SINGAPORE Employment passes
|An Employment Pass (EP) is normally issued for 1-2 years at a time and is renewable thereafter. An EP visa enables you to work and live in Singapore and travel in and out of the country freely without applying for Singapore entry visas. Possessing an EP also opens the door for Singapore permanent residence.
The key facts and requirements for an Employment Pass work visa are as follows:
Depending on your salary, education, and experience you will be issued one of three types of EP:
This is a general guideline only and the specific type of pass issued will be at the discretion of the authorities. In practical terms, there is not much difference between the three types of Employment Passes except for the following:
For immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age), EP holders can apply for a family visa called Dependant Pass (DP). DP applications will be approved automatically if the EP application is approved. You can file DP applications at the same time or anytime after your EP application is approved. The expiry date of Dependent Passes will be the same as the Employment Pass.
The following documents are required for submission of an Employment Pass visa application:
All documents must be officially translated into English.
APPLICATION PROCEDURE AND TIMELINE
Completed applications and required documents must be submitted to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Applications can be filed manually or online – online application is quicker but does not allow for the attachment of supporting documents. When supporting documents will play an important role in your application decision, we recommend filing the application manually.
Unfortunately, many websites provide inaccurate timeline information with an objective to gain a client. The reality is that end-to-end processing time for an EP application can take anywhere between 2-6 weeks depending on a number of different factors. The official Ministry of Manpower website – www.mom.gov.sg provides the most accurate and up to date information on the entire application process.
APPROVAL AND COLLECTION
When your Employment Pass visa application is approved, MOM will send an In-Principle-Approval (IPA) letter to the employing company’s address, specified in your application form. The letter has a six-month validity and you need to collect your EP in Singapore before it expires.
To issue the EP, MOM requires a copy of the IPA letter, your passport and any other documents requested in the approval letter. You may need to take a medical test and produce the report when collecting your Employment Pass – if you do, this will be mentioned in the approval letter together with the list of tests. Medical tests can be done in your own country through an established clinic/hospital or on arrival in Singapore.
If you are overseas, a onetime entry visa will be issued to you as part of the letter so that you can enter Singapore and collect your EP. Dependant passes can be collected when you collect your EP.
It is important to note that an EP application is not approved as a matter of course but is subject to review and approval by the Singapore authorities. Therefore you should not make any relocation plans until you have received an In-Principle-Approval of your application.
Employment Pass holders (P1, P2 and Q1) and S Pass holders (whose fixed monthly salary is more than $2,500) may apply for Dependant’s Passes (DPs) for their:
If a Dependent’s Pass holder wishes to work in Singapore the employing company will need to complete a Letter of Consent (LOC) application form and submit it to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). There are no salary criteria for the LOC, and processing time is about three weeks from the date the application was received. The outcome will be sent to the employer, and you can start work once your employer has received the LOC. Renewal of the LOC is required when the Dependent Pass is renewed. The LOC ceases to be valid when the Dependent Pass is cancelled or when you are no longer employed by the company.
If you have any other questions about life in Singapore, please contact Nicoll Curtin’s Singapore office, who will be happy to help.
A list of websites for further research is listed below:
The information in this document is correct as far as we can ascertain at the time of publication. Costs, prices and accuracy of information may change over time. We will make every effort to ensure information is up to date on our website and in our documents, but we suggest you check all important information with the official Singapore bodies, particularly in the case of acquiring Employment Passes.