Is your company planning an expansion to Singapore? If so, you need a talented team of employees to make the move with you. Current employees at your parent company, as well as candidates from other countries, will need a Singapore work visa to legally work.
Types of work visas in Singapore
Singapore has a variety of work visas known as passes. Everyone has to obtain a work pass to work in the country, even if they’re not subject to a Singapore visa. Singapore’s passes are divided into 4 major categories:
- Passes for professionals (Employment Pass, EntrePass, Personalized Employment Pass)
- Passes for skilled and semi-skilled workers (S Pass and other work permits)
- Passes for trainees and students
- Short-term passes
Your company’s employees will most likely fall into the first category. Professional workers — such as international managers, executives, and professionals, fall under the Employment Pass. Current employment pass holders and higher-earning international workers can apply for a Personalized Employment Pass, which is more flexible than other options. Finally, investors and entrepreneurs looking to start a business should apply for EntrePass.
Requirements to obtain Singapore work visas
The requirements for a Singapore work visa depend on what type of pass your employees need. For example, those applying for an employment pass must be higher earners with work experience and acceptable qualifications.
Singapore requires work visa applicants to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as a condition for approval of their application. As of October 1, 2022, this requirement no longer applies for most work pass renewals — only new applications and renewals in the construction, shipyard and manufacturing sectors.
As an employer, you’ll need to handle your employees’ Singapore working visas on their behalf. You can apply for the work visa online through EP — an online application service through the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). The application process includes:
- Employees finding a job in Singapore.
- Employers submitting the application.
- Paying the application processing fee.
- Receiving an In-Principle Approval (IPA) or In-Principle Rejection letter.
- Traveling to Singapore through the IPA letter.
- Applying to get the Singapore work visa issued.
- Paying a fee for the pass.
- Receiving a notification letter when the pass is issued.
- Registering at the Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC).
Other important considerations
Some of your employees may have family members they want to bring to Singapore with them. Certain professional and skilled workers can bring close family members such as married spouses and children under 21 through a Dependent’s Pass. Family members who don’t qualify for the Dependent’s Pass will need to get a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP).
It is also worth noting that Singapore sets minimum qualifying salary thresholds for international workers. As of September 1, 2022, candidates for an Employment Pass need to earn at least SGD 5,000 a month. The financial services sector has separate thresholds, currently set at SGD 5,500 per month.
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