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What Is Dependant’s Pass in Singapore?

The Dependant’s Pass is a visa solution that enables official spouses and children of work visa (PEP/EP/S Pass) holders to live and work in Singapore during the visa validity of the family supporter. Except family reunion, the Dependant’s Pass offers its holders plenty of other perks in employment and education. Qualification for this visa is based on the main family supporter’s salary: it mustn’t be less than 5,000 SGD (a limit defined as sufficient for taking care of dependants). Businessmen who arrived in SG on EntrePass can also invite their nears and dears to the country after the first visa renewal.


Eligibility Criteria and Requirements for Dependant’s Pass

Dependants (lawful spouses or (and) native/legally adopted kids under 21 years old) usually don’t face any specific requirements except their lawfulness and age. But the sponsor (work visa holder) who invites them must fulfil these criteria:

  • hold EntrePass/PEP/EP/S Pass;
  • be employed at a well-established firm in Singapore;
  • be paid no less than 5k SGD a month.

Entrepreneurs must fulfil several other criteria for the DP:

  • passing the first visa renewal successfully;
  • creating 4 jobs for the Singaporeans or more;
  • business spending must exceed 150k SGD.

Features and Benefits of Dependant Pass

  • DP can be applied for only by the work visa holder’s firm or a visa agent on the employer’s behalf. Neither a foreigner nor his/her dependants are allowed to lodge this application.
  • DP visa is granted for 2 years, but as it is attached to a certain work visa, its duration will depend on the work pass’ validity. DP is extendable.
  • Only children under 21 years old and lawful spouses are eligible.
  • Foreigners holding DP are allowed to work in Singapore provided that they are able to land a job. The employer would need to apply for The Letter of Consent in order to hire such foreigner. As the employer isn’t obliged to meet the levy and quota criteria, the dependant has a privileged position against the background of other foreign manpower.
  • Education in public schools is available for children-dependants; however, finding a place in such school can be challenging as dependants are the last in the turn after the locals.
  • If a work visa holder gives birth to a baby in Singapore, the child can be left in the country only if the salary of one of the parents is no less than 5k SGD. A special baby pass is valid only during first 6 weeks after which if the parents aren’t eligible for the DP, the child must be deported overseas.
  • DP is attached to the main work visa. If the latter gets cancelled, dependant passes must be cancelled as well. Duration of the dependant’s employment also depends on the duration of the main working visa.

As most of the DP requirements refer to the breadwinner and his/her employer, reasons for DP rejection usually hide in their salary insufficiency and company’s bad/insufficient business performance. The Singapore’s government seeks to maintain a decent level of life, and it refers to expats as well. If the govt isn’t certain the work visa holder can afford taking care of the dependants, it is likely to play safe and reject the request.

The salary that allows bringing nears and dears to SG is quite high; it jumped from 4 k SGD to 5 k SGD in September 2015. All efforts to cheat the govt by declaring a fake (higher) salary usually lead to rejection as the govt is skilled in detecting a fraud. The company that hired a work pass holder will be scrutinized not only for any cases of employment abuse and mistreatment of the local manpower, but also for its business indices: paid-up capital, activity in creating local jobs, business plan and so on. It is crucial for a company to get its financial statements decently represented for the government and promote itself as a reliable employer on the local labour-market.

If the govt rejects the DP application, the employer or the authorized visa agent can appeal the decision provided that they are capable of addressing the issue explained by the Ministry of Manpower. The letter of rejection usually points to the issues that block approval. The govt warns that the appeal won’t be successful if the appealer fails to fix the issues and provide documents that reflect this change. If the employer isn’t sure he is capable of solving the problem, it is reasonable to enlist a professional visa backup.

Only a hiring firm or a chosen visa agent is allowed to take part in the DP application procedure. Lodging the application online saves time (the result will be announced in 7 days) but requires some skills in compiling documents. A manual application is also available for EntrePass/PEP/EP holders, but such procedure is very time-consuming – about 5 weeks. Entrusting a visa professional with submission of the DP application not only saves your time (visa agents guarantee the fastest processing), but also boosts chances for approval due to the agent’s mastery in paperwork and profile-building.

The DP application can be lodged any time during the work visa term and even along with this visa application itself. The DP must be applied for separately for every dependant. Dependants don’t have to be in the country while their DPs are being processed: if they are in SG on visit passes, the govt won’t extend their visit passes if they expire earlier than the DPs are approved. Once the Dependant Pass is approved, the approval letter gives the dependant 6 months to arrive in SG to join the work visa holder.

Babies of expats that are born in SG don’t get Dependant’s Passes automatically. To leave the child in the country, one of the parents must get qualified for the DP during the baby’s special pass 6-month validity. The qualifying salary is 5k SGD. If neither of the parents qualifies, the baby must be deported overseas.

The crucial point in getting success with the DP application is to promote the hiring company and the employer as sound and solvent. The government has certain criteria how to check this reliability: it is a salary criterion for the work pass holder (the minimum monthly income is 5k SGD) and many other business criteria how the company’s performance can be measured. These requirements aren’t disclosed publicly, and it makes qualifying quite challenging. To avoid the pitfalls, the company should have its profile assessed by visa experts because they know the standards the MOM doesn’t share. Years of experience in the migration niche allow us to define any insecurity that can potentially lead to rejection and fortify the company’s profile with proper documentation. Please enlist our advanced assessment service for your confidence!

The procedure of the DP renewal is similar to that of the work visa. If the DP was processed using the employer’s electronic account on EP Online, the option of DP renewal is activated 6 months before the pass expires. The procedure takes up to 7 days. If the extension is approved, the dependant won’t lose the remaining months of the previous term: the extension starts after this term expires. A manual extension is also available. In this case, the company-sponsor uses the form it receives by mail 3 months before the DP expires. The MOM stops accepting applications 14 days before the DP’s expiry date.

The term of the DP extension will be defined by the main work visa’s validity, or the DP can be renewed for a certain shorter period of time.

DP renewals aren’t automatic and both the working pass holder and the employer must fulfil certain criteria. The authorities will check how the company performs and realises its business plan and local employment strategy and whether the working pass holder’s salary is sufficient. The governmental requirements change from time to time and it’s essential to ensure both the company and the overseas employer are still eligible. Please contact us anytime to ensure your chances for DP approval in a FREE assessment procedure.

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