Singapore Work Visa- Post Degree Work Visa Options, Fees, Eligibility, Rejection

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert

    Recognized highly for the ethical behavior of companies by World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, Singapore is one destination offering promising and booming niches to those in search of jobs. With a sky-rocketing economy, Singapore opens doors of opportunities in sectors like services, construction, manufacturing, marine, process, cybersecurity, financial tech, and so on. 

    Though the country is focusing on making it tougher to get a work visa for foreigners, the number of applications for Singapore work visas or work permits/work are on a rise on a regular basis. An overall of 673,100 international workforces is employed in Singapore as per records until Dec’ 2020. 

    With jobs in Singapore, one can expect to earn around SG$51,000/year (26 lakhs INR). Additionally, Singapore Salary & Employment Insights Report by recruitment firm Hudson said that about 53% of the employers surveyed aim to peg salary increases at 3 – 5% for the coming year for those working in Singapore. Jobs in Singapore are gaining popularity for the stable economy with an unemployment rate of only 2.9%. On average you can earn around 51,000 SGD annually while working in Singapore

    Explore: MBA Jobs in Singapore

    Singapore Work Visa after Study

    Students are not allowed to stay back and work in Singapore as it happens in western countries. They have to apply for a proper visa and only after the grant if they can work. This is known as Long term visit pass, it can be considered as a Singapore work visa for those who had chosen to study in Singapore

    Long Term Visit Pass

    Indian students who complete their education and receive diplomas/degrees from the recognized institutions are eligible to apply and get LTVP. This is a one-year-long visa and requires the students to gain employment and get a proper work permit. Failing to do so they need to return to India, once their LTVP expires. There is a list of institutions whose students are eligible to get this visa.

    Documents required for Applying for an LTVP

    The documents generally required to get this visa are:

    • Educational certificate from the recognized institute of higher learning in Singapore in original and a copy
    • Minimum 6 months valid Passport
    • Valid Student Visit Visa on which the student came to Singapore
    • Recent photographs
    • Any other document required by the authorities.

    Before we dive into the details of how to get a Singapore Work Visa, let us find out the details of the foreign workforce in Singapore working on various types of work pass or permits in the county.

    Pass Type Dec 2015 Dec 2016 Dec 2017 Dec 2018 Dec 2019 Dec 2020
    Employment Pass (EP) 187,900 192,300 187,700 185,800 193,700 177,100
    S Pass 178,600 179,700 184,400 195,500 200,000 174,000
    Work Permit (Total) 997,100 992,700 965,200 972,600 999,000 848,200
    - Work Permit (Foreign Domestic Workers) 231,500 239,700 246,800 253,800 261,800 247,400
    - Work Permit (Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process) 423,300 407,500 360,700 355,700 370,100 311,000
    Other Work Passes2 23,600 28,300 30,700 32,100 34,700 32,200
    Total Foreign Workforce (excluding Foreign Domestic Workers) 1,155,800 1,153,200 1,121,300 1,132,200 1,165,600 984,100

    Irrespective of the type of visa category you apply for, getting professional help from consultants like Y-Axis is always beneficial. Immigration consultants like these have competence in visas and immigrations and their expertise can help in making the whole process of obtaining a work visa or student for Singapore hassle-free. 

    Y-Axis proudly boasts 40+ company-owned and managed offices across India, Melbourne, Sydney, Dubai, Sharjah and 1100+ employees serving more than 100,000 customers annually. 

    Types of Singapore Work Visas 

    There are three easy ways for foreign workers to get a Singapore work visa. The process to get a work visa is quite less time-consuming and simple, the only condition is having all the documents in order and file to applications accurately. These visas are:

    S Pass Skilled workers have to meet the assessment criteria and should be earning at least 2,500 SGD monthly.
    Employment Pass Professionals and executives with a monthly earning of at least 4,500 SGD. Must meet the laid down criteria.
    Work Permit (Foreign Worker) It is for Semi-skilled workers mainly working in vocational areas like construction, marine, shipyard, process, or other services sectors

    Note: As per the recent orders of the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore regulations are tightened around employment visas in Singapore by raising the minimum salaries for two categories: S Pass and Employment Pass. 

    Benefits of having a Singapore Work Visas

    There are multiple benefits of obtaining work visas for Singapore. Few are listed below:

    • Earning in SGD and having a comfortable lifestyle in the progressing country.
    • The visa holder can study in world-class colleges and universities at prices lower than the foreigners.
    • The best healthcare facilities are available to the worker.
    • Your family can travel and stay with the employee.
    • The processing of the visa is easy and done pretty quickly.

