Types of Singapore work visas, and how to get them

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There are many different types of employment visas in Singapore, and if you are looking to hire and retain the best staff, it helps to understand the options:

 

Employment Pass (EP)

This is the most common type of valid work visa or work pass issued to skilled foreign workers in Singapore, and these are its key characteristics:

  • It’s valid for one or two years at the discretion of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), which issues all visas in Singapore.
  • Companies apply for EPs for specific employees, and they are not portable. If your employee quits to take another job in Singapore, their EP with you is terminated, and their new employer has to secure a new EP for them.
  • EPs can be renewed multiple times, for up to 3 years at a time. Again, the extended validity is subject to the discretion of the MOM.

To get an EP for a foreigner that you’d like to hire, here are the boxes you need to tick :

  • You must offer your prospective employee a fixed monthly salary of at least $3,900 per month
  • Your prospective employee’s employment history must be relevant to the job you offered them
  • Your prospective employee must have the necessary educational qualifications from a recognised university degree. As part of their EP application, you will need to submit copies of their degree certificate and their course transcripts

If you are looking to start your own business, it is also possible for your newly incorporated company to apply for an EP on your behalf. This doesn’t always work though, so please get in touch with us if you’d like more information about this.

Entre-pass

Harder to get than an EP, the Entre-pass is aimed at founders of newly incorporated businesses in Singapore. It is also relevant if you:

  1. Work at a venture capital (VC) firm
  2. Are enlisted in a recognised incubator program for startups
  3. Are an investor planning to invest in companies in Singapore

Key characteristics of an Entre-pass:

  • It is valid for one year.
  • It can be renewed for a two-year period as long as the holder remains employed.

Here’s a list of some of the key boxes you need to tick to get an Entre-pass:

  • The visa applicant must own more than 30% of the company they plan to work at.
  • The applicant is planning to set up a private limited company in Singapore, or they’re planning to work in a new company that was set up within the last six months.

S-Pass

Even harder to get than an Entre-pass, the S-Pass is designed for younger foreign workers with strong technical skills. Strict quotas apply, should your company need to apply for an S-pass for your employees. No more than 20% of its workforce can be S-Pass holders; 13% if you are in the service industry.

Key characteristics of an S-Pass

  • It is valid for up to two years.
  • It is renewable for up to three years.

Here’s a list of some of the key boxes you need to tick to get an S-pass

  • Your prospective employee must be offered a monthly salary of at least $2,400.
  • They must have an employment history that is relevant to their role.
  • They must have a recognised diploma, and they must submit copies of their certificates and course transcripts for their application.
  • You must provide your prospective employee with medical insurance worth at least $15,000 per year.

Dependents Pass (DP)

A DP is designed for Singapore-based family members of an EP (employment pass), S-Pass or Entre-pass holder.

Key characteristics of a DP:

  • The DP holder can work with an approved Letter Of Consent (LOC) from the holder of the EP, S-Pass or Entre-pass

Children can apply for a DP, allowing them to study in Singapore without a student visa.

Here’s a list of some of the key boxes you need to tick to get a DP.

  • You have to be the spouse of the EP, S-Pass or Entre-pass holder.
  • For children of the EP, S-Pass or Entre-pass holder, they must be under 21 years of age
  • The EP or S-pass holder must have a fixed monthly salary of at least $6000.

Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP)

Alternatively, an EP or S-Pass holder can apply for a Long Term Visit Pass for their:

  • Common-law spouse
  • Unmarried step children (under 21 years of age)
  • Unmarried handicapped children above 21 years of age
  • Parents  – only for those earning a fixed monthly salary of at least $12,000.

Here are the requirements to get a LTVP

  • You have to be the common-law spouse or dependant of an EP or S-pass holder.
  • The EP or S-pass holder must have a fixed monthly salary of at least $6000.

Lanturn is a digital corporate service provider that can help you manage your corporate secretary and accounting needs, along with work visa applications. For more information on how we can assist you, click here.

For more information and specific legislation, the authority that governs Visas in Singapore is the Ministry Of Manpower (MOM).

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