Singapore is not just a tourist hub in South East Asia, but also a haven for those who are on the lookout for employment opportunities. The multicultural environment, myriads of work opportunities, world class infrastructure facilities and excellent educational institutions all make Singapore a favorite with expats. In addition to this, the tourism industry in Singapore also provides a lot of employment opportunity.
Those seeking employment in Singapore is generally divided into three main categories. They are the professionals, skilled and semi-skilled workers and trainees and students. All employees, irrespective of the category they belong to, should obtain work passes and permits if they wish to work in Singapore. It is the responsibility of the employers to get work pass for their employees.
Below are the rules and regulations related to obtaining work passes in Singapore:
Professional refers to any person who earns their living through a professional activity like chartered accountant, engineer, doctor or lawyer. There are three types of passes issued to professionals.
This type of work pass is issued to all professionals, executives and managers who earning a minimum $3300 per month. The candidate should hold a degree from a reputable university in Singapore or abroad and should have relevant experience in their field. The Employment pass is issued for 1-2 years and is renewable afterwards as long as the individual continues to work in Singapore. If the employment pass holder wishes to become permanent residents of Singapore, they can apply for Permanent residency in due course of time.
This type of work passes is issued to foreign professionals who wish to start their own business in Singapore. This permit is valid for one year and can be renewed later as long as the business is in operation. The only requirement for obtaining the entrepass is that the business should fulfill the “innovativeness” condition as put forth by the Government. The Entrepass holders are also eligible to apply for Permanent Residency in due course.
Personalized Employment Pass(PEP)
The PEP is issued to existing EP holders and professionals from other countries who belong to the high earning category. The main advantage of this personalized employment pass is that if the employees switch jobs, they need not have to re-apply for a new employment pass. But the major drawback is that you cannot start a business with this pass. The PEP is normally issued for 3 years and cannot be renewed. The PEP holders are eligible to apply for Permanent Residency, if they wish.
SKILLED AND SEMI-SKILLED WORKERS
Skilled workers refer to those who are specialized in a certain skill like plumber, carpenter and painter and semi-skilled workers refer to those who require more training for executing the above task. Skilled and semi-skilled workers are provided with 5 types of permits in Singapore.
This pass is provided to Mid-level skilled workers who possess a technical diploma from a reputed institution anywhere in the world. The person should earn a minimum of $2200 per month to become eligible for this pass. This pass is issued for 1-2 years and can be renewed later as long as the worker continues his employment. S pass workers can apply for Permanent Residency but they need to wait for at least 4-5 years and should have a stable job history.
Work Permit for Foreign Worker
This pass is provided to those semi-skilled workers from other countries who work in construction, marine, manufacturing and service business sector.
Work Permit for Foreign Domestic Worker
If you want to bring a foreign domestic helper, then you need to apply for this permit. This work permit for foreign domestic worker is issued for a period of 2 years and can be renewed later.
Work Permit for Confinement Nanny
Malaysian confinement nannies need to apply for this type of work permit if they want to work in Singapore. The work permit for confinement nanny is valid for a period of 16 weeks from the birth of the employer’s child.
Work Permit for Performing Artiste
This pass is required for foreign performing artists working in nightclubs, hotels and bars and is valid for a period of 6 months. This type of pass cannot be renewed and the pass holder cannot get a new work permit until 1 year after his/her previous permit has expired.
TRAINEES AND STUDENTS
Trainees and students undergoing training or education in Singapore are also entitled to work in the country. The following types of passes are issued for such person
Training Employment Pass
These are issued to foreign professionals who come to attend their practical training in Singapore. The only condition for issuing the training employment pass is that the individual should earn a monthly income of $3000.
Work Holiday Program
Those students and graduates who would like to combine work with holiday should obtain this pass. The only condition is that the student or graduate should be between 18-25 years of age and the pass for work holiday program will be issued for only 6 months.
Training Work Permit
If Semi-skilled foreign trainees would like to obtain practical training in Singapore, they should obtain this training work permit. This type of permit is generally issued to the students for a maximum period of 6 months.
ADVANTAGES OF HAVING WORK PERMIT IN SINGAPORE
- Most of the work permit allows the holder to apply for Permanent Residency. Hence, if you wish to become a permanent resident of Singapore, then having a work permit is the primary criteria.
- Trainee and student visa let the individual get accustomed to the work conditions of the country which let them take a decision regarding their future employment.
- Work permit holders can travel freely inside the city.
- Holders of Employment pass can bring their dependent to the country.
DISADVANTAGES OF WORK PERMIT
- The salary benchmark for obtaining Employment pass is very high. This might be of disadvantage to less experienced candidates.
- The cut off salary limit for bringing dependents along is also very high.
- The work permit for trainees and students is provided for only 6 months, which is a very short period to get a clear picture of the country and its working environment.
- If S pass holders do not have a stable job history, they will not be able to apply for permanent residency.