Mar 08 2021

Work Authorization to be Required for Dependant’s Pass Holders Working in Singapore

Singapore

At a Glance

  • Starting May 1, 2021, Dependant’s Pass holders will be required to secure a work pass in order to work in Singapore, except business owners under a Dependant’s Pass who create local employment.
  • Currently, Dependant’s Pass holders only need to apply for a Letter of Consent to be able to work in Singapore.
  • Individuals currently working under a Letter of Consent may continue working until its expiry but will be required to apply for a work pass to continue working in Singapore after that.
  • Employers that hire Dependant’s Pass holders will have to comply with the conditions for hiring foreign nationals, including relevant qualifying salary, employee quotas and levies.

The situation

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced that starting May 1, 2021, Dependant’s Pass (DP) holders will be required to secure an Employment Pass, S Pass, or Work Permit to work in Singapore. Currently, DP holders only need to apply for a Letter of Consent from the MOM to be able to work in Singapore.

A closer look

When the rule is implemented, all DP holders will need to secure a work pass to work in Singapore, except business owners under a DP, who will be allowed to continue to operate under a Letter of Consent if their business creates local employment, meaning:

  • they own at least 30 percent of the company shares;
  • their business employs at least one Singaporean or permanent resident earning at least the prevailing local qualifying salary (currently SGD 1,400); and
  • they make contributions to the employee's Central Provident Fund accounts for at least three months.

 

The Ministry of Manpower is expected to release information on the new process and requirements for the Letter of Consent within the next two months.

Impact

  • Foreign nationals currently working under a Letter of Consent can continue working until its expiry but will need to apply for a work pass to continue working in Singapore after that.
  • Employers that hire DP holders will need to comply with the conditions for hiring foreign nationals, including relevant qualifying salary, employee quotas and levies on May 1, 2021 or upon the expiry of the Letter of Consent under which they are currently working.
  • Business owners under a DP may need to make changes to their organization in order to remain in Singapore under their DP with only a Letter of Consent. If they do not meet the requirements of ‘creating local employment,’ they may need to obtain a work pass to continue to reside in Singapore.

 

Background

This change will ensure that requirements for DP holders are in line with other foreign nationals working in Singapore, including meeting reduced quotas and increased minimum salary requirements.

Looking ahead

It is likely that the Singapore government will continue to review existing work pass policies and possibly introduce more restrictive rules for foreign pass holders intending to work and reside in Singapore, such as higher qualifying salaries, lower foreign national quotas or longer labor market testing, in order to protect local labor.

Fragomen will report on relevant changes.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].