Singapore is an island nation with no natural resources of its own. As a country with a small talent pool, it relies on attracting top talent from other countries. Over the years, it has positioned itself as an international hub for working professionals. All overseas professionals must have an employment pass (work visa) to work in Singapore. Read on to learn more about the work passes for Singapore, the new work visa scheme, COMPASS (Complementary Assessment Framework) system and work pass exemptions and more.
The Ministry of Manpower issues work passes (Singapore work visas) in accordance with EFMA (Employment of Foreign Manpower Act). The following types of Singapore work passes are available to eligible applicants:
This work permit is for skilled and semi-skilled workers. However, there may be a few conditions, such as quota, levy and nationality requirements. This work permit for Singapore does not allow family members to relocate to the nation. Individuals applying for a Singapore work permit cannot apply for permanent residence. There is a restriction to marry, and such work permit holders need to get permission Ministry of Manpower before marrying a permanent resident of Singapore.
Some types of Singapore work permits are as follows:
The Singapore Employment Pass allows managers, professionals, and executives earning at least 5000 Singaporean Dollars a month to work in the country. On the other hand, Singaporean authorities must demonstrate they have fairly evaluated all other jobseekers before awarding Singapore EP to an individual. There is also a special type of Singapore Personalised Employment Pass (PEP). It is also available to those with a fixed monthly income of 12000 Singaporean Dollars. Such an individual’s last drawn salary must be 18000 Singaporean Dollars.
Singapore PEP holders can stay without work for six months in the country. At the same time, such high-earning PEP holders are not bound to one employer. However, PEP is non-renewable and valid for up to 3 years. Applicants should note that PEP offers more flexibility than Singapore Employment Pass.
Mid-level skilled staff is eligible to work on Singapore S Pass. They need to earn at least 3000 Singaporean Dollars to apply for S Pass. However, there is no restriction on nationality. On the other hand, S Pass holders can only bring members of their family if they earn a fixed monthly salary of 6000 Singaporean Dollars. As per law, such applicants are eligible for permanent residence.
Singapore EntrePass is issued to those individuals who are regarded as innovators with high caliber, serial entrepreneurs, investors with experience, or those who own innovative technologies and will operate a venture-backed business in Singapore. It is open to all nationalities. However, for audit and engagement purposes, Enterprise Singapore may contact EntrePass holders.
This pass is available for semi-skilled or unskilled overseas trainees that will undergo six months of training in Singapore. An employer may be subjected to levy or quota restriction and need to apply on behalf of such permit holders.
Working Holiday Pass for Singapore is available for students who wish to vacation and work in Singapore for up to 6 months. Applicants must be 18-25 years at the time of applying for it.
Holders of Training and Employment Pass can undergo practical training for specialized jobs (executive and managerial level) in Singapore. Please note an employer needs to apply for this pass.
Tech. Pass is a visa that allows established technology leaders to come to the nation and lead and perform frontier disruptions. It is meant to attract technology professionals in Artificial intelligence (AI), Cyber Security, and e-commerce to Singapore.
In 2023, Singapore introduced a new work visa scheme, the Overseas Network, and Expertise Pass. It allows highfliers to live in the nation, but there is no need to secure employment beforehand. This pass is personalized for talented professionals from any field, such as academia, arts and culture, sports, business, and research. Those eligible for it can simultaneously work for multiple companies at any one time in Singapore. However, eligible candidates will need to earn at least thirty thousand Singaporean dollars per month.
From September 1, 2023, the Singaporean government will offer a new 5-year Employment Pass to those individuals who can fill positions listed under COMPASS Shortage Occupation List.
Individuals can work in Singapore without a work pass for some time. They will need to inform Ministry of Manpower and can do so only for certain activities.
The following are some requirements to be eligible for work pass exemptions:
Singapore’s New Work Visa will have point-based assessment criteria known as Complementary Assessment Framework (COMPASS) to attract top talent to the country. It will evaluate Employment Pass (EP) holders.
Applicants must keep the following points in mind:
Singaporean authorities believe that the new work visa scheme focuses on employers’ hiring strategy and on the contributions made by employers to the local economy. To learn more about the eligibility criteria and work visa requirements for individual cases, interested applicants are advised to check the updates issued by the Ministry of Manpower.
Singapore work visas remain highly coveted among international professionals, further enhancing the country’s reputation as a nexus for international talent. The updated visa guidelines now permit high-caliber professionals and high-income earners to reside in Singapore without securing a job beforehand. Alongside these new procedures, a Singapore arrival card is also required.