Definition: What Is Dependant’s Pass in Singapore?
Foreigners working in Singapore under the Employment Pass or the S Pass can have their spouses and kids join them in the country on the Dependant’s Pass. This visa implies a certain salary benchmark that allows a work visa holder to sponsor family members. The latter get not only the opportunity to be taken along to Singapore but also a bunch of employment and educational perks. Entrepreneurs are also allowed to take their dependants along to the country but only starting from the second term of the EntrePass.
Benefits and Features of Singapore Dependant’s Visa
- Only lawful spouses and children younger than 21 y/o can claim the Dependant’s Pass.
- The DP application can be initiated only by the employer of the work visa holder or an accredited visa agent.
- The DP is usually issued for 2 years term, but it can be extended afterwards. The term of visa and its extension depend on the duration of the work visa it is tied to.
- Holders of the DP are allowed to work in Singapore provided that they can find a job. No quotas and levies are applied to them.
- Holders of the EntrePass are also allowed to take their kids and spouses along to Singapore but only after undergoing the first renewal.
- The baby that is born in Singapore can get the Dependant’s Pass provided that at least one parent meets the salary requirement; otherwise, the newborn baby must leave Singapore before the baby’s special pass (issued for 6 weeks) expires.
Advantages of Dependant’s Pass
- The Dependant’s Pass allows its holder to work in Singapore using the Letter of Consent.
- Regardless of the DP holder’s salary and qualification, no quota and levies constraints are applied to them. This privilege puts DP holders at the advantageous position against the background of S Pass and Work Permit holders.
- A child who lives in Singapore on the Dependant’s Pass can get educated in Singaporean public schools.
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Disadvantages of Dependant’s Pass
- The Dependant’s visa has a quite high salary demand for the sponsor (work visa holder). In September 2015, the benchmark will be raised from 4,000 SGD to 5,000 SGD.
- The DP is tied to a sponsor’s work visa. Once this work visa gets canceled, it leads to the automatic cancelation of all Dependant’s Passes that are attached to the work visa.
- If a DP holder works in Singapore on the Letter of Consent, this work opportunity will totally depend on the duration of the sponsor’s work visa.
- Parents (work visa holders) who failed to get approval for their newborn baby’s Dependant’s Pass must send the baby overseas.
- Although enrolling into the public Singaporean school is theoretically possible for little Dependant’s Pass holders, it can be hard to do practically because the priority is given to citizens and permanent residents.
Eligibility Criteria and Requirements for Dependant’s Visa
A work visa holder who wants to bring dependants (a lawfully married husband/wife and kids younger than 21 y/o including lawfully adopted) to Singapore must:
- be a holder of either the Employment Pass or the S Pass;
- be employed by a well-established Singaporean firm;
- earn at least 4,000 SGD a month (5,000 SGD from September 2015).
Holders of the EntrePass can bring their dependants to Singapore after meeting these demands:
- getting their EntrePass extended (taking along dependants isn’t allowed during the first term of the EntrePass);
- spending at least 150,000 SGD within the business;
- creating at least 4 local job positions.
The Most Popular Reason for Dependant’s Pass Rejection
Rejections are quite frequent because the MOM seeks to let only trustworthy dependants in. If the MOM has doubts that a sponsor (a work visa holder) is capable of taking take care of his/her family members financially, the application can get rejected. The most popular reason why this happens is a salary insufficiency. The salary must be at least 4,000 SGD (5,000 SGD from September 2015) to meet the needs of your family, but, probably, it must be even higher if you are going to take a lot of children along.
Some employers try to get the approval for the Dependant’s Pass by colluding with the employee and increasing salary falsely to hit the requirements, but employers plan to claw back the additional sum from the employee afterwards. The MOM is aware of such ruses and can detect a fraud easily. After an employer was once spotted in a fraud, the MOM will monitor this employer for frauds in the future and probably this employer’s applications have a higher chance to get rejected again and again.
Failing to meet any of the requirements can potentially lead to the DP rejection. For example, a company’s profile insecurity. The MOM will assess how well the company is established and whether it has had any discriminating HR practices in the past (violation of the employment rights of local employees).
Usually, the MOM explains the exact reason for the rejection in the rejection letter. To succeed in the appeal, it is important to fix the problems mentioned by the MOM; otherwise, the appeal that contains no new information can get rejected again.
If you aren’t sure you understand the reason of rejection or you have no idea how to address it, don’t hesitate to ask a visa consultant for a piece of advice. At our visa agency, you can get a thorough assessment of your situation after which an effective appeal strategy can be developed.
How to Apply: the Best Dependant’s Pass Scheme
The Dependant’s pass cannot be applied for neither by the work visa holder nor by the dependant: only the employer of the work visa holder and an accredited visa agent are authorized to submit the DP application. The application and the supportive documents can be submitted manually (this option is available only for dependants of EP, PEP, and EntrePass holders) or online. Online applications are processed faster (in 7 working days) while manual applications require more time for consideration (up to 5 weeks).
Preparing the application and the related documentation requires knowledge of the MOM requirements. If the employer isn’t sure, he/she would manage to meet the high demands set by the MOM, it is better not jeopardize the case and entrust it to a visa professional.
The DP application can be submitted along with the work visa application or later. Every family member would need a separate application. Potential dependants mustn’t be in the country while their Dependant’s passes are being processed (if they are in the country on a visit pass and it expires earlier than the DP is ready, the MOM warns that such visit pass won’t be extended and the foreigners will have to leave the country).
When the Dependant’s Pass is needed for a newborn baby, it must be processed while the baby’s special pass is valid (during 6 weeks). If parents fail to get approval for their baby’s Dependant’s Pass, the child must be sent overseas.
If the DP application is successful, the in-principal approval letter must be printed: it can be used as an entry visa to Singapore but no later than 6 months after the approval.
Can Dependant’s Pass Holder Work in Singapore?
Foreigners who live in Singapore as work visa holder’s dependants are allowed to work in the country under two conditions:
- they find a job;
- an employer applies for the Letter of Consent at the MOM and receives it.
Employers who hire holders of the Dependant’s Pass don’t have to meet the quota requirement and pay a monthly levy for them. Although no minimum salary requirement is applied, giving the Letter of Consent is still totally at government’s discretion. The processing usually takes up to 6 weeks.
The Letter of Consent must be renewed every time the DP gets renewed if the foreigner wishes to continue the employment. As the DP’s duration is tied to the sponsor’s visa duration, and the Letter of Consent is tied to the duration of the DP, it means that the duration of a dependant’s work depends on a sponsor’s work visa. To get more independent, the DP holder can apply for the Employment Pass, PEP, or S Pass but without special preferences – according to the standard procedure. In case with the S Pass, the quota requirement and the levy will be implied.
Why Use Help of Professional Agents/Consultants?
Getting the Dependant Pass is a tricky procedure taking to consideration strict MOM demands and many other details that may affect the result of the DP application. In order not to jeopardize the case, it is better to get it managed by a visa professional that has a significant track record of the DP approvals. A visa agent will not only assess your case basing on the MOM latest requirements but also get the paperwork done and a company’s, an employer’s and dependants’ eligibility fortified. We know how to avoid pitfalls of the DP procedure and achieve the best possible representation of an applicant at the MOM.
Get FREE Dependant’s Pass Eligibility Assessment Today!
Bring your situation to us and get your DP eligibility assessed according to the MOM recent demands. Not only will you know your prospects for approval in advance, as well as the weak points of your case that needs to be fortified, but also you will get a piece of valuable advice on the next steps you should do to help your employee to reunite with family.