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 quality of life. It is also fairly easy for spouses to advance their own careers as they have the option to either work in Singapore if they are here on a Dependant’s Pass (DP) and obtain a Letter of Consent (LOC), or start a company in Singapore by applying for an Employment Pass. This piece provides an overview of the Dependant’s Pass and the various ways that you can work or start a business under the pass.
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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$5,000/month in order to qualify bringing 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. If you are a dependant of an Employment Pass (EP) holder, you can get a Letter of Consent (LOC) by obtaining employment. To be registered as the director of a Private Limited Company, you have to obtain an Employment Pass (EP).
Letter of Consent
DP holders can work in Singapore once their employer obtains a Letter of Consent (LOC) from the Ministry of Manpower. An LOC allows a DP holder to work in Singapore.
Eligibility for Letter of Consent
A DP holder will be eligible for an LOC if he/she can fulfill all of the following conditions:
- must be a dependant of an Employment Pass holder;
- must secure a job offer with an employer in Singapore;
- must have a DP that is valid for at least three months.
Dependant’s Pass vs. Employment Pass
The process of applying for an LOC is straightforward and quick. There is no education or professional eligibility requirement. Additionally, employers are not charged a foreign worker quota or levy when they hire a DP pass holder under an LOC.
However, LOC-based employment is dependant on the employment status of your spouse. If your spouse becomes unemployed, or is transferred out of Singapore, you will lose your LOC status.
The employer may be able to directly apply for an Employment pass for you. The validity of your EP will be independent of your spouse’s. This means that you will not lose your right to work in Singapore if the employment situation of your spouse changes.
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 an LOC. 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. If you apply on your own, the application process may take longer.
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