    Singapore Work Visa Fees 

    The application and renewal fees for the three types of Singapore work permits are discussed below:

    Visa Type Fees
    S Pass 75 SGD for Application
    100 SGD for Issuance/Renewal.
    Employment Pass 105 SGD for Application
    225 SGD for Issuance/Renewal.
    Work Permit (Foreign Worker) 35 SGD for Application.
    35 SGD for Issuance/Renewal.

    The health insurance is to be provided by the Employer and sometimes the applicant has to pay for that too.

    How to Apply for a Singapore Work Visa?

    To get your Singapore work visa or work permit the basic application process is as follows:

    • Submit an application
    • Prepare for the worker’s arrival.
    • Get the permit issued.
    • Register fingerprints and photo
    • Receive the pass or permit.
    • Return the old card.

    The details of requirements and eligibility are discussed in sections below for each type of work permit in Singapore individually. 

    Singapore Work Visa: S Pass

    Industries like Electronics, Engineering, Marine, Pharmaceuticals, and certain service industries like to employ mid-level skilled workers from overseas countries and S Pass is the work visa issued to these.

    The monthly salary requirement for an S pass visa is 2,500 SGD hence it is a good option for those employers who do not have big budgets for hiring foreign workers. But it is not easy for small employers to hire people on S pass as you need to have a specific number of local employees to become eligible for hiring foreign workers on an S pass visa. For the service industry, it is 13% and for others, it is 20% of the total workforce.

    Eligibility for S-Pass

    • First of all the applicant needs to get a sponsor employer who has an S pass quota and is eligible to hire a foreign worker. 
    • The monthly salary requirement of 2500 SGD
    • The educational transcripts and the qualifications to be eligible for the job
    • Minimum 3 years of experience in the skilled trade in which the employer is hiring the applicant.

    Documents Required: Application form, Passport, Resume, Sponsor company’s profile, Educational certificates, Work experience evidence, and any other relevant document asked by the authorities. 

    How to apply for an S Pass Work Visa for Singapore?

    • Your employer can make an application for you or you can hire an agency to do the filing for you. Access to EPOL (Employment Pass Online) account is required to file the application.
    • The application is filed by logging in to the EPOL account where the online application and all the supporting documents are uploaded.
    • The applicable fee also needs to be paid by using an acceptable system like a card or GIRO.
    • Once you have filed the application, it will take three weeks time to get a reply.
    • If the application is approved, then you will be able to download the IPA letter from the EPOL account. 
    • You will now get the procedure to receive your S pass and then you need to fix and attend a face-to-face appointment for collecting a MOM (Ministry of Manpower) card.
    • In case your application is rejected you are given the reasons for rejection and a right to file an appeal if the reasons given can be challenged.

    Employment Pass (EP) Singapore Work Visa

    This is the work visa issued by the Ministry of Manpower to the overseas residents who wish to work in Singapore. There is no quota in this system. The main features of this visa are:

    • It is generally issued for 1 -2 years but can be extended up to 3 years of period.
    • It allows the recipient multiple entries into Singapore without any further documentation and formalities.
    • The companies employing people have easier norms to hire foreigners.
    • Overseas sponsorship is possible for companies having their offices outside Singapore.
    • The process does not take more them 3-8 weeks’ time.

    Eligibility for EP

    • Sponsorship from a company registered in Singapore or new companies having substantial business in Singapore.
    • Fair-consideration-framework (FCF) needs to be met wherein the employer must satisfy the ministry that locals are given fair opportunities before the decision of hiring a foreign worker is taken.
    • The monthly salary of 4500 SGD is the minimum requirement but if the incumbent is more qualified a higher salary can be given.
    • Relevant educational qualifications and work experience

    Documents required for EP: Resume, Passport, Application form no 8 duly filled and endorsed by the sponsor company, Sponsor companies detailed profile and business done in Singapore, Job responsibilities of the foreign worker, Educational qualification evidence, Relevant work experience evidence, and any other document required to support the application.

    How to apply for an EP Work Visa for Singapore?

