A dependant pass (DP) is a pass for spouse and children of work pass holders (Employment Pass (EP), S Pass, PEP etc.) to relocate and live in Singapore together. Previously, they are also given the opportunity to work in Singapore via Letter of Consent (LOC). This automatically gives them the opportunity to also start up their own business without the need to be an Employment Pass holder.
However, those are no longer valid effective from 1st May, 2021. in order for DP or LOC holders to continue working in Singapore, the need to obtain work passes such as Employment Pass or S Pass.
A dependant pass holder is given two specific options if they plan to start a business in Singapore:
These recent changes signify MOM’s ongoing commitment to continue promoting the development of a strong Singaporean workforce as part of its Fair Consideration Framework.
You may request for your employer to apply a suitable work pass for you or, you may obtain your own Employment Pass by setting up your own company. This way, you will be considered business owner as well as an employee of your own Company.
Benefits of setting up your own company with an EP:
I am an existing Letter of Consent (LOC) holder, how do I retain my LOC for as long as I can?
For those who are already a LOC holder, running your own business in Singapore does not necessarily mean you would need to acquire an Employment Pass (EP) for them to continue running your business.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has specific conditions for LOC – as a DP holder, you are to oblige if you wish to continue running your business without applying for Employment Pass (EP). The two conditions are:
A sole proprietor/partner/one of the Director of an ACRA registered Company with at least 30% of shares within the Company
The Company has at least one local Singapore or PR employee earning at least SGD$ 1,400 with CPF contribution for the recent 3 months
Angela is a dependant pass holder with a Letter of Consent attached. For the past 2 years, she has opened a hair salon Company based in Singapore. She is one of the directors as well as own 30% of shares within the Company.
In order for her to maintain holding a Letter of Consent, she must ensure the Company also hires local employee with a salary of at least SGD$1,400. Once the Company has contributed the CPF contribution for the local employee for at least 3 months, Angela may proceed to apply subsequent renewal of her LOC with MOM.
Steps to apply Letter of Consent for DP holders:
Employer or appointed third party agent is able to submit an online request to apply the LOC on behalf of the dependant pass holder. This submission is for both new application as well as renewal application.
Once application is made, MOM will need at least 1 week to assess the application made before an outcome is furnished via email to requester.
If the online request is approved by MOM, the requester is now allowed to proceed with putting in a new LOC application / renewal LOC application via EP Online.
Once application is submitted via EP Online, MOM will need another 1 to 3 weeks to assess the application made.
Once approved, the requester may retrieve the LOC confirmation letter via EP Online and the candidate can start working immediately after that.
Isn’t applying Employment Pass difficult?
Traditionally, DP holders opted for LOC instead of Employment Pass because of the rigid requirements and they are unable to furnish most of the potential documentation needed to support the application.
If you have an existing business
If your business has been operational for a few months to a year while you were on LOC, you definitely have the chance to boost for an EP approval. As an active company, you would be able to provide these:
Tax filing records with IRAS
Annual return filing records with ACRA
Proof of invoice issued to clients
Proof of payments made into company bank account
MOM can track the Company records such as tax filing and annual return filing via ACRA and IRAS directly. Then, since your Company has managed to secure and maintain contracts with your clients throughout the years, it will be a piece of cake to furnish them the proof of documentations needed.
If you wish to start your own new business
DP holders in Singapore who wish to start a new business have two prominent advantages in applying for an EP: