Singapore employment visas
Migration to the country can be an expensive and complicated process, with Singapore visa applications requiring extensive supporting documentation. Hence, engaging the assistance of a corporate services firm can be valuable. Living costs in Singapore are very high compared to western countries. Families especially, may find the cost of housing and schooling to be extremely high compared to their home country. Hence, moving to Singapore requires detailed research and engaging the assistance of a corporate services firm can be valuable.
After our Clients incorporate a Singapore company, Healy Consultants assists them in obtaining employment visas from the Immigration Department (Ministry of Manpower). We are proud to say that our approval rate is still 100%. Healy Consultants’ fee to assist our Clients in obtaining work permit is US$3,850.
In the unfortunate event the visa application is rejected, Healy Consultants will be happy to submit an appeal to secure visa approval. Healy Consultants fees for each appeal amounts to US$950.
The two important visa schemes associated with Singapore company entity are:
Entrepreneur visa (Entrepass)
- This Singapore work visa allows entrepreneurs an expedited entry into the country. This permit lasts for one year, but it can easily be extended as long as the business setup meets the government work requirements;
- An entrepreneur will need to provide i) proof of company registration with at least S$50,000 initial share capital and ii) proof that the applicant himself/herself holds 30% of the shares;
- In addition, the company must be meet one of several additional requirements listed by the Ministry of Manpower.
- A Singapore employment visa is valid for 2 years and can be extended as long as the employment continues;
- The Ministry of Manpower has introduced 3 varying employee passes, which are aimed at varying professional levels and have a minimal monthly salary requirement;
- All of these passes allow spouses and children under the age of 21 to be brought into the country. The details are as follows:
This pass is aimed at Managers, Directors, CEOs, CFOs and others high leveled individuals who have some form of specialism. The minimal fixed monthly salary for this visa is S$8,000.
This pass is aimed at individuals whose monthly minimal fixed monthly salary is between S$4,500 and S$8,000.
This pass is aimed at young graduates with specialized skills who are earning a minimal monthly salary of S$3,000. A Q1 pass holder can not apply for Long-term Social Visit Passes.
Healy Consultants has helped hundreds of Clients obtain their Singapore employment passes. While the nature of our Clients’ employment pass requirements vary, Healy Consultants service standards do not.
Family dependent visa
- The family dependent visa is for spouse and children and linked to the validity of the entrepreneur or employee visa;
- When employing local or foreign workers, employers must comply with The Singapore Employment Act, the main set of laws governing labour in Singapore;
- Employers in Singapore are required to contribute towards their employees CPF account for employees earning a wage of more than S$50/month. Employer contribution ranges from 6-16%, depending on the age of the employee. This applies solely for employees that are Singaporean citizens or permanent residents.
Work pass visa
- In Singapore there is a large variety of employment pass options. The requirements for each type of pass vary, and it is important to take note of the impact each employment pass may have on you and your family. The Ministry of Manpower is a useful source of detailed information;
- Singapore employment pass options include: regular employment pass (EP), personalized employment pass (PEP), EntrePass, EP eligibility certificate (EPEC), foreign worker work permit (FWWP), foreign domestic worker work permit (FDWWP), S Pass, dependent’s pass (DP) and long term visit pass (LTVP);
- Employment Pass (EP): This is best for foreigners who wish to work in Singapore and already have an employer sponsoring them to work there. The pass is split on three levels, dependent on the salary offered by the employer: i) Q1: minimum S$3,000 monthly; ii) P2<: minimum S$4,500 monthly; and iii) P1: minimum S$8,000 monthly. There may also be education and skills requirements, such as having a recognized university degree or a skill certificate, but these are judged on a case-by-case basis. It is important to note that the EP is specific to a job and employer and if the EP holder changes job or employer, they must apply for a new EP, with the new employer. Each EP can be valid for up to 60 months (5 years) and is renewable; however, the duration of the pass is granted at the discretion of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), typically 2-3 years. The family of P1 and P2 holders are eligible for both Dependent’s Passes and Long Term Visit Passes. The family of Q1 are eligible for Dependent’s Pass only;
