Watch the video or read below
According to the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) any visa that enables a person to work in Singapore is called a work permit. So this term is quite wide and includes all visas. Employment pass, Personalised employment pass, EntrePass, S pass, The worker's work permit all are covered in this definition.
However, in practice, the work permit is a term that is used to collectively refer to S pass and all passes below it.
As such in the first part of this guide, we will explain all passes in brief and the second part of this guide will explain in details, the passes that are referred as work permit in practice.
This pass is offered by MOM to the foreign entrepreneurs who want to open a company in Singapore. To be eligible for Entrepass, applicants are required to fulfill certain criteria. Entrepass is valid for one year and can be renewed for another year, after that subsequent renewals last for two years.
According to the MOM Singapore, an applicant is required to meet at least one of the following requirements to be considered for Entrepass as an Entrepreneur, innovator or investor:
You should be an Entrepreneur as defined by MOM and satisfy the conditions laid down by the Ministry, OR
You are an innovator and satisfy the eligibility criteria to be an innovator, or
You should be a successful investor and satisfy the criteria specified by MOM
We have a separate guide on EntrePass, please refer to the same for more details.
Singapore Employment Pass is a Singapore work visa issued by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower to the foreign employees, professionals, managers, and owners or directors of Singaporean companies. This is a work visa that allows you to live and work in Singapore, as well as travel in and out of the country without having to apply for entry visas.
To be able to apply for an EP, you are required to be:
The foreign worker levy, commonly known as “levy”, is a pricing mechanism to regulate the number of foreign workers in Singapore.
As an employer, you must pay the levy for all your S Pass holders. The levy liability starts from the day the S Pass is issued and ends when the pass is canceled or expires.
You can not hire an unlimited number of S Pass employees. The numbers which you can hire depends on how many Singapore Citizens / PR are on your payroll.
If you have never applied for a Work Permit or S Pass, you need to declare your business activity for calculating your quota.
Under the quota, the number of S Pass holders your company can hire is capped at:
As of 2019, there are close to 197,000 people on S pass in Singapore. S pass holders are allowed to apply for Singapore PR. However, application processing can take a long time.
The next lower pass after S Pass is a Foreign worker work permit. The majority of foreign workers fall in this category. As of 2019, there are 726,000 people in Singapore on this work permit.
The majority of foreign workers you see working on construction sites, road maintenance, unskilled manufacturing jobs, landscaping, maintenance, etc fall in this category.
You can not recruit people for these passes from any country. The Ministry of Manpower has approved specific countries like India, China, Malaysia, Philippines etc from where these people can be recruited.
The approval for the number of workers you can bring in depends on the sector in which your company work in. The main identified sectors are Construction, Manufacturing, Marine Shipyard, Process and services.
Dependency ratio means foreign work permit holders, in you total workforce can not exceed a specific percentage.
Depending on the sector in which you operate and number of foreign work permit holders in your company, you are required to pay a monthly levy per foreign employee. This helps to keep the number of foreign workers in check.
In addition to the above, you as an employer are required to provide suitable medical coverage and in some cases a security bond for the foreign workers you bring in your company.
Domestic worker refers to the maids, those work in households in Singapore. As of 2019, there are 255,000 maids working in Singapore. Their contribution to the Singapore society is also significant. For many households they enable both husband and wife to work in offices while their household, children and aged parents are being taken care of. Only females are allowed to work on this visa.
Every month the employer is required to pay a levy which ranges between SGD 60 to SGD 300 per month. Concessional rates are available for those who have aged parents or a Singapore Citizen child.
In addition to above you as an employer are required to provide suitable medical insurance coverage and a security bond for the foreign Domestic workers you bring in your household.
A confinement nanny is someone who will help a new mother with the care of her baby in order to ease her transition process from a pregnant woman to a new mother.
A special work permit is available for this one in Singapore. Under this scheme, you can only bring in a Malaysian Citizen as a confinement nanny for a maximum period of 16 weeks.
The Training Employment Pass (TEP) is given to the trainees or international students who intend to take specialized training in Singapore related to their field.
The training work permit is subject to levy, quota and medical insurance requirements.
There are two types of work holiday pass:
This is for Australian citizens who want to work and holiday in Singapore. The applicant should be between 18 to 30 years old during the time of application. They must complete at least two years equivalent of university undergraduate study.
The pass is valid for twelve months. A Work Holiday Pass holder can neither work as a freelancer nor work with the same employee for six months.
There is a cap of 500 places Singapore wide any given point of time.
The Miscellaneous Work Pass is a short-term pass issued by MOM and valid up to sixty days. Eligible foreigners on short-term assignments, such as speakers at a seminar, religious workers or journalists can apply for this Miscellaneous Work Pass. There is no levy or quota requirements for this.
In some cases, certain short-term work activities can be performed in Singapore without a work pass. However, you are required to notify the ministry of manpower about your intentions to engage in these specific activities. The list of such activities is as below.