You must first be employed by the company in order for it to proceed with applying for the appropriate work visa on your behalf.

In Singapore, is it easy to obtain a work visa?

Yes, getting a work visa may be easier in Singapore than in some other nations, such as China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.

Does Singapore issue work visas to Indians?

A work permit can be obtained by Indian nationals who are qualified and skilled and want to work in Singapore, provided they find employment through an employer or employment agent (EA). All applicants who match the aforementioned requirements must have a current passport and be older than 18 in order to obtain one.

Who is qualified to work in Singapore?

Before beginning employment, any foreign nationals who intend to do so in Singapore must possess a valid pass (often referred to as a work visa). Foreign nationals must have valid passes in order to be hired by Singaporean employers.

Is it simple to find work in Singapore?

Since the labour market in Singapore is so competitive and experienced professionals frequently struggle to obtain employment there, finding a job is usually difficult. The good news is that there are still opportunities for employment in a major international trading centre like Singapore.

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