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How to Grasp Work Permit in Singapore: Get a Tailor-made Visa Advice for Wise Hiring Decisions

Lee October 3, 2015
Posted by Lee on October 03, 2015  /   Posted in Working Visa
Being the world’s most liveable city, oasis of high-end infrastructure and work ethic, and the easiest place to run a business, Singapore is definitely a magnet for overseas labour force all around the globe. Either you seek for decent employment or better opportunities for your undertaking, this country is a perfect “package” immigration solution. During the last years, the local Manpower department gave work visas to foreign workers with great reluctance which can be explained by the overcrowding of the tiny island country with expats. Criteria tightening blunted the inrush of foreigners somehow, but the statistics still shows the foreign-friendly tendency: in 2014, the population of expats rose to 1,300,000 from approximately 1,000,000 in 2009. It means that getting work permit is still possible if you approach this task with responsibility and involve expert visa assistance. Work permit singapore   The first thing you need to settle if you decide to try you wings in Singapore is the type of work permit you can hold there. It’s important to mention that Singapore MOM grants a specific visa called “Work Permit”; that’s why we won’t use this phrase for general meaning.   The choice of your work visa will depend on your prospected salary. Keep these salary scopes in mind when looking for a job in Singapore:  
  1. For the most privileged work visa to Singapore – Personal Employment Pass – you need to earn more than 18,000 SGD (over $13,000). It is the only individual visa that doesn’t tie you to any company: you can arrive to SG and look for a job on the place and enjoy 3 years of premium work freedom with an opportunity to change the job whenever you like without processing a new visa. This visa is levy and quota-free.

  3. Employment Pass is the most “saleable” work visa as it gives the biggest suit of opportunities. It fits both executives and specialists earning more than 3,300 SGD (about $2,600). The visa has 3 salary sublevels and your eligibility is defined by your skills, education, and experience. EP is also levy and quota-free.

  5. S Pass was developed for skilled workers and technicians whose wages start from 2,200 SGD (over $1,600). This visa is subject to both quotas and levies.

  7. And finally the Work Permit itself – a visa that gives foreign unskilled employees (such as construction workers, domestics, artists, marines, and so on) a right to work in the country. This visa option is for the lowest-paid expats. The same as for S Pass, Singapore MOM sets quota and levy for Work Permit.
  Despite WP seekers don’t have to show brilliant education, outstanding expertise and command outrageously high salaries, to apply for work permit in Singapore is still difficult as the government set harsh obligations for local employers. Today’s levy is high enough to make them doubt they need foreign labour force. But the levy increase was already announced by the government: it will come into effect in the next 2016 year. So this year is a good chance for overseas unskilled workers to find a good job in Singapore and show their best in order to consolidate a position and win employer’s trust before the levy increases. Singapore Work Permit requirements highly depend on the worker’s nationality and sector he/she is going to work in. All other criteria basically touch the employer’s side. They are:


1. Meeting the Quota

Meeting the Quota The employer can hire a foreigner only within the established quota. This quota varies from one sector to another: for construction it is 7 WP holders for every local employee that is hired full-time; for marine and service sectors levy is tied to the quota, so those who want to hire more foreigners must pay higher levies (420SGD for less then 10% of foreign staff and 700SGD if up to 40% of the employer’s staff are WP holders). This levy and quota should be calculated competently for every specific employment situation. A visa professional can help in it. Contact us to estimate your eligibility in hiring labour force from abroad and find out how much a Singapore Work Permit holder would cost you. Only after analyzing the source (country of origin), sector, and a custom quota, eligibility can be figured out competently.


2. Security Bond

  Before the employer can apply for a Work Permit in Singapore, he must pay a security bond of 5,000 SGD for a foreigner unless this worker is a Malaysian. This requirement encourages foreigners to show their best and to win the trust of the employer’s who is ready to pay more than 2 month salaries as a security bond for them. In the same time this requirement acts as a sieve to leave only really valuable workers inside the country.


3. Medical Insurance

  Medical Insurance

A Singaporean employer who seeks for hiring foreigners must purchase a medical insurance for them which will cost him at least 15,000 SGD yearly for each one. This insurance can’t be bought by the WP holder.


4. Housing

Housing Hiring a foreigner, the employer must guarantee him/her decent housing conditions that meet all safety and health standards.



5. Medical Checks

During 2 weeks after the employee’s arrival to the country, the employer must organize a medical examination for him/her to ensure the employee is physically fit and doesn’t suffer from transmitted diseases such as HIV and others.


6. Law-abiding Attitude to Work

Law-abiding Attitude to Work The employer is obliged to ensure all his WP-holders live and work in Singapore within the pale of laws. He must ensure the foreigner doesn’t secretly work for one more employer violating local laws. Applying for WP is allowed for employers and visa agencies only. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of hiring a foreigner on WP. At our visa agency you can have your Singapore work permit eligibility assessed online. Just reach out to our visa team and book an expert assessment of your business situation and the application forecast based on the most recent trends of SG government. Our visa expert will also give a piece of tailor-made advice on where hiring a foreigner is a winning option, and where it is better to look for a local worker.

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