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3 COMMON TYPES OF WORK PASS

All foreigners who intend to work in SG must have a valid work pass (work visa) before they start work.

The 3 most common types of work passes are the Work Permit (WP), S Pass (SP) and Employment Pass (EP).

WORK PERMIT (WP):

Who is it for?Workers from Malaysia, China or NAS countries working in all sectors. Some sectors allow workers from NTS countries to take WP too.
Who can apply?An employer or appointed employment agent needs to apply for the permit.
Qualifying SalaryNo minimum required.
Duration of passUp to 2 years, depending on the validity of the worker’s passport, security bond and employment period.
Is it renewable?Yes.
Passes for familyNot available.
Quota & LevyEmployers are limited by a quota for their sector and have to pay a monthly levy for each worker.
Different sectors have different quota and different companies have different levy amount.
Medical InsuranceEmployers must provide medical insurance for their employees.
Primary Care PlanEmployers must buy the Primary Care Plan (PCP) for their WP employees if they:
– Stay in dormitories
OR
– Working in the construction, marine shipyard or process (CMP) sectors.

S Pass (SP):

Who is it for?Mid-level skilled workers
Who can apply?An employer or appointed employment agent needs to apply for the pass.
Qualifying salaryMinimum of $3,000 (and increases progressively with age, up to $4,500 for those in mid-40s).
Duration of passUp to 2 years.
Is it renewable?Yes.
Passes for familyLTVP and DP is available.
Quota & LevyEmployers are limited by a quota for their sector and have to pay a monthly levy for each worker.
Different sectors have different quota and different companies have different levy amount.
Medical InsuranceEmployers must provide medical insurance for their employees.
Primary Care PlanEmployers must buy the Primary Care Plan (PCP) for their WP employees if they:
– Stay in dormitories
OR
– Working in the construction, marine shipyard or process (CMP) sectors.

EMPLOYMENT PASS (EP):

Who is it for?Foreign professionals, managers and executives with a job offer in Singapore.
Who can apply?An employer or appointed employment agent needs to apply for the pass.
Qualifying salaryMinimum of $5,000 (and increases progressively with age, up to $10,500 for those in the mid-40s.) 
Duration of passThe duration of the pass is as follows:
First-time candidates: up to 2 years
Renewals: up to 3 years

Experienced tech professionals with skills in shortage may be eligible for a longer 5-year duration pass.
Is it renewable?Yes.
Passes for familyLTVP and DP is available.
Quota & LevyNo foreign worker levy or quota required.
Medical InsuranceEmployers can choose whether to provide medical insurance for EP holders.

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PRIMARY CARE PLAN (PCP)

By 31 March 2023, all employers must buy Primary Care Plan (PCP) for their employees which will cover most of the employee’s primary healthcare needs under a fixed scope of services.

Who is eligible:

A PCP is mandatory for Work Permit holders (excluding MDWs) and S Pass holders who:

  • Stay in dormitories

OR

  • Work in CMP sectors

PCP is optional for Work Permit and S Pass holders who live in the community and work in non-CMP sectors.

Benefits of PCP:

  • Provide quality, accessible and affordable primary care to migrant workers
  • Support proactive public health surveillance to minimize risks of large outbreaks and work disruption
  • Provide peace of mind for both employers and migrant workers

Services included:

  • One statutory medical examination for work pass application or renewal
  • Unlimited acute and chronic consultations
  • One annual basic health screening
  • Telemedicine and medication delivery
  • Scheduled transportation to and from dormitories and MOM medical centers. Prioritized for workers who are reporting sick at MOM medical centers. Excludes routine specialist appointments.
  • Ambulance or special transport services to other medical facilities, if necessary.

Eligible employees can get the services at:

  • 24/7 telemedicine services (FWMOMCare)
  • Medical centers
  • Designated GP clinics in partnership with Anchor Operators

Price:

PCP price range from $108 to $138 per worker annually, payable by monthly instalments.

