Singapore is consistently rated by expats as the best place in the world to live and work. The city-state provides expats with a perfect mix of career advancement, skills development, and good quality of life. It is also fairly easy for spouses to advance their own careers as they have the option to either work or start a business in Singapore. Effective 1st May 2021, all Dependant’s Pass (DP) holders who wish to work in Singapore must obtain either an Employment Pass, S Pass, or Work Permit. Existing DP holders who are currently working under LOC will also need to apply for a Singapore Work Visa upon the expiry of the LOC. DP holders can start a company in Singapore by applying for an Employment Pass. This piece provides an overview of how to become dependant’s pass holders and the various ways that you can work or start a business under the pass.
Family members of qualified Employment Pass and S Pass holders can come to Singapore on a Dependant’s Pass. Only legally married spouses and children under the age of twenty-one are eligible to apply. Please note that employment pass and S pass holders must earn a minimum of S$6,000/month in order to qualify to bring their dependants to Singapore.
A DP holder can get a job or own a Private Limited Company in Singapore. Your options will be based on the employment status of your spouse. If you are the dependant of an S Pass Holder, you can apply for a Work Permit, S Pass, or Employment Pass. With effect from 1st May 2021, if you are a dependant of an Employment Pass (EP) holder, you must also apply for an Employment Pass, S Pass or Work Permit to work in Singapore. To be registered as the director of a Private Limited Company, you have to obtain an Employment Pass (EP).
Letter of Consent
Effective 1st May 2021, DP holders will not be able to get a LOC and will need to obtain an EP, S Pass or Work Permit to work in Singapore. Existing DP holders can continue to work in Singapore under the Letter of Consent (LOC) till it expires. Upon expiry, the employer will need to apply for a Work Visa.
DP Holder Work Visa Options
We break down the different types of Work Visa criteria for DP holders who newly wish to apply or upon the expiry of their existing LOC:
An EP is issued to applicants who are professionals, managers, executives, or specialists in Singapore. A DP holder can apply for an EP if they meet the following criteria:
- Secure a job offer in Singapore.
- Earn a fixed monthly income of at least S$4,500 (older, more experienced candidates require higher salaries).
- Possess acceptable qualifications such as a good university degree, professional qualifications, or specialised skills.
An S Pass is issued to applicants who are mid-level skilled workers in Singapore. A DP holder can apply for an S Pass if they meet the following criteria:
- Have relevant work experience.
- Earn a fixed monthly income of at least S$2,500 (older, more experienced candidates require higher salaries).
- Possess a degree, diploma, or qualified technical certifications. Technical certs require at least 1 year of full-time study.
However, the number of S Pass holders that a Singapore company can hire is limited by a quota (or Dependency Ratio Ceiling) and is subject to levy. Learn more on the S Pass criteria.
The Work Permit (WP) is issued to basic-skilled workers in certain industries from approved source countries. Read more about the criteria, specific industries, and how to apply for a Work Permit here.
The Business Route
You can own a Private Limited Company in Singapore as a Shareholder if you are a Dependant Pass (DP) holder. Private limited companies have limited liability, and it is easier to raise capital. A Pte Ltd is taxed at entity level, and you will be able to benefit from tax incentives and exemptions. It can be easy to add owners and transfer ownership interest to a Pte Ltd Company. Also, Singapore allows 100% foreign ownership in these types of companies; however Pte Ltd Companies come with high compliance and maintenance costs.
Do note that in order to be a Director in the Private Limited Company in Singapore, you would have to apply for an Employment Pass (EP).
Consider an Employment Agency
It can be a difficult process for DP holders, who are usually new arrivals, to chart Singapore’s complex hiring landscape on their own. If using the employment option, DP holders must secure an offer of employment before they can obtain a Work Visa. While there are jobs available for DP holders, the job-hunting process can be competitive and confusing. Rikvin is a MOM licensed employment agency – submit your resume to our resume bank and let us help you nail that job interview.
Dependant’s Pass Holders who wish to own their own business
You will save time and effort if you use an agency such as Rikvin to incorporate your firm and apply for an EP if you wish to be registered as a Director. An accredited employment agency can submit your EP paperwork online immediately after you incorporate it. If you apply on your own, the application process may take longer.
People also ask
- Yes, they can, as it fulfills the one resident director requirement. In general, the minimum requirements for starting a business (incorporating a company) in Singapore are:
- at least one shareholder which may be an individual or a corporate entity
- one resident director (either a Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident, Employment Pass holder)
- one resident company secretary
- initial paid-up share capital of at least S$1, or equivalent in any currency
- a physical Singapore office address, and cannot be a PO Box
- A Dependant’s Pass holder who holds a key appointment in any entity will not be entitled to a Letter of Consent. If they wish to draw a salary in the company, the Dependant’s Pass holder will have to appoint another individual to helm the company instead. Dependant’s Pass holders who are the director and/or shareholder in any Singapore registered company are not allowed to apply for LOC.
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