In order to legally work in Singapore as a foreigner, you will require a work visa. Singapore has 3 main categories and 5 main types of work visas. They are Employment Pass, S Pass, and Work Permit. Employment pass includes Entrepass and Personalised Employment Pass as well. Different work visas will require a different set of requirements. The validity ranges between 1 to 3 years.
When starting a business in Singapore, there are times when you would require foreign talent and thus, it is important to find out the different types of Visas and work permits available in Singapore.
Depending on the occupation, salary, and other qualifications, there are 3 main types of Visas and work permits - Work Permit, S Pass, and Employment Pass. In this guide, we will be going through the different types, as well as the requirements to apply for each of them.
|Type of Work Visa||Education Requirement||Salary Requirement (Monthly)||Scope of Work|
Personalized Employment Pass
|At least a Bachelor’s Degree||At least SGD5,000||Professional and specialized work such as Engineering, Technology, Management consulting, Medical, Financial, and more.|
|S Pass||Degree, Diploma, or Technical Certificates||At least SGD3,150 for new applications*||Executive work such as Operational, Admin, and other more routine work in any industry.|
|Work Permit||No requirement||No requirement||Foreign workers providing manual and physical labor in Construction, Manufacturing, Marine ship yard, and Services sector.|
📌 *Note: There was an update for S Pass requirements, and it will be applied progressively from 1 September 2022
Professional Category Work Visas
The Employment Pass allows foreign professionals, managers, and executives to work in Singapore. To be eligible, candidates must earn a minimum monthly salary of SGD5,000. Additionally, employers must demonstrate that they have considered all job seekers fairly before hiring a foreign candidate.
It is particularly well-suited for foreign individuals with expertise or specialization in their respective fields. To increase the chances of approval for this work pass, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has provided some key success factors, which include evaluating the applicants' skills in relation to the local workforce and their potential contribution to the local economy. Additionally, the salary offered to applicants is measured against the responsibilities and scope of their job.
Entrepreneurship Pass (Entrepass)
The Entrepreneur Pass is intended for serial entrepreneurs, high-caliber innovators, or experienced investors who want to operate a business in Singapore that is venture-backed or owns innovative technologies.
Personalized Employment Pass (PEP)
The final work visa in the professional category is designed for high-caliber experts possessing exceptional technical or domain knowledge. Known as the Personalized Employment Pass (PEP), this self-sponsored working visa is non-renewable and is not associated with any specific company. The PEP is ideal for two groups:
- Existing Employment Pass holders who earn a minimum monthly salary of SGD12,000.
- Foreign professionals based overseas, with a last drawn monthly salary of SGD18,000.
Because the PEP is a self-sponsored Singapore working visa, its requirements are straightforward and easy to comprehend. It is not tied to an employer and offers greater flexibility than an Employment Pass.
Mid-Level Skilled Staff Work Visa
Candidates of mid-level skills from any nationality are eligible to apply for an S Pass in Singapore. To be eligible, you must possess a relevant degree, diploma, or specialized technical certificate, supported by several years of work experience. You also need to secure a job with a monthly salary of at least SGD3,000. It's worth noting that the minimum salary requirement may be higher for more experienced and older applicants. Once obtained, the S Pass is renewable and remains valid for up to 2 years.
Low to Semi-Skilled Work Visas in Labour-Intensive Sectors
The Singapore Work Permit (WP) is Singapore's primary and fundamental work pass. It grants low to semi-skilled workers permission to be employed in labor-intensive sectors such as manufacturing, construction, marine, and services industries.
Similar to the S Pass, the Work Permit is subject to a quota system. Employers must meet specific requirements, including paying a foreign worker levy, fulfilling the foreign worker quota, and providing medical insurance coverage for their employees.
Once issued, the Work Permit is initially valid for up to two years and can be renewed thereafter, allowing eligible workers to continue their employment in Singapore.
How to Apply for the Work Visas
|Type of Work Visa||Procedure||Procedure Validity||Processing Time||Application Fee||After Approval Fee|
|Employment Pass||Employer or Employment agent will need to apply online||First-time application: 2 Years
After renewal: 3 Years
|Usually within 10 working days||SGD105||SGD225 (Multiple journey visa, additional SGD30)|
|Entrepass||Individuals will be required to prepare all documents and apply online||New pass and first renewal: 1 Year
Subsequent renewals: 2 Years
|Usually within 8 weeks||SGD105||SGD225 (Multiple journey visa, additional SGD30)|
|Personalized Employment Pass||Individuals will be required to prepare all documents and apply online||Up to 3 Years||Usually within 8 weeks||SGD105||SGD225 (Multiple journey visa, additional SGD30)|
|S Pass||Employer or Employment agent will need to apply online.||Up to 2 Years||Usually within 10 working days||SGD105||SGD100|
|Work Permit||Employer or Employment agent will need to apply online||Up to 2 Years||Usually within 1 week||SGD35||SGD35|
Can I Bring My Family With Me (Dependent's Pass)?
Both Employment Pass (EP) and S Pass holders have the option to apply for a Dependent's Pass, enabling their spouse, children, and parents to accompany them in Singapore. This privilege is available to nationals from any country globally, although some nationalities might need to submit additional documentation.
To sponsor their dependents, the EP or S Pass holder must have a minimum fixed monthly salary of SGD6,000. This requirement ensures that the sponsor has the financial capability to support their dependents during their stay in Singapore.
Unfortunately, this does not apply to people holding onto a Work Permit.
What to Do if an Application Fails
You will have 3 months to appeal if your Employment Pass or S Pass application is rejected. For the Work Permit, please check the rejection letter for the time given for an appeal. You can appeal for your Employment Pass or S Pass application via EP e-services or submit this form if you are appealing for a Work Permit application.
Employers in Singapore are responsible for understanding the different work visas available to foreign workers to make informed hiring decisions. Familiarity with the various visas, such as Employment Pass, S Pass, and Work Permit, ensures compliance with the law and eligibility criteria for each category. This knowledge aids in attracting and retaining the right talent, streamlining the application process, and avoiding potential legal issues, thus contributing to smooth and efficient workforce management.
How many different types of Work Visas are there in Singapore?
What is the average processing time for Work Visas in Singapore?
Can I bring my family to Singapore on a Work Visa?