In situation where a foreign applicant is not eligible for Singapore Employment Pass work visa, he or she can explore other forms of work pass to work in Singapore. These are quota based work pass which means that the company must hire a certain number of local staff before such work pass can be approved.
For example, foreigners may be able to qualify for S Pass work visa which requires lower salary, less stringent academic qualification and skills criterions.
The S-Pass work visa is for mid-level skilled foreign employees from any country. Candidates need to earn at least SGD2,400 a month and meet the assessment criteria. The hiring companies are subjected to a quota of how many S-Pass work visa they can apply for depending on their local head count numbers. Salary offered should reflect length of work experience and academic qualification, higher salary requirements for candidates with more years relevant work experience than fresh graduates or junior employees. Other than diplomas, technical certificates, such as courses for qualified technicians or specialists can be considered in the assessment for eligibility process. These certifications should preferably include at least 1 year of full-time study. The relevance of applicant’s work experience is also taken into account in the evaluation process as this is a skilled work pass.
With effect from November 2020, employers with 10 or more employees are required to advertise their job vacancies at the government administered portal known as https://employer.mycareersfuture.sg/ for at least 28 days weeks before they can submit an application for S Pass for foreign candidates in the event they are not able to find any suitably qualified local candidates.
Work Permits (WP) are work passes for foreign workers from approved source countries working in the construction, manufacturing, marine, process or services sector. The Work Permit visa is generally meant for lower skill or unskilled labor or blue collar workers but can also be used for certain professional staff as a form of work visa to work in Singapore.
Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)
The is the highest pass category for highly skilled and high income foreigners earning in excess of the equivalent to SGD18,000 per month. No employer sponsor is required unlike all other types of work passes. The approved individual is basically a self-sponsor pass holder and has the flexibility to choose to work for any employer but cannot be unemployed for more than 6 months. Personalised Employment Pass can only be issued once for a maximum period of 3 years and thereafter the applicant needs to convert to EP or other types of visa. Existing high income EP holders earning in excess of SGD12,000 per month can also convert to PEP. Holders of PEP is not allowed to be directors of or start their own company.
Entreprenuerial Pass (Entrepass)
As the word suggest, this is a category of pass targeted at business persons or entreprenuers. There is no minimum salary requirement and educational qualification criteria is less important. However, the applicant needs to demonstrate that he or she is worthy of the Entrepass. The approving criteria is varied and stringent and includes some of the following:
- Applicant can demonstrate successful business track record in high value and scalable businesses.
- Applicant has special expertise not available locally and has been recognized internationally.
- Applicant is willing to invest substantial funds, grow the business by hiring local professional staff.
As there are many types of work passes to suit different foreigners, employers are encouraged to discuss the various options with professional human resource consultants specializing in work pass and employment pass applications in Singapore. With the support from competent HR professionals, the application process can be expedited and approvals assured.