Inside the Content
- Why Are Singapore Work Visas So Attractive?
- Singapore Work Visa Guide for Professionals
- Singapore Work Permit and Work Visa Guide for Skilled and Semi-Skilled Workers
- Singapore Work Visa Guide – Conclusion
Why Are Singapore Work Visas So Attractive?
It’s little wonder that Singapore is such an attractive destination to work, given its global reputation as a world leader in business freedom and innovation.
And that success is largely due to the fact that nearly 40% of its workforce is made up of foreign workers and students.
To entice the best and brightest foreign workers, Singapore’s work visas are generally allocated by applicants’ salaries, making it a lot easier to apply compared to other countries.
So here, we’re aiming to make it as simple and quick as possible for you to find the information you need.
We should note that while Singapore is renowned as a financial and ICT giant, it’s not just high-level professionals that can qualify for a Singapore work visa.
That means as long as applicants can help contribute to Singapore’s continued growth and prosperity, anyone from CEOs to construction workers is welcome.
In this Singapore visa guide, we’ll go over:
- Singapore work visas for professionals
- Singapore work permits and work visas for skilled and semi-skilled workers
In total, there are 7 main work visas and or/work permit types in Singapore, and we’ll go through them to see which ones are right for your foreign employees.
Let’s get started!
Singapore Work Visa Guide for Professionals
Singapore has various work visas designed for professionals, namely the:
We look at what each pass is and the requirements employers must know before helping their employees apply:
Singapore Employment Pass
The Singapore Employment Pass (EP) is for foreign professionals looking to work in Singapore. Generally, you’d be a manager, executive, or other high-level worker in your industry.
First-time candidates can enjoy a pass validity of up to 2 years, renewable for up to 3 years. From Sept 2023, experienced tech experts with skills facing shortages can apply for an EP valid for up to 5 years.
To qualify, you’ll need:
- A job offer from an approved employer in Singapore
- To be in a managerial, executive, or specialised role
- Relevant qualifications, but the most important thing is that you can prove that you earn at least S$5,000 per month
If you’d like to find out more about applying for this visa, check out our detailed Singapore Employment Pass visa guide.
Singapore Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass)
If you already own a business and would like to relocate it to Singapore, the Singapore Entrepreneur Pass (also known as the EntrePass) is the visa you need. This is a 1-year visa, renewable for up to 2 years.
To qualify, you’ll need to:
- Have a private limited company registered with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) that has innovative technologies or is venture-backed
- Ensure that the company is less than 6 months old on the date of application
- Meet at least one of the following criteria as an innovator, entrepreneur, or investor:
- Be part of a government-supported incubator
- A collaborator with A*STAR or a university
- Have a proven track record of growth
- Exceptional expertise in your domain
- Significant experience, networks, and entrepreneurial record
- Owner of recognised intellectual property
- Has acquired funding from a business angel or government-accredited venture capital fund
If you’d like to find out more about applying for this visa, check out our detailed Singapore Entrepreneur Pass visa guide.
Singapore Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)
The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is a three-year visa for exceptional, top-tier executives. This is truly the ultimate visa to live and work in Singapore. The PEP has the unique benefit of allowing you to switch jobs as often as possible as long as a Singapore-registered company employs you.
You can essentially hold a job in any sector, but if you work in areas like dentistry, medicine, law etc, you’ll need to be registered to practice in Singapore for your chosen field. It is only issued once, and once your term is up, it cannot be renewed. You must show that your last fixed monthly salary is at least S$22,500. If you already hold an Employment Pass, you only need to show that you earn S$22,500 a month (effective 1st Sept 2023).
You won’t be eligible if:
- You are a journalist, editor, sub-editor or producer.
- You already have an Employment Pass under Singapore’s sponsorship scheme.
- You intend to work on a freelance basis.
- You are a sole proprietor, partner or a director is also a shareholder in an ACRA-registered company.
Because the PEP is such a sought-after visa, there are a few requirements to make sure you keep your pass:
- Show that you earn at least S$270,000 per calendar year (effective 1st Sept 2023). The number of months you actually work in that year is not important.
- You can’t be unemployed for more than six months in Singapore.
- Notify MOM if you change jobs, or contact details.
The Tech.Pass is a 2-year visa administered by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).
It enables leading tech experts, entrepreneurs, and frontrunners worldwide to come to Singapore and engage in cutting-edge innovations.
Pass holders can take on various roles simultaneously in Singapore, such as:
- Establishing and running more than 1 tech company
- Being an employee of one or more Singapore-based firms
- Mentor or lecture in local institutions of higher learning (IHL)
- Be an investor or director in at least 1 Singapore-based company
When they switch activities, pass holders need not apply for different passes as well.
