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Last Updated: July 06, 2021

Singapore Work Visa 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 that offers 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.

The most popular job profiles in Singapore cover software engineers, data scientists, financial controllers, senior accountants, development managers, and auditors. There's a step-by-step procedure, an international migrant needs to follow to acquire a work permit and carry out the business in the country. The different types of work visas are issued depending upon the requirements and nature of the business activity.

General Documents Required to Apply for Singapore Work Visa

The general documents that are required for all the types of work passes available are-
  • Appointment letter
  • A valid passport
  • Filled Application form
  • Copy of educational certificates
  • Work experience certificate
  • 2 color photographs
  • Description of the nature of work to be performed by the applicant

    Types of Singapore Work Passes for Professionals

    Employment Pass

    The employment pass is issued to foreign professionals, managers, and executives, earning at least $4,500 a month. 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.

    Once the application form is duly submitted, an IPA letter is issued which acts as a travel document to facilitate entry into Singapore. The candidate needs to collect the Employment Pass within 3 months, before the expiry of the IPA letter. The candidate can apply for the renewal after filling the application form for the same and submitting the required documents. The candidate will be asked to post the form along with the stated documents to the Work Pass Division of the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore.

    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 earn a fixed monthly salary of $12,000 and in the case of overseas foreign professionals, the last drawn monthly salary of the candidate should be $18,000.

    This visa is available also for the family members of the pass holders. The applicant needs to makes a payment of $105 while submitting the application form and a further payment of $225 on the issuance of the work permit. An additional amount of 30 dollars has to be made in case the applicant wants to apply for a multiple entry pass. When the validity of the PEP is about to expire, visa holders will be able to take an Employment Pass or an S Pass if they need to continue working in Singapore since the visa isn’t renewable. Candidates applying for a PEP will not require a foreign worker levy or quota for the same.

    An EP holder under Sponsorship Scheme is not eligible to apply for a Personalized EP. Candidates holding a PEP are not allowed to conduct any form of entrepreneurial activity, they need to apply for an Entrepass for the same. Foreigners intending to work as freelancers, editors, journalists are also not eligible to apply for the PEP.


    This visa 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 extended subsequently for 2 years. Candidates will be able to apply for the visa 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. The candidate should own at least 30% of the shareholding and should be able to produce proof of the ongoing business. This visa is available for the family members of the pass holders as well.

    The eligibility criteria to apply for the Entrepass is as follows:
    • The applicant should have started/intend to start a private company, duly registered with the ACRA. They should be backed by a venture or should possess innovative technologies in order to apply for a visa.
    • Applicant can be of any nationality
    • Candidates from businesses like coffee shops, hawker centers, bars, night clubs, foot reflexology, employment agencies, geomancy businesses, etc. are not eligible to apply
    • If the candidate is an entrepreneur, they should have funding from a government-recognized VC or business angel, should be an incubate at a government-recognized incubator or accelerator or have a business network and entrepreneurial track record.
    • If the candidate is an innovator, they should hold intellectual property, have a research collaboration with IHL or any research institute situated in Singapore. They should also have extraordinary achievements in their area of expertise.
    • If the candidate is an investor, they should have a track record in investment.
    • The candidate also needs to register his/her business and seek the approval of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) before conducting any business-related activity in Singapore.

    The documents required to apply for the EntrePass are:
    • Valid passport
    • Resume or past employment certificates
    • Business plan comprising of market analysis, product and service offered, operative plan, and other supporting documents (licensing agreements, product certificates).

    Types of Work Passes for Skilled and Semi-Skilled Workers

    S PASS

    The S Pass is issued for skilled and semi-skilled workers, earning a total of at least $2,500 a month. 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 visa. The candidate in question can be of any nationality and should have work experience in their related field along with a degree or diploma.

    A total amount of $105 is to be paid during the online submission of the application form. The candidate will be asked to make an additional payment of $100 once the pass is issued.

    Work Permit for Foreign Worker

    This work permit is for candidates who are semi-skilled workers from fields like construction, manufacturing, process or service sector, etc. it is necessary that the employer or employment agent applies for the permit since the candidate is not allowed to. There is no minimum amount of salary required for this visa 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 Foreign Domestic Worker

    For this Work Pass, it is required that the employer and the FDW meet the required eligibility criteria. The candidate will not be able to apply for the visa 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 for the permit is from the birth of the baby till 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 visa 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.

    Miscellaneous Work Pass

    This Miscellaneous Work Pass is issued to foreigners working on short-term projects in Singapore such as seminars, workshops, conferences, or to foreign journalists or religious workers. The candidate will be asked to submit his/her valid passport, synopsis of the talk (if applicable) along with the other documents. An application fee of $175 has to be paid for the same. Applicants falling under this category are not eligible to apply for the PR.

    Training Employment Pass

    This type of employment pass is issued to semi-skilled foreign trainees and students planning to undergo practical training in Singapore. 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.

    An application fee of $105 is to be submitted while applying and an additional amount of $225, on the issuance of the work permit.

    Steps to Apply for a Work Visa

    The steps that candidates can take while applying for a work pass in Singapore will range from collecting the necessary documents that are required for the procedure to finding proper channels of communication so as to not be scammed in the process. Most candidates choose to contact agents for understanding and following the procedures and it is important for candidates to find government registered agents for the same. The steps that ought to be completed are-
    • The employer or the visa agent has to apply on behalf of the applicant, and it should also contain a written consent from the employee, asking for the work permit.
    • The next step involves filling out the application form along with the required set of documents.
    • Once that is done, the online application fee is to be paid.
    • The applicants can keep a track of their application status by visiting the official website.
    • Once the visa is approved, an In-Principle Approval will be handed out to the applicant. This IPA letter acts as proof of visa acceptance and can be used to collect the work permit as soon as the applicant enters the country of Singapore.
    • Within two weeks of arrival, the employer or the appointed agent has to make sure that the work permit is issued and duly received by the candidate. Some additional details will be asked for the same such as the delivery address, the passport number of the applicant, etc.
    • The validity of the work permit ranges between 1-2 years; however, it may vary for different job profiles. Please check the specific document requirements before applying to avoid any further inconvenience.

    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-
    • The applicant should be at least 18 years of age.
    • The applicant needs to make sure that they have the appointment letter before applying for the visa.
    • The applicant will only be able to work within the capacity of the work mentioned in the respective work permit.
    • The applicant should hold a valid passport.
    • The work permit should be renewed 6-8 weeks before its expiration, after checking the eligibility and other conditions.
    • The applicant may be asked to produce some additional documents like a medical certificate/ vaccine certificate, if applicable.
    • The children/spouses/parents of the work permit holders can also apply for the Dependents Pass for Long-Term Visit, depending upon the eligibility criteria to stay in Singapore.
    • The candidate can also visit the website of the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore to extract any further details.

  • Work Visa