Tips on getting an S Pass in Singapore

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Are you planning to live and work in Singapore? An S Pass issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is a common visa for staff with mid level skills (e.g. technicians) wanting to settle in this city. 

For job seekers, this means two things – 

  • You need to have a job secured before you can apply for the work-and-life visa in Singapore.
  • Since your employer is largely handling the employment pass process, you are essentially outside of it, so it’s mostly a waiting game for you.

Below we cover important factors that will increase candidates’ chances of successfully applying for an S Pass application.

 

(Want to learn about other types of work visas? Check out our selection of guides on Singapore work visas.)

Take the Self Assessment Tool (SAT)

The first thing you should do is take a  Self Assessment Tool Test (SAT) provided by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

 

This test helps candidates understand the requirements for a successful application and also lets candidates know if they qualify for S Passes in Singapore.

 

The SAT test does not guarantee your application getting approved or rejected, but if your test shows that you are eligible for this work pass, the MOM has indicated there is a 90% chance of success.

 

Before taking the test, we recommend having scanned copies of your passport, educational certificates, pay history, and resume/CV on hand to help you complete the form before sending it to MOM.

Review the fixed monthly salary

Salary plays a huge role in the success of your application. You are required to have a fixed monthly salary of SGD $2,200 and above. Mid level skilled or not, this is mandatory.

If you have more work experience, your salary has to be higher than this minimum salary.

Ensure you have the appropriate qualification and/or employment history

The Singapore government is committed to ensuring that local Singapore citizens and permanent residents are not losing out to foreigners. For this reason, there are limits as to how many S Pass holders a company can hire. 

 

Business owners: If you have never applied for an S Pass, you would then need to declare your business activity for calculating your quota.

 

Under the allocation, the amount of S Pass bearers companies can hire is capped at:

  • 15% of the company’s total workforce in the service sector
  • 20% in all other sectors

The number of S Pass holders a company can employ is capped at a sub-percentage, or Dependency Ceiling (DC), of 20% of the company’s total staff. Find more information about your quota requirement here.

Know the company’s current quota of foreign workers

The Singapore government is committed to ensuring that local Singapore citizens and permanent residents are not losing out to expat and foreign workers. For this reason, the number of S Pass holders a company can hire is limited by a quota.  Business owners: if you have never applied for an S Pass, you would then need to declare your business activity for calculating your quota.

 

Under the quota, the number of S Pass holders a company can hire is capped at –

  • 15% of the company’s total workforce in the services sector
  • 20% in all other sectors

The number of S Pass holders a company can employ is capped at a sub-quota, or Dependency Ceiling (DC), of 20% of the company’s total workforce. You can calculate your quota requirement for the S Pass here.

Prepare for the S Pass levy

The S Pass levy is a pricing mechanism that works to regulate the number of foreigners. Business owners need to pay the levy for all S Pass holders in their company. The levy liability starts from the day the S Pass is issued and ends when the work pass has been canceled or expired.

 

For the services sector, the levy rate is as follows:

 

 

Tier

Quota %

Monthly levy rate

Daily levy rate

Basic/Tier 1

Up to 10% of the total no. of employees

$330

$10.85

Tier 2

Above 10% to 15% of the total no. of employees

$650

$21.37

 

For all sectors (excluding services), the levy rate is as follows:

Tier

Quota %

Monthly levy rate

Daily levy rate

Basic/Tier 1

Up to 10% of the total no. of employees

$330

$10.85

Tier 2

Above 10% to 20% of the total number of employees

$650

$21.37

 

For all sectors (services sector included), the S Pass limit will be counted within the Work Permit quota. Business owners need to pay their levy through GIRO. 

 

Find out more information on how to pay the employer levy for the S Pass.  

Arrange medical insurance

Before you can issue an S Pass, you must buy medical insurance for the individual holding the pass. The requirement to purchase and maintain health insurance is mandatory.

 

The insurance coverage must be a minimum of $15,000 per year and cover inpatient care and day surgery.

 

S Pass co-pay arrangements 

 

You can have a co-pay arrangement with the S Pass holder if these requirements are met:

  • Medical services are not for work-related inpatient expenses.
  • Co-pay amount is reasonable and does not exceed 10% of the worker’s monthly pay.
  • Duration of co-payment does not exceed six months.
  • Co-payment option is explicitly consensual in the employment contract or collective agreement.

Submitting S Pass medical insurance

 

Submit the medical insurance details online before you request to issue an S Pass, and also submit the new details online if there are any changes. You can submit your personal information for S Pass medical insurance here.

 

You need to update online if the following pieces of information have been changed:

  • Name of insurer
  • Insurance policy number
  • Insurance policy commencement date
  • Insurance policy expiry date

It is strongly advised to get a Work Permit (WP) online account to make it easier when you need to update the applicant’s medical insurance. Registration is free.

Getting a Dependant’s Pass for family members on an S Pass

From 2018 onwards, S Pass holders who have a fixed monthly pay of at least SGD $6,000 are eligible for a Dependant’s Pass for their family members (read this media release for more information about the changes).

 

A Dependant’s Pass allows spouses and children of Employment Passes or S Passes holders to join them in Singapore.

 

Note that if your family members are not eligible for a Dependant’s Pass, they can qualify for a Long Term Visit Pass. Find more information about this visa here.

Other factors for a successful S Pass application

All of the above factors are important and must be followed when it comes to applying for an S Pass in Singapore, but other factors do play a part as well:

  • Type of job (e.g., professional, specialist, or technician)
  • Relevant work experience
  • Qualifications

Need help in applying?

If you’re ready to take your business from dream to reality, we can help you make it happen. Get tailored, practical advice and information from us about your situation. Get in touch with us today.

 

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