Types of Work Passes in Singapore and their Requirements

Staff Writer

February 3, 2022

What’s in the article?

Thanks to its friendly business policies and favorable employment laws, Singapore has now grown into a jungle of corporations and workers. 

You’ll find all sorts of specialized skills here- from white-collar employees and executives to entrepreneurs and blue-collar workmen. According to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MoM) and the Department of Statistics, the city-state now enjoys a labour force of more than 3,740 workers and counting. 

Then get this- only about two-thirds of them are local residents. The rest are foreigners who’ve secured different types of work permits for their businesses and jobs. 

Thankfully, it just so happens Singapore still has space for many more. Read on to find out how you can join the party via work permits for professionals, family members, skilled and semi-skilled workers, plus trainees and students. 

What Are the Different Types of Work Passes in Singapore?

Work permits in Singapore are obtained directly from the Ministry of ManPower, which is otherwise known as MoM. It gives foreigners the chance to work legally in Singapore through special passes like EntrePass, S Pass, Employment Pass, Dependant’s Pass, etc. 

Now, as you’ve probably figured out already, these Singapore work permits come with varying privileges and restrictions. What’s more, each has its own distinct qualification criteria. 

As such, we’ve broken everything down into the work permits available for different categories of workers. In particular:

  • Entrepreneurs and Senior Professionals.
  • Skilled and semi-skilled workers.
  • Family members. 
  • Students and trainees. 

1. Entrepreneurs and Senior-Level Professionals

If you’re seeking to run a business in Singapore- or perhaps work as an executive in a senior-level position- you can go ahead and choose between the following MoM work permits: 

  • Entrepass: Ideal for entrepreneurs who intend to set up companies in Singapore. 
  • Employment Pass: Reserved for foreign executives, managers, and professionals making S$4,500 or more per month. 
  • Personalised Employment Pass: Otherwise known as PEP, the Personalised Employment Pass is more like an upgrade of Singapore’s Employment Pass. It grants high-net individuals flexible working terms. 

2. Skilled and Semi-Skilled Workers

If you fall short of meeting EntrePass and Employment Pass requirements, at least you could apply for a standard MoM work permit instead. The options here include: 

  • S Pass: Singapore awards its S Pass permits to skilled foreigners planning to take up mid-level job positions that pay at least S$2,500 per month. 
  • Work Permit for Foreign Worker: This is a basic permit that’s typically issued to semi-skilled labourers- such as marine shipyard workers, as well as blue-collar service providers in manufacturing and construction. 
  • Work Permit for Performing Artiste: Allows foreign entertainers to take up gigs in Singapore’s leisure establishments like theatres, night clubs, hotels, and bars.
  • Work Permit For Foreign Domestic Worker: Covers foreigners who get employed in Singaporean homes as domestic service providers. 
  • Work Permit For Confinement Nanny: This is a short-term pass for Malaysian nannies who come into Singapore to assist new mums with their newborns. It’s typically valid for about 16 weeks or so. 

3. Family Members

Turns out it’s also possible to acquire a pass by virtue of your family ties in Singapore. The options include: 

  • Long Term Visit Pass: This ordinarily accompanies S Passes and Employment Passes as a secondary permit. It covers the holders’ step-kids, common-law spouses, parents, or handicapped kids. 
  • Dependant’s Pass: Also a secondary permit, the Dependant’s Pass is normally given to the kids and spouses of foreigners who secure an Employment Pass or S Pass in Singapore. 
  • Letter of Consent: Your potential employer can apply for a letter of consent if your parent or spouse is an Employment Pass holder, but has already exhausted their Dependant’s Pass or Long Term Visit Pass. 
  • Pre-approved Letter of Consent: This extends to the kids and partners of Singaporean citizens or permanent residents who hold a Long Term Visit Pass. It generally pre-approves you to work in Singapore while applying for, or possibly renewing, a Long Term Visit Pass. 

4. Students and Trainees

Singapore’s MoM is flexible enough to accommodate even students and trainees. Their special Work permits include:

  • Training Work Permit: This is just a temporary pass for foreign students and semi-skilled trainees who intend to take practical lessons in Singapore. It’s only valid for up to 6 months. 
  • Training Employment Pass: Covers foreign professionals taking lessons in Singapore as employees. The minimum income requirement here is S$3,000 per month. 
  • Work Holiday Pass (Attached to Singapore’s Work Holiday Programme): A special permit for 18-25-year-old students who plan to work while on vacation in Singapore. It comes with a time limit of up to 6 months. 
  • Worked Holiday Pass (Attached to Singapore’s Work and Holiday Visa Programme): This is yet another Work Holiday Pass, but specifically for 18-30-year-old students and graduates from Australia. They get to enjoy working while on vacation for up to 1 year. 

There’s More...

So far, we’ve listed the primary work permits for foreign professionals, business owners, labourers, as well as students and trainees in Singapore. Just enough to give you the gist of Singapore’s passes. 

Please note, though, that it doesn’t end there. Each of these work permits comes with a long list of applicant requirements. And if you dig deeper than that, you’ll discover that Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower not only exempts some activities from its work passes, but also offers smaller options for quick assignments (like the Miscellaneous Work Pass). 

WealthBridge can help you piece together all this information to identify the best work permits for all your business projects in Singapore, and then subsequently guide you through the whole application process.

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