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Singapore Working Visa Guide

Singapore Working Visa

Singapore is a country which has accepted and continues to accept many foreign workers from various countries across all of the world’s continents. Therefore, a foreigner who has plans to live and work in Singapore might find it somewhat difficult to find work there due to the glut of foreign workers who are already employed in the country. Even those who have already moved there might encounter some troubles in becoming employed in Singapore.

For this reason, if you are such a person, we at Paul Hype Page & Co suggest that you utilize the services we provide to allow you to receive an Employment Pass (EP). We will ensure that every step of the EP application process is addressed appropriately so as to greatly improve your chances of receiving one.

Although receiving an EP will not guarantee that you will be able to find a job in Singapore, its extensive validity period will ensure that you will have more time to do so. However, when you do apply for a job in Singapore after you have received your EP, we also suggest that you only search for short-term employment. This is because long-term employment is not conducive for one to start a business in Singapore. There are a great many benefits which are available to those who choose to do so. One of the most important benefits lies in the fact that you would no longer have to bother yourself with finding employment in Singapore because as a business owner, you would have become self-employed. You would also be able to take advantage of the multitude of business opportunities which are available to all who choose to start a business in Singapore.

Once again, we are able to provide our services in this regard. Some of our services are those related to company incorporation in Singapore. Our incorporation team has received many plaudits from our numerous clients who we have been able to assist in >the setting up of a Singapore company. Contact us at any time – we will allow you to experience the same.

Returning to the topic of migration to Singapore, many people from all over the world have chosen to relocate there. Due to the country’s considerable economic and political stability as well as the numerous employment opportunities for skilled foreign individuals which are present there, those who are competent and able to contribute to the country’s growth will usually have a positive experience during their time in Singapore.

As the job market in this vibrant Southeast Asian city-state has been growing, it is common for foreigners to work and live there. Those who choose to do so will need a work visa. Due to the fact that a large portion of the country’s workforce is made up of foreigners, the government has been assessing all visa applications much more closely than ever before in order to control the influx of foreigners into Singapore.

Those interested in working in Singapore must first understand the different type of work visas offered by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

 

Types of Visas in Singapore

There are various types of visas available which are categorized by the applicant’s professional skill level and monthly salary. To apply, it is essential that applicants understand the specific purposes and requirements of each visa. Visas for professionals provided by the Singaporean government include the Employment Pass (EP), Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass), and Personalized Employment Pass (PEP). Visas intended to be used by skilled and semi-skilled workers from abroad who work in Singapore include the S Pass and Work Permit.

 

Employment Pass

The visa most frequently issued by the Singaporean government is the Employment Pass (EP). The EP is most suitable for foreign professionals who are equipped with sufficient qualifications and relevant work experience and are seeking jobs in managerial, executive, or specialist positions. It is to be used by foreigners who are considered to be experts or specialized in their desired field. The Singaporean authorities will closely assess every applicant’s knowledge and skills which they can offer as well as if applicants are able to contribute any competitive advantage in their field.

Employment Pass applicants are usually staff members and executives. They must have a minimum monthly salary of S$3,600. Those who plan to apply for an EP may only do so after the incorporation of a company. It is a temporary pass and thus requires a renewal every two years or more frequently as long as certain criteria are fulfilled. The EP is processed and approved by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Those who hold an EP will find it easier to become a permanent resident (PR) of Singapore at some point in the future.

Only the employer of a foreigner who desires an EP may apply for one on the applicant’s behalf.

Entrepreneur Pass

Certain other foreigners might prefer to apply for the Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass). This pass is a good fit for those who attained distinctive accomplishments and success in their business venture or have an innovative business proposal that will impact the economic growth of the country. This is because the EntrePass is intended to be used by those who have an extensive history of entrepreneurial activities. Most EntrePass holders are founders of companies which have recently been set up. Those who plan to apply for an EntrePass must hold at least 30% of the company’s shares; however, there is no minimum salary requirement. EntrePass owners must also have a business plan of 10 pages or longer to detail the owner’s proposed business venture.

Just as is the case with the EP, the EntrePass is temporary. It must be renewed every year; however, before renewal, certain criteria must be fulfilled. An applicant may apply for an EntrePass at any time up to six months after the registration of the company. However, after the 30-day period following the issuance of the EntrePass elapses, the company must be incorporated. The MOM and Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) process and approve the EntrePass. Holders of an EntrePass are more likely to become Singapore PRs if they desire one.

Only those who plan to start and operate a new business in Singapore may apply for an EntrePass. However, the company must be a private limited company registered with ACRA with a paid-up capital of at least S$50,000. There must also be a bank statement which demonstrates that such an amount is already in a Singapore-based company bank account. The business must also be legal and entrepreneurial in nature.

The new company must also have received funding or investment from a recognised third-party venture capitalist (VC) or from a business angel or investor who has accredited by a Singapore government agency. This funding is to be in monetary form and worth at least S$100,000. The company owner is required to display shareholder certificates or any other relevant documents to serve as supporting documents.