You must buy PCP for eligible employees from Anchor Operators (AOs) based on where your employee stays.

Employees must also pay additional fees:

  • $5 (excluding GST) for medical treatment at each visit to the medical center
  • $2 (excluding GST) for each telemedicine service
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LAUNCH OF NEW WORK PASS FROM 2023

The new Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass is introduced for top talents from any sector earning a monthly salary of minimum S$30,000. Alternatively, individuals with outstanding achievements in arts and culture, science and technology, academia and research, or sports may qualify, even if they do not meet the salary criterion.

Key details of the pass:

Who is it forTop talents in the area of business, arts and culture, science and technology, academia and research, or sports.
EligibilityCandidates may apply directly if they meet the eligibility criteria.

More details will be released closer to 1 January 2023.
Minimum Salary– Earned a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 within the last 12 months
OR
– Will earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 under their future employer based in Singapore

Note: Individuals with outstanding achievements in arts and culture, science and technology, academia and research, or sports may qualify, even if they do not meet the salary criteria.
Duration of pass– First time candidates: 5 years
– Subsequent renewals: 5 years
RenewabilityYes, if meet the renewal criteria.
Family passesDependant’s Pass and Long Term Visit Pass is available for certain family members.

Spouses of the pass holder may obtain a Letter of Consent to work in Singapore.
Quota/Foreign worker levyNo quota or foreign worker levy is required.

Salary criteria:

Existing work pass holders and overseas candidates can apply if they meet either of the salary criteria below:

  • Earned a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 within the last 12 months
  • Will earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 under their future employer based in Singapore

In addition to meeting the salary criteria above, overseas candidates will also need to show that they have been working for an established company overseas for at least 1 year, or will be working for an established company in Singapore.

For a company to be considered established, it must have a market capitalization of at least US$500 million or an annual revenue of at least US$200 million.

The Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass is renewable for 5 years each time. To be eligible for renewal, the pass holder must meet either of the following:

  • Earned a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 on average over the past 5 years in Singapore.
  • Started and is operating a Singapore-based company that employs at least 5 locals, each earning at least S$5,000 (pegged to the EP minimum qualifying salary).

Outstanding Achievements:

Individuals with outstanding achievements achievements in arts and culture, science and technology, academia and research, or sports may qualify for Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass, even if they do not meet the salary criteria. More details on the eligibility criteria for new applications and renewals under this route will be released closer to 1 January 2023. 

Benefits of the Pass:

The Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass is a personalized pass tied to the individual and gives greater employment flexibility:

  • You can start, operate, and work for multiple companies at any one time.
  • You do not need to reapply for a new pass if you change jobs.
  • Your spouse will be able to work on a Letter of Consent.

Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass holders will not be subjected to the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) and employers who wish to hire them are not subjected to the Fair Consideration Framework job advertising requirement.

To ensure that the Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass holders are utilizing the flexibilities given to contribute meaningfully, MOM will request for the following information from the pass holders yearly: 

  • Details on all your professional activities over the past year.
  • The annual salary you have earned from all professional activities.

This will contribute to their assessment of your eligibility for renewal.

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CHANGES TO E PASS ELIGIBILITY

Beginning on 1 September 2022, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will raise the standard of qualifying salaries and levies for E Pass holders. This is to ensure the quality of E Pass holders to become the top one-third of our local Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) workforce.

Changes to E Pass qualifying salaries:

Older candidates will require a higher salary to qualify. As well as the financial services sector due to higher wage norms.

