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.
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.
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.
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:
- Consider all candidates fairly. You must first post your job opening on MyCareersFuture.
- Obtain the candidate’s written consent stating that they allow you to apply for their S Pass.
- Accomplish the applicant’s form. This can be sent to the candidate for them to complete.
- Submit the application and upload the documents online.
- 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.
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.
Request a discovery session with one of our background screening experts today.