There are many different types of employment visas in Singapore, and if you are looking to hire and retain the best staff, it helps to understand the options:
Employment Pass (EP)
This is the most common type of valid work visa or work pass issued to skilled foreign workers in Singapore, and these are its key characteristics:
- It’s valid for one or two years at the discretion of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), which issues all visas in Singapore.
- Companies apply for EPs for specific employees, and they are not portable. If your employee quits taking another job in Singapore, their EP with you is terminated, and their new employer has to apply for a new EP for them.
- These can be renewed multiple times for up to 3 years at a time; again, at the discretion of the MoM.
Here’s a list of boxes you need to tick to get an EP for somebody you’d like to hire:
- You must offer your prospective employee a fixed monthly salary of at least $3,600 per month
- Your prospective employee’s employment history must be relevant to the job you’re offering them
- Your prospective employee must have the necessary educational qualifications from a recognised university degree, and you must submit with their EP application copies of their degree certificate and their course transcripts
If you are looking to start your own business, it is also possible for your newly incorporated company to apply for an EP on your behalf. This doesn’t always work though, so please get in touch with us here if you’d like more information about this.
Harder to get than an EP, the Entre-pass is aimed at founders of newly incorporated businesses in Singapore. It is also relevant if you work at a venture capital (VC) firm, are enlisted in a recognised incubator program for startups, or are an investor planning to invest in companies in Singapore.
Key characteristics of an Entre-pass:
- It’s valid for one year
- It can be renewed for a 2- year period as long as the holder remains employed.
Here’s a list of some of the key boxes you need to tick to get an Entre-pass:
- The visa applicant must own more than 30% of the company they plan to work at.
- The applicant is planning to set up a private limited company in Singapore or they’re planning on working at a company that was set up within the last six months.
Even harder to get than an Entre-pass, the S-Pass is designed for younger foreign workers with strong technical skills. For a company to apply for an S-pass for one of its employees, it must meet strict quotas. Not more than 20% of its workforce can be S Pass holders; 15% if you are in the service industry.
Key characteristics of an S-Pass
- It’s valid for up to two years
- It’s renewable for up to three years
Here’s a list of some of the key boxes you need to tick to get an S-pass
- Your prospective employee must earn a salary of at least $2,300
- They must have an employment history that is relevant to their role
- They must have a recognised diploma, and they must submit with their application copies of their certificates and course transcripts
- You must provide your prospective employee with medical insurance worth at least $15,000 per year
Dependents Pass (DP)
A DP is designed for Singapore-based family members of an EP (employment pass) or an Entre-pass holder.
Key characteristics of a DP:
- The DP holder can work with an approved Letter Of Consent (LOC) from the holder of the EP or Entre-pass
Children can apply for a DP, allowing them to study in Singapore without a student visa
Here’s a list of some of the key boxes you need to tick to get a DP
- You have to be the spouse of the EP or Entre-pass holder
- To get a DP, any children of the EP or Entre-pass holder must be under 21 years of age
Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP)
Alternatively, an EP or S-Pass holder can apply for a Long Term Visit Pass for their common-law spouse, unmarried step children under 21 years of age, unmarried handicapped children above 21 years of age, and parents.
Key characteristics of a LTVP:
- The LTVP holder is allowed to work in Singapore with an approved Letter Of Consent (LOC) from an employer who wishes to hire them
Here’s a list of some of the key boxes you need to tick to get a LTVP
- You have to be the spouse or dependant of an EP or S-Pass holder
- The EP or S-pass holder must make a minimum monthly fixed salary of $6000
Lanturn is a digital corporate service provider that can help you manage your corporate secretary and accounting needs, including visa applications.