• +852 3464-5200
  • Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
  • +852 3464-5200
  • Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

 SINGAPORE WORK VISA

    IMMIGRATION | EMPLOYMENT | INVESTMENT | RELOCATION

Why choose Singapore for your next job?

Singapore is a small and stable country with innumerable opportunities. It is an incredible aspect of living and working in Singapore with a true mix pot of multiculturalism, making it one of the most well-liked countries for job-related relocation.

Investors prized Singapore workforce for its high literacy rate, mainly due to

  • Sound workplace integration policies, a common working language that unite and diversity prominent features of its workforce.
  • Singapore Companies ensure fair working environments that reward individuals based on merit.
  • Competency levels and ability to bridge Asian and Western cultures.

With over 110,000 expatriates and 7,000 multinational companies operating here, global citizens will feel right at home forging a career in Singapore.

Facts About Working in Singapore

In a government survey, with 9 in 10 qualified, experienced foreign talents, they are happy  to work in  Singapore due to the following factors:

  • Competitive Salary Offerings
  • Attractive Job Opportunities
  • Easy Process To Obtain Work And Residence Permits
  • Low Personal Income Tax Rates
  • Diversity In Population
  • Great Infrastructure And Technology
  • Political Stability
  • No Corruption
  • Low Crime Rates
  • Growing Globalized Economy
  • Great Geographic Position That Shield Singapore From Natural Disasters

Why You Should Consider Working in Singapore

Types of Work Visa in Singapore

Singapore has an efficient and widespread system of healthcare. In 2000, Singapore was ranked 6th in the World Health Organization's ranking of the world's health systems. According to global consulting firm Towers Watson, Singapore has one of the most successful healthcare systems in the world, in terms of both efficiency in financing and the results achieved in community health outcomes.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) believes in ensuring quality and affordable basic medical services for all. Singapore’s healthcare system is designed to ensure that everyone has access to different levels of healthcare in a timely, cost-effective and seamless manner.

MOH and its statutory boards are responsible for regulating Singapore’s healthcare system. All Healthcare facilities are also required to maintain a good standard of medical / clinical services under the Private Hospitals & Medical Clinics (PHMC) Act/Regulation.

The Ministry continuously works to shape the future of healthcare in Singapore and has been actively promote healthy living and preventive health programmes as well as high standards of living, clean water and hygiene to achieve better health for all.

Singapore government offers monetary incentives such as the Baby Bonus scheme, subsidized childcare, and priority housing for couples. In addition, Singapore mandates a generous amount of maternity and paternity leave relative to other Asian societies.

Maternity and Parental Leave

Singapore provides maternity and parental leave benefits to new parents who are foreigner or PR working in Singapore. The policy stipulates that working mother will be entitled to either 16 weeks of Government-Paid Maternity Leave or 12 weeks of maternity leave, depending on whether your child is a Singapore citizen and other criteria.  Working fathers, including those who are self-employed, are entitled to 2 weeks of paid paternity leave funded by the Government.

The Employment Act is Singapore's main labour law. It provides for the basic terms and conditions at work for employees covered by the Act. Foreign employees holding a work pass are also covered by the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, which outlines an employer's responsibilities and obligations for employing foreigners. Work passes include Employment Pass, S Pass and Work Permit.

There are specific requirements covering the following areas for foreign employees who are covered by the Employment Act:
  • Salary
  • Hours of work, overtime and rest days
  • Public holidays
  • Annual leave
  • Sick leave

Along with other revenue-generating streams such as exports, fees and charges and other receipts, taxes collected every year are used in developing Singapore into a more vibrant economy – a place where every foreign entrepreneur and company wants to be.

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) is responsible for collecting personal income tax, corporate tax, property tax, goods & services tax, betting taxes and stamp duty.

Personal Income Tax

Tax residents are:

  • Singaporeans residing in Singapore
  • Singapore Permanent Residents who are residing in Singapore
  • Foreigners staying in Singapore for 183 days or more in the year will be taxed in the following year, meaning foreigners staying in Singapore for more than 183 days in the calendar year 2022 is required to do individual tax filing by 15 April 2023 and pay taxes in year 2023. Taxes can be paid via monthly instalment or one time payment.
Tax residents enjoy tax savings through tax reliefs, donations to IPCs (Institutions of Public Character) and certain expenses relating to the employment and business spend.

Singapore Personal Tax Rates for Non-residents

An individual is considered a non-resident for tax purpose if he is a foreigner who stayed or worked in Singapore for less than 183 days in the tax year. As a non-resident:

  • 0 – 60 days– Employment income is tax exempt if the individual is here on short-term employment for 60 days or less in a year. This exemption does not apply for a director of a company, a public entertainer or exercising a profession in Singapore.
  • 61 – 182 days– The individual is taxed on all income earned in Singapore (no personal reliefs apply). Income is taxed at 15% or the progressive resident rate, whichever gives rise to a higher tax amount.
  • Director fees, consultant fees and all other incomes are taxed at 20%.

