3 Ways to Get Singapore Work Pass Visa

Singapore is fast becoming one of the most sought-after destinations in the job market. If you plan to work in Singapore legally, one of the most important things you need is a Singapore work pass visa. In most other countries, the work pass and work visa are separate, but this is different in Singapore. Singapore only has one such work documentation and it is known as the work visa or work pass.

There are multiple ways to secure a Singapore work pass visa, usually depending on your professional status. To help make the application easier, we will look at each available option.

What makes working in Singapore a good idea?

If you are looking for a great destination to work at, it doesn’t get better than Singapore. Some of the benefits of working in Singapore include:

  • Ethical behavior in terms of hires and terminations, for which Singapore is the first in the world (Source: World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2019)
  • More than half the employers in Singapore aiming to increase current employee salaries by 3-5% in the following year, as revealed in a recent survey by Hudson recruitment agency.

You may enjoy these benefits should you work in Singapore and to get started, the one thing you will need is a work pass.

What are the Criteria for a Singapore Work Visa?

Not just anyone can apply for a Singapore work visa. Some requirements need to be met before one is considered eligible. The requirements include:

  • Having a valid international passport
  • Being at least 18 years old
  • Maintaining a job in the field as stated in the work pass

There are also a few rules that you must follow being a foreign worker in Singapore which include:

  • Refraining from marrying a Singaporean resident or citizen without the permission of the Ministry of Manpower
  • Keeping the original copy of your work pass on your person at all times, and providing it for inspection if requested
  • Working at the job or for the employer that is specified in the work pass
  • Staying at the address listed by the employer at the start of the job
  • Not starting or being part of other businesses

Different Work Visa Types Issued by Singapore Authorities

There are different work visas issued by the Singapore authorities. Each work visa is issued based on the professional status of the individual(s) seeking to work in Singapore and have different requirements. Accordingly, the Singapore authorities issue three major work visas and they are:

1. Work Visa for Professionals

Under this type of work pass, there are three categories of professionals, and consequently, three types of work passes.

The Employment Pass is for foreigners in the manager, executive, and professional classification. Anyone that falls in this classification will need to earn at least S$5,000 monthly and have other necessary qualifications.

The EntrePass is for entrepreneurs with certain qualifications, who seek to create or run a business in Singapore. The intended business will need to be venture-backed or involve innovative technologies for the individual to qualify for this work visa.

The Personalized Employment Pass is for high-earners who already hold an employment pass or foreign professionals from overseas. There is greater flexibility that comes with the Personalized Employment Pass as opposed to the Employment Pass.  

2. Work visas for skilled and semi-skilled workers

There are five categories of workers in this category and therefore, five types of work visas.

The S Pass is for individuals that possess mid-level skills and meet other specified criteria. Anyone in this classification will need a minimum monthly income of S$3,000.

The Work Permit for migrant workers is for workers from specific approved countries working in industries such as construction and manufacturing.

The Work Permit for migrant domestic workers allows foreign domestic helpers to work in Singapore.

The Work Permit for confinement nanny, only valid for up to 4 months, is for Malaysian confinement nannies. It affords Malaysians access to work as nannies in Singapore from the birth of a child to 16 weeks.

The Work Permit for performing artiste is for foreign performers in the entertainment industry and allows them to perform in public spaces.

3. Work visas for trainees and students

There are four types of work visas in this category for the different types of individuals classified under students and trainees.
The Training Employment Pass is for foreign professionals who want to attend a practical training program in Singapore. Additionally, anyone in this category must earn at least $3,000 monthly.
The Work Holiday Pass is divided into two categories. The first, under the Work Holiday Program, allows students or graduates to work or holiday in Singapore for 6 months. Students or graduates in this category must be aged 18-25 to qualify for this work visa.
The second, under the Work and Holiday Visa Program, is specifically for students and graduates from Australia. This work visa allows anyone in this category between the ages of 18 and 30, to work or holiday in Singapore for up to a year.
The Training Work Permit allows foreign students or trainees of practical programs, who are classified as semi-skilled to train in Singapore.
There are other work visa options for those who do not qualify for any of the above-listed options. There are miscellaneous work visas, exemptions, and family member visas, all of which could allow an individual to work in Singapore. You can visit the Ministry of Manpower’s website to learn more about the requirements and limitations of other available work visa options.

How Can I Get a Singapore Work Pass Visa?

A work visa can only be applied for by a Singapore employer on behalf of an employee. It is therefore mandatory to have secured employment before worrying about a work visa. The application for the work visa can be done via the Ministry of Manpower’s website (MOM), but your employer will be handling the application at this point.

  1. Get a job in Singapore
  2. Your employer or agency will apply for the work visa online. If successful, you will be able to enter Singapore with an in-principle approval letter (IPA).
  3. After making your way to Singapore with the IPA, your employer or the employment agency will apply to issue your work pass online.
  4. You will be notified with a letter once the work pass has been successfully issued. The letter will also contain directions on the next steps for getting the work pass. In the meantime, the letter will serve as your work pass until the card is officially issued.
  5. Once the work pass has been issued, you have one week to register your fingerprints and photo with the MOM Services Centre, if required.
  6. Your work pass will be delivered approximately 4 working days later or longer.

Premia TNC can help ease the process thanks to experts at our disposal. If you require help with a Singapore work visa, don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule a consultation.


Can you bring your family members to Singapore with you on a work visa?

Yes, you are allowed to bring family members with you depending on their relation to you. There is the Dependent’s Pass and Long Term Visit Pass that can allow your family members to accompany you to your new job in Singapore.

Can you renew a Singapore work visa?

Singapore work visas are often limited, so you will need to renew them if you wish to continue working in Singapore. As for the renewal of Employment Pass, you can apply to renew up to 6 months before the pass expires and additionally, you are required to apply before the expiry date of the pass.

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