Immigration Services

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Work Permits

All foreigners who intend to work in Singapore must have a valid work permit granted by the Ministry of Manpower, commonly referred to as MOM. MOM makes available work permits for various categories of jobs and skill sets. 

Employment Pass (EP)

This work permit is suitable for foreign professionals, executives and managers who have a job offer in Singapore. Applicants  for an Employment Pass or EP, will be assessed on factors such as their qualifications, work experience and the nature of the job for which they are applying. 

Employer or an appointed employment agency must apply on behalf of the candidate.The applicant must earn at least $3,600 per month. For first time candidates the EP is valid for up to 2 years. 

An Employment Pass must be cancelled within 1 week if the pass holders employment ends. The cancellation will be done by either the employer or by the appointed employment agent.

Renewals are valid up to 3 years.
As an EP holder certain eligible family members may join you in Singapore. A spouse and unmarried children may be granted a Dependents Pass or DP. If the EP holder wishes to bring their spouse or children they must earn a minimum of $5,000 per month.

MOM provides an assessment test on their website to enable applicants to determine their eligibility.


This pass allows for  eligible foreign entrepreneurs who would like to start and operate a new business in Singapore. The candidate may apply directly to MOM for the EntrePass. No minimum salary is stipulated. 

The EntrePass is valid for one year but may be renewed if the applicable criteria is met. 

The pass holder may not bring family when the pass is first granted however once the pass is renewed they may apply to bring certain family if all the criteria is met.

Personalized Employment Pass (PEP)

This work permit is for high-earning existing Employment Pass holders or foreign professionals. The PEP offers greater flexibility than other work passes but the criteria is quite stringent.The candidate may apply directly to MOM for the Personalized Employment Pass. 

A current EP holder must earn a minimum of $12,000 per month. A foreign professional must show an overseas income of at least 18,00 per month. 

The PEP is valid for up to 3 years and is issued only once and can not be renewed. Certain family members may be eligible for a DP.

Skilled and semi-skilled workers

S Pass

The S Pass allows workers with mid-level skills to work in Singapore. The employer or an appointed employment agency must apply on behalf of the candidate. The employer is subject to a quota and levy.  

The employer must provide medical insurance to the S Pass holder. The applicant must earn at least $2,200 per month. 

Should the S Pass holder wish to change jobs then the new employer has to apply for a new pass. The S Pass is valid for up to 2 years and is renewable. S Pass holders with a minimum salary of at least $5,000 a month may be eligible for Dependent Passes for their spouse and children.

Work permit for foreign workers

This work permit allows for semi-skilled foreigners from certain countries to work in  construction, manufacturing, process, services and marine. 

The employer or an appointed employment agency must apply on behalf of the candidate. The employer must pay a monthly levy. 

The employer must provide medical insurance to their workers. Minimum salaries are not applicable. The work permit is valid to to 2 years and is renewable. Dependent passes are not available to spouses and families.

Work permit for foreign domestic workers

This permit (FDW) allows for foreigners to work as domestic helpers. Employers and FDW must comply to certain criteria to be eligible. The employer or an appointed employment agency must apply on behalf of the candidate. 

The employer must take out a security bond (usually in the form of an insurance policy) which will pay the government up to $5,000 should the employer break the law governing the conditions of employment. 

The employer is subject to a monthly levy. The employer must also provide medical insurance ( at least $15 000 per year) and personal accident insurance (at least $40 000 per year) for their workers. The work permit is valid up to 2 years and is renewable depending on the validity of the security bond. 

Dependent passes are not available to spouses and families.

The Ministry of Manpower offer many more work permits for qualifying candidates. Their website is well laid out and very informative.

Permanent Residency

The Singaporean government welcomes foreigners who are willing and able to make a positive contribution to the country's economy and and become a part of Singaporean society. 

Naturally you will have to meet certain criteria, the first will be to become a Permanent Resident (PR). Keep in mind that should you be granted Permanent Residency you may have a National Service Liability to the country. All male Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, unless they are exempted, are liable to register for National Service (NS). 

Applicants who are granted PR status under the Professional/Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers (PTS) Scheme or the Investor Scheme are exempted from NS. However any male children who are granted PR status under their parents' sponsorship are liable for NS. 

The Singapore government takes this obligation very seriously and should a NS liable PR renounce their status at a later date they will negatively impact their ability to study or work in Singapore. 

Applications for renewal of Re-entry permits may also be declined for the NS liable male as well as their sponsors and family.

Eligibility for PR

The following categories of foreigners may be eligible to apply for PR:
The spouse and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of a Singapore Citizen
Aged parents of a Singapore Citizen
Employment Pass or S Pass holders

There are various schemes under which it is possible to apply for Permanent Residency. The most common and easiest is to apply under the Professionals/Technical Personnel & Skilled Worker scheme (PTS). This is for foreigners currently working in Singapore and who hold en Employment or Entrepreneur Pass.

Another option is to apply as a foreign investor under the Global Investor Programme (GIP). This requires certain minimum investments in starting a business or investing in an established business. 

Over and above the financial investments applicants must also have a proven track record in successful business, show a business proposal or investment plan and have an entrepreneurial background.

A third option is the Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme (ForArts). This is aimed at outstanding international art professionals who can contribute to to advancing the arts and culture in Singapore through their expertise. 

More information about the ForArts scheme is available on

Permanent Residency application forms and a list of required supporting documents and be found on

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