Singapore, being the top destination for commercial businesses and entrepreneurs looking to expand on an international level, attracts plenty of working professionals every year. The strong economy, low cost of living and positive work environment are some of the reasons why Singapore is considered the most preferred place for working. If you are planning to move to Singapore for work, then a Work Permit or Work Pass is necessary for you.
There are different types of work visas available for people looking for professional jobs in Singapore. Depending on the nature of your job, you can apply for the appropriate visa. This article is a guide containing all the information related to different types of Singapore Visa for professionals, the eligibility, requirements, and the process of how to get a work visa for Singapore.
What is a Singapore Work Visa?
When it comes to Singapore, the work visa is called a work permit or work pass. All foreigners who wish to take up a permanent or temporary job in Singapore must obtain a work permit. The work permit can be applied for the professionals who want to work in Singapore through the employer or an appointed employment agent (EA).
If one fails to apply and get a work permit in Singapore, it will lead to severe penalties and prosecution for both the employer as well as the employee. Therefore, a company incorporating its business in Singapore must apply for work visas for all its foreign employees.
In general, there are three work visa options for professionals:
- Employment Pass
- Personalized Employment Pass
This article discusses in detail these three visas. Keep reading to know more!
Eligibility for Singapore Work Visa
Foreign workers who work in Singapore need to fulfill the requirements mentioned below:
- The applicant must hold a valid passport.
- The applicant must be of at least 18 years of age
- The applicant can only work within the scope of work mentioned in the work permits issued by the authorities.
General Documents Required to Apply for Singapore Work Visa
The general documents that are required for all the types of work passes available are-
- Appointment letter
- A valid passport
- Filled Application form
- Copy of educational certificates
- Work experience certificate
- 2 color photographs
- Description of the nature of work to be performed by the applicant
How to Apply for a Work Permit in Singapore?
The application process for a work visa for Singapore is as follows:
- Find a job in Singapore.
- While you are still in your home country, your employer or an Employment Agency (EA) will submit a work visa application via EP Online.
- If the application is accepted, your employer will receive an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter.
- If the application is rejected, your employer will receive an In-Principle Rejection letter instead. And you won’t be receiving a work visa.
- Using your IPA letter, you can travel to Singapore.
- Once you are there, your employer or an EA applies via EP Online to get your Singapore work visa issued. They will have to pay a fee for the work pass.
- If your work Pass is issued, you will receive a notification letter. This letter holds information about whether you need to get your photo and fingerprints taken. It also allows you to start working and leave and enter Singapore until you get your Employment Card.
- Within two weeks after your Pass is issued, you must register at the Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC).
- After registering, you will get your Pass Card – usually within 4 working days.
The employment pass is a work permit in Singapore that is issued to foreign professionals, managers, and senior executives, earning at least $4,500 a month. The work permit is valid for 2 years if the candidate is a first-time employee and can be extended up to 3 years in case the employment continues. An Employment Pass holder is also eligible to apply for PR in due course of time. The key features for an EP application are as follows:
- The employer or an approved agency applies to MOM for an employment pass on behalf of the foreign candidate.
- No quotas or levies apply to EPs.
- The pass can be renewed as long as you work for the same employer and satisfy the renewal criteria. Renewed EPs are valid for up to 3 years.
- If you hold an employment pass, you can get health insurance through your employer or purchase private health insurance.
- You may bring your family (spouse and children) if you earn $4000 per month or more and if you wish to bring your parents to Singapore, you must earn $8,000 per month or more.
If you are a foreign entrepreneur and want to get a work visa to start and conduct business activities in Singapore, you need to get an Entre Pass. The pass has a validity of 1 year and can be extended subsequently for 2 years. You must have registered your business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) within the past six months or must intend to register it upon receiving the Entre Pass. You should own at least 30% of the shareholding and should be able to produce proof of the ongoing business. The key features for an Entre Pass are as follows:
- You need to apply directly to MOM for an EntrePass.
- No quotas or levies apply to the holder of an EntrePass.
- There is no minimum salary required to apply for an EntrePass. However, there are capitalization requirements for the new business.
- The new business must also meet at least one of the following four requirements: a) receive funding from an accredited VC, b) hold proprietary intellectual property, c) collaborate with a premier research institution, or d) work with a government-supported incubator.
- If you hold an EntrePass, you are responsible for purchasing your private health insurance.
- You can bring your spouse, children, and parents if you satisfy the dependent criteria, and only after you have renewed your pass.
- You become eligible for Permanent Residence in due course.
Personalized Employment Pass
If you are an Employment Pass holder and earning a high amount as salary, you can apply to get a Personalized Employment Pass. Under the Personal Employment Pass, you can get 6 months to search for a new job in Singapore after your arrival. This employment pass offers greater flexibility compared to getting other forms of work visas in Singapore.
- The current EP holder or foreign professional applies to MOM directly.
- It is valid for up to 3 years.
- No quotas or levies apply to the holder of a PEP.
- The minimum salary for an EP holder who is already in Singapore is at least $12,000 per month while overseas professionals who are not in Singapore at the time of application must earn at least $18,000 per month.
- The PEP cannot be renewed.
- If you are a PEP holder, you are responsible for purchasing your private health insurance.
- You may bring in your dependents like spouse, children, and parents.
- You become eligible for Permanent Residence in due course.
Need help with getting your Work Visa in Singapore?
Applying and getting a Singapore Work Visa is more complicated than getting a Singapore tourist visa or a Student visa. If you do not meet the requirements properly, you could deal with penalties or delay in the visa processing. To ensure you get your Singapore work visa successfully, you can take the help of an experienced employment agent.
Helen Campos (HCCS) is an expert when it comes to getting a work visa for Singapore. We offer our customers swift and seamless visa processing. Contact us to know how we can help you get the desired work visa for professionals in Singapore.