Many professionals arrive in Singapore on a regular basis for employment and work. There are a few types of different visas available to foreigners who want to stay in Singapore. Depending on the nature of work and purpose, the government of Singapore has framed certain emigration laws aimed at facilitating the stay of such foreign nationals.
All foreigners who intend to work in Singapore are required to obtain a valid work permit that is Singapore Work Visas and Passes. EntrePass, Employment Pass, S Pass, Personalized Employment Permit, Singapore work visa, etc are the examples of Singapore work visas that are in demand from the individuals who want to work in Singapore. Some of these require high educational qualifications as well as proven technical skills.
Each visa listed below has different requirements, benefits and limitations. The following are the common business visas in Singapore for professionals and lesser qualified professionals.
- Employment Pass
- Personalised Employment Pass
Employment Pass (EP) is the main type of work visa, provided by the Singapore government for foreign professionals, managers, executives, owners and directors who wish to take specialized jobs in Singapore, whom meet the eligibility criteria. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) issues employment visas to working professionals and entrepreneurs. Employment Pass is normally issued for 1-2 years at a time and renewable thereafter. An EP visa enables one to work and live in Singapore and travel in and out of the country freely without having to apply for Singapore entry visas. This increases the ease of conducting business activities.
Candidates must meet certain basic requirements in order to obtain an EP:
- Your minimum monthly salary should be S$3,000 per month.
- You should hold a three level passed degree from a reputed university.
- You should have the relevant professional experience.
- In some cases if a person lacks good education, it can be compensated by a strong professional experience and a good salary figure.
There are three types of Employment Passes – P1, P2, and Q1.
There are two options to file the application – Manual and Online. You are required to submit the completed form and the required documents to the Ministry of Manpower to process your EP application.
EntrePass is a visa applicable for eligible foreign entrepreneurs wanting to start and operate a new business in Singapore. The validity of the Pass is up to 2 years. EntrePass application is means for foreign entrepreneurs who lack paper qualification or educational certificates, or those who do not qualify under the Employment Pass scheme, but have proven track record of successful entrepreneurial experience.
In fact, the application for an Entrepass is more difficult than that of an Employment Pass, as it also requires an additional paid up capital of S$50,000.00 for the former. This is to prove to the authorities that you have the financial means to sustain your stay and start a business in Singapore. To be eligible for the EntrePass, the candidate must fulfill the criteria outlined by the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore:
You can apply for an EntrePass if you:
- Have started, or intend to start, a private limited company registered with ACRA.
- If registered, the company must be less than 6 months old on the date you apply.
- If not registered, you can do so after you know the outcome of your application.
- Meet any of the following minimum eligibility criteria for application as an entrepreneur, innovator or investor.
Applicant must meet at least one of the seven following criteria as an entrepreneur, innovator or investor:
- Has funding from a Government-recognised VC or business angel
- Is an incubate at Government-recognised incubator or accelerator
- Business network and entrepreneurial track record
- Holds an intellectual property
- Has a research collaboration with an IHL or research institute in Singapore
- Extraordinary achievements in key areas of expertise
- Investment track record
Personalised Employment Pass
A Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is a special Employment Pass reserved for high-earning existing Employment Pass holders or overseas foreign professionals with even higher earnings. The PEP offers greater flexibility than an Employment Pass.
You can apply for a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) if you are:
- An overseas foreign professional and your last drawn fixed monthly salary overseas was at least $18,000. Your last drawn salary should have been within 6 months before you apply.
- An Employment Pass holder earning a fixed monthly salary of at least $12,000.
You are not eligible for the PEP if you are:
- An Employment Pass holder under the sponsorship scheme.
- A freelancer or foreigner who intends to work on a freelance-basis.
- A sole proprietor, partner or director and shareholder in an ACRA-registered company.
- A journalist, editor, sub-editor or producer.
To keep holding a PEP, you must:
-Not be unemployed in Singapore for more than 6 months at any time. Otherwise, you will need to cancel the pass.
-Earn a fixed salary of at least $144,000 per calendar year, regardless of the number of months you are in employment.
You should notify MOM of the following:
-When you start or leave a job.
-If you change your contact details, such as local contact person or address.
-Your annual fixed salary. You need to declare it to MOM by 31 January of every year.
Work Pass for Lesser Qualified Professionals
While the above visa options are available to highly skilled workers, a different visa is available for professionals who have lower skills.
The S pass is meant for mid skilled foreigners. Candidates need to earn at least $2,200 a month and meet the assessment criteria. Employers must apply to MOM on behalf of job candidates. Applicants will be assessed on the basis of point system, taking into account a multiple criteria like – education, highest qualification, job type and skills to perform, work experience, salary and so on.
Singapore Work Permit (WP)
There are different kinds of WP Visas granted:
-To foreign workers who wish to work in Singapore. The workers should be from an approved source of country or territory. It depends on the sector in which the worker is going to work.
-To foreign domestic workers, who come to Singapore to work as domestic help, the employer needs to apply for this kind of visa. The validity of the visa is two years.
-To performing artists, who wish to perform at any Public Entertainment Licensed outlet in Singapore such as discotheques, bars, lounges, pubs, nightclubs, hotels, restaurants, or private clubs. The validity of the visa is six months.
-To confinement nannies, who come to work in Singapore for a short period of 16 weeks. The employer needs to apply for a confinement nanny visa.
In order to work in a foreign country, a person is required to obtain a work permit in the form of a visa. No country would allow a person’s stay for work without having valid Work Permits. In foreign companies, there is a policy of sending their team of professionals or workers to different destinations. Singapore offers several types of work related visas for foreigners who want to work in the country. The procedures and rules for the different types of visas are well established and straightforward. However, it is helpful to seek the assistance of a corporate services firm if you are planning to apply for one of these visas.
Find out how much it would cost you to apply for some of those visas here