The Work Permit (WP) is for foreigners who want to work in Singapore and are from an approved source country/territory (depending on the sector which the worker is going to be employed in).

A prospective employer must first apply to the Controller of Work Passes for a WP before employing a Foreign Worker. Prior to that, business employers who have never applied for WP or S Passes before are required to declare their business activity.



Under the Employment Act, the minimum age for an employee is set at 16 years old. This condition is applicable to both local and Foreign Workers. For the purpose of Work Permit application, Malaysians must be below 58 years old while non-Malaysians must be below 50 years old at the time of the application.

Employer requirements

When you employ a Foreign Worker in Singapore, it is your responsibility to:

  • Pay the Foreign Worker Levy;
  • Arrange for the Foreign Worker’s medical examinations as required by the Controller of Work Passes;
  • Pay the medical care and hospitalisation expenses;

– Employers of Foreign Workers are required to purchase and maintain medical insurance for their workers.

– For medical insurance policies taken up or renewed on/or after 1 January 2010, the insurance coverage must be at least $15,000 per year for each worker’s inpatient care and day surgery during his/her stay in Singapore.

  • Satisfy the basic terms and conditions of employment as stipulated in the Employment Act;
  • Ensure that the Foreign Worker does not engage in any form of:

– Employment other than that stated in the WP; or

– Freelance arrangement or self-employment.

  • Resolve all employment-related disputes with the Foreign Worker amicably;
  • Provide Work Injury Compensation Insurance to the Foreign Worker as required;
  • Send the Foreign Worker for the Safety Orientation Course (construction industry only);
  • Provide upkeep, maintenance and eventual repatriation of the Foreign Worker;
  • Ensuring the provision of acceptable housing and updating of Foreign Workers addresses within five days of commencement of employment and subsequent changes in their addresses.

If the Foreign Worker is not a Malaysian, you are also responsible for:

  • Furnishing up a $5,000 security bond in the form of an insurance/banker’s guarantee prior to his/her arrival in Singapore, failing which entry into Singapore will not be allowed.As the security bond is signed between the employer and the Government, the Foreign Worker is not required to pay the security deposit.The Security Bond Form Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (Chapter 91A) must be signed by the Partner/Sole Proprietor. For Private Limited Companies, it must be signed by a member on the Board of Directors/General Manager. The signatory’s name must appear in the ACRA printout. If signed by any other persons than the above, an authorisation letter from a member on the Board of Directors will be required.

In addition, you should ensure that the Foreign Worker’s welfare and interests are well looked after.

These include non-statutory requirements such as:

  • Proper orientation
  • Providing for the Foreign Worker’s social and recreational needs.


The number of Work Permit holder that a Singapore company can employ is dependent on the industry and is reviewed regularly by the government.

Documents Required

1. A copy of the Foreign Worker’s Passport/Travel Document that shows his particulars including any amendments made.

2. A copy of the Foreign Worker’s Educational Certificates [e.g. GCE ‘O’ Level, Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) or equivalent] if his educational level is Sec 4 or above.

3. A copy of the Foreign Worker’s Identity Card (applicable to all Malaysian workers and the group of PRC workers who have not obtained their Passports).

4. For companies that are currently not employing any Work Permit holders, please attach:

i) A photocopy of the Company/Business Profile from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)

ii) A photocopy of the Company’s most recent past 3 monthly CPF Contribution Statement(s) for its local workforce

iii) A photocopy of the Food Establishment Licence issued by the National Environment Agency (NEA) (applicable to food establishments)

Important: Non-English documents or certificates are required to be translated into English and certified by the respective embassy.


  1. Online Application (1 day)/ Manual Application (7 days)
  2. Upon receipt of the In-principle Approval notification, valid for six months from the date of the letter, arrangements will be made for the collection of your Pass.

Processing Time

In BudgetAccounts, we submit your application to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) electronically as the processing time is much shorter (between 1 and 7 days), if compared to manual submission, which is about 5 weeks. Subsequently, we will arrange for you to collect the pass upon the MOM’s approval.

Validity of WP Pass

Upon successful of the application, the pass will be valid for 1 or 2 years.

Rejection and Appeal of WP Pass Application

In the event that your application is rejected by the MOM, we will find out the reason of it being rejected, and appeal the application for you. The MOM will take at least 3 weeks to process an appeal depend on the complexity of the case.

Cancellation of WP Pass

The WP Pass must be cancelled in the following situation:

  1. Cessation / termination of employment
  2. Attainment of Singapore Permanent Residence
  3. Missing of the WP Pass holder

Renewal of WP Pass

The WP Pass can be renewed within 6 months prior to its expiry. The MOM will post the renewal form to the employer 2 months before the pass expires, if the pass has not been renewed.


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