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Work Visa in Singapore.

Learn about work visas in Singapore thanks to Horizons’ up-to-date guide.

Horizons is where real, local hiring expertise meets world-class customer service. Quickly and compliantly hire employees in more than 150 countries worldwide, without the need to open a local entity.

Types of work visas in Singapore

Foreign workers in Singapore require a work visa, also known locally as a ‘work pass’. Depending on the industry, and the skills and experiences of the potential workforce, different work visas will be available. The key work visas in Singapore are: 

  • Professionals: Employment Pass (EP)
  • The Employment Pass (EP) is for foreign professionals working in managerial, executive or specialized jobs. To apply for an EP, you must earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$3,600 and have acceptable qualifications.
  • Skilled and Semi-Skilled Workers: S Pass
  • The S Pass is for mid-level skilled staff such as technicians and diploma holders. To apply for an S Pass, you must earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$2,200 and have acceptable qualifications.
  • Trainees and Students: Training Employment Pass (TEP)
  • The Training Employment Pass is for foreign students who are doing their internship or training in Singapore. To apply for a TEP, you must be enrolled in a full-time course at a recognized institution and have an offer of internship or training from a Singapore company.
  • Short-Term Work Passes
  • There are a number of short-term work passes for foreign workers who will be in Singapore for a short period of time. These include the Visit Pass, the Work Holiday Pass and the Special Pass.
  • Dependants’ Pass
  • The Dependants’ Pass is for spouses and children of Employment Pass and S Pass holders. To apply for a Dependant’s Pass, the EP or S Pass holder must earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$4,500.

Required documents for a work visa in Singapore

The following documents are required to apply for a work visa in Singapore:

  • A completed visa application form
  • Your passport or travel document
  • A recent passport-sized photograph
  • Your employment contract
  • Your educational qualifications
  • Other supporting documents, depending on the type of visa you are applying for.

Process to get a work visa in Singapore

Getting a work visa when the employee is based outside of Singapore

In most cases, a work visa will require sponsorship from an employer. For this reason, the employer, or their agent, will lead the application process. The process proceeds as follows:

  1. Key documents (such as passport information) are supplied to the employer.  This usually occurs after the Singapore employer has offered the employee a job, but before they have moved to Singapore. 
  2. The employeer applies for the visa.  Processing usually takes from 3-9 weeks. If the decision is favorbale, an n-principle approval letter will be received. 
  3. The employer prepares for employee arrival. This means taking care of the security bond, insurance and other matters. 
  4. The permit is issued. This can only occur once the applicant is in the country. 

Getting a work visa when the employee is based inside Singapore

The process is the same, including for renewals. Though anecdotally, renewals are often granted more quickly. 

Special notes about work visas in Singapore 

Work visas in Singapore allow you to bring your immediate family members through a Dependents’ Pass. They can work in Singapore, but the right is not automatic. The dependent has to go through the same process of getting an Employment Pass, S Pass or Work Permit. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQ):

It is relatively straightforward, as long as the applicant has the skills, experience and qualifications sought after by Singapore employers. 
 

Yes. Through the Dependents’ Pass. 

The Employment Pass is for one or two years, renewable for up to three years. 
 

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