Visiting Singapore

For the majority of people visiting Singapore, a visa is not required in advance for a short-term stay (less than 90 days). This includes visitors from Western Europe, North America and Australasia.

For citizens of other countries, you are advised to check with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (www.ica.gov.sg) if you need a visa and the specific requirements for entry to be granted.

Working in Singapore

Singapore actively courts what it calls “foreign talent” so the process for applying for an employment pass is fairly streamlined. Applications can be submitted online or manually, and the Ministry of Manpower has a handy self-assessment tool to help applicants understand which type of employment pass they qualify for.

It is not necessary to be physically present in Singapore to apply for an employment pass and in most instances your employer or an appointed agency will make the application on your behalf.

Most applications are processed within seven working days, and the status of an application can be checked online. Once your application is successful, a company/agency representative will need to submit a request for the EP to be issued so you can collect it. This will be done once you are in Singapore.

There are different types of working visas available for foreigners seeking to work in Singapore.

Employment Pass

The Employment Pass (EP) is a work pass for foreign professionals working in managerial, executive or specialized jobs. To qualify for an EP, applicants must meet these basic requirements (all amounts are in SGD):

P1 Employment Pass
  • Fixed monthly salary > $8,000
  • Possesses acceptable qualifications
P2 Employment Pass
  • Fixed monthly salary > $4,500
  • Possesses acceptable qualifications
Q1 Employment Pass
  • Young graduates from recognized institutions may be eligible if they earn > $3,000 per month
  • Older applicants may be required to command a higher salary to qualify for a Q1 EP

Passes for Family Members

Successful applicants for one of the above passes can be accompanied by family members, under the following conditions:

P Pass Holder
Dependent’s Pass
  • Spouse (legally married)
  • Unmarried or legally adopted children under 21 years old
Long-Term Visit Pass
P1 Employment Pass
  • Common-law Spouse
  • Handicapped children above 21 years old
  • Step-children under 21 years old
  • Parents
P2 Employment Pass
  • Common-law Spouse
  • Handicapped children above 21 years old
  • Step-children under 21 years old
Q1 Employment Pass
Dependent’s Pass
  • Spouse (legally married)
  • Unmarried or legally adopted children under 21 years old
Personalized Employment Pass

In addition to the EP, which is tied to an employee’s tenure with a particular firm, select foreigners can apply for the Personalized Employment Pass (PEP).

The PEP was introduced to strengthen Singapore’s attractiveness to highly skilled foreigners and to facilitate their continued stay and contributions in Singapore. Unlike the Employment Pass, the PEP is tied to the individual instead of a specific employer. The PEP allows the holder to remain in Singapore for up to six months in between jobs to evaluate new employment opportunities. The following can apply for a PEP:

  • P1 pass holders whose fixed monthly salary > $12,000
  • Overseas foreign professionals whose last drawn fixed monthly salary overseas > $18,000

A PEP holder is not allowed to start their own business or engage in any entrepreneurial activities; they must apply for an EntrePass if they wish to do so. However, PEP holders can generally take on employment in any sector and do not need to re-apply for a new pass when changing jobs.

PEP Dependent’s Pass
  • Spouse (legally married)
  • Unmarried or legally adopted children under 21 years of age

S Pass

The S Pass is a working visa available to mid-level skilled foreigners (e.g. technicians) who wish to work in Singapore.

Applicants will be assessed on a points system, taking into account multiple criteria.  These criteria are broadly described as:

  • A minimum fixed monthly salary of $2,000
  • Educational qualifications
  • A degree or a diploma
  • Technical certificates may be considered (provided they comprise of at least one year of full-time study)
  • The category of job (e.g. professional, specialist or technical)
  • An applicant’s relevant work experience
Passes for family members

S Pass applicants whose fixed monthly salary is at least $4,000 a month may also apply for the Dependent’s Pass (DP) for their family members. The DP application and supporting documents may be submitted together with the S Pass application or separately.

S Pass holders who earn less than $4,000 per month are not permitted to be accompanied by dependents, i.e. spouses, children and other family members.

EntrePass

You may apply for an EntrePass if you are ready to start and operate a new business in Singapore. All applicants must fulfill these requirements:

  • Company must be registered as a Private Limited Company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority
  • Applicant to hold at least 30 percent of shares in the company
  • Company to have at least $50,000 paid-up capital
  • Company must not have been registered for more than six months at the point of application
  • The business must not be illegal

Examples of businesses that will not be considered for the EntrePass include:

    • Coffee shops, hawker centers, food courts
    • Bars, night clubs, karaoke lounges
    • Foot reflexology, massage parlors
    • Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbal dispensing
    • Employment agencies, geomancy
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