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Work Permit

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Singapore

Singapore work permits and visas

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024
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EOR in 
Singapore
Monthly
Annually
(Save upto 15%)
$
169
/month
(billed monthly)
Start Hiring Now
Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries
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EOR in 
Singapore
Offer banner
$
169
/month
(billed annually)
$
199
/month
(billed monthly)
Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

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Building a remote team?

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Singapore is a city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. The island nation may be small in size but it is very wealthy, with a GDP of almost $US 400 billion. It has a stable economy, high revenues, no foreign debt, and its government runs a surplus. Internationally expanding companies may consider hiring remote employees who live in Singapore. Employees need a work permit in Singapore to be able to work there legally.

This article will outline:

  • Types of Singapore work visas
  • Singapore visa requirements
  • How to apply for Singapore work visas

Additionally, by the end of the article, you’ll learn how to hire in Singapore. You’ll discover how, with the help of an employer of record (EOR) like Skuad, you can employ remote employees and contractors without needing to establish a local legal entity in Singapore.

Types of Singapore work visas and permits

As remote work becomes more popular, many individuals are choosing to work remotely and either work at home or work wherever they can connect to the internet. As they travel, digital nomads rely on internet connectivity to work in countries such as Singapore. Employees of a company may also be relocating or transferred to the country.

Singapore immigration laws stipulate that foreign individuals working in the country, whether digital nomads or relocated employees need a visa to live in the country and work. There are several options for travelers and those seeking to relocate to Singapore. Relevant visas that employees may use are outlined below.

Singapore work visas for professionals

Singapore issues work visas in the form of work passes. These documents are issued to professional employees, skilled workers, semi-skilled workers, trainees, and students.

Most remote tech employees will require one of the types of professional work passes or the skilled worker pass called the S Pass. All currency mentioned below is in Singapore dollars. As of February 2023 1 Singapore dollar = $US 0.75. )In addition to the eligibility requirements listed under each work pass, every applicant must currently be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Professional work pass types

Professional work passes are further divided into several types:

  • Employment Pass
  • Personalized Employment Pass
  • EntrePass
  • Overseas Network and Expertise Pass

Employment Pass

The Employment Pass is for foreign executives, managers, and professionals who earn at least S$ 5,000 per month. The duration of this pass is two years with a renewal of three years. Experienced tech workers may stay for five years if there is a shortage of tech workers in the country.

Personalized Employment Pass

The Personalized Employment Pass (PEP) is for high-earning executives, managers, and professionals who hold an Employment Pass or overseas foreign professionals. The PEP offers the same benefits as the Employment Pass with more flexibility, such as being able to have a job in any sector and not having to re-apply when changing jobs. The duration of this pass is up to three years, non-renewable.

EntrePass

The EntrePass is the work pass for entrepreneurs to start and operate a venture-backed business in Singapore or if their company possesses innovative technologies. The duration for this pass is one year, extendable to two years.

Overseas Network and Expertise Pass

The Overseas Network and Expertise Pass is a work pass for top talented individuals in the following categories:

  • The arts
  • Sports
  • Culture
  • Academia
  • Research
  • Business

The holder of this pass can work at different companies or ventures at the same time and renewals are not required if the individual changes companies. The holder’s family can join them with a Letter of Consent. The duration of this pass is five years with a renewal of five years.

Short-term work passes

There are certain exemptions to the requirements of longer-term work passes that allow a pass holder to work for up to 90 days within a calendar year in specific activities. These include arbitration and mediation services exhibitions, journalism, sports competitions, and tours, among others.

To be able to work short-term in Singapore applicants must:

  • Have a Work Pass Exempt activity already before entering Singapore
  • Have a Short-Term Visit Pass
  • Notify the Ministry of Manpower of the intention to work in an exempted activity before the start of the activity

Singapore work visas for skilled and semi-skilled workers

Singapore has a few options for work permits for skilled and semi-skilled workers who do not qualify for the work passes above:

  • S Pass
  • Work Permit for Migrant Worker
  • Work Permit for Migrant Domestic Worker
  • Work Permit for Confinement Nanny
  • Work Permit for Performance Artist

S Pass

The S pass is for skilled workers who earn at least S$ 3,000 per month. The duration for the S Pass is up to two years, renewable for up to three years.

Work Permit for Migrant Worker

This is a two-year pass is for semi-skilled migrants in the shipyard, manufacturing, construction, and services industries.

Work Permit for Migrant Domestic Worker

This pass is for domestic workers and is valid for a two-year stay.

Work Permit for Confinement Nanny

This is a pass specifically for Malaysian confinement nannies for 16 weeks starting at the birth of the child of their employer.

Work Permit for Performance Artist

Performance artists have a six-month non-renewable pass.

Singapore work visas for trainees and students

Trainees and students in Singapore can use one of the following passes with respective duration:

  • Training and Employment Pass — Three months for professionals receiving practical training earning at least S$ 3,000 per month
  • Work Holiday Pass (Work Holiday Program) — Six months for students aged 18 to 25
  • Work Holiday Pass (Work and Holiday Visa Program) — One year for Australian students aged 18 to 30
  • Training Work Permit — Six months for semi-skilled foreign students and trainees

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Requirements for Singapore work visa and permits

Employment Pass

To be eligible for the Employment Pass, applicants must:

  • Work as a professional, manager, or executive
  • Have a job offer already in Singapore
  • Have qualifications such as a degree from an accredited university

Personalized Employment Pass

To be eligible for the PEP, the applicant must:

  • Be an existing Employment Pass holder
  • Earn over S$ 12,000 per month
  • Not be unemployed in Singapore for more than six months

EntrePass

To be eligible for the EntrePass, the individual must have registered their venture-backed or innovative business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

Applicants also must meet certain criteria as an entrepreneur, innovator, or investor such as:

  • Having an entrepreneurial and business network track record
  • Holding intellectual property, research, or achievements
  • Having an investment track record

Overseas Networking and Expertise Pass

To be eligible for the Overseas Network and Expertise Pass, the applicant must earn S$ 30,000 per month and show that salary for the prior year. They also must show that they had worked for a Singapore company for one year.