All foreigner who wishes to work in Singapore need to obtain a work pass. The type of work pass depends on the nature of the job, skillset, and earnings.All work passes will be assessed holistically by Singapore Ministry of Manpower and the outcome is solely at the discretion of the MOM.

There are different types of Singapore visas you can apply for, and here is a summary of the most common and widely issued visa types:

  • EMPLOYMENT PASS (EP)
    Applicable to apply for family passes (a) Dependant’s Pass (DP) and (b) Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP)
  • ENTREPASS
    Applicable to apply for family passes (a) Dependant’s Pass (DP) and (b) Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP)
  • PERSONALISED EMPLOYMENT PASS (PEP)
    Applicable to apply for family passes (a) Dependant’s Pass (DP) and (b) Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP)
  • OVERSEAS NETWORKS & EXPERTISE PASS (ONE)
    New pass commence in 1 Jan 2023, appliable to apply for family passes (a) Dependant’s Pass (DP) and (b) Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP)
  • TRAINING EMPLOYMENT PASS (TEP)
    Not applicable for family passes
  • WORK HOLIDAY PASS (WHP, UNDER WORK HOLIDAY PROGRAMME)
    For students and graduates aged 18 to 25 who want to work and holiday in Singapore for 6 months. This is not applicable for family passes
  • WORK HOLIDAY PASS (WHVP, UNDER WORK AND HOLIDAY VISA PROGRAMME)
    This is for Australian students and graduates aged 18 to 30 who want to work and holiday in Singapore for 1 year. This is not applicable for family passes.

Documents required for Work Visa

You need to submit documents such as a business plan and your passport page along with the EntrePass application.

You will need these documents to apply:

  • Personal particulars page of your passport.
  • If available, past employment testimonials in English or resume to elaborate on professional experiences, awards or recognitions.
  • (For businesses registered with ACRA) Company’s latest business profile or instant information from Bizfile.
  • A business plan in English, maximum 10 pages, consisting of:
    • Product and service offered
    • Market analysis
    • Operation plan
    • Profile of management team
    • Supporting documents, e.g. licensing agreements, product certificates and endorsement patents
  • Other documents that will support your EntrePass application. We may ask for other documents when we review your application.

You need to upload documents (e.g. candidate’s passport page showing personal particulars) when submitting an Employment Pass application.

Documents required:

  • Personal particulars page of candidate’s passport.

    If the candidate’s name on the passport differs from that on their other documents, please also upload an explanation letter and supporting documents (e.g. deed poll).
  • Company’s latest business profile or instant information registered with ACRA.

If the institution is not found in the application form's drop-down list, you need to upload the following additional documents:

Diploma and above qualifications from 

Documents required

China

·        Education certificate

·        Verification proof from one of these sources:

·        Center for Student Services and Development (CSSD)

·        Background screening companies 

India

·        Education certificate

·        Verification proof from a background screening company 

·        Transcripts or marksheets for all semesters stating the college attended

 All other countries

·        Education certificate

·        Verification proof from a background screening company 

We may ask for other documents when we review the application. For example, documents to prove that salary declared will be paid.

Eligible high-earning foreign professionals can apply for a Personalised Employment Pass. Pass holders have greater job flexibility than with other work passes. However, they need to meet certain requirements to hold the pass.

Who is eligible

You can apply for a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) if you are:

  • An overseas foreign professional and your last drawn fixed monthly salary overseas was at least $18,000. Your last drawn salary should have been within 6 months before you apply.
  • An existing Employment Pass holder earning a fixed monthly salary of at least $12,000.

From 1 September 2023, the fixed monthly salary criteria for both existing EP holders and overseas foreign professionals will be raised to $22,500. This is benchmarked to the top 10% of EP holders.

Who is not eligible

You are not eligible for the PEP if you are:

  • An Employment Pass holder under the sponsorship scheme.
  • A freelancer or foreigner who intends to work on a freelance-basis.
  • A sole proprietor, partner or where a director is also a shareholder in an ACRA-registered company.
  • A journalist, editor, sub-editor or producer.

Note: You are not allowed to start a business or conduct any form of entrepreneurial activity while on a PEP. If you intend to do so, you should apply for an EntrePass or Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass.

Requirements of the pass

To keep holding a PEP, you must:

  • Not be unemployed in Singapore for more than 6 months at any time. Otherwise, you will need to cancel the pass.
  • Earn a fixed salary of at least $144,000 per calendar year, regardless of the number of months you are in employment.

If your PEP is approved after 1 September 2023, you must earn a fixed salary of at least $270,000 per calendar year.

