Work Visa for Singapore – The Complete Guide

Singapore Work Visa

What is a Singapore Work Visa

A Singapore Work Visa, otherwise known as a work pass or Singapore work permit, enables you to take up temporary or permanent work in Singapore.

A benefit of the Singapore work visa is that you can apply online. This is great as it allows an easy and effortless visa application process.

As per the Singapore work permit rules, the employers who hire foreign workers in Singapore must provide them with a monthly salary for their service, maintain a security bond, and provide health insurance.

How to apply for A Singapore Work Visa

When applying for a Singapore Work Visa (work permit or work pass), it’s essential to understand that the company you plan to work for (your employer) MUST apply for the employment pass on your behalf.

Overseas employees (you) need to ask a Singapore-based company to act as a local sponsor, which will apply for your Singapore work permit. The employment pass or Spass application processes are similar.

Your company must supply its latest business profile registered with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

Once they apply, the processing time is usually three weeks if they apply for the Singapore work permit online and eight weeks for manual applications at a Singapore Embassy or Consulate.

Your employer should receive an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter.

You’ll receive a copy of this, and your employer will have six months to bring you to Singapore to issue an employment pass, or sixty days if you’re applying for an S pass.

To get your employment pass you need to be in Singapore and you must provide the following:

  1. Details of your current immigration pass and disembarkation/embarkation card.
  2. A residential address in Singapore.

Once your employer completes the necessary issuance steps and they accept your pass, you’ll receive a notification letter.

This is valid for one month, although it can be extended. This letter states that you can start work and travel in and out of Singapore while waiting for your pass card.

The notification letter also informs you to register your photos and fingerprints within two weeks of the pass issuance.

You can do this at the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Services Center. If you need to register, you should make sure you have the following documents:

  1. Your original passport.
  2. An appointment letter.
  3. A notification letter.

If you don’t need to register, the passcard should arrive within four days of submitting your documents.

If you need to register, your card should arrive within four days of your registration.

What are the types of Singapore Work Visas

You must have a valid work visa before you start working in Singapore. The different types of Work Visas issued are the following:

Singapore Work Visas for Professionals

To see if you can apply for a Singapore work visa for professionals, look at the three visas this category offers. If you meet the requirements, you can apply for this visa.

Singapore Employment Pass

The Employment Pass allows professionals, managers, and executives to work in Singapore. However, you need to earn at least $4,500 a month and have the qualifications to apply for the work.

The Employment Pass is for professionals who:

  • Have a job offer in Singapore.
  • Work in a managerial, executive, or specialized job.
  • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $4,500.
  • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $5,000 for people working in the financial services sector.

The application for a Singapore Employment Pass is open to everyone. However, to apply for an Employment Pass, you need specific travel documents:

  1. The company’s latest business profile.
  2. Educational certificates (like a degree certificate).

Singapore EntrePass

EntrePass allows eligible entrepreneurs to start and operate a Singapore business or possess innovative technologies.

The eligibility requirements for a Singapore EntrePass are:

  1. You must have started, or intend to start, a private limited company registered with ACRA that is venture-backed or owns innovative technologies.
  2. You must meet any of the following innovative criteria as an entrepreneur, innovator, or investor, like funding from the Singapore government, have an entrepreneurial track record, and hold intellectual property. You do not need to meet all the criteria for each profile.

Along with all the required documents mentioned later, you will also need the following documents:

  1. The company’s latest business profile.
  2. A business plan in English.

If you hold a Singapore EntrePass, you can apply to renew the pass 3 months before it expires.

Singapore Personalized Employment Pass (PEP)

The Personalized Employment Pass is for high-earning Employment Pass holders and overseas professionals.

It’s not tied to an employer and offers greater flexibility than an Employment Pass.

You can apply for the Singapore Personalized Employment Pass if you’re:

  • A foreign professional and your last fixed monthly salary overseas was at least $18,000
  • An Employment Pass holder earning a fixed monthly salary of at least $12,000.

You can’t apply for a Personalized Employment Pass if you’re:

  • an Employment Pass holder under the sponsorship scheme,
  • a freelancer,
  • a foreigner who intends to work freelance,
  • a journalist.

