Did you know that one-third of Singapore’s workforce is made up of foreigners, including Singapore Permanent Residents (PR)? Many foreigners choose to live and work in Singapore because of the many job opportunities available to foreign individuals who possess a range and level of skills. Talented and professional individuals are welcomed to spur innovation and growth in the vibrant economical landscape, and semi and unskilled workers are also encouraged to participate in the powerful labour force!
So, whatever your level of skill, you have a chance to come to stay and work in this roaring Lion City. Here, we give you a breakdown of the different ways you can live in Singapore, and let you know which is the best option for you!
Work passes for professionals and entrepreneurs
If you are a professional, manager, executive, or specialist, you can either apply for an Employment Pass (E-pass) or a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) to work and stay in Singapore. While individuals with good qualifications and a minimum salary qualify for the E-pass, the PEP is for individuals with who also have good qualifications but who have a high-earning fixed monthly salary.
Singapore also gives opportunities for entrepreneurs to kick start their business in the country with an EntrePass – if you are planning to start a business in Singapore, you can register your company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and make sure that your company has not begun operations for more than 6 months here when you apply for your work permit. You should also check your eligibility to apply for your Entre Pass on the Ministry of Manpower (MOM)’s website!
Work permits for semi-skilled and unskilled workers
If you don’t fit the criteria for the above passes, fret not, there are still other passes available to you! Semi-skilled and ‘unskilled’ workers, like technicians, workers in manufacturing, construction, the domestic service sector also have access to specific passes to live and work in Singapore.
The Skilled Labour Pass, also known as the S Pass, is for mid-skilled workers like technicians, with a fixed monthly salary of at least S$2,500. The MOM will look at what kind of work you do, the educational qualifications that you have, and your work experience to determine if you qualify for an S Pass. For the S Pass, you can only apply through your employer, and your employer will have a limit to the number of S Passes that he/she can apply for among his employees. On the other hand, foreign workers and female foreign domestic workers can apply for work permits to work in the country.
One way that you can protect yourself as a work permit holder in Singapore is to check the criteria that your employers have to abide by when they hire you, before you apply for a pass. If you face any difficulties as a work permit holder in Singapore, you can also turn to local migrant worker protection groups and organisations to help you work through the problem and offer you the support you need.
Passes for family members
You don’t have to live alone in Singapore! Foreigners who work in Singapore with an E-Pass, PEP or S Pass can apply for their family members to stay with them in the country using either the Dependant’s Pass or Long Term Visit Pass.
A Dependant’s Pass will allow for your spouse and children to live and find work in Singapore for up to 2 years, while the Long Term Visit Pass allows common-law spouses, step-children, disabled children and parents to stay for the duration of your work pass before they have to be renewed.
Restrictions to Work Passes
On the whole, work passes and permits have an expiration date, allowing you to stay in the country for up to two years before you have to renew your pass. For example, if you hold an Employment Pass (E-Pass), you can stay and work under the same employer in Singapore for two years before you have to apply for a renewal. Afterwards, your renewed pass will be valid for another 3 years.
Permanent Resident (PR) in Singapore
Being a PR is the best option for you if you are committed to staying long-term in this bustling city-state! Plus, as long as you are an E-Pass, PEP, Entre Pass or S Pass holder and have been working for at least six months in the country, you already get to apply to become a PR here. There are so many greater benefits of being a PR in Singapore – you’ll have the freedom to change jobs without applying for new work passes, travel freely in and out of the country without a visa, and be eligible for other government subsidies that you didn’t have access to before!
On the flip side, as PR status is so attractive, many applications are made and the government uses stringent criteria to assess approval, making PR a difficult status to achieve.
Building a strong profile during your application is key to increasing your chances of approval – and a PR application agency is a best and most hassle-free way to do so. So, if you are serious about staying in Singapore for the long haul, be sure to check out trusted PR application services to guarantee you a greater chance of approval.