Singapore is considered worldwide as one of the best places to live and work. The city presents a plethora of opportunities and career development for you, your partner or any other family member. It is also easy for your partner who is on a (Dependants Pass) to either work or start and run a business in this state. Because of this fact, many expatriate families relocate to Singapore each year. This article provides an overview of the Dependant’s Pass and the various ways that you, as well as your spouse can work or start a business under the pass.
What is a Dependant’s Pass?
The Dependant Pass is a permit that allows spouses and kids of individuals who possess an Employment Pass or S Pass to join them in Singapore. Legally married partners and children who are under the age of 21 are allowed to apply for this permit. However, holders of the Employment Pass must be earning a minimum of S$5,000/month for them to bring their dependants into this country.
If a member of your immediate family (spouse and children) is a holder of the Singapore S Pass, he or she will not qualify for a Dependant Pass (DP). An individual with a DP is eligible for employment in any organization or industry in Singapore and is allowed to run a business as well. A child or marriage partner of an individual holding an employment pass (EP) can get a Letter of Consent so as to start a business or get employment.
The individual need to fulfill the following criteria in order to get a Dependant Pass:
- Spouse must be legally married to the Employment Pass holder
- The child must be under the age of 21 years old
- If the child is adopted, legal documents showing this must be provided
What is a Letter of Consent?
DP holders can work in Singapore once their employer obtains a Letter of Consent (LOC) from the Ministry of Manpower (MoM). This is an official document given by the MOM to permit qualified Dependant Pass, Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) or Long-Term Visit Pass Plus (LTVP+) holders to look for employment or run a business in Singapore. If you want to be employed, your employer will have to apply for this document on your behalf after securing the employment. This means that the process is easy for you. However, if you want to start a business, you will apply for this document separately through your business entity.
Eligibility for the Letter of Consent (LOC)
For you to qualify for LOC you must meet the following conditions:
- Hold a valid Dependant Pass valid for a minimum of 3 months
- Have a job offer by an employer in Singapore
- Must be an immediate family member of an EP holder
It is imperative to point out that your employment as an LOC holder depends on the employment status of your spouse. This means that if your spouse gets laid off or is relocated from Singapore, you will lose your LOC status. However, if your employer can directly secure an EP for you, then you will not depend on the status of the Employment Pass of your spouse, and you will not lose your right to work in Singapore.
The requirements for an E pass are strict; thorough background checks will be done to ascertain your educational, professional and criminal backgrounds. The processing time for a letter of consent takes approximately one week.
With a LOC you can start any business, under any business structure. (We have written a guide for you to help choose the best business structure for your business). It is important for you to clearly understand the advantages and disadvantages of each business venture you choose to start in Singapore.
Starting a business on a Dependant Pass
As a Dependant Pass (DP) holder, you can own a Private Limited Company (Pte Ltd) in Singapore. There are several upsides to choosing to structure your business as a Private Limited Company. A Pte Ltd enjoys more favorable tax rates, legal protection and easier access to capital. The downside is that Pte Ltd Companies come with high compliance and operation costs.
Find out which business structure is the most suitable for your business here.
Do note that in order to be a Director in the Private Limited Company in Singapore, you would have to apply for an Employment Pass (EP).
Getting a job on a Dependant Pass
It can be a difficult process for DP holders, who are usually new arrivals, to find employment and figure out the legal administrative process. If using the employment option, DP holders must secure an offer of employment before they can obtain an LOC.
Holders of DP, LOC, LTVP and LTVP+ permits have a lot of career opportunities in Singapore.
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