  • Notify us of the following:
    • When you start or leave a job.
    • If you change your contact details, such as local contact person or address.
    • Your annual fixed salary. You need to declare your current year's salary to us by 31 January of the following year.

Benefits of the PEP

The PEP gives you greater job flexibility than other work passes:

  • You can generally hold a job in any sector. However, the PEP does not exempt you from complying with registration requirements to practise in Singapore for professions such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, architecture, law, etc.
  • You do not need to re-apply for a new pass if you change jobs; you only need to notify us.
  • You can stay in Singapore for a continuous period of up to 6 months without a job to search for new employment.

Passes for family members

If you hold a PEP, you can bring in your family members on these passes:

Dependant's Pass for your:

  • Spouse (legally married).
  • Children under 21 years old

Long-Term Visit Pass for your:

  • Common-law spouse
  • Unmarried handicapped children aged 21 and above
  • Unmarried stepchildren under 21 years old
  • Parents

The Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass provides employment flexibility by allowing eligible applicants to concurrently start, operate and work for multiple companies in Singapore at any one time.

Who is eligible

There are different routes to apply for the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass.

Salary criterion

Existing work pass holders and overseas candidates can apply if they meet either of the salary criteria below:

  • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000, or its equivalent in foreign currency, within the last 1 year.
  • Will earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 under their future employer based in Singapore.

In addition to meeting the salary criteria above, overseas candidates (i.e. those who are not existing work pass holders) will also need to demonstrate that they have been working for an established company overseas for at least 1 year, or will be working for an established company in Singapore.

For a company to be considered established, it must have a market capitalisation of at least US$500 million or an annual revenue of at least US$200 million.

The Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass is renewable for 5 years each time. To be eligible for renewal, the pass holder must meet either of the following:

  • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 on average over the past 5 years in Singapore.
  • Started and is operating a Singapore-based company that employs at least 5 locals, each earning at least S$5,000 (pegged to the EP minimum qualifying salary).

Outstanding achievements

Individuals with outstanding achievements in the arts and culture, sports, science and technology, and academia and research can qualify for Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass, even if they do not meet the salary criterion. More details on the eligibility criteria for new applications and renewals under this route will be released closer to 1 January 2023. 

Benefits of the Pass

The Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass is a personalised pass tied to the individual and gives greater employment flexibility:

  • You can concurrently start, operate, and work for multiple companies at any one time.
  • You do not need to reapply for a new pass if you change jobs.
  • Your spouse will be able to work on a Letter of Consent.

Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass holders will not be subject to the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) and employers who wish to hire them are not subject to the Fair Consideration Framework job advertising requirement.

To ensure that the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass holders are utilising the flexibilities accorded to contribute meaningfully, MOM will request the following information from the pass holders yearly: 

  • Details on all your professional activities over the past year.
  • The annual salary you have earned from all professional activities.

This will contribute to our assessment of your eligibility for renewal.

 

The Work Holiday Programme is for eligible students and young graduates who want to work and holiday in Singapore for up to 6 months.

Who is eligible

You can apply for a Work Holiday Pass under the Work Holiday Programme if you meet these requirements:

  • You are aged 18 to 25 at the time of application.
  • You are an undergraduate or graduate of a university in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom or United States.
  • Your university is recognised by the government of the respective ten countries or regions.
  • For undergraduates: you have been a resident and a full-time student of the university for at least 3 months before applying for the pass.
  • For graduates: you were a resident and a full-time student of the university.

Note: The Work Holiday Programme has a capacity of 2,000 applicants at any one time.

What you can do

Under the Work Holiday Programme, you can get a Work Holiday Pass that lets you stay and work in Singapore for up to 6 months.

If you will be working in professions such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, architecture or law, you will need to comply with registration requirements to practise in Singapore.

The Work and Holiday Visa Programme is for eligible Australian students and graduates who want to work and holiday in Singapore for up to 12 months.

Who is eligible

You can apply for a Work Holiday Pass under the Work and Holiday Visa Programme if you meet these requirements:

  • You are an Australian citizen.
  • You are aged 18 to 30 at the time of application.
  • You hold a university degree, or have completed the equivalent of two years of full-time undergraduate university study.

Note:
The Work and Holiday Visa Programme has a capacity of 500 applicants at any one time.

Do's and don'ts

What you can do

  • Work as employees of companies registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
  •  Work as employees of organisations registered with the Registry of Societies (ROS).
  • Work in professions (such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, architecture, law, etc), as long as you have the registration requirements to practise in Singapore. 

What you cannot do

  • Cannot take up free-lance employment.
  • Cannot work with the same employer for more than 6 months. You can choose to find another employer after that, or spend the rest of the time holidaying.
  • Cannot study or train for more than 4 months. This includes internships, part-time or full-time courses, and on job training.