Singapore has always been one of the main destinations for working overseas. It is well known for its excellent facilities, infrastructure, safety, business policies, and general respect for the rule of law. Last year, it was ranked the second-best country in the world for expats based on living standards and career opportunities.
If you are one of the many people who have been planning on working in Singapore, you are required to apply for a work pass. Here is all you need to know about qualifying and applying for a work pass.
What is A Work Pass?
A work pass or an employment pass is a work visa issued by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for foreigners who intend to work in Singapore. This work permit allows you to live, work, and travel in and out of the country without having to apply for entry visas.
The Singapore employment pass is usually valid for 1-2 years and can be renewed for a period of up to 3 years. In order to successfully obtain it, there are a number of eligibility requirements you need to fulfill.
How do I Qualify for A Work Pass?
To qualify for a Singapore work pass, you are obliged to:
- Be deployed by a company to work in Singapore
- Make a fixed salary of at least $3,600 if you are a fresh graduate (older, more experienced candidates may need higher salaries to qualify)*
- Work in a managerial, executive or specialised job
- Have acceptable qualifications, a tertiary degree from a reputable university, relevant professional experience or specialised skills
*Note: The minimum qualifying salary will be raised from $3,600 to $3,900 in May, 2020. The salary criteria for older, more experienced candidates will also be raised in tandem and this will be applied to renewal applications in May, 2021.
Required Documents to Apply for A Work Pass
Here is the list of documents you need to prepare to apply for an employment pass.
- An Employment Pass/S Pass Application (Form 8), endorsed by a Singaporean employer
- A copy of your newest resume and relevant educational certificates
- References/testimonials from previous employers
- A passport-size photograph of yourself, taken within the past three months
- A copy of the personal particulars page of your passport
- A copy of the business profile of the Singapore company you’ll be working for
- A detailed description of your job duties
- A detailed description of the activities and services or products of the Singapore company that hires you
- Written consent from yourself as a candidate allowing the company or employment agent to apply on their behalf
Note: You may need to submit a few certain other documents, depending on your nationality (you must contact MOM for detailed information regarding these additional documents). You are also required to have all these documents translated into English.
How to Successfully Obtain A Work Pass
Here are some essential tips and tricks you can implement to be granted a work permit from MOM.
Know which pass is the most suitable for you
Since there are various types of work passes available as well as MOM’s assessment criteria, conducting research beforehand and figuring out the right pass for you is highly necessary. Ask your employer about the type of employment pass that suits you best. This will greatly help both of you save a lot of time when preparing for documents needed for the relevant employment pass.
Explain your unique work experience
Describe your work experience in such a way that it rationalises why you are chosen for the position. The details should explain why you are more suitable for the position than a local who has the relevant degree qualifications.
Get your educational qualifications prepared
Note that your educational qualifications play an important role in the employment pass application. You may be required to submit additional educational documents in the form of transcripts and marksheets (especially if you’re from China or India). These certifications must be verified through official channels and translated into English.
Collect relevant, good references
If you are unable to provide required certifications (e.g. due to the lack of education), good references from your previous employers or clients will be highly useful as well. This is applicable especially if you have built up your career and expertise in a relatively “new” industry like social media.
Get help from an expert advisor
For an easy and smooth employment pass application process, consider getting help from an expert advisor. You can contact Biz Atom to get the right advice on the most suitable work pass as well as assistance with the application process.
How to Appeal Against A Rejected Employment Pass Application
If your employment pass application gets rejected, you will still have 30 days to lodge an appeal. It takes approximately 3-6 weeks until you get feedback from MOM. Before making an appeal, make sure that you are able to present new information to address the issues in the rejection advisory.
Holding the status of a duly licensed employment agency in Singapore, Biz Atom will help you work closely with MOM to investigate why your application has been rejected. You will be provided with a complete assessment of your application and ensured that it meets the current standards of review.
How do I Renew My Employment Pass?
A renewal request must be submitted via Employment Pass Online by your employer or employment agent. An employment pass renewal form will be sent to your employer’s registered address 3 months before the existing one expires. The form should be completed and submitted to MOM at least 4 weeks before the employment pass expires.
Note that not all renewal requests get approved. Each renewal application is evaluated based on the latest criteria. Similar to a new employment pass application, as a renewal candidate, you must earn a minimum of $ 3,600 per month ($3,900 in May, 2020) and more if you are a far more experienced worker.
Once approved, you will receive an in-principle letter of approval. You must then go through the same procedure to issue an employment pass and, if necessary, register fingerprints and have your photograph taken before receiving a new employment pass card.