The change in minimum qualifying salary for E Pass applications and renewals is shown below:

  • New applications from 1 September 2022
  • Renewals from 1 September 2023
SectorsCurrent minimum qualifying salaryNew minimum qualifying salary
All (Exclude financial Services)$4,500
Increases with age, up to $8,400 for those in mid-40s.
$5,000
Increases with age, up to $10,500 for those in mid-40s.
Financial Services$5,000
Increases with age, up to $9,300 for those in mid-40s.
$5,500
Increases with age, up to $11,500 for those in mid-40s.
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CHANGES TO S PASS ELIGIBILITY

Beginning on 1 September 2022, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will raise the qualifying salaries and levies for S Pass holders. This is to improve the quality of S Pass holders to become the top one-third of our local Associate Professionals and Technicians (APT) workforce. S Pass quotas will also be updated from 1 January 2023.

Changes to S Pass qualifying salaries:

Older candidates will require a higher salary to qualify. The change in minimum qualifying salary for S Pass applications and renewals is shown below:

SectorFrom 1 Sep 2022: New ApplicationsFrom 1 Sep 2023: Renewal of S Pass
Financial Services$3,000
Increases with age, up to $4,500 for those in mid-40s.
All (Exclude Financial Services)$3,500
Increases with age, up to $5,500 for those in mid-40s.

Changes to S Pass levy rates:

The S Pass Basic/Tier 1 levy rate will be raised in 3 steps, as shown below:

From 1 Sep 2022From 1 Sep 2023From 1 Sept 2025
Change from $330 to $450Change from $450 to $550Change from $550 to $650

There will be no changes to the levy for Tier 2 S Pass holders, which will remain at $650.

Changes to S Pass quota from 1 Jan 2023:

SectorFrom 1 Jan 2023
– Manufacturing
– Construction
– Marine Shipyard
– Process
Change from 18% to 15% of total workforce
– ServiceNo change
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Non-Traditional Sources (NTS) Occupation List

To take effect from 1 September 2023, businesses under Service and Manufacturing sectors will be allowed to hire Work Permit holders from NTS countries for specific occupations in the NTS occupation List.

What is NTS Occupation List?

Currently, companies are only allowed to hire Work Permit holders from the below countries:

  • Malaysia
  • People’s Republic of China (PRC)
  • North Asian sources (NAS)
    • Hong Kong (HKSAR passport)
    • Macau
    • South Korea
    • Taiwan

In the future, companies will be able to hire Work Permit holders from NTS countries for specific occupations.

NTS Occupation List

The NTS Occupation List will consists of positions like:

  • Cooks in Indian restaurants
  • Workers in food processing firms, e.g. vegetable picker, condiments & sauce makers
    • Excludes:
      • Food processing supervisors and general foremen
      • Other food and beverage jobs like tasters, graders, bakers, pastry-cooks and confectionery makers
  • Workers in manufacturing firms, e.g. general manufacturers, precision/transport engineering, automotive firms
    • Working as:
      • Sheet metal workers
      • Welders and flame cutters
      • Metal moulders and coremakers
      • Riggers and cable splicers
      • Structural metal repairers and erectors

Requirements:

Companies must meet all of the below requirements:

  • Subject to a quota for NTS Work Permit holders in the NTS Occupation List. NTS Work Permit holders must be higher-skilled (i.e. meet the R1 criteria).
  • Work Permit holders must only perform the occupation stated on their work permit.

When will it be introduced:

The NTS Occupation List will begin to take effect from 1 September 2023, along with the first increase of S-Pass qualifying salary for renewals.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will review the list from time to time. More details will be provided as the date gets closer.

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SG ARRIVAL CARD EXCEMPTED FOR LAND TRAVEL

Effective from April 15 2022, Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass holders who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will no longer have to fill up the SG Arrival Card when entering Singapore via land checkpoints.

However, travelling entering Singapore via air or sea will still be required to fill up the SG Arrival Card.

The decision to waive the SG Arrival Card requirement via land travel was made as The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) takes into account the traffic volume at both the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints. This waiver will provide immense convenience to eligible travelers, especially those who commute back and forth daily for work or studies.

