Currently, the In-Principal Approval (IPA) given to an EP applicant is valid for six months. The IPA is meant as confirmation that the work pass application has been approved, and to allow applicants time to make plans to come to Singapore to work.
On arrival, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) needs to be notified before the Employment Pass (EP) applicant can start work with their employers. Employers must notify MOM by requesting for issuance of the work pass through Employment Pass Online (EPOL).
In the past, as request for EP issuance involved multiple steps and could take some time, EP applicants were allowed to work on the IPAs while waiting for the issuance of the work passes. More recently, MOM says it has streamlined the EP issuance process. Requests for issuance can be done almost immediately upon the EP applicants’ arrival in Singapore.
In view of this, from 16 March 2015 MOM will require that issuance of work passes be completed before the EP applicant can start work, and the IPA letters will be amended to reflect this change.
- Employers should begin the Employment Pass issuance process as soon as possible upon arrival in Singapore.
- EP holders should then proceed for work pass card registration(with notification letter) as soon as possible, as the Notification Letter is only valid for one month.
This article was prepared using information obtained from the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore.