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Tips on getting an S Pass in Singapore

6 minute read 

Are you planning to live and work in Singapore? An S Pass issued by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is a common visa or work pass for staff with mid-level skilled workers (e.g. technicians) who are also foreign workers wanting to settle and work in Singapore.

For job seekers, this means two things:

  • You need to have a job secured before you can apply for this work visa.
  • Since your employer is largely handling the EP application, you are essentially not involved in the process. It’s mostly a waiting game for you.

In this article, we will cover important factors that will increase candidates’ chances of a successful S Pass application and becoming a pass holder.

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

Overview:

 

Review the fixed monthly salary

Salary plays a huge role in the success of your application. You are required to have a minimum salary of S$3,000 and above, depending on your sector.

  • For those in the financial services sector, a minimum fixed monthly salary of S$3,500 is mandatory.
  • For those in other sectors, it’s a minimum fixed monthly salary of S$3,000.

If you are older, , your salary has to be higher than this minimum amount.

 

Self Assessment Tool (SAT)

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

This test helps candidates understand the requirements for applying successfully and 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 for mid skilled workers.

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.

 

Know the company’s current quota of foreign workers

The Singapore government is committed to ensuring that local Singapore citizens and permanent residents/local employees would not lose out to a foreign worker. 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 so that your company can be allocated a sector for calculating your pass quota.

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

During the Singapore Budget 2022 announcement, the Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC) for construction and process sectors will be reduced from 1:7 to to 1:5 from 1 Jan 2024. The DRC is the maximum proportion of S Pass and Work Permit holders that a company is allowed to employ.

For employers that exceed the existing quota, they will:

  • Be allowed to keep their excess workers until the current S Passes expire.
  • Not be able to apply for new or renewed S Passes in excess of the quota.
 

Prepare for the S Pass levy

The S Pass levy is a pricing mechanism that works to regulate the number of foreign workers. 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 S Pass Quota and Levy requirements and eligibility criteria, please refer here.

Keep in mind that business owners need to pay their levy through GIRO.

 

Arrange medical insurance

Before you can get the 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 S$15,000 per year and cover inpatient care and day surgery.

S Pass medical 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 the process easier when you need to update the applicant’s medical insurance. Registration is free.

 

Difference between S Pass & Employment Pass

What is SPass in Singapore? How is it different from Employment Pass? Let’s take a look at each similarity and difference between Employment Pass and SPass. The table will also show you all the Epass and Spass benefits.

Requirements

Employment Pass

S Pass

Who are its users?

Skilled professionals with a job in Singapore

Mid-skilled staff

Minimum salary

S$5,000 (non-financial services sector)

S$3,000 (non-financial services sector)

Validity period

Newcomers – up to 2 years; renewals – up to 3 years

Newcomers – up to 2 years; renewals – up to 3 years

Quota

No quota

Main quota depends on sector
S Pass sub quota depends on sector

Levy

No Foreign worker levy

Foreign worker levy 

 

How to check the status of S Pass Singapore?

You can check the status of an S Pass using the SGWorkPass mobile app to scan the QR code on the S Pass. This will allow you to examine the current state of the S Pass and verify variable information such as the expiration date and occupation. Alternatively, you can check the status via this link https://service2.mom.gov.sg/workpass/enquiry/prelanding 

 

How long does it take to approve SPass?

A grand total of 85% of the submitted applications are processed and completed within 3 weeks. New companies will have to declare their business activity so that they can be allocated a sector for computation of quota.

 

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

From 2018 onwards, S Pass holders who have a fixed monthly salary of at least S$6,000 are eligible for a Dependent’s Pass for their family members. Read here for more.

This pass allows legally married spouses and children of Employment Passes or S Pass holders to join them in Singapore.

Note that if your family members are not eligible for this pass, they can qualify for a Long Term Visit Pass. More information about this visa can be found 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
  • Availability of quota
 

FAQ

It’s time to answer some of the most common questions clients have about the S Pass and what it takes to join the rank of S Pass holders.

How long is the processing of S Pass in Singapore?

According to the Ministry of Manpower, 85% of requests are processed within 3 weeks. You can perform an S Pass status check via https://service2.mom.gov.sg/workpass/enquiry/prelanding 

How can I check my Singapore’s pass?

To check your application’s status, use the SGWorkPass mobile app to scan the QR code on the S Pass. Alternatively, you can check the status via this link https://service2.mom.gov.sg/workpass/enquiry/prelanding 

Can the employer cancel my S Pass?

As a work pass is intended for employment, employers are required to cancel an employee’s Singapore Employment Pass, S Pass, or Work Permit within one week of the termination of employment. Employers cannot use the refusal to repeal a work permit as an employment or contract dispute threat or retaliation.

Learn how to check SPass status in Singapore to make sure that everything is fine with your application.

How long does it take to approve the SPass?

85% of requests are processed within 3 weeks after which you can expect to get your approval letter. Check your SPass status online.

How long can I stay in Singapore after cancellation of the SPass?

If you and your dependents are in Singapore at the time of cancellation, a 30-day Short Term Visit Pass will be issued (STVP). The STVP permits you to stay in Singapore temporarily and prepare for your departure.

Need help with applying?

Get tailored, practical advice and information from us about your situation. At Sleek, we focus on helping you with your visa applications. Check out how we can help you here.

Get a free consultation on the best way to set up your business

Got questions about getting started? Get them all answered with a free consultation on business structure and compliance in Singapore.

Know the company’s current quota of foreign workers

The Singapore government is committed to ensuring that local Singapore citizens and permanent residents would not lose 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:

During the Singapore Budget 2022 announcement, the Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC) for construction and process sectors was reduced to 1:5. The DRC is the maximum proportion of S Pass and Work Permit holders that a company is allowed to employ.

For employers that exceed the existing quota, they will:

  • Be allowed to keep their excess workers until the current S Passes expire.
  • Not be able to apply for new or renew S Passes in excess of the quota.

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 S Pass Quota and Levy requirements please refer here.

Business owners need to pay their levy through GIRO.

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 S$15,000 per year and cover inpatient care and day surgery.

S Pass medical 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 salary of at least S$6,000 are eligible for a Dependant’s Pass for their family members. Read here for more.

A Dependant’s Pass allows spouses and children of Employment Passes or S Pass 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. 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?

Get tailored, practical advice and information from us about your situation. At Sleek, we focus on helping you with your visa applications. Check out the visa services that we offer.

 

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