    • Your employer can make an application for you or you can hire an agency to do the filing for you. The online applications can be filed by registering in the EPOL (Employment pass online account) account. It takes around 3 weeks for submission.
    • The manual application can also be filed wherein the form needs to be obtained from MOM and all the supporting documents need to be enclosed with it. It should be submitted via signpost and take almost 8 weeks’ time for processing.
    • Online application is better as it causes no delay and you will get to know about any further requirement for additional documentation through the account login itself whereas manual application can take much longer and can be inconvenient.
    • MOM may ask for additional documents if the company is relatively new or the revenue levels are low to support the sponsorship of a foreign worker. Also if the MOM feels that they need more information on the qualifications or experience of the candidate, they may ask for the recommendation of previous employers or an interview also.
    • Hence it is crucial to review all the information before submitting and submit only verifiable correct information.
    • Normally the online decision will come with 3 weeks’ time, in case of any delay keep checking your online account as there may be a requirement of any additional information.
    • Dependents are also allowed on EP and this works as a pathway for PR also.

    Work Permit (Foreign Worker) for Singapore

    Work permit in Singapore is mainly popular for semi skilled or unskilled labor force hired from neighboring overseas countries.

    Eligibility (Work Permit)

    • A sponsor employer with a quota to hire a foreign worker
    • The workers from approving countries i.e. Malaysia, China, India, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Macau, and South Korea.
    • The industry should be approved to hire foreign workers as only industries are permitted by the government like the construction sector or marine businesses.
    • The age limit of the candidate is between 18 to50 years of age with an exception for Malaysians who can work till 58 years of age.
    • A security bond
    • Health insurance
    • Medical examination prior to confirming the employment

    There can be some additional requirements depending on the industry hiring the candidate or the nationality of the candidate.

    Documents for Work Permit: Passport, Resume, Education qualifications evidence, Trade skill certificates, Written consent from the applicant, and Sponsor company’s profile and sponsorship document

    How to apply for a Work Permit for Singapore?

    • The applicant needs access to WPOL (Work Permit online account) and the application can be made by the employer or an agent also.
    • Online application is to be filed by logging in to WPOL account and uploading all the required documents.
    • The required fees for the application are to be paid through GIRO or a card.
    • The status can be checked after one week and if the application is approved the applicant will be able to download the IPA and will get to know the further process for obtaining a MOM card.
    • The Work permit issued to foreigners can be renewed if the hiring company still has the requirement of the employee; However, all the formalities like insurance, security bond, etc are to be met.

    Arriving in Singapore

    After having obtained your Singapore work visa, the next step is arriving in this nation It is essential that you carry all the relevant documents and the visa granted to you. It also includes health insurance.

    You can request your employer to make pickup arrangements and initial stay in Singapore. Your employer has to complete the security bond and other formalities and he will guide you with further rules associated with the employment.

    If in case your work visa for Singapore is denied do not worry. Here is what can be done.

    Appeal for Singapore Work Visa Rejection

    Your Singapore work visa can be rejected if either you do not fulfill the eligibility criteria or the company does not have the quota. 

    One must also ensure that their basic-skilled worker from the construction sector can only work for a maximum period of 14 years under the work permit scheme. You are, therefore, required to upgrade the worker to a higher skilled worker.

    For submitting an appeal for Singapore work visa, login to WP online for uploading all the documents required to support your case. The re-appeal can take up to 3 weeks from the date of submission. 


    Ques.  Is it difficult to file an online application for Singapore Work Visa?

    Ans. It is not difficult to fill an online application, you need to sign in to the right account and upload the document. In case of any problem, you may take help from your employer or an agent. 

    Ques. Am I allowed taking my family with me on the EP?

    Ans. Yes, you are allowed to take the family members with you. You have to file their application as accompanying members. 

    Ques. Do all Singapore companies sponsor workers?

    Ans.Only those companies who meet the criteria/requirements of MOM and have practiced Fair-consideration-framework for the locals are allowed to sponsor foreigners in skilled categories.

    Ques. Is there a quota for EP?

    Ans. There is no quota for issuing EP set by the government of Singapore. 

    Ques. How can I check my eligibility for the Singapore work visa?

    Ans. Singapore work visa is generally for semi-skilled or unskilled workers open to only nationals of a few countries. The hiring companies ascertain the eligibility based on required qualifications and experience.  

    Ques. Is there a minimum salary needed to get the Singapore work permit?

    Ans. No, there is no specified minimum salary for the work permit like S pass or EP.

    Ques. Is it necessary to have a minimum salary for S pass and EP?

    Ans. Yes, if your employer will not pay/commit to pay the minimum salary specified to get the particular type of visa, you will not be able to secure one.


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