Overview of Singapore Work Visas

Here’s a quick overview of the different types of work visas available to Non-Singaporean individuals who wish to work in the country.



Employment Pass (EP)

You will require an EP if you are a foreign professional to work for a Singapore company. Foreign individuals who incorporate a Singapore company and wish to run its operations in the country must also apply for an EP. Non-Singaporean shareholders or managing directors of a Singapore company are also eligible to apply.

EP At-a-Glance

  • For company owners or professional staff with recognised diplomas/degrees
  • Possess professional qualifications and specialist skills
  • Minimum monthly salary of S$3,600 and above
  • Related work experience in respective job
  • Renewable by pass holder’s employer only
  • Able to travel in and out of Singapore with minimum hassle

Validity: 1-2 years for first-time approval. Subsequent EP renewals are approved as long as the pass holder remains employed in the company.

Eligibility: Company owner, or Non-Singaporean professional earning a minimum monthly income of S$3,600 and above (effective 1 January 2017). Hold a tertiary education qualification.

Permanent Residence Eligibility: Yes.

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Entrepreneur Pass commonly known as “EntrePass”

If you are a foreign entrepreneur with a unique business idea and wish to incorporate a Singapore company, then this is the work visa for you. The Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) caters to foreign entrepreneurs who lack the appropriate tertiary education or specialist skills qualification, but have proven records of successful accomplishment in business ventures.

EntrePass At-a-Glance

  • Relevant experience and a successful business track record
  • Tertiary level education not necessary
  • Incorporate a Private Limited Company with ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) within 6 months of an EntrePass application
  • Owns at least 30% shares in the company
  • Minimum S$50,000 paid-up capital for new company
  • Submit a 10-page business plan breaking down business goals and strategies that accomplish required objectives of total business spending (TBS) and meet the local employee quota
  • Able to travel in and out of Singapore with minimum hassle
  • Must meet additional eligibility requirements w.e.o. 1 Sept 2013

Validity: 1 year for first-time applicants. Subsequent EntrePass renewals are dependent on meeting the requirements of the Total Business Spending and employment quota of local workers.

Eligibility: Entrepreneurs with no tertiary education qualifications.

Permanent Residence Eligibility: Yes.

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Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)

The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is a work visa that is independent of the pass holder’s employer, and granted upon the assessment of the applicant’s individual merits. Pass holders can switch employers without affecting the status of the pass and has up to 6 months in between jobs to stay in Singapore to seek employment opportunities.

PEP At-a-Glance

  • Not allowed to start their own business in Singapore
  • Able to change employers without affecting visa
  • Can be a salary-drawing Director of the company
  • Remain unemployed for a maximum of 6 months without re-applying for visa
  • Eligibility requirements more stringent than Employment Pass
  • Current EP P1, P2, and Q Pass holders can apply for PEP

Validity: One-time period of 3 years. Not renewable.

Eligibility: Professionals who seek employment in Singapore. PEP holders cannot start their own business in Singapore.

Permanent Residence Eligibility: Yes.

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S Pass

The S Pass is designed for mid-level skilled foreign workers employed by companies operating in Singapore. The application is granted through a point system assessment that considers factors such as salary, education qualifications, skills, job scope, and work experience. Singapore companies must limit the number of S Pass employees to 25% of the total workforce.

S Pass At-a-Glance

  • General degree or diploma level qualifications, or technical certificates
  • Relevant work experience and skills
  • Point system assessment application
  • Renewable by pass holder’s employer only
  • Minimum fixed monthly salary of S$2,200 and above
  • Make up no more than 25% of company’s total workforce

Validity: 1-2 years for first-time applicants. Subsequent S Pass renewals are approved as long as the pass holder remains employed with the company.

Eligibility: Mid-level staff with general degree or diploma level qualifications, or technical certificates.

Permanent Residence Eligibility: Yes.

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Miscellaneous Work Pass

Foreigners working in Singapore on short-term assignments of up to 60 days are required to obtain a Miscellaneous Work Pass (MWP), previously known as Professional Visit Pass.

MWP At-a-Glance

  • For Non-Singaporeans involved in activities directly related to the organisation or conduct of any seminar, conference, workshop, gathering or talk concerning any political end, religion, race, or community
  • For Non-Singaporean religious workers conducting talks relating directly, or indirectly to any religion
  • For foreign journalist, reporter or an accompanying crew member not sponsored by any Singapore Government agency

Validity: 2 months.

Eligibility: Each application is individually assessed.

Benefits: To participate in relevant or related seminars, conferences, workshops, etc.

Permanent Residence Eligibility: No.

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Training Employment Pass

The Training Employment Pass is required if you are a Non-Singaporean who needs to undergo practical training attachments for professional, managerial, executive, or specialist jobs in Singapore.

Training Employment Pass At-a-Glance

  • For non-Singaporean undergraduates from an acceptable education institution participating in their respective degree programme’s training attachment
  • For intra-company trainees attending professional or executive training conducted by their respective company’s Singapore offices. Intra-company trainees should possess a degree or diploma

Validity: Short-term.

Eligibility: Earn a fixed monthly salary of more than S$3,000 and/or hold acceptable tertiary or professional qualifications.

Benefits: Temporary visa to facilitate professional training sessions for foreign individuals.

Permanent Residence Eligibility: No.

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Multiple Journey Business Visa

If you are an investor or business executive from a visa-requiring country and travel often into Singapore for business matters, the Multiple Journey Business Visa will save you the time and hassle of applying for a visa for every visit.

Multiple Journey Business Visa At-a-Glance

  • Facilitates the frequent entries into Singapore from countries that require visa
  • For individuals who frequently travel into Singapore for business purposes
  • Not a work permit
  • Multiple visits of no more than 30 days for each visit

Validity: 1, 2, or 5 years with no more than 30 days for each visit.

Eligibility: Each application is individually assessed.

Benefits: Travel frequently to Singapore without the hassle of applying for an entry visa each time. For individuals from countries that require visa.

Permanent Residence Eligibility: No.

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Not sure which work pass scheme to apply for?

AsiaBiz has immigration specialists who can answer your queries. Contact us now for a free consultation.
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