- Personalized Employment Pass (PEP): The qualifying criteria for the PEP is changing from December 1, 2012. The requirements for the Singapore personalized employment pass is now: i) foreigners with a monthly salary of at least S$12,000 or a last drawn monthly salary of S$18,000 for overseas based foreigners and ii) fixed annual salary minimum of S$140,000. All PEP candidates must not have been unemployed for over 6 months before applying. There are also more specific work experience requirements dependent on salary and status. The PEP is valid for 3 years and is non-renewable. The Singapore PEP is not job specific and PEP holder’s do not need to change employment pass when changing jobs. PEP holders’ parents, spouse and children are eligible for both Dependent’s Pass and LTVP;
- EntrePass: This Singapore employment visa is specifically for entrepreneurs who have incorporated a company in Singapore. To be eligible for an EntrePass a person must have a company that is registered with ACRA. The company must have a minimum of S$50,000 paid up capital and the EntrePass applicant must have: i) at least 30% ownership; and ii) be actively involved in the running of the firm. The pass is split on two levels dependent on salary: P and Q1. Entrepreneurs in various industries of work are not eligible for an EntrePass such as coffee shops, foot reflexology, bars and night clubs. Family members of EntrePass holders are eligible for both Dependent’s Pass and LTVP, dependent on standard criteria;
- Foreign Worker Work Permit (FWWP): This Singapore employment pass applies to foreigners who do not earn more than S$2,000 monthly and are above 16 years of age. The pass also requires that candidates come under ‘skilled worker’ category and various requirements exist dependent on the industry of work. In accordance with the skills involved for the job and the nationality of the FWWP holder, the permit is valid until the holder is a maximum of 60 years of age, or 6/18/unlimited years, whichever comes sooner. The family of work permit holders are not eligible for a DP or LTVP and therefore cannot live in Singapore unless they obtain a separate alternative pass of their own;
- Foreign Domestic Worker Work Permit (FDWWP): This employment visa is best for foreigners who wish to work in Singapore as a Domestic Worker. Eligibility varies depending on whether the applicant has worked in Singapore before or is applying to work in Singapore for the first time. i) First time applicants must be between 23 and 50 years of age upon application and have a minimum of 8 years of formal education with documentation as proof. ii) Applicants who have work experience in Singapore are simply required to be a minimum of 18 years of age upon application. The FDWWP is valid the duration of the approved domestic worker job or until the holder is a maximum of 60 years old, whichever comes sooner. The family of foreign domestic workers are not eligible for DP or LTVP and cannot live in Singapore unless they obtain a separate alternative pass of their own;
- S Pass: This Singapore work pass is appropriate for foreigners who are skilled and earn a minimum of S$2,000. The applications for S Pass are judged on a points system, based on: i) salary – minimum S$2,000; ii) skills and education – i.e. university degree or skills certificate; iii) job type – industry and position; and iv) work experience – years in relevant field. The S Pass is valid for 2-3 years and is renewable. The family of S Pass holders can be eligible for a Dependent’s Pass if the S Pass holder earns over S$2,800;
- Dependent’s Pass: This Singapore pass is applicable to direct family members of EP, PEP, EntrePass and S Pass holders. To qualify as a dependent of a singapore EP/PEP/EntrePass/S Pass holder, a person must either be: i) a spouse of the holder; ii) a child of the holder, under 21 years old; iii) a legally-adopted child of holder, under 21 years old; or iv) a step-child of holder, under 21 years old. The dependent’s pass is valid for the duration of the EP/PEP/EntrePass/S Pass on which it is dependent. It should be noted that a dependent’s pass is an authorization to live and study in Singapore, but not to work. If a dependent’s pass holder wishes to work in Singapore, instructions can be found on the Ministry of Manpower website. When the child of the EP/PEP/EntrePass holder is no longer eligible (e.g. above 21 years old) they may be eligible for a LTVP;
- Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP): This Singapore visa is applicable only for direct family members of EP status P1 or P2, PEP status P1 or P2 and EntrePass status P. Direct family members are limited to: i) common-law spouse; ii) unmarried daughters, above 21 years of age; iii) handicapped children, above 21 years of age; iv) step children; and v) parents and parents-in-law. The LTVP is valid for up to 60 months (5 years) or the duration of the EP/PEP/EntrePass, whichever is shortest. Like the DP, the LTVP is not an authorization to work in Singapore and LTVP holders require their own form of employment pass to work there. The LTVP allows the holder to live in Singapore, but if the LTVP holder wishes to study in Singapore, they may need a Student Pass.
