Singapore is renowned for its receptiveness toward international talent and businesses. It has always been a robust economy and bustling business environment making it a highly sought-after work destination for numerous individuals. However, to work in Singapore, you need to obtain a work pass. In this article, we will explore the different types of work passes available.
What is a Work Pass?
A work pass is a legal document that allows foreign workers to work in Singapore. It is issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and is required for all foreigners who wish to work in Singapore. Most work passes are usually tied to the employer and have a validity period, depending on the type of pass issued.
Types of Work Passes
There are several types of work passes offered in Singapore, each with its distinct eligibility criteria, duration of validity, and requirements. The different types of work passes include:
1. Employment Pass (EP)
The Employment Pass is for foreign professionals, managers, and executives who have received an employment offer within Singapore. The applicant must demonstrate a strong educational background or relevant work experience, and a minimum monthly salary of S$4,500. The validity period for an EP is usually 1-2 years and is renewable.
Note: From 1 September 2023, the minimum qualifying salary for new applications and for renewals is S$5,000 (increases progressively with age from age 23, up to $10,500 at age 45 and above)
2. S Pass
The S Pass is for mid-level skilled foreign workers who have a job offer in Singapore. The applicant must have a minimum monthly salary of S$3,000 and meet the relevant qualifications and work experience required for the job. The validity period for an S Pass is usually 1-2 years and is renewable.
Note: From 1 September 2023, the minimum qualifying salary for new applications is S$3,150 (increases progressively with age from age 23, up to $4,650 at age 45 and above).
3. Work Permit
The Work Permit is for semi-skilled foreign workers in sectors such as construction, manufacturing, marine shipyard, process or services sector. The applicant must secure employment in Singapore which is within the company’s quota. The validity period for a Work Permit is up to 2 years, depending on the sector and job.
4. Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)
The Personalised Employment Pass is for high-earning Employment Pass holders or overseas foreign professionals who wish to work in Singapore. The applicant must have a minimum monthly salary of S$12,000 (EP holder) or S$18,000 (Overseas Foreign Professional) with a strong educational background or relevant work experience. The validity period for a PEP is usually 3 years and is non-renewable.
Note: From 1 September 2023, the fixed monthly salary criteria for both existing EP holders and overseas foreign professionals will be raised to $22,500. This is benchmarked to the top 10% of EP holders.
5. Tech Pass
The Tech Pass is a new type of work pass introduced by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) in January 2021. It is designed for top-tier foreign tech talents who can contribute to Singapore’s tech ecosystem. The Tech Pass is valid for 2 years and can be renewed for another 2 years upon meeting the renewal criteria. The eligibility criteria for the Tech Pass include the applicant’s proven track record in a leading role in a tech company, significant contribution to the tech ecosystem, and plans to start or invest in a new tech company in Singapore. The minimum salary requirement for the Tech Pass is S$20,000 per month.
The EntrePass is meant for foreign entrepreneurs who wish to start a new business or expand their existing business in Singapore. The eligibility criteria for this pass includes the applicant’s business plan, innovative business idea, and ability to create local employment opportunities. The EntrePass and first renewal is valid for 1 year and can be subsequently renewed for another 2 years upon meeting the renewal criteria.
7. Overseas Networks & Expertise (ONE) Pass
The Overseas Networks & Expertise (ONE) Pass is a work pass that aims to attract top-notch foreign talents in various fields, including business, arts and culture, sports, academia, and research. The minimum salary requirement for ONE Pass is S$30,000 per month. The ONE pass has a 5-year validity period and is renewable.
In conclusion, Singapore offers a range of work passes for foreign workers, each with its own eligibility criteria, requirements, and validity periods. The various work passes are designed to cater to the different needs of foreign workers, including highly skilled professionals, mid-level skilled workers, and entrepreneurs. The Tech Pass, EntrePass, and ONE Pass are examples of some unique work pass categories that demonstrate the country’s commitment to attracting and retaining top-tier foreign talents to its shores. Singapore’s work pass system is a crucial aspect of its immigration policy and helps to ensure that the country’s workforce remains competitive and diverse.