Singapore Work Visas for Skilled and Semi-Skilled Workers

To see if you can apply for a Singapore work visa for skilled and semi-skilled workers, look at this category’s three visas. If you meet the requirements, you can apply for this type of visa.

Singapore S Pass

The Singapore S Pass allows mid-level skilled job seekers to work in Singapore.

The requirements for an S Pass for Singapore are for mid-skilled foreign employees who meet these eligibility criteria:

  1. Have a degree or diploma.
  2. Have relevant work experience.
  3. Earn at least $2,500 a month

Before issuing or renewing an S Pass, you must have medical insurance. In addition, as part of an employer’s S Pass medical obligations, you must purchase and maintain medical insurance for your S Pass if you’re under employment.

The insurance coverage must be a minimum of $ 15,000 per year and cover day surgery.

Singapore Work Permit for Migrant Workers

The Work Permit for Migrant Workers allows semi-skilled workers from different countries to work in specific sectors.

You can renew a Work Permit online around 6 to 8 weeks before it expires.

Before you renew your Singapore work permit, you must complete certain steps, such as checking your quota and extending the worker’s security bond and medical insurance.

Work Permit requirements vary by sector. You can go to the Ministry of Manpower website to check the requirements for each sector.

The sectors include:

  • Construction.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Marine shipyard.
  • Process.
  • Services.

Singapore Work Permit for Migrant Domestic Worker

You must apply for a Work Permit if you hire a migrant domestic worker (MDW) in Singapore.

There are different categories for the eligibility requirements, including MDW, employer, and insurance requirements. You can read about all the eligibility requirements on the Ministry of Manpower website.

Short-Term Work Passes

The short-term work passes allow you to work for a period not exceeding 60 days.

In addition, international students studying in Singapore with a Study Visa can also work if they meet specific requirements, such as being enrolled at an approved educational institution.

General visa requirements

Each Singapore visa has its requirements, as mentioned above. However, there are some other requirements you might need to know about the Singapore work permit.

The following travel documents are required for all Work Visas:

  1. An appointment letters.
  2. A valid passport.
  3. A completed and signed Singapore Work Visa application form.
  4. A copy of your work experience certificate.
  5. Two passport-size color photographs with a white background.
  6. A description of the nature of work you will do in Singapore.

Just a reminder that these are the general documents you’ll need for your Singapore work permit application. You’ll need additional documents depending on the Singapore Work Visa you apply for.

How much does a Singapore Work Visa cost

The fees differ depending on the type of work visa:

    The Personalized Employment Pass is USD 70 for Application and USD 150 for Issuance/Renewal.

  • The S Pass costs 60 US dollars for application and 80 US dollars for Issuance/Renewal.
  • The Employment Pass costs USD 70 for the application and USD 150 for issuance or renewal.
  • The Entre Pass costs USD 70 for the application and USD 150 for renewal or issuance.

The list of the visa costs goes on. I recommend you check the work visa cost before you apply.

How to reduce the chances of getting rejected when applying for a Work Visa in Singapore

To reduce the chances of getting rejected when you apply for your Singapore work permit, you must first know why they would reject your visa. So, let’s look at some of the reasons.

  1. You apply for Employment Pass on your behalf. This isn’t allowed when you apply for a work visa that belongs to “sponsored” ones. Only an employer ready to hire you or a specialized visa agency can apply on your behalf.
  2. The ratio of your salary, designation, education, and skills seemed suspicious. For example, $3,600 is a minimum salary that allows you to qualify. Still, it will work only if you’re a graduate educated in a respected university and possess minimum work experience and skills valuable for Singapore. Furthermore, if you’re older, you must be more qualified and experienced and earn more Singaporean dollars.
  3. The government believes your skills and expertise aren’t unique and valuable enough for Singapore. If they suppose that the job offered to you can be done by a typical local professional, you can get your Singapore employment visa rejected. So how you represent your skills in your application profile means a lot.
  4. Your employer showed discriminatory HR practices in the past (or shows them now). If your boss hires a few local workers, he doesn’t contribute to local employment. This is one of the reasons why your Singapore work permit got rejected.

If you make sure you avoid all the above, you won’t give them a reason to reject your visa. Furthermore, you must ensure that all your required documents are up to standard and that everything is there.

This article has been written by Atlys

Photo Credits: Photo by Monika Häfliger on Pixabay

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