Saturday, May 30, 2009

Entrepreneurs Are Welcome in Singapore Part II - Overview of Employment Visa For Employees

The Work Permit process in Singapore is managed by the Ministry of Manpower. On the basis of the nature of the job, educational qualification and the amount of salary drawn per month one can get a Work Permit or an Employment Pass.

Work Permit

This is for semi-skilled or unskilled individuals who earn less the SGD 2,500 a month.

Conditions for Employee -

* Should be above 16 years of age
* Cannot be in Singapore while the application is being processed

Conditions for Employer -

* The prospective employer must first apply to the Controller of Work Permit before employing a foreigner
* He must furnish a security deposit of $5,000 per worker in the form of Bank Guarantee or Insurance Guarantee.
* Should get the In-Principal Approval (IPA) stating approval of the work permit.

Process Time - As the work permit is issued mostly to the unskilled workers, the recruitment depends on the industry they can work in. The time taken to issue it is usually 2 to 7 days.
Disadvantages of Work Permit - They are not allowed to bring their spouse, children or any other family members. However, if the children of the work permit holders wishes to study in Singapore, they can do so by writing a Qualifying Test.

Employment Pass

* This is given to individuals who have educational qualification
* It is classified into 'P' Pass (P1 and P2 Pass) and 'Q' Pass
* P1 Pass is for those with an income above SG$7,000 and P2 for those with an income between SG$3,500 and 7,000 per month
* A person with a minimum educational qualification and income above SG$2,500 is qualified for 'Q' Pass

Documents Required -

* EP Application Form 8 endorsed by the Singapore employing company
* Copies of educational certificates and past employment testimonials
* Passport-size photograph taken within the past three months
* Copy of the personal particulars page of the applicant's passport.

Procedure and Process Time -

* Completed application must be submitted to the Ministry of Manpower
* The processing time is about 3-4 weeks from the date of receipt of the application
* The approval letter for an Employment Pass is valid for six months from the date it is issued
* A first-time applicant may be issued Employment Pass of up to two years
* The Employment Pass may be renewed each time for a period of 2-5 years
* The application may be rejected taking into account several factors like applicant's work experience, employer's credentials, incomplete applications etc

Advantages and Disadvantages of 'P' and 'Q' Pass -

* 'P' Pass holders can apply for both Dependent Pass as well as Long-Term Visit Pass for their families.
* 'Q' Pass holders can only apply for Dependent Pass but are not eligible to apply for Long-Term Visit Pass.
* The Dependent Pass is valid as long as the Employment Pass is valid.
* Employment Pass holders are eligible to apply for Permanent Residence of Singapore.

Renewal - The application for renewal of Employment Pass must be submitted 2 months before the expiry date.

#How to apply for Singapore Employment Pass

- Andrew Chen

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