Jun 03 2021

Work Requirements for Dependent’s Pass Holders Clarified

Singapore

At a Glance

  • The Ministry of Manpower has clarified that Dependent’s Pass (DP) holders applying for Work Permits are not required to submit security bonds or medical examination results every six months, under the new DP work requirements that took effect on May 1, 2021. Also, female DP holders are not subject to pregnancy restrictions. As a reminder, however, DP holder’s Work Permits are counted towards their employer’s quota.
  • The MOM also clarified that the validity period of DP holders’ Work Permits will be tied to their underlying DP, unlike DP holders who obtain S Passes or Employment Passes, who must cancel their DP once the new passes are issued. As a result, employers with foreign nationals who currently hold a DP using a Letter of Consent for work authorization should ensure that the DP renewal process is started early because the DP must have a minimum validity of four months in order to apply for a Work Permit tied to the DP.

The situation

The Ministry of Manpower clarified Dependent’s Pass (DP) holder requirements due to the new rule which went into effect on May 1, 2021, requiring these holders to obtain an Employment Pass, S Pass or Work Permit and to satisfy relevant minimum salary requirements, quotas and levies in order to work in Singapore.

A closer look

  • Relaxed requirements for DP holders.  DP holders applying for Work Permits do not have to submit medical examination results every six months or obtain security bonds and females will not have to adhere to pregnancy restrictions.
  • Quota. As a reminder, the DP holder’s Work Permit will count towards the employer’s quota which varies by sector. Employment Pass holders are not subject to quotas.
  • Cancellation of DP Pass. DP holders who obtain an Employment Pass or S Pass must cancel their DP to proceed with issuance of these passes. However, DP holders who obtain a Work Permit do not need to cancel their DP and the Work Permit’s validity is tied to the DP.
  • Converting from a DP- Letter of Consent to DP- Work Permit. Employers with foreign nationals currently working as Dependent Pass holders’ using a Letter of Consent should ensure that the DP renewal process is started early since there must be a minimum validity of four months on the DP in order to apply for the Work Permit that is tied to the DP.

Impact

Employers and foreign nationals should ensure that they comply with the new requirements stemming from the May 1, 2021 rule for DP holders. This is particularly critical for employers renewing DP holders’ work authorization, as they must apply for the appropriate work pass prior to the expiry of the current Letter of Consent. 

Background

Prior to the new requirements which went into effect on May 1, 2021, DP holders were only required to apply for a Letter of Consent to be able to work in Singapore. The new requirements for DP holders who seek to work in Singapore are now better aligned with requirements for other foreign nationals working in Singapore, including minimum salary requirements and quotas.

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].