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How to Get a Singapore Work Visa & Work Permit: Requirements & Procedure

Key Takeaways

  • Singapore is popular among foreign professionals due to its attractive tax system, ease of company formation, and political stability.
  • There are 5 key types of Singapore work visas: Employment Pass, Entrepreneur Pass, Personalised Employment Pass, S-Pass, Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass.
  • This article is for entrepreneurs and working professionals who want to get a Singapore work visa, and employers that seek further information abou employee relocation process in that country.

Singapore stands as the most prominent business and commercial hub in Southeast Asia. Due to its attractive tax system, ease of company formation, and political stability, it frequently attracts entrepreneurs and working professionals from all corners of the world.

So, you want to know: How can you get a Singapore work visa?

This article specifically answers two key questions: 1) What are the types of Singapore work visas; and 2) What is the process of applying for a Singapore work visa? 

While Singapore does not currently offer a specific visa for digital nomads, the Government does adopt liberal immigration policies and generally supports international mobility, which makes getting a work visa relatively straightforward. Here is everything you need to know about the Singapore work visa scheme.

Types of Singapore Work Visa 

The Government of Singapore sets out a variety of work visas, known as passes. However, for entrepreneurs and working professionals, the details of the most relevant pass schemes are as follows.

1. Employment Pass (EP) Scheme

The Singapore Employment Pass is a work visa intended for foreign professionals, managers, and executives who are seeking employment in Singapore. 

  • Qualifying criteria: You must earn a minimum salary of S$5,000 per month.
  • Validity: An EP is initially issued for up to 2 years, and can be renewed for up to another 3 years. 
  • Bringing family: You must earn a minimum monthly salary of S$6,000 to bring your spouse and children. A minimum salary of S$12,000 per month is required to bring your parents.
  • Who can apply: Your employer must apply on your behalf. 

2. Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) Scheme

The Singapore Entrepreneur Pass is a work visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs to start and operate a business in Singapore.

  • Qualifying criteria: You must have started or intend to begin a newly incorporated business that is venture-backed or possesses innovative technologies.
  • Validity: An EntrePass is initially issued for 1 year. You will need to meet the renewal criteria to obtain a further 2 years. 
  • Bringing family: Entrepreneur Pass holders can bring their families to Singapore if they meet the requirements for minimum business spending and local jobs created.
  • Who can apply: An individual can apply directly. 

3. Personalized Employment Pass (PEP) Scheme

The Singapore Personalised Employment Pass is a work visa intended for top-tier professionals and is not tied to a specific employer. This means you are able to work for more than one employer in Singapore or switch jobs without having to re-apply for a new employment pass.

  • Qualifying criteria: Existing EP holders in Singapore require a minimum salary of S$12,000 per month. While new overseas foreign professionals must earn a minimum monthly salary of S$18,000.
  • Validity: A personalised employment pass is issued for up to 3 years and is non-renewable.
  • Bringing family: PEP holders can bring their families to Singapore. 
  • Who can apply: An individual can apply directly.

4. S-Pass Scheme

The Singapore S-Pass is a work visa intended for mid-skilled foreign workers who are seeking employment in Singapore. It is similar to the Employment Pass but has a lower minimum salary requirement.

  • Qualifying criteria: You must earn a minimum salary of S$3,000 per month. A degree or diploma qualification is required.
  • Validity: An S-Pass visa is initially issued for up to 2 years, and can be renewed for up to another 3 years.
  • Bringing family: You must earn a minimum monthly salary of S$6,000 to bring your spouse and children.
  • Who can apply: Your employer must apply on your behalf. There is a quota requirement. 

5. Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass (ONE) Scheme

Introduced January 1st 2023, Singapore’s newest ONE Pass work visa is intended to attract the best global talent to Singapore. It allows pass holders to start, operate, and work for several businesses in Singapore, all at once.

  • Qualifying criteria: You must earn a minimum salary of S$30,000 per month. Individuals with outstanding achievements in academia, the arts, sports, or science are also eligible
  • Validity: A ONE Pass visa is initially issued for 5 years, and can be renewed another 5 years.
  • Bringing family: ONE Pass holders can bring their families to Singapore. Spouses can also work with a letter of consent.
  • Who can apply: An individual can apply directly.

Singapore work visas: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) application process, step-by-step

How to Apply for a Singapore Work Visa

The specific application process varies for each different work visa. You will need to check Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower website to confirm the steps required to apply for your relevant work pass.

In most instances, you will be required to submit the following documents:

  • A completed work visa application form
  • A copy of the personal particulars page of your passport
  • A passport-sized photo of yourself, taken within the last three months
  • A copy of your latest resume and relevant degrees and certificates
  • References and testimonials from your current and previous employers
  • A description of your job duties.

Singapore Work Visas — Our Take

As a major hub for global commerce, it is no surprise that there are many work visa options in Singapore for talented professionals. However like all immigration and work visa processes, the process can be time-consuming for individual businesses and employees to work through. 

Many businesses in Singapore find the support of a global employment firm in facilitating this process. To find out more about how these firms can help, check out our list of leading Singapore employment outsourcing companies. 

FAQs

There are a number of ways to get a work visa for Singapore. In most instances, you will be required to earn a minimum salary of S$3,000 per month. The Government of Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower website details the country's different visas and how to apply for them

There are certain Singapore work visas where an individual can apply directly without an employer needing to do it on their behalf. These include the Entrepreneur Pass, Personalized Employment Pass, Tech.Pass, and ONE Pass. 

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