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The Lanturn Blog

Carefully curated and thoughtfully written content for businesses of any size.


Types of Work Passes in Singapore, and How to Get Them

August 2020

The Lanturn Team

There are many different types of employment visas in Singapore or work permit in Singapore, and if you are looking to hire and retain the best staff, it helps to understand the options:

IMAGE: Comparison of work passes in Singapore 2022

Work Pass in Singapore – Employment Pass (EP)

This is the most common type of valid work visa or work pass issued to skilled foreign workers in Singapore, and these are its key characteristics:

  • It’s initially valid for one or two years at the discretion of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), which issues all work-related visas in Singapore.

  • Companies apply for EPs for specific employees, and they are not portable. If your employee quits to take another job in Singapore, their EP with you is terminated, and their new employer has to secure a new EP for them.

  • EPs can be renewed multiple times, for up to 3 years at a time. Again, the extended validity is subject to the discretion of the MOM.

  • EP holders sponsor their spouse and children for a Dependent Pass.

To get an EP for a foreigner that you’d like to hire, here are the boxes you need to tick :

  • You must offer your prospective employee a fixed monthly salary of at least $5,000 per month.

  • Your prospective employee’s employment history must be relevant to the job you offered them

  • Your prospective employee must have the necessary educational qualifications from a recognized university degree. As part of their EP application, you will need to submit copies of their degree certificate and their course transcripts

Work Pass in Singapore – Entre-pass

Harder to get than an EP, the Entre-pass is aimed at serial entrepreneurs, high-calibre innovators or experienced investors that want to operate a business in Singapore that is venture-backed or owns innovative technologies. It is relevant if you:

  1. Work at a venture capital (VC) firm

  2. Are enlisted in a recognized incubator program for startups

  3. Are an investor planning to invest in companies in Singapore

Key characteristics of an Entre-pass:

Here’s a list of some of the key boxes you need to tick to get an Entre-pass:

  • The Entrepass applicant must own more than 30% of the company they plan to work at.

  • The applicant is planning to set up a private limited company in Singapore, or they’re planning to work in a new company that was set up within the last six months.

If you are looking to start your own business, you could be eligible for an Entrepass, if you fufil the criteria. Feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like more information about this.

Work Pass in Singapore – S-Pass

Even harder to get than an Entre-pass, the S-Pass is designed for younger foreign workers with strong technical skills. Strict quotas apply, should your company need to apply for an S-pass for your employees. The employer will also need to pay a levy to the Ministry of Manpower for all their S-Pass holders. No more than 18% of its workforce (in the construction, manufacturing, marine shipyard and process sectors) can be S-Pass holders; 10% if you are in the service industry. Key characteristics of an S-Pass

  • It is initially valid for up to two years.

  • It is renewable for up to three years.

Here’s a list of some of the key boxes you need to tick to get an S-pass

Pass for Family in Singapore – Dependents Pass (DP)

A DP is designed for Singapore-based family members of an EP (employment pass), S-Pass or Entre-pass holder. Key characteristics of a DP:

  • Tied to the Main Work Pass holder. Should theT Main Pass be cancelled, the DP will also be cancelled

DP can be applied for children of Work Pass holders who meet the criteria, allowing them to study in Singapore without a student visa. Here’s a list of some of the key boxes you need to tick to get a DP.

  • You have to be the spouse of the EP, S-Pass or Entre-pass holder.

  • For children of the EP, S-Pass or Entre-pass holder, they must be under 21 years of age

  • The EP or S-pass holder must have a fixed monthly salary of at least $6000.

Pass for Family in Singapore – Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP)

Alternatively, an EP or S-Pass holder can apply for a Long Term Visit Pass for their:

  • Common-law spouse

  • Unmarried stepchildren (under 21 years of age)

  • Unmarried handicapped children above 21 years of age

  • Parents  – only for those earning a fixed monthly salary of 

    at least $12,000.

Here are the requirements to get an LTVP

  • You have to meet one of the status above;.

  • The EP or S-pass holder must have a fixed monthly salary of at least $6000.

Work Pass in Singapore – Tech.Pass

The Tech.Pass is a visa administered by the Singapore Economic Development Board, that allows established tech entrepreneurs, leaders or technical experts from around the world to come to Singapore to perform frontier and disruptive innovations.

Key characteristics of an Tech.Pass:

Here’s a list of some of the key boxes you need to tick to get an Tech.Pass:
Meet any two of the following conditions:

  • Have a last drawn fixed monthly salary (in the last 1 year) of at least S$20,000.

  • Have at least five cumulative years of experience in a leading role in a tech company with a valuation/market cap of at least US$500mil or at least US$30mil funding raised.

  • Have at least five cumulative years of experience in a leading role

    in the development of a tech product that has at least 100,000 monthly active users or at least US$100mil annual revenue.

Lanturn is a digital corporate service provider that can help you manage your corporate secretary and accounting needs, along with work visa applications. For more information on how we can assist you, click here.

For more information and specific legislation, the authority that governs Visas in Singapore is the Ministry Of Manpower (MOM).

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