Related Read: A Graphic Guide to the Singapore Tech.Pass »
The ONE Pass is Singapore’s newest work pass to join the lineup. This bespoke pass aims to attract top talent in all sectors, particularly:
- Academia and research
- Arts and culture
Successful applicants can choose to work, start, and run more than 1 company in Singapore at any time. If they switch jobs, they need not reapply for a new pass, and their spouses can also work in Singapore with a Letter of Consent (LOC).
Eligible individuals can apply by meeting the salary criteria or by showing their outstanding achievements. Under the salary route, existing work pass holders and overseas applicants must meet either condition:
- Earn a permanent monthly salary of at least S$30,000 over the past year
- Show that they will be earning the same salary for their new employer in Singapore
Existing work pass holders must also show that they have been working in Singapore for at least 1 year or will be working for a reputable firm in Singapore.
Similarly, overseas applicants must show that they must have been working for an established company for at least 1 year or will be doing so for an established company in Singapore.
Even if they do not meet the salary criteria, individuals with outstanding achievements in the aforementioned sectors can apply under the alternative route.
Singapore Work Permit and Work Visa Guide for Skilled and Semi-Skilled Workers
What about non-professionals in other sectors apart from those that apply to the above? For semi-skilled and skilled workers, there are 2 types of work passes and permits: Work Permit (WP) and S Pass.
We go through these passes in detail below:
The S Pass is far more accessible to most people and targets mid-skilled foreign employees, such as technicians.
While Singapore is built on the tech industry, workers of all types are needed to help in its prosperity.
Applicants must have an employer or employment agent to apply on their behalf for this visa. They will need a degree or diploma, but they will also consider technical certificates on a case-by-case basis.
To qualify for the S Pass, new applicants must earn at least S$3,150 per month or S$3,650 monthly in the financial services sector (effective 1st Sept 2023).
The S Pass also has a quota that varies for different sectors. For these sectors, it is 15% of the total workforce (previously 18% before Jan 2023):
- Marine Shipyard
For the services sector, it remains at 10% of the company’s total workforce.
From Sept 2023, the S Pass Tier 1 levy rates will also be raised in 3 steps:
- From S$450 to S$550 from 1st Sept 2023
- From S$550 to S$650 from 1st Sept 2025
If you’d like to find out more about this visa, check out our detailed Singapore S Pass visa guide.
Work Permit for Foreign Workers
The Work Permit for Foreign Worker visa suits semi-skilled or unskilled employees working in areas like construction, shipyards, or services and processing sectors.
While Singapore is built on the tech industry, foreign workers make up 80% of the construction industry and up to 50% of the service industry.
It’s a 2-year, renewable visa, and you’ll need to be coming from an approved country, but you don’t need to earn any minimum amount of money to qualify.
Singapore Work Visa Guide – Conclusion
Singapore is one of the world’s most dynamic, modern, and exciting places to live and work.
And thankfully, at least compared to some other countries, Singapore has made it reasonably easy to find and apply for the right working visa.
However, as with anything in dealing with governments and immigration, there are still hurdles to jump.
So while we’ve tried to simplify our Singapore working visa guide as much as possible, it can still be a complex process to navigate.
You can get help from an experienced immigration professional who knows about the Singapore visa application process. This will help ensure that your application goes through without any delays!
People also ask
- You can apply for your Employment Pass (EP) online with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), but we’d recommend you get the help of a registered relocation service provider to ensure your application is processed correctly and with minimum fuss. The Singapore Employment Pass is a 2-year (renewable up to 3 years) visa for foreign professionals (e.g. managers, and executives). To qualify, you’ll need:
- To have a job with a registered local employer in Singapore.
- To be in a managerial, executive, or specialised role.
- Relevant qualifications for your industry/role.
- To prove you earn $5,000 per month.
To learn more about applying for your own EP, check out our detailed Singapore Employment Pass visa guide.
- In comparison to some other countries, yes, it can be relatively easy to get a Singapore work visa. There are different kinds of Singapore working visas that fall under simple categories depending on your skillset, income, and experience:
- Singapore S Pass is for foreign, mid-skilled workers (technicians etc.) wishing to work in Singapore.
- Singapore Employment Pass is for foreign professionals (manager/executives, etc.) wishing to work in Singapore.
- Singapore Entrepreneur Pass is for foreign business owners wishing to move to Singapore.
- Singapore Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is for foreign, top-tier executives (CEO, COO, etc.) wishing to work in Singapore.
- Yes, it is absolutely worth living in Singapore! Singapore is world-renowned for being a hub of diversity, cleanliness, safety, and fun. The jobs pay well, and a thriving expat community of nearly 1.4 million people enjoy their lives to the fullest in Singapore. There are many options for living and working in Singapore as a foreigner.
Questions about your preferred Singapore work visa?
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