Who Is It For?
The Work Permit issued by MOM Singapore is a category of work pass for lower skilled or unskilled foreign manpower employed in blue collar job positions in various industries within the Singapore economy. Only foreign nationals from approved source countries are eligible for this work permit category. The approved foreign nationals and approved source countries varies according to the industry category namely construction, marine, service, process and domestic work. The work pass category are generally subjected to a strict quota for each company and substantial monthly levies are payable by the employer to discourage the number of such work passes being issued.
Key Features of Work Permit work pass category
- This work pass category doesn’t have a minimum salary requirement;
- Each defined industry in Singapore can hire a certain percentage of approved foreigners from specific countries.
- The employer is required to sponsor each applicant and be responsible for their well-being and stay in Singapore;
- This pass is usually issued for a period of up to 2 years subject to the duration of the passport;
- This working pass can be renewed every 2 years for up to 10 years;
- Work pass holders cannot bring their spouses and children to live with them in Singapore;
- The working permit is subject to quota which means that only specific percentage of foreign manpower can be hired by one employer;
- This work pass is subject to payment of monthly levies;
- Employers are obliged to buy a medical / healthcare insurance for every working pass holder.
- Malaysian nationals are given a preference for this work pass category in terms of available quota and the range of industry categories that can hire them and the higher allowable number. The security bond requirement for Malaysians is also waived;
- A security bond of SGD 5,000 must be paid by the employers for foreign work pass holders from the following source countries:
1) North Asian countries – South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Macau;
2) “Non-Traditional” countries – India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Philippines, and Myanmar;
3) People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Eligibility Criteria and Requirements
- Applicants must be aged at least 18. The age limit for the Malaysians is 58 years while for non-Malaysians it is only 50;
- Educational or Trade Certifications is required upon the submission of application to classify the applicant as “skilled” or “unskilled” workers. This will determine the monthly levies payable as “skilled” foreign workers enjoy a lower levy amount compared to “unskilled” foreign workers;
- Employers has to note and bear a higher responsibility as the foreign workers are covered by the Employment Act which regulate all employment terms and conditions for blue collar workers;
- Employers are required to cover all foreign workers with work injury insurance;
- Employers have to ensure and provide acceptable housing to all their foreign workers;
- Employers is responsible for the costs of repatriation of the foreign workers upon the expiry of the work permit duration.
More information about work permit in Singapore can be found in the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website: