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Last Updated: February 06, 2024

Singapore Work Pass

Singapore, being a hub for commercial business and entrepreneurship, attracts a bunch of working professionals every year. With its booming economy, a strong healthcare system, and a positive work environment, Singapore stands out as one of the best countries in the world offering a healthy lifestyle and numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs and working professionals to shape their careers. Singapore requires proper work visas/ passes for foreigners to conduct any business-related activity and the validity of the work permit ranges between 1-2 years, depending upon the duration of work and the security bond. The type of work pass they have to apply for depends upon the nature of their job and can range from being a skilled professional to an unskilled or semi-skilled professional.

Types of Work Passes and Permits and Their Validity

The work permits and passes that are available to candidates from abroad as well as those who are already in Singapore are listed below. These are separated into three categories.


Employment Pass

Foreign professionals, managers, and executives who earn at least $5,000 per month and, unless exempt, pass the point-based Complementarity Assessment Framework are granted an employment pass. The work permit upholds a validity for 2 years if the candidate is a first-timer and can be extended to 3 years in case the employment continues. An Employment Pass holder is also eligible to apply for PR in due course of time.

Personalized Employment Pass

A Personalized Employment Pass is issued for the existing EP holders, earning a high amount as salary or to overseas foreign professionals. Under the Personal Employment Pass, the applicants earn a time frame of 6 months to seek employment in Singapore after their arrival. This employment pass offers greater flexibility to the applicant compared to other forms of work permits. The candidate should be earning a fixed salary of at least $22,500 monthly.

Candidates holding a PEP are not allowed to conduct any form of entrepreneurial activity, they need to apply for an Entrepass or Overseas Network and Expertise Pass for the same. Foreigners intending to work as freelancers, editors, or journalists are also not eligible to apply for the PEP.


This pass allows foreign entrepreneurs to start and conduct business activities in Singapore provided they meet the eligibility criteria. The pass is issued initially for 1 year and can be renewed for 1 year for the first time and 2 years after this period expires. Candidates will be able to apply for the pass directly and do not require a specified minimum salary. The applicant can apply for the renewal of the Entre Pass only if he/she meets the required eligibility criteria for the same.

Overseas Network and Expertise Pass

Top talents in business, academia, research, sports, the arts, and culture are granted access to the Overseas Network and Expertise Pass. The applicant's salary while employed in Singapore during the previous year must have been S$30,000 or the applicant ought to have received a set monthly salary of S$30,000 for the previous twelve months or they must demonstrate that they have worked for a full year in a recognized company abroad. The applicant ought to be making the same salary at a reputable Singaporean business. This pass is valid for five years from the date of issue and may be renewed for an additional five.

The Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) and Fair Consideration Framework job advertising requirements do not apply to candidates who possess this pass. They are able to start, run, and collaborate with multiple companies simultaneously and are not required to reapply in the event of a change in employment.

Skilled and Semi-Skilled Workers


The S Pass is issued for skilled and semi-skilled workers, earning a total of at least $3,150 a month and $3,650 for candidates in the financial services sector. The pass holds validity for 1-2 years, depending upon the nature of the work and other factors but it can be renewed in case the employee wants to continue the work under certain conditions. The candidate can apply for the renewal of the S pass, only if they remain eligible for the pass. The candidate in question can be of any nationality and should have work experience in their related field along with a degree or diploma.

Work Permit for Migrant Worker

This work permit is for candidates who are semi-skilled workers from fields like construction, manufacturing, process or service sector, etc. The employer or employment agent must apply for the permit since the candidate is not allowed to. There is no minimum amount of salary required for this pass and remains valid for 2 years but is renewable. Under this permit, candidates are entitled to have medical insurance taken by the employer.

Work Permit for Migrant Domestic Worker

For this Work Pass, it is required that the employer and the MDW meet the required eligibility criteria. The candidate will not be able to apply for the pass and this must be done by the employer or sponsor. The permit is valid for a total of 2 years but is renewable and is subject to the security bond in question. Employees under this permit are entitled to having medical and personal accident insurance taken by the employer.

Work Permit for Confinement Nanny

This Pass is for Malaysians who are employed as confinement nannies. It is to be taken by the employer or employment agent and has no minimum salary requirements. The duration of the permit is from the birth of the baby to up to 16 weeks. The permit is not renewable and does not allow permits for family members.

Work Permit for Performing Artiste

Candidates seeking this work permit must be part of eligible public entertainment outlets and have the permit taken by their employer or employment agent. There is no minimum salary requirement for the permit and has a validity of only 6 months. It is not renewable and candidates who have taken this pass once will not be able to take any work permit for 1 year after the expiry of the same. Candidates under this work permit are entitled to medical insurance taken by their employer.

Trainees and Students

Training Employment Pass

This type of employment pass is issued to semi-skilled foreign trainees and students planning to undergo practical training in Singapore for up to 3 months. The applicant should meet the eligibility criteria and other requirements. The foreign student should be studying at an accredited institution or should earn a fixed salary of at least $3,000 per month to be eligible for a Training Employment Pass. For trainees to be eligible, they should be sponsored by a well-respected Singapore-registered company and should earn at least $3,000 a month.

Work Holiday Pass (under Work Holiday Program)

Students and graduates between the ages of 18 and 25 who wish to work and travel in Singapore for up to six months are eligible to apply for this program. This non-renewable pass applies to graduates of government-recognized undergraduate institutions in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The graduates must have attended the university as residents, full-time students, and undergraduates for at least three months.

Work Holiday Pass (under Work and Holiday Visa Program)

Only Australian graduates and students who wish to spend a year living and working in Singapore are eligible for this program. This pass is valid for Australian citizens between the ages of 18 and 30 and is not renewable. They should have earned a degree from an accredited university or fulfilled the requirements of two years of full-time undergraduate study.

