S Pass in Singapore: A Guide For Employers

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Companies that would like to hire foreign employees must ensure that the candidates hold a valid working permit or visa. Failure to do so may result not only in huge fines but also in imprisonment

In Singapore, there are various types of work passes depending on the job to be carried out. There’s the Employment Pass for foreign professionals, managers, and executives who meet the eligibility criteria. For foreigners undergoing practical training and earning at least $3,000 monthly, there's a Training Employment Pass. There’s also the S Pass for foreign skilled workers. 

If you’re keen on hiring foreign skilled workers in Singapore, check out this guide for the S Pass. 

What is S Pass in Singapore?

S Pass is a renewable working permit for foreign skilled workers, Associate Professionals and Technicians (APTs), who wish to work in Singapore. Foreign skilled workers need to meet the eligibility criteria set by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) before they can apply for an S Pass. 

Note that the number of skilled workers an employer can hire is limited by a quota and there’s a monthly fee or levy for each S pass holder employed.  

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Who Applies for an S Pass in Singapore?

Employers are responsible for applying for their foreign skilled worker’s S Pass. Alternatively, an appointed employment agent can also take care of the application. Please keep in mind that should the employee change jobs, the new employer must apply for a new S Pass as well. 

Eligibility Criteria for S Pass in Singapore

To be eligible for an S Pass, the foreign skilled worker you wish to hire must have a:

  • valid job offer in Singapore 
  • fixed monthly salary comparable to the top one-third of the local APT workforce by age. 

The specifics for the minimum S Pass salary are as follows:

For All Sectors (Except Financial Services)

For Financial Services

Additional Notes on Minimum S Pass Salary Requirement

  • Employers won't be allowed to hire skilled workers for small-scale operations, such as food stalls in a hawker centre, food courts, or coffee shops. According to the Ministry of Manpower, they "should be manned by owners or family members."
  • Qualified candidates must also meet vaccination requirements. 
  • Pass holders with at least a $6,000 monthly salary may be eligible for a Dependent’s Pass for their spouse or children. 

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S Pass Qualification: What Documents Are Required?

The following are the required documents to apply for S Pass in Singapore:

  • The personal particulars page of the candidate’s passport. Note: if the applicant’s name is different from that of their other documents, an explanation letter and supporting document must also be provided. 
  • Company's latest business profile OR instant information registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority or ACRA.
  • Additional documents for the following sectors:
  • Healthcare professionals, lawyers, football players, or coaches. For example, a Speech Therapist must have a supporting document from the Allied Health Professions Council. 
  • Employees in Food Establishment must submit a copy of the online page accessible when the QR code provided by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is scanned. This shows the foodshop licence validity period. Newly opened shops may submit their  "Application for Foodshop Licence '' letter issued by SFA.

If your candidate has a non-English document, the original document together with an English translation should be provided as 1 file. 

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Verification Proof of S Pass Requirements

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has imposed strict measures to ensure that the applicant’s qualifications are genuine and were awarded by accredited institutions.

If the awarding institution for a certain qualification is not found in the drop-down list of the online application portal, you will be required to submit verification proof

For Employment Record

The verification proof should confirm that the employment record is authentic, meaning the candidate was really awarded that qualification. 

For Educational Qualification

The verification proof should confirm not only the authenticity of the qualification but also the accreditation status of the awarding institution. Accreditation proof confirms that the awarding institution is recognized by a local authority. 

Note that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) only accepts verification proof from accredited background screening agencies, such as Veremark. School letters and notarized certificates or documents are NOT accepted as forms of verification proof. 

How To Get S Pass in Singapore

The employers can apply for their candidate’s S Pass online. The applicant does not need to be in Singapore before you can apply for their pass. Generally, the steps are as follows:

  1. Consider all candidates fairly. You must first post your job opening on MyCareersFuture.
  2. Obtain the candidate’s written consent stating that they allow you to apply for their S Pass. 
  3. Accomplish the applicant’s form. This can be sent to the candidate for them to complete. 
  4. Submit the application and upload the documents online
  5. Pay the fee of $105

Quota and Levy For S Pass in Singapore

As briefly mentioned earlier, there’s a limit to the number of S Pass holders you can employ. This limit or quota depends on the industry AND your company’s total workforce. In the current mandate for the services sector, the number of employed S Pass holders cannot exceed 10% of the total workforce. 

