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 the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is a common visa for staff with mid level skills (e.g. technicians) wanting to settle 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 employment pass 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 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.)
- Review the fixed monthly salary
- Take the Self Assessment Tool (SAT)
- Know the company’s current quota of foreign workers
- Prepare for the S Pass levy
- Arrange medical insurance
- Getting Dependent’s Pass for family members on an S Pass
- Other factors for a successful S Pass application
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 S$3,000 and above, depending on your sector.
- For those in the financial services sector: a minimum salary of S$3,000 is mandatory.
- For those in other sectors: a minimum salary of S$3,500.
If you have more work experience, your salary has to be higher than this minimum amount.
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 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.
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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:
- 10% of the company’s total workforce in the services sector.
- 20% in the manufacturing sector.
- 18% in all other sectors.
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
Need help in applying?
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