Article : An Overview Of Singapore Work Permit

January 14, 2022
6 mins read

About Work Permit in Singapore


The nature of Singapore’s business ecosystem needs the presence of foreign workers and these foreign workers must follow the strict rules set forth by Singapore’s foreign worker statutes, which include getting a work permit in Singapore.  Work permits are required for both skilled and semi-skilled workers in Singapore but not every job position can be filled by work permit holders.   There are quotas to restrict hiring foreigners, levies, and other assessments as well. Obtaining these work permits is not as simple as it may appear which is why many Singapore businesses pick APacTrust to assist them with work permit applications to quicken the process.


What is a Singapore Work Permit

The Singapore Work Permit is a type of Work Pass that allows foreign unskilled and semi-skilled migrant workers from certain countries in Asia to work in this country’s growing sectors such as services, construction, manufacturing, marine, and process, etc.  Owing to the fact that the entry criteria are substantially lower than other types of work passes, it entails additional requirements for hiring companies in Singapore to protect the local labour market with bonding contracts, quotas, levies, and good coverage of health care.

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What is the Purpose of a Singapore Work Permit?

A Work Permit is an official document or a pass that grants foreigners the right to work in Singapore legally. The type of work permit is usually determined by the nature of the job and the skill level of the applicant.


How to apply for a Singapore Work Permit?

Employers or employment agencies can use WP Online to apply for foreign employees’ Work Permits in Singapore and check the outcome of the application status via E-services.  Work Permits and S Passes for CMP (Construction, Marine and Process) workers or those residing in dorms, employers must purchase a PCP (Primary Care Plan) for them. In order to get Work Permits approved for the workers, they must also complete the COVID-19 vaccination program as of February 1, 2022.


What are the steps to apply for a Singapore Work Permit?

For a first-time Work Permit application, an employer must declare the company’s business activities in Singapore and look at other requirements as well.

Fill out a Singapore Work Permit application

Processing time typically takes about a week though some cases may take longer than others.

To apply, follow these instructions:

  1. Obtain the worker’s written consent to apply for a Work Permit.
  2. Complete the application via WP Online and make pay a fee via GIRO, eNets debit or credit card.
  3. After one week, check the status of the application. If more information is needed, it may take longer.
  4. Print the In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter and Work Permit application form once the application is approved

Preparing the arrival of potential Work Permit workers

Pre-arrival of migrant workers:

Post-arrival of migrant workers: 

Issuance of Singapore Work Permit

  1. Get the worker’s residential address and mobile number registered via Online Foreign Worker Address Service (OFWAS).
  2. Request for issuance of Work Permit via WP Online.
  3. Before receiving the official permit, print the IPA letter and Work Permit application form.
  4. State an address where the permit will be delivered (at home or at work).
  5. Print the notification letter once the Work Permit has been issued.

After receiving the Singapore Work Permit, if the worker needs to register with a photo and fingerprints in person, he or she must do it within a week after receiving the Work Permit with the original passport, appointment letter and printed notification letter.

Receiving the Singapore Work Permit card

The card will be delivered approximately one month later after the entire registration is completed along with the paperwork validated.  Those who do not need to register will also receive their cards one month after their paperwork has been verified.

The validity of a Work Permit in Singapore is normally two years, but it can be shorter if it is due to the passport expiration of the worker, for example, the validity of the work permit will be one month before the passport expires   Or, it could be the duration of the security bond, for example, before the security bond expires, the work permit will be valid for two months.

Cancelling of Singapore Work Permit

The cost of repatriation must be paid by the employer in Singapore and all outstanding salary payments and employment issues need to be settled prior to the worker’s departure.



Obtaining a work permit in Singapore can be time-consuming and a difficult task to handle for many, but we at APacTrust are dedicated to providing good service to support this process.  The Ministry Of Manpower (MOM) has a number of complex criteria that are constantly changing and updated, therefore we’re here to assist you in getting your work permit application as soon as possible.

Call us to enquire more today.