If you are a foreign national who wants to work as an intern or trainee, you will need what is often referred to as a Singapore internship visa. In fact, it is actually called a Training Employment Pass.

The Singapore Training Employment Pass allows foreign nationals to undertake practical training for a professional, managerial, executive or specialist position in a Singapore company.

However, you have to be able to fulfill certain conditions before you can qualify for this type of Singapore Pass. Like other Singapore work passes and permits, it is the Ministry of Manpower who is in charge of issuing the Training Employment Pass.

Who qualifies for the Training Employment Pass?

In order to qualify for the Training Employment Pass, you must be either:

  1. A student, currently studying in an acceptable educational institution*; or
  2. A trainee from a foreign office or subsidiary company who wants to undergo training in a Singapore company.

In addition, you must also fulfill the following requirements:

  • Your monthly salary must be at least S$3,000.
  • The company sponsoring you has to be a well-established and Singapore-registered company.
  • If you are a student: The training has to be part of your course of study.

*There is a list of acceptable educational institutions on the Ministry of Manpower’s website.

How Get a Singapore Internship Visa?

It is your employer in Singapore who has to apply for your Training Employment Pass. The process of obtaining a TEP is divided into three parts:

Applying for the Training Employment Pass

You do not have to be in Singapore for this part of the application. Your employer can apply for the Training Employment Pass online, but you will have to give them a Letter of Consent, stating that you agree to your employer submitting the application on your behalf. Then, your employer has to:

  • Sign into EP Online, MOM’s online application tool.
  • Attach all the required documents (see below) as well as the letter of consent.
  • Pay the Training Employment Pass application processing fee (S$105).
  • If your pass is approved: They must print the In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter, which they have to give to you. The letter serves as a pre-approved single-entry visa, allowing you to enter Singapore within six months.

The Training Employment Pass processing time is usually about three weeks. However, it may be extended if you are required to submit additional documents.

Required documents to apply for the Training Employment Pass

When your employer submits the application for your Training Employment Pass, they must also attach several documents, such as:

  • Photocopies of your passport’s personal details page.
  • Recent passport-size picture in line with Singapore photo requirements.
  • A comprehensive training program, which includes the following:
    • The training’s objective.
    • The type of training you’ll be undertaking.
    • How long the training will last and where it will take place.
  • Your educational certificates.
    • If you are from India, you will need the following additional documents: Transcripts and Marksheets.
    • If you have not finished your course: a letter from your school confirming you are enrolled in the educational institution and taking that particular class.
  • Letter from your school stating that this training is part of your course.
  • Verification for your educational certificates and documents. You can verify them via Dataflow or another global verification agency. In some cases, certification from a notary will not suffice.
    • 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/Registration from a Registration Agency, Professional Body, or Accreditation Agency.

Requesting for the Pass to be issued

After entering Singapore with the IPA letter, your employer can request to get your Pass issued. This process is also done online. Your employer has to:

  • Sign in to EP Online and make the request to issue the Pass.
  • Submit all the required documents (see below).
  • Pay the Pass fee (S$225). Depending on your particular case, there may be additional fees, such as a S$30 Multiple Journey Visa fee.
  • After the Pass is issued, print the notification letter, which:
    • Allows you to travel in and out of Singapore while you wait for your Pass Card.
    • Informs you whether you have to register your fingerprints and picture.

Documents to provide

In addition, the documents you will need when your employer requests to get the Pass issued are:

  • Your current Short Term Visit Pass/immigration pass information.
  • Proof of your accommodation in Singapore.
  • An address where the MOM can deliver your Pass Card.
  • Your Disembarkation/Embarkation card.
  • Proof you have completed your medical examination.

All the documents you submit have to be in English. If they are not, they must be translated to English by an official translator.

Registering your fingerprints and pictures

If your notification letter states that you have to register your picture and fingerprints, you must do it within two weeks of entering Singapore.

You have to make an appointment at the Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC).

When you show up for your appointment, you must bring the following documents:

  • Your passport
  • The appointment letter
  • The notification letter
  • Any documents that were stated on your notification and IPA letters.

You should get your Training Employment Pass Card within four working days of registering and submitting your documents at EPSC.

Training Employment Pass Validity and Renewal

A Singapore Training Employment Pass is valid for a maximum of three months, and it cannot be renewed.

Your employer has to cancel your pass one day after it expires or within one week of you working your last day in the company.

If you are a student or trainee who either does not qualify for the TEP or would like to work in Singapore for longer, you may check if you are eligible for the Singapore Work Holiday Programme or the Training Work Permit.