Australians may work under this pass for businesses and organizations that are registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority or the Registry of Societies, but they are not permitted to work for the same employer for more than six months at a time. Because certain professions require registration, they can also work in law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and architecture. They are unable, nevertheless, to work as independent contractors and, additionally not allowed to train or study for longer than four months.

Training Work Permit

This permit is valid for up to six months for foreign trainees or students receiving practical training in Singapore who are unskilled or semi-skilled. This permit is used by employers who want to hire unskilled and semi-skilled employees from related overseas companies for training, as well as students who need to train as part of their course.

Cost of Singaporean Work Permit and Passes

The price of applying for various work permits and passes in Singapore is listed in the table below.
Type of PermitApplication Fees (S$)
Employment Pass$105
S Pass$105
Personalized Employment Pass$105
Training Employment Pass$105
Dependent's Pass$105
Long-Term Visit Pass$105
Work Holiday PassN.A.
Work Permit (Performing Artiste)$75
Training Work Permit$35

Steps to Applying for Singaporean Work Passes

Employer Submits Application

After obtaining the employee's written consent, the employer or employment agency submits the application for a work permit or pass. The employer must use Singpass to log into WP Online, pay the required fees, and submit the required paperwork.

Employee Gets the IPA Letter

Although it sometimes takes longer, the average processing time for applications is one week. If accepted, the employer must print the Work Permit Application Form and the In-Principle Letter (IPA) and give them to the employee. The employee must print this IPA letter to show the immigration officer upon arrival in Singapore.

The employer must begin making arrangements for the worker's arrival in Singapore. They must purchase a primary care plan, work injury compensation insurance, and medical insurance for their employee and guarantee that the worker has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Additionally, if the employee is not a Malaysian citizen, they have the option to purchase a security bond. For the pre-entry housing check, the employer must fill out an online form. Once the date of the employee's arrival is confirmed, they must also register the employee with the Settling-in Program.

Upon Arrival in Singapore

The employee is required to undergo a medical examination and visit a local clinic within two weeks of arriving in Singapore to confirm their overseas vaccination records in the National Immunization Registry.
  1. The Security Bond Form must be printed and filled out by the employer. The work permit will be issued to newly arrived Malaysian workers before the deadline indicated on the IPA letter, and to non-Malaysian workers within 14 days.
  2. The employer must register the worker's residential address and mobile number using OFWAS to obtain a work permit for the employee.
  3. The employer must log in to WP Online, specify the address (home or office) where they would like the card to be delivered, designate up to three authorized card recipients, and pay $35 for the permit to be issued.
  4. The employer must print the notification letter and give it to the worker once the work permit has been granted. The employee may enter and exit Singapore with this notification letter, which is valid for one month, while they wait for their work permit card. It also specifies whether or not an employee's photo and fingerprints must be registered.

Registration of Fingerprints and Photograph (if required)

If stated in the notification letter, the employee must register their fingerprints and photograph within one week of receiving the work permit. The employer must schedule an appointment for the employee to visit the MOM Service Center-Hall C, for them to register. The employee must bring their original passport, notification letter, and appointment letter with them on the day of the appointment.

After registering or having the documents verified at EPSC, the work permit card will be sent to the specified address within five days.

Activities that Qualify for Work Pass Exemption

As long as they notify MOM upon arrival, candidates may work in Singapore for brief periods (90 days in a calendar year) of time without a work permit for specific tasks. Following are the Work Pass exempt activities: Nonetheless, the candidate needs to fulfill a few conditions to be exempt from work pass requirements. These are:

Types of Passes for Dependents

Dependents of work permit holders are eligible for a variety of passes. These are listed below:

Dependent's Pass

Spouses and single children of holders of Employment Passes, S Passes, Overseas Networks, and Expertise Passes are permitted to accompany their holders in Singapore with this pass.

Long-term Visit Pass

Common-law partners, stepchildren, or disabled children of S Pass, Employment Pass, or Overseas Network and Expertise Pass holders are eligible for this pass. Pass holders who make S$12,000 annually may also apply for their parents' passes.

Pre-approved Letter of Consent

It permits eligible Long-Term Visit Pass holders to work in Singapore if they are Singaporean citizens or permanent residents' spouses or children.

Letter of Consent for Dependent's Pass Holders who are Business Holders

Dependent pass holders can apply for a Letter of Consent if they want to conduct business in Singapore.

Renewing the Work Pass

Employers must submit the application for renewal in the same manner as they would for a new work permit. 7 to 12 weeks before the permit expiration, the employer must submit a renewal application. The following paperwork is needed to renew a permit: Following are the steps to apply for work permit renewal:
Step 1- Employers are required to use OFWAS to register employees' home and mobile numbers.
Step 2- After that, the employer must log in to WordPress Online, submit the renewal application, pay the $35 processing fee, and upload the necessary files. After that, they must print the renewal notice and application form and consult the "Renew" function for detailed instructions.
Step 3- The employer is required to print the notification letter and provide it to the employee as soon as the work permit is granted. The updated card will be sent to the specified address.
The following table lists the cost of renewing various work permits and passes in Singapore.
Type of PermitRenewal Fee (S$)
Employment Pass$225
S Pass$100
Personalized Employment Pass$225
Training Employment Pass$225
Dependent's Pass$225
Long-Term Visit Pass$225
Work Holiday Pass$175
Work Permit (Performing Artiste)$100
Training Work Permit$35

Some Things to Remember

The most important factors that aspirants have to keep in mind while applying for a work pass in Singapore are as follows-

Work Visa