Non-fully vaccinated Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass holders, along with short-term visitors entering via the land checkpoints, will still be required to fill up the SG Arrival Card before entry or within three days of arriving in Singapore.

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LAND TRAVEL SG-MSIA

Everything you need to know before crossing the borders into Malaysia:

From 1 April 2022, fully vaccinated travelers from Singapore can cross the borders into Malaysia without the need to do Covid-19 tests or quarantine.

Before you leave for Malaysia, here is a list of things you need to take note of.

  • Passport

A passport validity of at least 6 months from entry date is needed to enter Malaysia.

If your passport has expired, you may renew it online for $70. From 1 October 2021, the validity period of Singapore passports ha been increased to 10 years instead of the usual 5 years.

However, expect a longer processing time as many Singaporeans are also rushing to renew their passports.

  • Ringgit Bills

The current exchange rate at Singapore money changers is about $1 for RM3.10.

While the rates are similar everywhere, there are no guarantee that your favorite money changer in Malaysia is still operating. It is best to exchange your money before you leave Singapore.

  • MySejahtera App

The MySejahtera app is Malaysia’s version of our TraceTogether app. The app is used to aid in contact tracing as well as proof of vaccination.

You need to register and activate your account before crossing the border. You may download the app from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

  • Transport

Travelers may use the Vaccinated Bus Services, private cars and motorcycles to cross the border. For those who would like to walk across the Causeway, it is permitted too.

As of now, there are still no news on the availability of public bus services. Therefore, private transport may be your best option. Furthermore, the KTM Shuttle Tebrau service will be unavailable at least until May 2022.

  • VEP and Touch’n Go

All Singapore vehicles looking to drive into Malaysia is required to obtain a Foreign Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) before they are allowed to enter Malaysia. They will also have to pay a Road Charge of RM20 using their Touch’n Go card.

You may want to make sure your Touch’n Go card is still valid and have sufficient balance before crossing the border so you do not end up holding up the traffic.

Note: All Singapore-registered private vehicles will be exempted from paying toll charges and the Road Charge when entering Malaysia from 1 April to 7 April 2022. This is to facilitate a quicker border crossover for vehicles.

  • Pump your petrol

As exciting as it is to be able to finally pump Malaysian petrol, do keep in mind that all Singapore vehicles are required to have at a fuel tank of minimum three quarters before leaving Singapore.

Although fuel prices are going up, that should not be an excuse to break the law. A motorist not following the rules can be fined up to $500 or prosecuted in court.

  • Covid Testing is Not required

Fully vaccinated travelers crossing thee borders are no longer required to do both pre-departure and on-arrival Covid testing. Children under 12 may travel without needing to show proof of vaccination.

Do note that if you are 60 years and above, you are required to have the third booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated. This applies to the following commonly administered vaccinations: Moderna, Pfizer, Sinopharm, and Sinovac.

  • Travel Insurance is no longer needed

Short term visitors entering Malaysia were required to buy Covid-19 travel insurance. However, in a recent change, from 1 April 2022, all fully vaccinated short-term visitors from Singapore do not need to have COVID-19 travel insurance.

With that being said, you should not neglect your car insurance though. If your current coverage is limited to third-party only, you may want to extend it to third-party fire and theft before crossing the Causeway.

  • Masks are still compulsory in Malaysia

Although wearing masks in outdoor settings is now optional in Singapore, that is not the case in Malaysia. It is still compulsory to have your mask on at all times.

  • Ramadan

The reopening of the borders clashes with Ramadan, which starts on 3 April and ends on 2 May 2022. During this period, Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk.

As Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country, expect certain FnB businesses to be closed during the first half of the day.

  • SG Arrival Card

Lastly, you MUST complete the SG Arrival Card within 3 days of arriving back in Singapore. This applies to ALL travelers including local Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, and Long-term Pass holders.

You may complete the SG Arrival Card online, or download the official mobile application from the app store.

That completes everything you need to know before crossing the borders into Malaysia.