Moving Guide – Singapore – Visa
Work Visas in Singapore
With so many Visa options to choose from, registering for a Singapore Visa may seem like a difficult task. But don’t fret – We’ve got the details all sorted out for you below!
Singapore is one of the top country choices for expats to live in, due to its consistently high rankings in terms of education, military and technology, amongst others. A clean and green city, Singapore is well-known for its hygiene levels and geodesign of having nature within the city.
If you have decided, or are deciding, to move to Singapore, this article will provides more details on the different type of Work Visas available to you.
Employment Pass (EP)
The most hassle-free way to get a long term visa to Singapore is to secure employment with a Singapore registered company for an Employment Pass (EP). The EP may also be known as an ‘EP Pass’. The more well-established the company, the better. However, do note that you must first secure a job offer from your employer with a minimum salary of $4500.
Special Pass (SP)
Alternatively, if you are a skilled technician with advanced expertise in industries such as chemicals, electronics, aerospace engineering, marine, or pharmaceuticals, the S Pass might be a better visa for you to work in Singapore. It requires a minimum salary of $2500.
Personalized Employment Pass (PEP)
Think of the PEP as a VIP way to work in Singapore. It is much harder to secure, but if you do, you enjoy more perks.
The PEP demands a minimum monthly salary of 18,000 SGD and an outstanding employment history in Singapore’s developing industries. In return, you can enjoy employment freedom and flexibility because this work visa is personally yours, and not bound to your employer. Thus, you may swap employers as often as you like.
The PEP can also springboard you to a Singaporean Permanent Resident (PR) status relatively easily.
The tech pass is the latest visa administered by the Singapore Economic Development Board (As of 12 Nov 2020). It allows established tech entrepreneurs, leaders or technical experts from around the world to come to Singapore to perform frontier and disruptive innovations.
The pass, which will be valid for two years in the first instance allows the holder to:
- Start and operate one or more tech companies
- Be an employee in one or more Singapore-based companies at any time
- Transit between employers or to an entrepreneur
- Be a consultant or mentor, lecture in local institutions of higher learning, or be an investor and director in one or more Singapore based companies
- Sponsor stay for spouse, children, and parents in Singapore on either a Dependant’s Pass (DP) or a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP) issued by MOM
- Renew for another two years, upon meeting renewal criteria
To be eligible for the pass, you must satisfy any two of the following conditions:
- Have a last drawn fixed monthly salary (in the last 1 year) of at least S$20,000.
- Have at least five cumulative years of experience in a leading role in a tech company with a valuation/market cap of at least US$500mil or at least US$30mil funding raised.
- Have at least five cumulative years of experience in a leading role in the development of a tech product that has at least 100,000 monthly active users or at least US$100mil annual revenue.
Main Types of Visas and Passes
All foreigners who intend to work in Singapore must have a valid pass (commonly known as a work visa) before they start work. Bear in mind that there are different types of visas for different types of people and circumstances. Find out which one is the best for you.
If you are a high-net individual seeking potential permanent residency for you and your family, instead of working in Singapore, the Investor Visa is a possible option.
To obtain an Investor Visa, you are required to make an investment of $2.5 million SGD into either a new/existing company or into a special fund under Singapore’s Global Investor Programme (GIP). There are other requirements as well, including financial statements of your own company from the last 3 years to demonstrate entrepreneurial success and a turnover of at least $50 million SGD. This must be a company where 30% of shares or more is owned by you.
Applicants who intend to invest in a new/existing company instead of a GIP fund must produce a 5-year business plan, carry it out, and present audited statements after the second and fourth year.
Entrepreneur Pass (Entrepass)
If you are looking to be your own boss in Singapore, you can consider the Entrepreneur Pass (Entrepass).
Entrepass holders must be able to demonstrate an entrepreneurial, investment or business track record, such as previously founded companies or other important accomplishments.
Singapore has recently laxed the requirements in 2017 such that paid-up capital is no longer required. However, to secure an Entrepass you must plan to start, or have already founded a company that is innovative and would contribute to Singapore’s employment.
Founded companies must be registered within 6 months after Entrepass approval, and no less than 30% of shares must be held by yourself. The EntrePass has a rather short lifespan of one year, but can be repeatedly renewed for 2 years.
There are 3 ways to qualify for the Entrepass: be an Entrepreneur, Innovator or Investor, each with different innovative criteria for application.
Note: Businesses such as hawker centres, bars, massage parlours, or employment agencies are not eligible for an Entrepass.
For EP, S Pass, PEP and Entrepass holders, the most common way to bring your family with you when you work in Singapore is through the Dependant’s Pass (DP). Dependants include lawful spouses and unmarried native/legally adopted children under 21 years of age. Parents or other relatives are discussed later below.
Find more useful information regarding the dependant pass application here.
For dependants of EP/S Pass/PEP holders, the pass holder must:
- Work for a well-established firm in Singapore, and
- Earn 6,000 SGD or more
For dependants of Entrepass holders, the pass holder must:
- Have created 3 or more jobs for Singaporeans,
- Exceed 100k SGD of business spending,
- Earn 6,000 SGD or more, and
- Successfully pass the first-year visa renewal
If you’ve considered Singapore’s high cost of living and decide to bring your family with you, there are two main options: the Dependent Pass(DP) and Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP).
Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP)
To bring your parents with you to Singapore, apply for a Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP), which is valid for the shorter of 2 years, or the main pass holder’s validity. This pass is also suitable for informal spouses, step/handicapped children, or other relatives.
The requirements for pass holders to obtain an LTVP for their parents are:
Work for a well-established firm in Singapore, and
Earn 12,000 SGD or more (6,000 SGD or more for children)
Eligibility to Work
For DP holders to work in Singapore, the dependant would require a Letter of Consent, which is only available for dependants of EP, Entrepass or PEP holders. Dependants of S Pass holders must apply for a Work Permit, S Pass or EP instead.
LTVP holders will not be able to work in Singapore without first obtaining either a work pass (EP/S Pass/Work Permit) or marrying a Singaporean or Permanent Resident.
More information can be found here
With the many types of Work Visa available, understandng them may be confusing, to say the least. However, with the information above, you’re sure to get a better understanding on which is more applicable to you. Here’s to hoping for the best. If you have more queries, do check out our FAQ page with common questions about Work Visas in Singapore.