Singapore is actually the first choice for international job seekers to find high paying work opportunities with safe and promising work environment and this is because Singapore has one of the best economies and most attractive job markets worldwide, making it an ideal workplace for many.
One of the biggest perks of working in Singapore is that most Singaporean companies offer a pretty handsome salary, especially if you bring a unique skill set to their company. Apart from that, there are a lot of resources to help you out if you’re interested in setting up a business in Singapore and getting settled there as well.
But before you can start working there, you must get your hands on a Singaporean work visa, locally known as a ‘Pass’. There are different types of Singaporean Passes you can apply for depending on your salary, type of employment, skills, and expertise which are issued by ministry of foreign affairs of Singapore, so let’s get into it.
Types of Singaporean Work VISA Passes in 2024
You need to choose the right type of Singaporean Work VISA as per your job type and this is why you need to learn which work VISA options are actually available for you in 2024:
- Employment Pass for Singapore
- Skilled and Unskilled workers pass (S Pass & Others)
- Students and trainee passes for Singapore
- Short-term pass
1# Employment Pass for Singapore
If you have landed a managerial or executive level job in Singapore, or plan to work as an entrepreneur then you should opt for the Professional Employment Pass which offers three different types of work visas including EntrePass, Personalized Employment Pass, and the Overseas Network and Expertise Pass.
Normally, with a job position of a manager, executive, or professional, you’ll most likely apply for the Employment Pass for Singapore, given that your salary is at least S$5000. However, if you are earning an even higher salary (or applying as an overseas professional), you can apply for the Personalized Employment Pass. This is a better option in this case because it not only allows you to easily switch between jobs multiple times without having to apply for a new pass but is offered for a greater time period (3 years) than the Employment Pass.
Now, as an entrepreneur (or an investor in an entrepreneurial business), you’ll want to apply for the EntrePass. Although EntrePass is initially given for one year which can be renewed for as long as the business is running, allowing entrepreneurs to bring their dream businesses to life.
Lastly, we have the Overseas Network and Expertise Pass which is given out for 5 years and is perfect for the most highly talented candidates. You might be eligible to apply for this type of Singaporean Work visa if you are extremely talented in arts or sports, have a lot of academic achievements, or are earning a minimum salary of S$ 30,000 a month.
2# Skilled and Semi-skilled Worker’s Pass
Let’s take a look at the type of visa you would need to start a job in Singapore as a skilled or semi-skilled worker. As per my research, a skilled or partially skilled international worker can opt for 4 types of Singaporean work visas which are an S Pass, a Work Permit for migrant workers, a Work Permit for migrant domestic workers, a Work Permit for confinement nannies, and a Work permit for performing artiste.
Out of these 5 Singaporean Work Permits, S Pass is issued to moderately skilled workers with an average starting salary of S$3,000, and a confinement nanny visa is issued to nanny workers, whereas, a performing artist VISA is issued for skilled artists to perform in the Singaporean entertainment sector and the work permit for migrant and domestic workers is issued to construction, home, manufacturing and service workers from specific countries.
3# Trainees’ and Students’ passes for Singapore
Trainee and Student VISA for Singapore includes a category of passes given to trainees, students, and people interested to work during their holidays or for training purposes in Singapore and this is the shortest work pass as it’s only given for a duration of 6 months whereas a work holiday pass is only available to citizens of Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the USA, and the UK.
4# Short-term work passes for Singapore
In some cases, it is possible for you to work in Singapore if you are actually flying there on a visit visa by obtaining an additional Miscellaneous Work Pass. But if you have this Singaporean pass, you can work within a duration of 6 months in various conferences, public speaking gigs, host workshops, and carry out journalistic visits or religious work, etc.
Eligibility Criteria to for Apply for a Singaporean work VISA
To start off, in order to be eligible to apply for a Singaporean work visa you must be between 18 to 50 (58 if you’re Malaysian) years old and already have a job offer in Singapore before you can start the application process. This is because your employer or employment agency in Singapore will be responsible for submitting your work visa application (unless you’re applying for a PEP).
The next thing you should keep in mind is that each type of Singaporean Work pass has a minimum wage cap mentioned that you must be earning before you can apply for that particular pass. The only exception here is EntrePass, which requires the business owner to have $50,000 capital in their possession at the time of their VISA application and the minimum wage required for each pass is shown in the table below.
|Type of Singaporean Work Pass||Minimum Salary Required|
|Employment Pass||S$ 5,000 (financial services: S$5,500)|
|Personalized Employment Pass (PEP)||S$ 12,000 (for current pass holders) |
S$ 18,000 (for foreigners)
|Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass||S$ 30,000|
|S Pass||S$ 3,000 (Financial services: S$ 3,500)|
|Training Employment Pass||S$3,000|
How to apply for a Singaporean work Pass
Firstly, before you can even begin applying for a Singapore work visa, in most cases, you need to ensure that you have secured a job in Singapore and have an employment appointment letter in your hand. Next, your employer will submit an application on your behalf to the Singaporean ministry of manpower (only after receiving written consent from you) through EP online and pay the required application fees of around S$105.
Along with your VISA application, you will be required to submit some additional documents which include a job confirmation letter, a copy of your passport, educational certificates, documents confirming past work experiences, recent colored photographs, and a detailed description of your job in Singapore.
Once the Singapore work VISA application has been submitted, then that will take a few days to process, after which your employer should receive either an approval (IPA) or a rejection (IPR) message. The IPA indicates that your application for the work visa for Singapore has been accepted and the latter indicates that your application has been rejected.
Starting Work in Singapore
Once the pass is issued you will receive a notification letter that will allow you to start work instantly whereas, in some cases, you might need to register yourself at the Employment Pass Services Center (EPSC) which entails getting passport pictures and fingerprints taken before your work pass is mailed to you, and in other cases, you will get the work pass directly.