Articles

Hiring Foreigners in Singapore: What to know before signing your EP

By Alex Tanglao, Last updated: 2021-05-25 (originally published on 2018-02-07)

In Part 1 of this guide, we laid out the different types of work visas available to foreigners who wish to work in Singapore. Here, we summarise the application procedures for three types of work visas – the Employment Pass, the S Pass, and the Work Permit for foreign worker – as well as how to appeal against unsuccessful applications and how to renew the passes.

This is Part 2 of The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Foreigners in Singapore. Read Part 1 here.

Hiring Foreigners in Singapore process:

As the employer wishing to hire a foreigner, you have the responsibility to apply for a work visa for your foreign employee. In some cases, you may have the option to outsource the process to an authorised third party, such as an employment agency.

The process for applying for a pass for your foreign employee typically involves the following stages:

  • Before applying: learn about the eligibility criteria and requirements for the pass you wish to apply for and check that you have the documents for the application process.
  • Before the candidate arrives in Singapore: apply for the pass and receive a notification letter that allows the candidate to travel in and out of Singapore while waiting for the pass card.
  • After candidate arrives in Singapore: settle administrative procedures such as registration of fingerprints and photograph (if required) and receive the pass card.

In the following sections, we lay out in more detail the application procedure for each type of pass.

RELATED READING: Optimise Your Hiring Process – A Guide For Small Businesses

Employment Pass

What is Employment pass?

Employment Pass in Singapore is a is a work visa that allows. foreign professionals, managers, and executives to work in Singapore.

Generally, Employment  Pass is issued for 1-2 years at a time and you have to renew afterward.  foreigner with employment Pass can live in Singapore and work and also can travel in and out of the country freely without having to apply for Singapore entry visas. This helps to carry business in Singapore too.

Step

Process  

Outcome

1. Employer / EA submits an application

  • Get written consent from candidate to apply for Employment Pass
  • Fill out application and upload required documents on EP Online
  • Pay SGD 70 application fee
  • Check application status online after 3 weeks
  • If pass is approved, log in to EP Online and print in-principle approval (IPA) letter

In-principle approval (IPA) or rejection letter. An IPA gives you 6 months to bring the candidate into Singapore and get the pass issued.

2. Employer / EA gets the pass issued

  • Make request on EP Online within 6 months of IPA
  • Provide home or office address where you can receive the card
  • Nominate up to 3 authorised recipients to receive the card and provide relevant details
  • Pay SGD 150 per issued pass, and SGD 30 per Multiple Journey Visa (if applicable)
  • Print notification letter and give it to candidate

 

Notification letter. This is valid 1 month from the date of issue and should be given to the candidate as it allows them to start work and travel in and out of Singapore while waiting for the pass card.

3. Candidate registers fingerprints and photograph (if required)

  • Check notification letter for whether candidate has to register fingerprints and photograph.
  • Make appointment for candidate to visit the Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC).
  • Register within 2 weeks after the pass is issued (if required)
  • Take note of items candidate should bring: original passport, appointment letter, notification letter, documents specified in the IPA and notification letters

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4. Authorised recipients or candidate receive(s) the card

  • Employment Pass card will be delivered to given address 4 working days after registration

Employment Pass card

5. Employer returns old card (if any)

  • If candidate holds an existing pass for work or long-term stay in Singapore, this old card must be posted back to Work Pass Division of the Ministry of Manpower

Use EP Online to confirm MOM received old card

Learn more about how to apply for an Employment Pass.

Appealing a rejected Employment Pass application

Should you be unsuccessful in your application for an Employment Pass, you need to submit your appeal within 3 months of receiving the rejection.

Before submitting your appeal, make sure that you have checked the rejection advisory in EP Online to view the reasons for rejection and advice on what to do next. It is important to address the issues in your rejection advisory in your appeal.

Learn more about how to appeal a rejected Employment Pass application.

Renewing an Employment Pass

As the employer, you or an appointed employment agent can apply to renew an Employment Pass up to 6 months before the pass expires. You must apply before the expiry date.

Learn more about how to renew an employment pass.

If your foreign professional is earning a high salary, it may be worthwhile to apply for a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP). This pass is for high-earning EP holders with a minimum salary of SGD 12,000 per month or overseas foreign professionals with a minimum salary of SGD 18,000 per month who meet the eligibility criteria. The PEP is not tied to an employer and offers greater flexibility than an EP.

Learn more about the Personalised Employment Pass.

S Pass

What is S pass?

