singapore s pass

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What Is Singapore S Pass?

The S Pass is a special work visa that allows Singaporean companies to employ medium-skilled overseas technicians with advanced expertise in such key developing industries as chemicals, electronics, aerospace engineering, marine, pharmaceuticals and others. The minimum monthly salary offered to such technicians must be above 2,200 SGD, and the employer has to meet some key requirements such as quota and levies. Except technicians, the S Pass also fits foreign manpower whose salary isn’t sufficient for pursuing the classic EP.

Eligibility Criteria and Requirements for S Pass

Demands for the technicians:

  • Overseas employees are required to land jobs in SG with minimum monthly salaries of 2,200 SGD. However, this is merely a minimum salary benchmark. In a real situation, the wages must match with the expat’s experience, job position, skills, and age. Older technicians should command higher wages and showcase better expertise.
  • Overseas candidate is required to hold diploma or degrees issued by recognized institutions, as well as certificates obtained for full-time study related to the occupation.
  • Expat is expected to boast a rich employment background and years of prominent expertise. This demand is age-dependent: the experience of older candidates ought to increase with age.
  • Government insists that the candidate’s passport validity must be 7 months minimum.

As the government sets skill and qualification demands at the medium level for the S Pass holders, this indulgence is compensated with tougher demands to the hiring firm:

  • Company that hires a foreign technician must have a strong reputation at the authorities. If the employer has never applied for a work visa before, the firm’s activity ought to be fully represented for the govt.
  • Firm is obliged to have a CPF account.
  • SG-based firm that hires the S Pass holder will be a subject to the quota criterion: a number of S Pass holders employed shouldn’t be more than 15% of the firm’s staff if the firm operates in the service niche or 20% for all other sectors of SG economy.
  • Employer must be willing to pay a levy for an expat hired on the S Pass every month and cover their need for healthcare.

If you aren’t certain you would meet the above-mentioned demands or you have issues in calculating quota and prospected levy for the chosen foreign candidate, please, bring your case to our skilled visa agents. Order our FREE assessment to get our help in sorting these things out.

Features and Benefits of S Pass

  • Only the hiring firm or a certified visa agent is authorized to apply for this visa.
  • The lowest salary that makes S Pass application possible is 2,200 SGD.
  • Maximum visa term is 2 years, but in your particular case, this term will be defined by the expat’s passport validity: it will be 1 month shorter than the passport validity. The latter ought to be 7 months minimum.
  • Visa is extendable for 3 years under certain conditions. Nevertheless, the extension will be 1 month shorter than the passport validity.
  • Firms hiring overseas manpower on the S Pass must meet the quota demand, pay monthly levies for this manpower and cover its healthcare expenses (buy insurance).
  • Privilege of taking a spouse and children younger than 21 YO along is given to S Pass holders whose wages are above 5,000 SGD. This benchmark was increased recently which made a reunion with family impossible for most of the S Pass holders due to a salary insufficiency.
  • Foreigners working in SG on the S Pass aren’t eligible for registering their own firms.
  • Expats holding the S Pass can get married in SG, but bringing up children (dependents) is regulated by the salary criterion: in SG, it must be at least 5,000 SGD.
  • S Pass holders are eligible for the SG permanent residence; however, it may take a foreigner long years to get it.

The outcome of the S Pass application totally depends on the professionalism the papers were prepared and the profile was polished with. Elaborate applications that contain exhaustive argumentation of merits of both the hiring firm and the foreigner usually have high fighting chances for approval. If the rejection occurs, it means the government’s demands weren’t met thoroughly. For example,

  • the hiring firm transcended the quota for its sector;
  • the firm’s activity wasn’t represented in an appropriate manner for the govt;
  • the firm was spotted in violations before;
  • the foreigner possesses mediocre skills that are in excess supply on the SG job market.

The authorities usually point to the real issue in their rejection letter sent to the employer. The latter has 3 months to appeal the MOM decision, and it’s crucial to approach the matter very seriously: the authorities warn that if the appealer cannot address the problem defined by the MOM, such appeal won’t have a positive outcome. New information (documents substantiating the change) must be provided. If the employer isn’t sure in a capability of fixing the problem, it’s better to assign a professional visa consultant to this case. Involving an expert help is a guarantee that the maximum will be squeezed out of the case and the appeal will meet the deadline.

The employer that is highly interested in a certain employee should enlist an expert visa in the application procedure to ensure the highest approval chance. Regardless of who submits the application – either the visa agent or the employer – it can be lodged on EP Online along with other supportive documentation. The processing time is 7 days, but issues with documents may cause delays.

It is crucial that the papers are prepared according to the govt’s demands and, unless they are in English, translated into it. Every claim (foreigner’s professionalism and qualifications, experience, firm’s track record and so on) made in the application must be substantiated with reliable proofs.

The advantage of using backup of the visa expert is in competent profile-building for both the hiring firm and the potential employee, diligent paperwork and representing the case at the MOM without a need for the employer’s participation. Such trouble-free application usually has much higher approval rates than that submitted without competent backup.

If the government gives a green light to a foreigner and an SG firm that hires him, the approval letter (printed) gives the employee 60 days to arrive in Singapore and initiate the pass’ issuance.

The govt is interested only in the most beneficial skills that would boost progress in the key niches of the country’s economy. It is also very watchful concerning any possible violations of the local manpower. Quotas and levies ought to screen unpromising foreigners that would congest the SG job market and harm the local employment.

It is crucial to have the foreigner’s skills promoted as highly advantageous not only for the hiring firm but for the whole economy. Another part of success is representing the hiring firm as a reliable and promising creator of jobs for the locals that values foreign expertise and innovations.

If you aren’t certain in your profile-building grip, it’s better to enlist the backup of visa experts. Please, leave your contacts so that our consultants could assess your situation. Our assessment is absolutely FREE!

Extending the S Pass is possible under certain conditions such as active employment, meeting the quota by the hiring firm, general eligibility, and the S Pass holder’s sufficient passport validity (at least 7 months). Like the initial visa term, duration of the extension will be defined by the passport validity: it will be 1 month shorter than the foreigner’s passport validity but no longer than 3 years.

If the visa was processed using the account on EP Online, the option of renewal will be activated 6 months before the S Pass expires, and the renewal application can be submitted using the same online service. If the visa was processed manually, the employer will receive a form and the notification letter by mail approximately 3 months before the visa expires. The filled form must be received by the authorities no later than 14 days before the visa’s expiry date. If the firm misses the deadlines, the visa will be canceled, and the firm will have to apply for the visa from the beginning.

As years go by, a lot of factors that define eligibility may change, for example, the employee’s salary, job position, or the firm’s indices. The MOM will scrutinize both the foreigner and the hiring firm to ensure this employment is still beneficial for the country’s economy. If the employer has doubts that the firm and the S Pass holder still meet every eligibility criterion, it’s crucial not to let the matter take its course, but involve seasoned visa agents who are able to pull up the weak points.

The result of the visa renewal will be known in 7 days if the request was submitted online or in 5 weeks if the firm applied for the renewal manually.

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