The company owner also needs to possess an intellectual property (IP) which has been registered with an approved national IP institution. One of the shareholders must be the owner of the IP. The IPs are to be related to the proposed business conducted in the EntrePass application. The primary reason for this is because the IP delivers a competitive advantage to the proposed business and cannot be easily replicated. Any expired IPs can be also used as long as one of the shareholders is an investor of the IP.

The company owned by an EntrePass holder may be advised to be involved in an ongoing research collaboration with a research institution recognized by the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR) or institute of higher learning in Singapore. The duration of research collaboration is not essential. The research collaboration should be corresponding to the proposed business activities. The research institution involved must provide a contact person to verify details of the research collaboration. The company owner must be involved with ongoing research collaboration which does not include a contract of services.

The company is also to be an incubatee at an incubator or accelerator supported by the government of Singapore. Incubators provide professional mentoring and business resources to fund a start-up firm’s growth. Only existing incubates may be used to fulfill this criteria; the incubatee’s work must also be related to the proposed business.

EntrePass application criteria are the most stringent of all work pass criteria in Singapore because an EntrePass is given based on the applicant’s own merits and a case-by-case basis.

 

Personalized Employment Pass

The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is one of the more flexible work visas in Singapore. It provides many opportunities for its holder. It is meant for professionals and executives who have a monthly salary of S$18,000 or more. However, those who apply for a PEP and already hold an EP only need a minimum monthly salary of S$12,000.

The PEP is a self-sponsored visa. It grants its holder the privilege of coming to Singapore without having a job there. Application for the PEP can be done by the applicant. The PEP also provides its holder with mobility within Singapore’s employment market. Its holder is not be subjected to any employment bonds and may thus employed in any business area of choice. PEP holders do not have to re-apply for one upon the changing of jobs.

However, PEPs are not renewable. Over the three years during which a PEP is valid, a PEP holder who desires Singapore PR status must apply for one. If such is not granted within this three-year period, the PEP holder must apply for an EP and use it as a means by which PR status might be obtained.

Holders of a PEP are not allowed to register a company in Singapore or serve as a Singapore company’s shareholder.

 

S Pass

The S Pass is a short-term work visa targeted at skilled and semi-skilled workers. It allows such workers of any nationality to work in Singapore. S Pass holders are usually individuals from a skilled sector who have acquired the necessary requirements as specified by the company. To qualify for an S Pass, applicants are required to command a fixed monthly salary of at least S$2,200. Other requirements relate to work experience, educational qualifications, and technical expertise within the business field. Those with more experience will need to be earning higher salaries as evidence of this work experience.

An application for an S Pass must be made by an employer on behalf of the applicant. S Pass candidates must also complete and pass a point-based assessment. Employers of S Pass holders are obliged to provide medical insurance for their employees.

There is a quota system that affects S Pass holders in any Singaporean company. Companies in the service sector may not have more than 15% of their staff members as S Pass holders, while the limit for companies in other sectors is 20%. It is also mandatory for employers to pay a certain amount of monthly levy depending on the number of S Pass holders who have been employed.

S Pass holders also have the privilege to bring family members and relatives into Singapore with the caveat that they earn S$4,000 or more every month. The S Pass is also renewable after a two-year validity period.

 

Work Permit

A Work Permit (WP) is a pass that allows semi-skilled workers in labor-intensive sectors such as manufacturing, construction, marine, and services to work in Singapore. WP holders have lower salaries as no education qualifications are needed. The employer is responsible for the application for a WP.

There is a quota system involving the WP. The employer is required to pay a foreign worker levy, fulfil the foreign worker quota, and provide medical insurance for employees. Upon issuance, this pass is valid for up to two years and is renewable thereafter.

WP holders are not permitted to bring in dependents.

 

Conclusion

Understanding the details of the different types of visas will help applicants secure one which is suitable. The applicant’s skills, qualifications, abilities, and educational level play a part in the selection of a visa. Although applying for a visa can be difficult, the process can be eased by contacting a professional service provider which offers various immigration and visa services. We at Paul Hype Page & Co are well–known for providing these services and will ensure that your immigration needs are suitably fulfilled.

Why is ACRA involved with EntrePass applications?

The EntrePass is targeted at those who are interested in setting up a company in Singapore. Therefore, ACRA must be involved because many of ACRA’s duties relate to the establishment of Singapore companies.

Do all EP holders have to eventually apply for Singapore PR status?

It is easier for someone who holds an EP to become a Singapore PR when compared to someone who does not. However, there is no requirement that one who holds an EP must also apply to become a Singapore PR. Such an arrangement would violate the existing terms of the EP.

Why do different skill levels require different visas?

Not every worker who enters Singapore has the same qualifications. Therefore, each requires a different visa. This way, each category of worker can be best served by the Singaporean government, employers, and other authorities alike.

 

Don’t leave your Employment Pass application to chance

Paul Hype Page & Co have our in-house licensed employment agency registered with the Ministry of Manpower and offer a full spectrum of work pass services. We will provide a thorough assessment of all factors of your application and ensure that they meet MOM current standards of review. Our reliable guidance and high success rate come with years of experience and continually staying abreast with Singapore’s immigration regulatory updates.

Call us at +65 6221 4711 or contact us now for a free consultation.