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Understanding Singapore’s Work Pass System: Eligibility and Application

expat.guide understanding singapore's work pass system eligibility and application


Navigating the landscape of work and dependent passes in Singapore is essential for individuals planning to work or relocate there. Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) offers a variety of passes, each with specific criteria tailored to different skills, salaries, and employment situations. Below is a comprehensive overview, highlighting the key passes, their eligibility criteria, and other pertinent details.

Employment Pass (EP)

The EP is designed for foreign professionals, managers, and executives. Candidates must earn a minimum monthly salary and meet certain qualifications. The EP application process evaluates the candidate’s salary, qualifications, and the employer’s commitment to fair consideration of local candidates​​​​.

Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)

The PEP offers greater flexibility compared to the EP and is aimed at high-earning individuals. It allows holders to change jobs without reapplying for a new pass but restricts entrepreneurial activities. Candidates must meet high salary thresholds and cannot be unemployed in Singapore for more than six months​​​​.

S Pass

Targeted at mid-level skilled staff, the S Pass requires applicants to earn a minimum monthly salary and possess relevant qualifications and experience. The salary threshold is adjusted based on the candidate’s experience and age​​.

Work Permit (WP)

The WP is available for semi-skilled workers in various sectors, including construction, manufacturing, and domestic work. This pass is specific to certain nationalities and sectors, with different sub-categories for migrant domestic workers, confinement nannies (specifically for Malaysians), and performing artistes​​.

EntrePass

The EntrePass caters to entrepreneurs intending to start and operate a new business in Singapore that is venture-backed or possesses innovative technologies. There’s no minimum salary requirement, but other criteria must be met​​.

Tech.Pass

Introduced for established tech professionals, the Tech.Pass allows holders to start and work for multiple companies in Singapore. Applicants must fulfill stringent salary and experience conditions​​​​.

Overseas Networks & Expertise (ONE) Pass

The ONE Pass targets top talent across various sectors, offering a long validity period and the flexibility to work for multiple companies. It has high salary requirements or outstanding achievements in specific fields​​.

Dependent’s Pass and Long-Term Visit Pass

These passes allow family members of work pass holders to join them in Singapore, with specific eligibility criteria for spouses, children, and other relatives​​.

Miscellaneous Work Pass and Exemptions

Short-term assignments and specific activities may qualify for a Miscellaneous Work Pass or be exempt from the need for a work pass, subject to conditions and notification to MOM​​.

It’s crucial to note that all work pass holders are bound to their employer and cannot engage in other employment without proper authorization. Some passes, like the PEP, allow more flexibility, but restrictions apply, especially regarding starting a business or freelance work​​.

Singapore enforces strict regulations to ensure compliance with its work pass system. Prospective applicants must thoroughly understand the criteria and conditions of their desired pass. Getting everything settled before moving to Singapore is vital, given the country’s stringent immigration policies.

For detailed information and application procedures, visiting the Ministry of Manpower’s official website is recommended.

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