Another thing employers must remember is that they need to pay the monthly fee or levy for every S Pass holder they employ. The purpose of this is to regulate the number of foreign employees in Singapore. Currently, the monthly levy depends on the work sector and the tier. For Tier 1 in the services sector, the monthly levy rate is $550. Tier 2 in all other sectors has a monthly levy of $650.  

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Veremark’s MOM Education Verification Services 

Did you know that there’s a rise in diploma fraud in Singapore? In fact, there are cases when applicants are accepted to high-paying roles after boasting fake university credentials. 

To prevent such instances and ensure that every role is carried out only by qualified employees, the MOM has imposed strict measures to determine the authenticity of the applicant's qualifications and the accreditation status of the awarding institutions. 

As highlighted in the previous section, if the awarding institution is not in the drop-down list, the employer must upload the required verification proof. The MOM, however, only accepts verification proofs from accredited background screening services, like Veremark. 

Trusted by the world’s best workplaces, Veremark can verify the authenticity of your candidate’s education qualifications and confirm the accreditation of the awarding institutions. This can help make your S Pass applications as smooth sailing as possible. 

To proceed, you only need to provide the details of your candidate, choose the checks you need, and customise your requirements. We'll take care of the verification and deliver the report to you in a shareable format. Veremark can not only help in S Pass applications - we can also help streamline your hiring process as a whole. 

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FAQs

What is an S Pass in Singapore?

An S Pass is a work visa granted by the Ministry of Manpower to foreign skilled workers in Singapore. The eligibility criteria include having a job offer and a fixed monthly salary of at least $3,150.

Who is responsible for applying for an S Pass?

The employer or an appointed employment agency is the one responsible for applying for an S Pass in Singapore. Note that there's a limit to how many foreign skilled workers can be employed and companies must pay a monthly levy for each S Pass holder under their employment.

What documents are required to apply for an S Pass?

Generally, the documents required are the candidate’s passport, particularly the page bearing their personal information, the company’s profile, and supporting documents from accredited institutions for certain sectors. Non-English documents must also have an English translation.

How can Veremark help with your S Pass application?

The Ministry of Manpower requires applicants and employers to supply verification proof if the awarding institution for the qualification is NOT in the drop-down list. For S Pass, MOM only accepts verification proofs from accredited background screening platforms. 

Veremark is MOM-accredited to verify the candidate's education qualifications and the accreditation status of the awarding institution. 

FAQs

What background check do I need?

This depends on the industry and type of role you are recruiting for. To determine whether you need reference checks, identity checks, bankruptcy checks, civil background checks, credit checks for employment or any of the other background checks we offer, chat to our team of dedicated account managers.

Why should employers check the background of potential employees?

Many industries have compliance-related employment check requirements. And even if your industry doesn’t, remember that your staff have access to assets and data that must be protected. When you employ a new staff member you need to be certain that they have the best interests of your business at heart. Carrying out comprehensive background checking helps mitigate risk and ensures a safer hiring decision.

How long do background checks take?

Again, this depends on the type of checks you need. Simple identity checks can be carried out in as little as a few hours but a worldwide criminal background check for instance might take several weeks. A simple pre-employment check package takes around a week. Our account managers are specialists and can provide detailed information into which checks you need and how long they will take.

Can you do a background check online?

All Veremark checks are carried out online and digitally. This eliminates the need to collect, store and manage paper documents and information making the process faster, more efficient and ensures complete safety of candidate data and documents.

What are the benefits of a background check?

In a competitive marketplace, making the right hiring decisions is key to the success of your company. Employment background checks enables you to understand more about your candidates before making crucial decisions which can have either beneficial or catastrophic effects on your business.

What does a background check show?

Background checks not only provide useful insights into a candidate’s work history, skills and education, but they can also offer richer detail into someone’s personality and character traits. This gives you a huge advantage when considering who to hire. Background checking also ensures that candidates are legally allowed to carry out certain roles, failed criminal and credit checks could prevent them from working with vulnerable people or in a financial function.

Transform your hiring process

Request a discovery session with one of our background screening experts today.

Your guide to ordering MOM-EP Education Checks

Singapore's Ministry of Manpower has set rules when it comes to hiring talent from overseas. For many businesses, this adds an extra layer of complexity when filling a role. However, Veremark - as a MoM accredited checking partner - can not only help your organisation abide by the latest version of government rules, but also help you make an informed hiring decision, based on greater insights on your candidates.

If you’re reading this document, you’ll be ready to use Veremark’s platform to check and verify the education qualification(s) for your candidate. This guide will help you along the process of ordering the check, getting the results, and obtaining the information required for an Employment Pass.

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