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Immigration & Work Permits

Work Permits

Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Singapore, as established by immigration laws. Work permits must be secured for employees, and sponsored by a locally licensed and incorporated entity, which can be a problem for companies just entering the Singapore market. If you have yet to complete the incorporation process you can use Shield GEO to sponsor the employee for the necessary permits.

The most common work permit is the Employment Pass which is for suitably qualified foreign workers making at least SGD 3,300 per month.

Your Options

Use the Shield GEO Employer of Record Solution

Shield GEO is able to sponsor foreign workers on Employment Passes (Singaporean Work Visas) which allow them to work in Singapore. As the Employer of Record, Shield GEO handles all of the formalities and employment requirements in Singapore. The client maintains responsibility for day to day employee management.

Processing steps

  • Shield GEO’s local Singapore entity applies for the Employment Pass via EP Online. The approval process takes 7 working days.
  • The Singapore Ministry of Labour issues an In-Principle Approval (IPA). Shield GEO prints the letter and couriers the employees copy to them.
  • The employee can enter Singapore with the IPA which includes a pre-approved single entry visa for them to enter Singapore. The visa must be used within 6 months.
  • When the employee arrives in Singapore, a Issuance of Notification Letter is issued online. This request is lodged through EP Online and can only be done whilst the employee is in Singapore. The employee will need to supply their residential address as part of this process.
  • The Notification letter allows the employee to travel freely for 1 month whilst they get their biometric data (if required).
  • The employee then registers their Biometric Data (if required) by making an appointment to visit the Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC). This must be done within 2 weeks of the pass being issued.
  • A Long Term Pass is issued within 4 working days days of the EPSC visit.

Documentation required:

  • CV
  • passport photos
  • copy of the personal page of the passport
  • copies of degree certificates
  • employment contract

Have your own company

An Employment Pass will be required in order to work in Singapore and will come under the review of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

The MOM adopts a graduated approach towards foreign talent offering the most attractive terms to those who can contribute most to the economy

Processing steps

  • The business sponsoring the visa applies for the Employment Pass via EP Online. The approval process takes 7 working days.
  • The MOM issues an In-Principle Approval (IPA). The business sponsoring the visa prints the letter.
  • The employee can enter Singapore with the IPA which includes a pre-approved single entry visa for them to enter Singapore. The visa must be used within 6 months.
  • When the employee arrives in Singapore, a Issuance of Notification Letter is issued online. This request is lodged through EP Online and can only be done whilst the employee is in Singapore. The employee or the business sponsoring the visa will need to supply the employee’s residential address as part of this process.
  • The Notification letter allows the employee to travel freely for 1 month whilst they get their biometric data (if required).
  • The employee then registers their Biometric Data (if required) by making an appointment to visit the Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC). This must be done within 2 weeks of the pass being issued.
  • A Long Term Pass is issued within 4 working days days of the EPSC visit.

Documentation required:

  • CV
  • passport photos
  • copy of the personal page of the passport
  • copies of degree certificates
  • employment contract

As well as the above, EP Online can help companies and organizations perform transactions such as:

  • Renewal application for Employment Pass
  • Upload relevant supporting document for a new application
  • Appeal for rejection applications
  • Check application and renewal status
  • Insurance of Employment Pass
  • Cancellation of Employment Pass
  • View rejection reasons for most of the unsuccessful applications
  • Check organization’s tier information.

Types of visas in Singapore

Category Description of Visa
Employment Pass The Employment Pass (EP) is for suitably qualified foreign workers. It is a sponsored visa linked to a Singapore employer.
It takes 5-10 working days to process and is valid for up to 2 years with renewals for up to 3 years.
There are no restrictions or quotas on the EP based on nationality or industry. Dependants and spouses can also enter Singapore.
Criteria:
• The foreign professional must have a job offer in Singapore
• They must earn at least SGD 3,300 per month, or a higher amount as appropriate for their position.
• They must work in a managerial, executive or specialised role.
• They must be suitably qualified for example a university degree, professional qualifications or relevant specialist experience
• The application must be made by a company registered in Singapore
Business - Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) For Business, the Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) is designed to facilitate the entry and stay of entrepreneurs who are ready to start and operate a new business in Singapore. All applicants must fulfill these requirements.
Criteria:
• Must be a Private Limited Company registered with an appropriate local accounting and corporate regulatory authority. Applicant need not register the company in Singapore If registered, it must not be more than six months from date of company application.
• Company must have at least SGD$50,000 paid-up-capital. A bank statement, from the Singapore-based company bank account, of at least SGD$50,000 is required for verification.
• The business must not be illegal.
• Applicant must hold at least 30% of shares in the company.
Personalised Employment Pass The Personalised Employment Pass is for high earning EP holders or foreigners. It allows the holder to freely move between employers provided the Singaporean authorities are notified and the visa criteria are met.
It lasts for up to 3 years, but is not renewable. It is not liked to any one employer. Dependants and spouses can also enter Singapore.
Criteria:
• The foreign professional must earn at least SGD $18,000 per month
• The existing EP holder must earn at least SGD $12,000 per month
• Cannot be a freelancer
• Cannot be an existing sponsored Employment Pass holder
• Cannot start a business or do any entrepreneurial activity
• Cannot be a journalist
• Must earn at least SGD $144,000 per calendar year to maintain the pass and cannot be unemployed for more than 6 months at any time
S Pass The S Pass is designed for mid-level technical staff. It has lower earnings criteria than the Employment Pass. It is an employer sponsored visa and must be applied for by a Singapore registered employer.
There are quotas for each employer on S Pass workers (no more than 20% of the companies workforce can be S Pass holders) as well as a levy paid by each employer. The employer must also obtain medical insurance for each employee.
The S Pass lasts for up to 2 years and can be renewed.
If the employee earns more than SGD $4,000 per month, their dependants and spouses can also enter Singapore.

Criteria:
• The employee must earn at least SGD $2,200 per month
• The employee must have a degree or diploma
• The employee must have an appropriate level of relevant commercial experience
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