S pass is a Working visa allows mid-level skilled staff to work in Singapore. S pass is for employment in engineering, electronics, oil, chemical, and other industries Singapore specializes and desperately needs skilled hands in.  This visa is for the people who need to least $2,300 a month and have the relevant qualifications and work experience.

Step

Requirements

Outcome

1. Employer / EA submits an application

  • Get written consent from candidate to apply for S Pass
  • Fill out application and upload required documents on EP Online
  • Pay SGD 60 application fee
  • Check application status online after 3 weeks
  • If pass is approved, log in to EP Online and print in-principle approval (IPA) letter

In-principle approval (IPA) or rejection letter. An IPA gives you 60 days to bring the candidate into Singapore and get the pass issued.

2. Employer / EA gets the pass issued

  • Make request on EP Online within 6 months of IPA
  • Provide home or office address where you can receive card
  • Nominate up to 3 authorised recipients to receive card and provide relevant details
  • Pay SGD 80 per issued pass
  • Print notification letter and give it to candidate

Notification letter. This is valid 1 month from the date of issue and should be given to the candidate as it allows them to travel in and out of Singapore while waiting for the pass card.

3. Candidate registers fingerprints and photograph (if required)

  • Check notification letter for whether candidate has to register fingerprints and photograph.
  • Make an appointment for candidate to visit the MOM Services Centre – Hall C
  • Register within 1 week after pass is issued (if required)
  • Take note of items candidate should bring: original passport, appointment letter, notification letter, documents specified in IPA and notification letters

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4. Authorised recipients or candidate receive(s) the card

  • S Pass card will be delivered to given address 4 working days after registration

S Pass card

5. Employer returns old card (if any)

  • If candidate holds an existing pass for work or long-term stay in Singapore, this old card must be posted back to Work Pass Division of the Ministry of Manpower

Use EP Online to confirm MOM received old card

Learn more about how to apply for an S-Pass.

Appealing a rejected S Pass application

Should you be unsuccessful in your application for an S Pass, you need to submit your appeal within 3 months of receiving the rejection.

Before submitting your appeal, make sure that you have checked the rejection advisory in EP Online to view the reasons for rejection and advice on what to do next. It is important to address the issues in your rejection advisory in your appeal.

Learn more about how to appeal a rejected S Pass application.

Renewing an S Pass

As the employer, you or an appointed employment agent can apply to renew an Employment Pass up to 6 months before the pass expires. You must apply before the expiry date.

Learn more about how to renew your S Pass.

Work Permit for foreign workers

Step

Requirements

Outcome

1. Employer / EA submits an application

  • Get written consent from candidate to apply for Work Permit
  • Fill out application and upload required documents on WP Online
  • Pay SGD 30 application fee
  • Check application status online after 1 week
  • If pass is approved, log in to EP Online and print in-principle approval (IPA) letter

In-principle approval (IPA) or rejection letter. An IPA gives you 60 days to bring the candidate into Singapore and get the pass issued.

2. Employer /EA prepares for the worker’s arrival

Security bond, insurance etc

3. Employer/EA gets the permit issued

  • Make request on WP Online
  • Provide home or office address where you can receive card
  • Nominate up to 3 authorised recipients to receive card and provide relevant details
  • Pay SGD 30 per issued pass
  • Print notification letter and give it to foreign worker

Notification letter. This is valid 1 month from the date of issue and should be given to the candidate as it allows them to travel in and out of Singapore while waiting for the Work Permit card.

4. Candidate registers fingerprints and photograph (if required)

  • Check notification letter for whether candidate has to register fingerprints and photograph.
  • Make an appointment for candidate to visit MOM Services Centre – Hall C
  • Register within 1 week after pass is issued (if required)
  • Take note of items candidate should bring: original passport, appointment letter, notification letter, documents specified in notification letter

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5. Employer or authorised recipients receive(s) the card

  • Work Permit card will be delivered to given address 4 working days after registration

Work Permit card

6. Employer returns old card (if any)

  • If candidate holds an existing pass for work or long-term stay in Singapore, this old card must be posted back to Work Pass Division of the Ministry of Manpower

Use WP Online to confirm MOM received old card

Renewing a Work Permit  

As the employer, you or an appointed employment agent can apply to renew a Work Permit online 6 to 8 weeks before it expires. Before renewing, it is necessary to complete certain steps, such as checking your quota and extending the worker’s security bond and medical insurance.

Learn more about how to renew a Work Permit.

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Tags: Employment Pass | S Pass | Singapore | Work Permit | Work Visa

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