Employment Passes and Work Permits
If taking up work in Singapore, either an Employment Pass or a Work Permit is required. The Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) handles the issuing of all types of Employment Pass. Some of the different types of passes available for working in Singapore are outlined below but for further information on employment-related passes visit the Ministry of Manpower website.
Employment Pass (EP)
Foreigners planning to work in Singapore on an Employment Pass must have acceptable qualifications, relevant professional qualifications or specialist skills. Different types of Employment Pass may be issued, depending on the salary of the applicant, but the basic procedure remains the same.
An Employment Pass is linked to the individual and the company they work for. If an Employment Pass holder changes jobs, the employer has to cancel the existing EP and the new employer has to apply for a new one. The EP must be cancelled if the holder ceases employment in Singapore, or attains Permanent Resident status.
Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)
Unlike the Employment Pass (EP), the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is not tied to any employer and will be granted on the strength of an EP holder’s individual merits. A PEP holder is able to remain in Singapore for up to six months in between jobs to allow the opportunity to find another placement. The PEP is valid for five years and is non-renewable; it will only be issued once.
A PEP holder retains the dependant privileges of the original EP type and the minimum annual fixed salary requirement of $30,000 will continue to apply throughout the five-year duration.
Short-Term Employment Pass (STEP)
The Short-Term Employment Pass allows foreigners to work in Singapore on a specific project up to a maximum of one month. The pass is a one-time-only, non-renewable permit.
Training Visit Pass (TVP)
A Training Visit Pass is for foreigners engaged in practical training for jobs of a professional, managerial, executive or specialist nature in Singapore.
EntrePass (Employment Pass for Entrepreneurs)
The EntrePass is an Employment Pass for foreign entrepreneurs who would like to start a business in Singapore.
Dependant’s Pass (DP) and Letter of Consent (LOC)
The Dependant’s Pass allows the immediate family of an Employment Pass holder to live in Singapore with the worker. The application for a Dependant’s Pass may be submitted at the same time as the Employment pass application, but Employment Pass applicants who need an Approval-in Principle letter must wait until they have received that letter. Until the Depedant’s Pass is issued the applicant must make sure that they have a valid social visit pass to remain in Singapore.
If a person holding a Dependant’s Pass wishes to work in Singapore, they must obtain a Letter of Consent (LOC). Applications should be made to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) online with the usual documentation for an Employment Pass. The Dependant’s Pass holder may not start work until they have received the Letter of Consent (LOC). If the Dependant’s Pass is cancelled, then the LOC is also cancelled. The renewal procedure for the LOC is the same as for the Dependant’s Pass. The employer must inform the Work Pass Division in writing if they wish to cancel a LOC.
Long-Term Social Visit Pass (LTSVP)
Anyone who holds an Employment Pass may apply for a Long-Term Social Visit Pass for their family members including;
Spouse (including common-law spouse)
Unmarried daughters aged over 21
Work Permit (WP)
A Work Permit is needed for any skilled or unskilled foreigner with a basic monthly salary of not more than S$2,000. The employer must apply to MOM for a Work Permit (WP) for every relevant foreign worker. A Work Permit is usually valid for two years, subject to the validity of the worker’s passport, their Banker’s Guarantee, or their period of employment, whichever is shortest. The worker may only work for that employer and in the occupation stated in the Work Permit.