Dependant Pass Holders' Working Options in Singapore

Staff Writer

June 14, 2023

What’s in the article?

The Dependant’s Pass Scheme is a migration option that allows family members of qualified Employment and S Pass holders to move to Singapore. It's worth noting that only legally married spouses or children under twenty-one years of age are eligible to apply for this scheme. As of 2023, the Dependant’s Pass is valid for up to two years.

Different Types of Work Visas

Anyone with a Dependant’s Pass is eligible to apply for work in Singapore depending on the employment status of the family member or spouse’s employment status. The dependents of an Employment Pass or an S Pass holder can start by qualify for any of the following passes:

Employment Pass

This is a work visa that allows foreigners to assume managerial, executive or professional positions in Singapore for a certain time. This pass applies to manager positions and above and is valid for up to two years for first-time applicants, but this may last for up to three years after renewal. In order to qualify, you will need to have a minimum monthly salary of 5,000 SGD, but this may differ depending on the industry you’re applying for.

With most of the jobs under this pass requiring certain skills and specializations, most companies look for applicants with an impressive educational background.

S Pass

This is a work visa that allows foreigners to apply for mid-level skilled positions. To qualify, you will need to have a monthly salary of 3,000 SGD to 3,500 SGD, but this may vary depending on your industry experience. Those seeking to apply for an S Pass will benefit from having either a diploma or a bachelor’s degree, along with relevant skills and experience to the job they’re applying for.

This pass is valid for two years, but it’s worth noting that this visa may be harder to obtain as companies are required to hire a certain number of local employees before they can sponsor foreign applicants. Apart from that, companies will also have to pay a monthly foreign work levy for every S Pass holder under their employment.

Work Permit

A basic work visa that allows foreigners to fill positions that require basic skills in specific industries, such as construction, manufacturing, processing and other blue-collar jobs. However, there is a limit to how many work permits a given employer can apply for. To qualify, you’ll need to have a maximum monthly salary of 2,000 SGD. This permit is usually valid for up to two years before it needs to be renewed.

Unlike the previous passes, dependants that have acquired their work permit will still need to hold onto their Dependant Pass as the Work Permit’s validity is contingent on this.

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Work Visa Application Process

Regardless of which pass you choose, a prospective employer needs to submit the online application on your behalf. Once you’ve successfully been hired, the employer will have to complete your work visa application on the MyMOM online portal and submit this, along with your required documents and any applicable application fees.

The entire application process typically takes around ten days, but approval may take longer should there be issues or missing information in your application. The relevant authorities may request for additional supporting documents. Upon approval, you will receive an in-principle approval (IPA) letter for your reference, and your employer will issue your pass and inform you that you can begin working.

Afterwards, your employer may ask you to register your fingerprint and photo, as well as obtain a medical declaration form, for administrative purposes. You may also be asked to verify the documents and information you’ve provided to the Ministry of Manpower’s Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC).

The physical work card or visa will arrive in around five working days through delivery, but you also have the option to pick this up by yourself, bringing along your notification letter and passport for verification.

For those applying for an Employment or S Pass, keep in mind that you will need to officially cancel your dependant’s pass before these can be issued as you can only hold one pass at a given time.

Starting a Business in Singapore

Apart from working, dependants also have the option to start their own businesses in Singapore. To start, holders of Dependant’s Passes will have to apply for a Letter of Consent—an authorization issued by the Ministry of Manpower that allows you to register and own a business within the country. To be eligible for application, you must meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are an ACRA-registered business’ sole proprietor
  • You are a business partner registered with ACRA
  • You are a director of an ACRA-registered company and own at least 30% of it

Furthermore, you will need to hire at least one Singaporean or permanent resident employee who earns at least the current local qualifying salary and earns CPF contributions for at least three months.

Letter of Consent Application Process

To start your application, you will need to do the following:

  • Ensure that your Dependant’s Pass is valid for at least three months before submitting your application. Otherwise, you will have to undergo the renewal process, which can take around a month.
  • Fill out the Ministry of Manpower’s online application to request for your Letter of Consent. You should receive the results after a week.
  • Visit the EP eService on the myMOM portal to apply your Letter of Consent
  • Check your application’s progress after three weeks of submitting. This may take longer should additional information be required.
  • Once approved, log into the EP eService online portal and print your letter

Keep in mind that as a Dependant’s Pass Holder, your letter of consent will only be valid for so long as your Dependant’s Pass isn’t canceled or expired. The letter will also need to be canceled within a week after the company or business is no longer active through the EP eService portal.

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