Singapore has a large number of foreign employees in its workforce. According to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM), over 20% of Singapore’s population consists of foreigners who are living on a Singapore work visa. More specifically, over 1.3 million people, out of Singapore’s overall population of 5.6 million, are foreign workers.
The Singapore government has also made it possible for skilled foreign workers to bring their families to live in Singapore with them through the Dependent Pass.
Who is eligible for Singapore’s Dependant Pass?
If you are a foreign worker who wants to bring your family member to live with you in Singapore through the Dependant Pass, you have to fulfill the following conditions:
- You must hold an Employment Pass, Personalized Employment Pass, S Pass, or EntrePass.
- For EP, PEP, and S Pass holders:
- You must make at least $6,000 per month. (This applies to the salary of the work permit holder, not the overall family income.)
- You must be hired by a well-established and Singapore registered company, who serves as your sponsor.
- For EntrePass holders: You must meet Singapore’s requirements for total annual business spending (minimum of S$100,000) and local employment (at least 3 full-time local employees and 1 local professional, manager or executive).
In addition, you can only bring the following family members to live with you through the Dependant Pass:
- Legally married spouse (husband/wife).
- Children under 21 years of age who are not married. Adopted children count as well.
If the family member you want to bring with you is not of the aforementioned category, they could be eligible for the Singapore Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP).
What are the Requirements for a Dependent’s Pass?
When you submit an application for a Singapore Dependent’s Pass, you must have several supporting documents. Along the process, the Singaporean authorities may ask you for further documentation, but these are the documents you will need to start with:
- Copy of the applicant’s personal details page
- For a child, also submit copies of the parent’s personal details pages.
- For your spouse: Copy of the marriage certificate.
- For children:
- Copy of the birth certificate. It must include the parents’ names.
- If the child is adopted, include a copy of the adoption papers or other important documents.
- If the child is under 12, they need a Verification of Vaccination document from the Health Promotion Board (HBP)
If any of the documents are in a language other than English, they have to be translated by a professional translator.
In addition, when you apply to get your family member’s Pass issued, you may be asked to provide the following:
- Your family member’s passport details
- Details of their current Short Term Visit Pass or immigration pass
- The address where they are staying in Singapore
- An address in Singapore where they can deliver the Card
- The Disembarkation / Embarkation card
- The applicant’s IPA letter
- A medical examination or health declaration form
How to apply for a Dependent’s Pass?
Depending on the type of Pass you hold, you can apply for a Dependant Pass online or manually.
Online: Holders of Employment Pass or S Pass
Manually: Holders of EntrePass, Personalized Employment Pass, or Employment Pass (sponsorship)
Applying for a Dependent’s Pass online
If you are an EP or S Pass holder, your employer or an Employment Agency has to submit the application on your behalf. The application is submitted using EP Online, Singapore’s e-Service which is found at the website of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
Applying for the Dependent Pass
Your employer has to submit all the required documents and pay fees for each individual family member. The fee is S$105 per application.
The processing time is around three weeks, but if more documents are needed, it may be extended.
If the MOM approves the application for the Dependent’s Pass, they will issue an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter. Your employer has to print this letter and send it to your family members.
The IPA letter has two functions:
- It allows your family member entry into Singapore. They have to be in Singapore when your employer applies to get their Pass issued (see below).
- It holds information about documents/other requirements they have to meet to apply to get the Pass issued.
If you are an EP holder, your family members have to travel to Singapore within six months and submit an application. For S Pass holders, your family members must travel to Singapore within two months.
Getting the Dependent Pass issued
To get your family member’s Dependent Pass issued, your employer must submit another application via EP Online. This time around, your family members have to be in Singapore for the process.
You must pay another fee of S$225 for each of the passes. Additional fees may appear depending on the specific application. They also have to submit all the required documents.
When the MOM issues the Pass, they will give your employer a notification letter, which your employer gives to your family member. The letter allows your family member to enter or leave Singapore as they wait to get their Dependent Pass Card.
Getting the Dependent Pass Card
Your family member has to check the notification letter to see whether they need to submit their picture and fingerprints at the Singapore authorities.
Once they have registered and submitted all the documents, the Pass Card is usually issued within 4 working days.
Applying for a Dependent’s Pass manually
To submit an application manually, you have to download and complete the “Dependant’s Pass application form” (on MOM’s website). You also need to gather all the required documents mentioned in the form.
For EntrePass holder: You must also complete the “Assessment of eligibility to apply for family passes” form, also available on MOM’s website.
You must submit all the documents and forms to the MOM via a SingPost branch (the Singapore post office services).
You must pay the S$105 fee for every application you submit and keep the payment slip you receive.
If the application is accepted, in about eight weeks, you will receive an email with the In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter, which allows your family member to travel to Singapore and apply to get the Pass issued.
Can you renew a Dependent’s Pass?
Yes you can. A Dependant’s Pass is valid for the same duration as the foreign employee’s employment Pass, usually up to two years, and it can be renewed.
The renewal application is similar to the initial Dependent’s Pass application. If your employer applied for the Dependant Pass, they also have to apply for the renewal.
You must use the Dependant Pass Renewal forms when you submit a renewal application.
It is advisable to begin the renewal process early. However, the earliest you can apply for renewal is six months before your current Pass expires.
You must also pay all the relevant fees again.
However, just because you apply for a renewal, it is not guaranteed you will get it.
Can Dependent Pass Holders work in Singapore?
Yes, all Dependant Pass holders are eligible to work in Singapore. However, they need to get proper authorization.
Dependants of EP, EntrePass, and PEP have to get a Letter of Consent from the Singaporean Ministry Of Manpower (MOM) if they want to be allowed to work.
MOM sends the Letter of Consent to the prospective employer. Only after receiving the letter, the employer is allowed to hire the Dependant Pass holder.
The Letter of Consent can be renewed at the same time as the Dependant Pass.
The Dependant Pass holder will also need to have at least three months remaining on their current Dependant Pass before they can be considered for a job.
Dependants of S Pass holders have to apply for a Work Permit, S Pass or Employment Pass instead of the Letter of Consent.
Once Dependant Pass holders obtain a work permit of their own, they will have to cancel their Dependant’s Pass. However, the validity of their work permit is still the same as the validity of their family member who is an S Pass holder.