Singapore offers different types of work passes and permits, depending on the foreign worker’s qualifications and occupation. Mid-skilled workers in a company, such as technicians, accountants, or journalists need the S Pass for Singapore.
Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is in charge of issuing and handling all work pass applications.
Who is Eligible for the S Pass for Singapore?
You are eligible to apply for the S Pass for Singapore if you fulfill the following conditions:
- You are a mid-skilled worker (technician, analyst, accountant, journalist, etc.)
- You have found a job in Singapore. It is your employer who applies for the S Pass in your behalf.
- You will be paid a fixed monthly salary of at least S$2,300. This is the S Pass minimum salary for recent graduates or workers with less experience.
- The S Pass minimum salary requirements for a foreign worker with more experience will be higher.
- You have proper qualifications, such as a university degree or diploma. Technical certificates, such as for a course, are also accepted, but the course should have lasted at least 1 year.
- You have relevant work experience.
S Pass Application
The process of getting your S Pass is divided into three parts. Your employer or an appointed Employment Agency is in charge of handling most of the application.
Submitting the application for the S Pass
Your employer in Singapore is in charge of applying for your S Pass. They must do this via EP Online, the online application tool available on MOM’s website.
You do not have to be in Singapore when they apply for your S Pass.
The S Pass application process is as follows:
- You write your employer a letter of consent, stating that you agree to be employed by them and that you give them permission to apply for the pass on your behalf.
- Your employer logs in EP Online and fills out the S Pass Application Form.
- They attach all the documents required for the S Pass which are stated on the S Pass Application Form (see a list of the required documents below).
- They pay the S Pass application processing fee (S$75).
- If your application is approved, they will receive an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter. Your employer must give the IPA letter to you. The letter:
- Allows you to enter Singapore since it serves as a single-entry visa.
- Informs you whether you need to undergo a medical examination when you are in Singapore.
- Lists any documents you may need when you and your employer apply to get your pass issued.
The S Pass application processing time is about three weeks. After you receive your IPA letter, you have 60 days to enter Singapore.
Required documents when applying for the S Pass
When your employer submits the application for your S Pass, the documents they have to submit are:
- The completed S Pass Application Form.
- Your letter of consent.
- A photocopy of your passport’s personal details page.
- Copy of your marriage certificate (if you are married).
- The latest business profile of the company.
- Copies of your diplomas and/or other certifications.
- If you are from India, you will need the following additional documents: Transcripts and Marksheets.
- You may be asked to provide verification for your educational certificates. If you are, you can get it from Dataflow or another global verification agency.
- If you are from China, you can get the verification from China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center or China Academic Degrees & Graduate Education Information.
- Letter of Support or Registration from a Registration Agency, Professional Body, or Accreditation Agency. The professional responsible for issuing supporting documents by occupation are:
- For doctors: Singapore Medical Council
- For dentists: Singapore Dental Council
- For diagnostic radiographers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, radiation therapists, and speech therapists: Allied Health Professions Council
- For nurses: Singapore Nursing Board
- For pharmacists: Singapore Pharmacy Council
- For TCM Practitioners: Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board
- For lawyers: Legal Services Regulatory Authority
- For football players or coaches: Sport Singapore
- If your employer is the representative of the Singapore branch of an overseas company:
- A copy of the approval letter that International Enterprise Singapore issued allowing the company to set up a representative office in Singapore.
- A letter from the company’s headquarters which states the reason for the application, how long you will work for the company, and guarantees that they are responsible for your maintenance and repatriation.
- If you will be employed in a food establishment: A copy of the license issued by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA)
Getting the S Pass issued
Your employer has to request to get your S Pass issued as well. However, this time around, you have to be in Singapore.
The process of requesting to get the S Pass issued is as follows:
- Your employer requests for the issuance of the pass via EP Online.
- They submit any documents necessary (see below).
- They submit the contact information of up to three people who can receive your S Pass Card.
- They pay the S Pass fee (S$100).
- After the pass is issued, they will get a notification letter, which they must print and give to you. The notification letter:
- Allows you to enter and leave Singapore while you wait to receive your S Pass Card.
- Informs you if you have to register your photo and fingerprints.
Required documents when getting the S Pass issued
When your employer requests to get your S Pass issued, they’ll need to submit the following:
- Your passport details.
- You may also be asked to submit photocopies of your passport’s personal details page and any changes that were done to it.
- Details of your medical insurance. Your employer has to buy medical insurance for you (at least S$15,000 per year and covering hospitalization and surgery).
- Details of your work injury compensation insurance. Your employer must get work injury compensation insurance for any employee who will be doing manual work (regardless of the salary) as well as all employees with salaries lower than S$1,600 a month.
- Details about your Short Term Visit Pass or immigration pass.
- The address of your residence in Singapore.
- An address where MOM can deliver your S Pass Card.
- Disembarkation/Embarkation card.
- If required: Form proving you have completed the medical examination.
Registering your photo and fingerprints
You must register your photo and fingerprints if you are applying for the S Pass for the first time or if it has been five years since the last time you registered.
You must register at the MOM Services Centre within one week of getting the pass issued. You need an appointment, which you can make via MOM’s website.
When you show up to register, you must have the following documents:
- Your passport.
- The appointment letter.
- The notification letter.
- Any documents that were included in the IPA and notification letter.
Within four days after registering and submitting your documents, you will receive your S Pass Card.
Is there an S Pass levy and S Pass quota?
Yes, your employer in Singapore has to comply with both the S Pass quota and pay an S Pass levy.
S Pass quota
The S Pass quota means that there is a certain percentage of foreign workers your employer can hire in their company in proportion with the local workforce. The local workforce refers to the Singapore citizens and permanent residents they have hired.
The S Pass quota is:
- In the services sector: no more than 15% of the company’s total workforce can be foreign workers.
- Other sectors: no more than 20% of the company’s total workforce can be foreign workers.
S Pass levy
An employer who hires S Pass holders also has to pay a monthly levy (fee) for them. The levy is also calculated based on the percentage of foreign workers an employer has.
- If the foreign workers make up 10% of the total workforce, the monthly levy rate is S$330 per worker.
- If the foreign workers make up from 10% to 20% of the total workforce, the monthly levy rate is S$650 per worker.
Can you renew an S Pass?
Yes, you can. The S Pass is valid for up to two years initially and can be renewed for another three years.
Your employer or an employment agency is in charge of handling the S Pass renewal as well. They must apply to renew your S Pass online a maximum of six months before your current S Pass expires.
They have to pay the same fees again.
Your passport must be valid for at least seven more months at the time of renewal application.
Can I bring my family members to Singapore with an S Pass?
Yes, all holders of an S Pass are allowed to bring their family members to live with them in Singapore. Depending on your relationship with a family member, you can bring them via:
- The Dependant’s Pass, available to:
- Legally married spouses (husband/wife).
- Dependant children under 21 who are not married.
- The Long Term Visa Pass (LTVP), available to:
- Common-law spouse.
- Dependent child over 21, who has a physical or mental disability which makes them dependent on you.
- Step-children under 21, who are unmarried.
- Your parents.
Your employer has to apply for the Dependent’s Pass or LTVP as well. They can apply either at the same time they submit your own S Pass application or after you have already settled in Singapore.