With effect from 16 March 2015, the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has concluded that all employment pass holders require a Notification Letter (NL) to start working in Singapore. The In-Principal Approval (IPA) letter no longer allows them to commence their work with the employing company.
If you have trouble understanding this article, you might want to indulge yourself with our main article about the Employment Pass procedure. It demonstrates a step-by-step procedure in acquiring an Employment pass and what to do after it approves.
Difference between an In-Principal Approval (IPA) letter and Notification Letter (NL)?
|Type of letter||In-Principal Approval (IPA) letter||Notification Letter (NL)|
|When is it issued? ||Once a work pass is approved||Once a work pass is issued|
|Validity?||6 months – For new work pass|
3 months – For work pass renewal
|1 month – For new work pass|
Not applicable – For work pass renewal
|What is the function?||New work pass – To give candidate access to enter Singapore for work purpose. To give candidate time to plan their resignation and to carry out their notice of period without hassle|
Renewal work pass – To inform candidate that the work pass has been successfully renewed
|New work pass – To inform candidate the next step to complete card issuance registration and gives them authorisation to start working in Singapore|
Renewal work pass – To inform candidate that the card expiry information has been updated and can be seen in their SGWorkPass app
|What happens if no action taken?||Approval will be withdrawn by Ministry of Manpower (MOM)||The issued work pass will be revoked by Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and candidate must be sent back home|
Why is an In-Principal Approval (IPA) letter important?
An employment pass application can be done while the candidate is not physically present in Singapore. With the current situation where entering Singapore will undergo strict surveillance, having the IPA letter will grant you access to enter Singapore.
However, to those who are already present in Singapore via work visa, an IPA letter will grant you time to tender your resignation and undergo the notice of period without hassle.
The IPA letter also indicate the pass holder personal information, occupation as well as the agreed salary.
Why is having the Notification Letter (NL) important?
The notification letter indicates which Company you will be employ with and when you can start commencing duties.
This letter is also proof that the employing Company has issued the work pass and is liable to start paying the candidate monthly salary as per mentioned in the In-Principal Approval (IPA) letter.
Does the Notification Letter have an impact towards Employment Pass renewal?
Yes, it does. As mentioned, all employment pass related will be given an In-Principal Approval (IPA) letter once the application is approved, regardless it being a new or renewal application.
However, for a person to start working or continue working in Singapore, they will need to proceed and issue their employment pass.
Once issued, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will then issue a Notification Letter (NL) as proof that they can now start working or continue working in their position.
If no action was taken to issue the pass, then the In-Principal Approval (IPA) letter will be revoked, and the pass holder will need to be sent home or is unable to continue working in Singapore.
Will I lose the remaining days of the current pass?
No, you will not. For employment pass renewal case, the IPA letter will grant you three (3) months to submit the card issuance online.
Once submitted, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will then issue the Notification Letter (NL) as proof that the pass has been renewed and the new expiry date will be updated in the SGWorkPass app.
This, however, does not mean you will lose the remaining days of your current pass.
Regardless your Employment Pass is a new one or was just being renewed, issuing the card is the last step to be completed by all pass holders.
By issuing the card means that the pass holder can now start working or continue working in Singapore with their information, updated in Ministry of Manpower (MOM) database.
Hence, optimising the validity given in each In-Principal Approval (IPA) letter to plan your trip to Singapore to ensure the card is being issued is very important, especially with the current situation, where planning your trip is very important.
Note: Do not take Notification Letter lightly as this letter is the pass that allows you to work or not in Singapore.
This article was prepared using information obtained from the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore.