Guide to Work Permits for Foreign Workers in Singapore

Singapore provides different types of work permits for foreigners who intend to work in the city-state, each of which is granted for specific purposes and differs according to the categories of employees, based on their professional skills and their monthly wages.

  1. Employment Pass

The Employment Pass is issued to foreigners who work as managers, executives and qualified professionals for an initial period of two years. Thereafter, it can be renewed for up to three years at a time. The Employment Pass is generally granted to workers with a job offer that includes a minimum monthly wage of SGD 3600 (equivalent to approximately EUR 2270). It is also required that more experienced candidates be offered a higher salary.

The Employment Pass can only be requested by the employer or by Singapore Employment Pass Agency. Consequently, it is mandatory for qualified professionals to obtain a job offer in Singapore before applying for this type of permit.

Usually, the procedure for obtaining the Employment Pass takes up to a maximum of five weeks, which is reduced to three weeks if the procedure is done online.

  1. S Pass

The S Pass is similar to the Employment Pass, with the exception that it is granted to mid-level skilled workers with a job offer that has a minimum monthly wage equal to or greater than SGD 2200. Employment Pass, the S Pass is also valid for up to two years and can be renewed for up to three years at a time. Applicants with a job offer that pays SGD 5000 or more can ask their employers to apply for a dependent’s pass for their family.

The process for obtaining an S Pass takes approximately three weeks.

The documentation required to apply S Pass Singapore

  1. Passport page with candidate’s personal details;
    2. Updated profile of the last company in which he worked or information registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore;
    3. Academic certificates of the candidate;
    4. Workers of Indian or Chinese nationality must provide additional documents:
  • For Indians: the list of university exams obtained and the relative marks.
    • For Chinese: The degree certificate and a document certifying the veracity of that certificate in English provided by a source approved by the Singapore Department of Labour.
  1. Personalized Employment Pass (PEP)

The Personalized Employment Pass (PEP) is reserved for high-wage workers who have already obtained an Employment Pass or are foreign professionals. The minimum wage for the PEP is SGD 12,000 per month for those who already have the permit and SGD 18,000 per month for foreign professionals (respectively EUR 750 and EUR 1130). This type of permit can be requested directly by interested parties and it takes about eight weeks to obtain.

  1. Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass)

The EntrePass Visa is specially designed for entrepreneurs and businessmen who are interested in starting their own business in Singaporean territory. This pass remain valid for 2 years. The EntrePass is renewable until the eligibility requirements are fulfilled. The applicant’s company must be in possession of:

  • Funding from an accredited source;
    • Trademark registered with a national institute for the protection of Intellectual Property;
    • Collaboration agreement with a recognized institution; or
    • Be an incubatee in a Singapore-backed business incubator.

The requirement of owning a company incorporated in Singapore with a minimum capital of SGD 50,000 has been abolished in order to facilitate the world of start-ups by making the EntrePass accessible to more entrepreneurs.

  1. Other short-term work visas
  • Training Employment Pass (TEP)

It is intended for foreign professionals who carry out practical training for professional, managerial or specialist jobs. Applicants applying for the TEP must earn at least SGD 3000 monthly. 

  • Training Work Permit (TWP)

TWP is for “unskilled or medium-qualified” foreign trainees or students doing an internship in Singapore for up to six months. A foreign student holding the TWP is subject to a tax. 

  • Miscellaneous Work Pass

This permit allows foreigners to work in Singapore on a specific project for up to two months. This permit is not renewable.