Foreigners who wish to work in Singapore will need to secure a work visa or work pass before they can start working in a Singapore-registered company. The type of work pass that will be given will depend on salary, educational background, work experience and the position in the company. Except for the Personalized Employment Pass below, applications for work passes should be processed and submitted by the hiring company or their representative.
The Employment Pass is for foreigners who are in managerial and executive positions or professionals in specialized jobs. The Employment Pass is categorized into three parts;
– To be eligible for the P1 Employment Pass, you should receive a fixed monthly salary of at least $8,000.
- P1 Employment Pass holders can bring in their spouse or common law wife, unmarried children below 21 yrs and apply for a dependant’s pass on their behalf and a long term social visit pass for their parents.
– To be eligible for the P2 Employment Pass, you should receive a fixed monthly salary of at least $4,500
- P2 Employment Pass holders can bring in their spouse and unmarried children below 21 yrs and apply for a dependant’s pass on their behalf.
– Young graduates from reputable schools are eligible for the Q1 Employment Pass if their fixed monthly salary is at least $3,000. Older professionals who have more experience should receive a higher monthly salary commensurate with their work experience.
Personalized Employment Pass
The Personalized Employment Pass or PEP has the same dependent privileges as the P1 Employment Pass. However, unlike other work passes, the PEP offers more flexibility as it is not tied to a particular employer. A person holding PEP has 6 months in between jobs to find a suitable employment. Also, the Personalized Employment Pass is valid for 3 years and cannot be renewed. Foreigners who wish to apply for a PEP should command a monthly salary of at least $18,000 overseas or at least $12,000 while on P1 Employment Pass.
The S Pass is for foreigners with mid-level skills and who receive a monthly income of at least $2,000. Applicants are evaluated through a points system and subject to the Dependency Ceiling as stipulated by the Ministry of Manpower or MOM. Other than the salary, important factors that would affect the outcome of the pass application include the education background, work experience and the type of job. In any company, S Pass holders can only comprise 20% of the company’s total workforce or else the application will be rejected.
Levies are imposed for every S Pass holder and companies are required to get their S Pass holders medical insurance. S Pass and Q1 Employment Pass holders should receive at least $4,000 for them to be able to sponsor their spouse and children to stay in Singapore on a dependent’s pass. Those earning below this amount will not be allowed to bring in their dependents to Singapore except for holidays on a social visit pass.
How to Apply
You will need to provide original documents for the application and documents not in English should have certified English translations. Processing could take 1 to 4 weeks.
When the application for the work pass is approved, the company will receive an In-Principle Approval known as an IPA with a list of documents and processes that you need for the collection of the work pass. You will then need to take a medical exam where you will be tested for HIV and tuberculosis. After all the tests and procedures are completed, you can now collect your work pass on the date stated in the IPA.
Recommended reading: Also essential reading if you are moving to Singapore is our guide on how to become a permanent resident in Singapore