S Pass

To be eligible for the S Pass, applicants must:

  • Have a job offer already in Singapore
  • Have qualifications such as a degree from an accredited institution
  • Show work experience

How to apply for a work permit in Singapore

Employment Pass

Employers or appointed employment agents can apply for a Singapore work permit for their employees. The candidate is responsible for submitting a photo and fingerprints if required. Applications can be submitted online. An Employment Pass should be issued within five working days. Otherwise, an update should be given within 10 business days.

Personalized Employment Pass

Applications can be submitted online. Processing typically takes eight weeks.

EntrePass

Applications can be submitted online. Processing typically takes eight weeks.

Overseas Networking and Expertise Pass

Applications can be submitted online. Processing typically takes four weeks.

S Pass

Applicants for the S Pass can be submitted online by the employer. The card should be issued within five working days after the photo and fingerprints have been validated.

Singapore work visa fees

The following fees will be due when applying and when receiving the card:

  • Employment Pass: S$ 105 to apply, S$ 225 for each pass
  • Personalized Employment Pass: S$ 105 to apply, S$ 225 for each pass
  • EntrePass: S$ 105 to apply, S$ 225 for each pass
  • Overseas Networking and Expertise Pass: S$105 to apply, S$ 225 for each pass
  • S Pass: S$ 105 to apply, S$ 100 for each pass

Planning to hire or work in Singapore? Here’s how Skuad can help

Skuad can help your company hire a remote team in Singapore and make sure each employee has the appropriate work visa they need to be able to work in the country.

Typically, you need to incorporate a company in a foreign country before you can hire there. When partnering with an employer of record, however, your company doesn’t need to expend the vast amounts of time and resources required to establish a local legal entity in Singapore or any other country we can help you hire in.

An EOR can:

  • Draft legally compliant contracts and hire employees on your behalf
  • Onboard new hires
  • Accurately process payroll and payroll taxes
  • Administer benefits
  • Make sure your employees have work permits and visas
  • Ensure compliance with local employment and immigration laws

Skuad can be your EOR and help you hire internationally so you can concentrate on your company’s core business strategies. Book a demo today!

FAQs

How do I get a Singapore work permit?

To be able to visit and work in Singapore, individuals need to have a work permit in the form of a work pass. Employees can get a work pass when their employer applies for one on their behalf.

The following work passes are available for professionals and skilled workers:

  • Employment Pass: A two-year work pass for employees
  • Personalized Employment Pass (PEP): A three-year pass available for high-earning employees and offering some more flexibility than a regular Employment Pass
  • EntrePass: A one-year pass for entrepreneurs to enter Singapore and start and run  a company
  • Overseas Networking and Expertise Pass: A five-year pass for high-earning  talented individuals in the arts, culture, sports, research, academics, and business
  • S Pass: A two-year pass for skilled workers who make at least S$3,000 per month in Singapore dollars

You can get a Singapore work pass, such as an Employment Pass, by having your employer apply for you. You would be responsible for submitting a photo and fingerprints if required. A fee must be paid for each pass. For example, the fee for the Employment Pass is S$105. There is another fee when you receive the card, which is S$225 per pass.

Is it easy to get a work permit in Singapore?

It should be easy to get a work permit to work in Singapore, as the application is made online. When it comes time to apply, make sure you have all your travel documents such as your passport and all the supporting documentation required when the application is submitted by your employer. That way, the process can be as smooth and quick as possible.

  • Applications for an Employment Pass can be submitted online. The pass should be issued within five working days.
  • Applications for a PEP can be submitted online. Processing usually takes about eight weeks.
  • Applications for an EntrePass can be submitted online. Processing usually takes about eight weeks.
  • Applications for an Overseas Networking and Expertise Pass can be submitted online. Processing usually takes four weeks.
  • Applicants for the S Pass can be submitted online by the employer. The card is usually issued within five working days.

Who is eligible for a work permit in Singapore?

Each work pass has different eligibility requirements. For example, you are eligible for an Employment Pass only if you have a job ready for you in Singapore already. Some work passes also have minimum salary requirements or minimum qualifications.

How long can I stay in Singapore with a work permit?

Each work pass has a maximum duration for your stay in Singapore. Many of the work passes are extendable. That means that if your work pass is about to expire, you can re-apply for the same work pass to be extended and you may get your pass extended so you can stay in the country.

The following is the initial duration of each work pass:

  • Employment Pass: Two years
  • Personalized Employment Pass (PEP): Three years
  • EntrePass: One year
  • Overseas Networking and Expertise Pass: Five years
  • S Pass: Two years

Can U.S. citizens work in Singapore?

Yes. U.S. citizens can work in Singapore with the appropriate work pass.

limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Singapore
Monthly
Annually
(Save upto 15%)
$
169
/month
(billed annually)
Start Hiring Now

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

Get started
limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Singapore
$
169
/month
(billed annually)
$
199
/month
(billed monthly)

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

Table of Content

Building a remote team?

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