Updated October 2023
As a fast-growing country in Southeast Asia, Singapore has become an attractive destination for foreign workers worldwide. Serving as the base for various multinational companies, the country also offers promising career growth. The nation not only provides a large selection of job opportunities but also a lively environment and a vibrant city life. To work legally in Singapore, international workers must first obtain the Singapore Work Pass, also commonly known as a work visa.
Keep reading, as Wego has compiled all the essential information you require about the Singapore work visa for individuals aspiring to advance their careers in the country.
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Singapore work visa types
Singapore offers a range of work visas tailored to different categories of foreign workers. These visas are categorized into permits for professionals, skilled and semi-skilled workers, trainees, and students. Below is an overview of the various Singapore work visa types:
Singapore work visa for professionals
- Employment Pass: this pass is designed for foreign professionals, managers and executives with a monthly income of SGD 5,000. They must also pass the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS). More information about this pass can be accessed through this link
- EntrePass: it is granted to foreign entrepreneurs who want to start a venture-backed business in Singapore or possess innovative technologies. More information about this pass can be accessed through this link
- Personalised Employment Pass: this work permit is meant for high-earning existing Employment Pass holders or overseas foreign professionals. The holders of this pass are given more flexibility than an Employment Pass. More information about this pass can be accessed through this link
- Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass: this permit is specifically designed for top talent in business, arts and culture, sports, as well as academia and research. They have to earn a fixed income of at least SGD 30,000 per month. More information about this pass can be accessed through this link
Singapore work visa for skilled and semi-skilled workers
- S Pass: this permit can be applied by skilled workers with an income of at least $3,150 a month. It must be applied by the employer or an appointed employment agent on behalf of the applicant. More information about this pass can be accessed through this link
- work permit for migrant worker: this pass can be applied by skilled and semi-skilled migrant workers in the construction, manufacturing, marine shipyard, process or services sector. More information about this pass can be accessed through this link
- work permit for migrant domestic worker: this permit is designed for Foreigners employed as domestic helpers in Singapore. The employer, sponsor or authorized employment agent must apply the application. More information about this pass can be accessed through this link
- work permit for confinement nanny: this pass facilitates Malaysian confinement nannies who want to work in Singapore for up to 16 weeks starting from the birth of the employer’s child. More information about this pass can be accessed through this link
- work permit for performing artiste: this permit can be applied by foreign performers working in the entertainment sectors, such as bars, hotels and nightclubs. More information about this pass can be accessed through this link
Singapore work visa for trainees and students
- training employment pass: foreign professionals who undergo practical training can apply for this permit. However, they must have a monthly income of at least $3,000. More information about this pass can be accessed through this link
- work holiday pass (under the Work Holiday Program): this pass allows students and graduates aged 18 to 25 to work and holiday in Singapore for 6 months. More information about this pass can be accessed through this link
- work holiday pass (under the Work Holiday Visa Program): this pass is specifically designed for Australian students aged 18 to 30 who want to work and holiday in Singapore for 1 year. More information about this pass can be accessed through this link
- training work permit: this permit can be applied by semi-skilled foreign trainees or students undergoing practical training in Singapore for up to 6 months. More information about this pass can be accessed through this link
Singapore work visa application
Applying for a Singapore work visa involves distinct procedures depending on the specific visa category. Nonetheless, the fundamental steps for obtaining a Singapore work visa encompass the following:
- submission of the visa application
- preparing for your arrival in Singapore
- receiving the issued work pass
- registering your fingerprints and photo, as necessary
- receiving your work pass card
For detailed guidance on the application process for each visa type, please refer to the provided link in the respective Singapore work visa category section. Note that the responsibility for applying for the visa may vary between the employee and the employer, depending on the visa type. Please ensure you are aware of these distinctions when proceeding with your application.
Singapore work visa requirements
Each category of Singapore work visa comes with its unique set of prerequisites, which can significantly differ from one another. Generally, all work visa applications necessitate a copy of the candidate’s passport. However, the specific supporting documents required may vary depending on the particular visa type.
For instance, applicants seeking a Training Employment Pass visa must provide details regarding the training program in addition to their educational documents. In contrast, Entry Pass applicants are expected to submit past employment testimonials, the company’s latest business profile, and a concise business plan, limited to a maximum of 10 pages.
Moreover, certain visa categories impose minimum monthly income requirements, such as the Employment Pass, S Pass, and Training Employment Pass, among others. On the other hand, some visa options, such as the Work Permit for Performing Artists and Training Work Permit, do not have minimum income criteria.
For comprehensive information on the specific requirements associated with each visa type, please consult the link provided within the respective Singapore work visa category section mentioned above.
Singapore work visa price
The cost of a Singapore work visa varies depending on its category, with prices falling within a range of SGD 30 to SGD 105. Notably, the Work Holiday Pass, part of the Work Holiday Program, is exempt from any charges. Generally, visas designed for professional workers tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum, with a standard fee of SGD 105. Nevertheless, some visa categories for skilled workers and trainees also come with relatively higher costs. In contrast, the Work Permit for Migrant Workers is priced at a more affordable SGD 30, while the Work Permit for Migrant Domestic Workers carries a fee of only SGD 35.
For a comprehensive breakdown of the fees associated with each visa type, please refer to the provided links within the Singapore work visa category section mentioned earlier.
Singapore work visa processing time
The processing time for Singapore work visas typically ranges from one week to eight weeks, depending on the specific visa category.
Certain visa types are processed swiftly, often within a week, such as the Work Permit for Migrant Workers and the Work Permit for Confinement Nanny. In contrast, some visa categories require more time for processing. For instance, the Entre Pass may take up to approximately eight weeks, while the Work Holiday Pass usually takes around three weeks. It’s important to note that if additional information or documentation is needed, the processing time may be extended.
For in-depth information regarding the processing times for each visa type, please refer to the links provided in the Singapore Work Visa Type section mentioned earlier. Additionally, you can track the status of your work permit application through the same link.