Singapore Permanent Residence Scheme
- The Singapore Global Investor Program encourages investors to invest in industries including biomedical sciences, new technology, clean energy and media. Entrepreneurs can invest at least S$2.5 million i) in a new business startup or ii) expansion of an existing business entity or iii) in a GIP approved fund;
- To be eligible for the Global Investor Program, applicants with a successful business track record need to meet the following criteria:
- The applicants company turnover must be S$50 million in the most recent year and average S$50 million over the last 3 years;
- Minimum 3 years entrepreneurial/business experience, with 3 years audited financial statements.
- The Singapore GIP is managed by Contact Singapore;
- The cancellation of the FIS has reduced the options for high net worth foreigners to gain permanent residence status in Singapore, however the GIP is still an adequate program that allows successful entrepreneurs to migrate to Singapore;
- There is also the Professional, Technical Personnel, Skilled Worker permanent residence scheme, which most foreigners that work in Singapore pursue.
Migrate to Singapore
International entrepreneurs find migration to Singapore straightforward thanks to Healy Consultants’ comprehensive relocation service. Our Singapore migration services include:
- Assistance obtaining Singapore employment and residence visas from the Singapore Ministry of Manpower. To assist with Singapore migration, Healy Consultants helps entrepreneurs and their families of all nationalities to obtain permits allowing them to live and work in Singapore. We are proud to say that our approval rate is still 100%. Healy Consultants’ fee to assist our Client obtain a Singapore visa is US$3,850;
- To support the visa application, Healy Consultants prepares a comprehensive business plan detailing our Client’s business activities and their reasons for migration to Singapore;
- Healy Consultants helps our Clients secure Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) status. The fastest way to obtain PR approval is for our Client to apply for the Global Investor Program by i) investing SG$2.5 million in a new business entity or expanding an existing business operation or ii) investing SG$ 2.5 million in a GIP fund that invest in Singapore based companies;
- Healy Consultants helps our Client i) locate a suitable investment ii) prepare a high quality PR application and a business plan iii) closely communicate with the relevant Government Authorities;
- Prior to or following migration to Singapore, Healy Consultants guides Clients through all aspects of renting or buying a property in Singapore (see also our Singapore Property webpage). For example, we arrange property viewings according to Client specifications and budget, provide assistance with the drafting of lease agreements, and arranging for efficient connection of utilities. Furthermore, Healy Consultants provides introductions to Singapore banks for competitive international mortgages
- Before or following migration to Singapore, Healy Consultants assists Clients to find suitable schools in Singapore for their children. Examples of assistance provided includes providing information on international school fees, waiting lists and curricula;
- Before or following migration to Singapore, some international entrepreneurs request tailored cross-cultural training programmes covering Singapore business etiquette and protocols. For example, some Clients request advice on communication, conflict management and negotiation, and sales and marketing techniques in Singapore;
- Healy Consultants offers personalised orientation programmes for international entrepreneurs migrating to Singapore. Typical programmes include introductions to banks to open personal bank accounts, visits to key points of business interest in Singapore, as well as tours of commercial and residential property (see also point 5 above), international schools (see also point 6 above), social clubs and recreational facilities. In summary, Healy Consultants offers a one-stop service for migration to Singapore;
- Examples of Singapore visas available to international entrepreneurs and business people include i) a Singapore Entrepreneur Visa (EntrePass) (ideal for company directors, shareholders and investors ii) Employment Visa (ideal for expatriate company employees) and Permanent Residence (ideal for entrepreneurs planning long-term migration to Singapore). Furthermore, Healy Consultants assists Clients to obtain Dependant’s Visas for family members.