Common Singapore Passes and Permits and How They Work


One of the things that have made Singapore very competitive when it comes to business and employment opportunities is the fact that it has a free-market economy. Entrepreneurs and job seekers come from all over the world. The Ministry of Manpower in collaboration with immigration department issues work permits and passes to foreigners seeking to enjoy a piece of the pie.

Such foreigners often use qualified agents who help them to fill the forms, gather the required documents, and submit them to the authorities through the government’s online platforms.

Although there are many Singapore passes and permits, we will only cover the common ones that you should know.

Professional Permits and Passes

This is the most common category for investors and professional employees seeking opportunities in Singapore.

Entrepass is available for entrepreneurs and investors who would like to establish a company or business in the Lion City. It might be a totally new business or a branch company with a mother company overseas.

The employment pass is for professionals such as managers and corporate executives who want to work in top positions in Singapore companies. According to the government guidelines, these professionals should not earn less than S$3,600.

Personalized employment pass (PEP) is the last in this category. However, it is not common because it extends slightly more benefits than the employment pass. It targets the same group as EP.

Skilled and Semi-Skilled Worker’s Permits and Passes

The majority of foreign job seekers in Singapore fall under this category according to professional advice given by experts. The most common passes include the following:

  •       S-pass – All skilled employees who are immediately below the EP qualify for this. Their monthly salary is in the range of S$2,400. They include mid-level managers of companies, supervisors, and many others.
  •       Foreign worker’s work permit – This covers areas like factories, manufacturing plants, and construction. It targets specific countries that are already in agreement with Singapore.
  •       Foreign domestic worker’s (FDW) work permit – Again, this is open to employees from certain areas countries including Malaysia, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Bangladesh, India, and Indonesia. Those who do not fall under this category may have to seek a different pass even if they are coming to do the same work.
  •       Performing artist’s work permit – Foreign musicians and other entertainers who wish to work in public establishments in Singapore such as clubs, bars, and restaurants should apply for this permit.

Students and Trainees Permits and Passes

  •       Training work permit – For students who are not skilled and semi-skilled ones.
  •       Training employment pass – A three month or less permit for foreign students with an interest in getting trained in Singapore companies.
  •       Work holiday pass – Students in various European countries, Australia, Asia, America, or any other who qualifies for a foreign holiday work program should apply for this.

Other Permits and Passes

Family members of foreigners with various work passes and permits also qualify to be in Singapore. They are given passes such as a dependant’s pass, long-term visit pass, or letter of consent depending on various conditions.

It is important to apply for the right permit or pass depending on your qualifications. As you can see, the categories are clear and that authorities will not allow you to get anything other than what you have qualified for.



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