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Quick Glance At Visas & Work Passes

Employment Pass (EP) is a type of work visa issued to foreign professional employees, managers, and owners/directors of Singapore companies. An EP enables you to work and live in Singapore, and travel in and out of the country freely without applying for Singapore entry visas. EP holders are eligible to apply for Singapore permanent residence in due course.

Overview of Requirements

Position Type
  • Work in a managerial, executive or specialised job.
Academic/Professional Qualifications
  • Usually a good university degree, professional qualifications or specialist skills.
Minimum Salary
  • Fixed monthly salary of at least $4,500 (more experienced candidates need higher salaries).
Duration of Pass
  • First-time candidates: up to 2 years
  • Renewals: up to 3 years
Passes for Family
  • Minimum salary criteria of $6,000 to enjoy dependant privileges.
Restriction on Nationality
  • No
Quota System & Levy
  • No foreign worker levy or quota required. Employers may be required to advertise vacancies open to Singaporeans on Jobs Bank for at least 14 days before submitting an EP application.
Medical Insurance
  • Employers can choose whether to provide medical insurance for EP holders.
The EntrePass scheme is designed for foreign entrepreneurs who wish to start a business and relocate to Singapore. Application can be made before incorporating the Singapore company. Once the pass is approved, you will need to incorporate the proposed company within 30 days and inject the necessary share capital.
EntrePass allows you to bring your family (spouse and unmarried children under 21) to Singapore by applying for their Dependant’s Passes. EntrePass holders are eligible to apply for Singapore permanent residence in due course.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Wish to establish a business in Singapore and relocate to Singapore to run the business. The proposed business idea must be entrepreneurial and innovative in nature and able to create local employment.
  • Have entrepreneurial or relevant background
  • Plan to register your business as a Singapore private limited company and not as sole proprietorship or partnership
  • Have not yet incorporated your company, or the company is not more than 6 months old at the time of application
  • Plan to have at least 30% shareholding in the proposed business
  • Company will have a minimum paid-up capital of S$50,000
  • Sponsored by a well-established Singapore-registered company or are able to furnish a Banker’s Guarantee of $3,000 issued by a Singapore-based bank upon of application
In addition, you must fulfil at least one of the new “innovativeness” conditions as below:
  • Company is receiving monetary funding or investment of at least S$100,000 from a third-party Venture Capitalist (VC) or angel investor accredited by a Singapore Government agency
  • Company holds an Intellectual Property (IP) that is registered with a recognised national IP institution.
  • The company has on-going research collaboration with an institution recognised by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) or Institutes of Higher Learning in Singapore
  • Company is an incubatee at a Singapore Government-supported incubator
Personalized Employment Pass (PEP) is a special type of employment pass that is not linked to a specific employer. PEP is targeted for highly qualified individuals who wish to work in Singapore. It’s not meant for business owners who wish to operate their own business in Singapore.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • PEP pass holders are not allowed to start their own business in Singapore, i.e. they cannot be employed by their own company or engage in any entrepreneurial activities.
  • PEP holder can be a salary-drawing director of a company as long as the company is not owned by them.
  • The eligibility requirements for PEP are more stringent than the Employment Pass. See eligibility section below for more details.
  • PEP holders must earn an annual fixed salary of SGD $144,000 for each calendar year of holding the PEP card, which can only be granted to each applicant for a one-time maximum period of 3 years.
  • The main advantage of PEP is that a PEP holder can switch jobs without re-applying for a visa as long as the holder is not unemployed for longer than six months. During those six months, the PEP holder can stay in Singapore without having to apply for any other type of stay visas.
  • PEP holders are eligible to bring their spouses and children below 21 years old on Dependant’s Passes, and they can also bring their parents on Long Term Visit Passes.

S Pass applicants are assessed based on employer’s quota eligibility and applicant’s qualifications. For more details on quota, see Computation of Company’s Quota Balance.

S-pass holders are eligible to apply for PR; however, they may have to wait at least 4-5 years and have a stable job history in Singapore.

Overview of Requirements

Position Type
  • Mid-skilled technical staff
Academic/Professional Qualifications
  • A degree or diploma. May consider technical certificates, such as courses for qualified technicians or specialists. The certification should include at least 1 year of full-time study.
  • Years of relevant work experience
Minimum Salary
  • Fixed monthly salary of at least $2,500. The salary should reflect work experience. Older, more experienced applicants need higher salaries to qualify.
Duration of Pass
  • Up to 2 years
Passes for Family
  • Minimum salary criteria of $6,000 to enjoy dependant privileges.
Restriction on Nationality
  • No
Quota System & Levy
  • Under the quota, the number of S Pass holders your company can hire is capped at:
    • 15% of the company’s total workforce in the services sector.
    • 20% in all other sectors.
Medical Insurance

A Work Permit (WP) is generally issued to foreign unskilled and semi-skilled workers. The duration of a Work Permit is generally 2 years, subject to the validity of the worker’s passport, the security bond and the worker’s employment period, whichever is shorter.

The worker is only allowed to work for the employer and in the specified occupation.

Overview of Requirements

Position Type
  • Semi-skilled workers from approved source countries
Academic/Professional Qualifications
  • SPM for Malaysians
  • Diploma for PRC
  • High School Certificates for North Asian Sources
Minimum Salary
  • No minimum required.
Duration of Pass
  • Up to 2 years, depending on the validity of the worker’s passport, security bond and employment period.
Passes for Family
  • Not Available
Restriction on Nationality
  • Foreign workers from the following countries or regions may be employed:
    • Malaysia
    • People’s Republic of China (PRC)
    • North Asian sources (NAS):
      • Hong Kong (HKSAR passport)
      • Macau
      • South Korea
      • Taiwan
Quota System & Levy
  • Employers are limited by a quota for their industry and have to pay a monthly levy for each worker.
  • Levy is dependent on skilled levy and % of total workforce.
Medical Insurance
  • Categorisation of passes
    • Dependant’s Pass applicable for;
      • Legally married spouse
      • Unmarried children under 21 years of age including those legally adopted
    • Long Term Visit Pass applicable for;
      • Common-law spouse
      • Unmarried handicapped children above 21 years of age
      • Unmarried stepchildren under 21 years of age
      • Parents of only those employment holders earning at least $10,000
  • Eligibility
    • A minimum monthly salary of at least $6,000
    • Must hold an employment pass
  • Application filing procedure
    • The employer will need to submit a separate application for each family member.
    • The application can be submitted together with the Employment Pass application and separately.

Latest Update:

With effect from 1 May 2021, foreigners staying in Singapore on Dependant’s Passes will need a work pass in order to work here, instead of a letter of consent. The relevant qualifying salary, dependency ratio ceiling and levy will apply. If they are already working, this must be done once their current letter of consent expires.

For more information on Singapore PR and Citizenship Application, click HERE

For calculating foreign worker quota, please visit the following website: