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Can Dependant Pass Work in Singapore? The Ultimate User Guide

Securing the right to work in Singapore is a vital concern for many expatriates on a Dependant Pass (DP). But can a Dependant Pass work in Singapore? This question often arises as families plan their move to the Lion City. Understanding the nuances of work rights for DP holders is essential for a seamless transition and integration into Singapore’s dynamic workforce.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unravel the intricacies of the Dependant Pass, dispel common misconceptions, and explore the conditions under which DP holders can legally work. From the application process for the Letter of Consent (LOC) to alternative work pass options, we cover everything you need to know. With Yuanyii Agency’s expert insights, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the employment landscape in Singapore.


Whether you’re a DP holder seeking employment or an employer looking to hire, this guide offers valuable information to help you make informed decisions. Let’s dive into the details and uncover how Dependant Pass holders can successfully work in Singapore.


Understanding the Dependant Pass (DP)

Definition of the Dependant Pass


The Dependant Pass (DP) is a visa issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore, allowing family members of Employment Pass (EP) and S Pass holders to join them in Singapore. This pass is primarily intended for legally married spouses and children under 21 years of age.

Eligibility Criteria for Obtaining a DP


To be eligible for a Dependant Pass, the principal visa holder (EP or S Pass holder) must meet specific criteria:

  • The EP or S Pass holder must have a minimum monthly salary of SGD 6,000.
  • The principal must have an approved, valid Employment Pass or S Pass.
  • The DP applicant must be a legally recognized spouse or child of the principal pass holder.

Common Misconceptions about DP Holders’ Work Rights


Many misconceptions surround the work rights of DP holders in Singapore. Here are a few clarified:

  1. Automatic Work Rights: A common misconception is that DP holders can work freely in Singapore. In reality, DP holders must obtain a Letter of Consent (LOC) to work legally.
  2. Employment Pass Requirement: Some believe that DP holders need to apply for an Employment Pass (EP) to work, which is not necessarily true. An LOC is usually sufficient and more straightforward to obtain for most employment situations.
  3. Restrictions on Job Types: Another myth is that DP holders are limited in the types of jobs they can apply for. While certain high-risk jobs may have additional requirements, DP holders with an LOC can generally work in a wide range of positions.

Understanding the Dependant Pass and its conditions is the first step in navigating the employment landscape for DP holders in Singapore.

Work Rights for Dependant Pass Holders

Conditions Under Which DP Holders Can Work in Singapore

Dependant Pass (DP) holders can work in Singapore, but there are specific conditions and procedures to follow. Unlike the primary Employment Pass (EP) or S Pass holders, DP holders need additional authorization to work legally. This authorization comes in the form of a Letter of Consent (LOC).

Introduction to the Letter of Consent (LOC)

The Letter of Consent (LOC) is a crucial document that allows DP holders to work in Singapore. It bridges the gap between holding a Dependant Pass and gaining employment.

  • Definition of LOC: The LOC is an official document issued by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) that permits DP holders to work for a specific employer in Singapore.
  • Who Can Apply for an LOC?: DP holders sponsored by EP or S Pass holders are eligible to apply for an LOC. The employer must submit the LOC application on behalf of the DP holder.

Difference Between an Employment Pass (EP) and an LOC for DP Holders

It’s essential to understand the distinction between an Employment Pass (EP) and a Letter of Consent (LOC):

  1. Eligibility:
    • EP: Issued to foreign professionals, managers, and executives with a job offer in Singapore, meeting specific salary and qualification criteria.
    • LOC: Granted to DP holders, allowing them to work without meeting the stringent requirements of an EP.
  2. Application Process:
    • EP: Requires a comprehensive application process, including educational qualifications and a higher minimum salary.
    • LOC: Simpler process handled by the employer, focusing on the DP holder’s current status and the job offered.
  3. Validity and Renewal:
    • EP: Valid for up to two years and can be renewed.
    • LOC: Tied to the validity of the DP and needs to be renewed alongside the DP.

Conditions for Applying for an LOC

Here are the steps and requirements for applying for an LOC:

  1. Employer’s Role: The prospective employer must apply for the LOC on behalf of the DP holder.
  2. Required Documents:
    • Copy of the DP holder’s passport
    • Copy of the DP
    • Employment details
    • Employer’s business registration details
  3. Application Procedure:
    • The employer submits the LOC application online through the MOM website.
    • MOM reviews the application, which typically takes about 3 weeks.
  4. Processing Time: The LOC processing usually takes 3 to 5 weeks, depending on the completeness of the application and the MOM’s current workload.

Knowing these work rights and the process of obtaining an LOC is vital for DP holders who wish to work in Singapore. With the correct information and support from employers, DP holders can navigate this process smoothly and legally.

Application Process for the Letter of Consent (LOC)

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for an LOC

Applying for a Letter of Consent (LOC) is a straightforward process, but it’s essential to follow each step carefully to ensure approval. Here’s a detailed guide:

  1. Employer’s Role: The application for an LOC must be initiated by the employer. The prospective employer needs to submit the application on behalf of the Dependant Pass (DP) holder.
  2. Required Documents:
    • A copy of the DP holder’s passport
    • A copy of the DP itself
    • Detailed employment terms, including the job description and salary
    • Business registration details of the employer
  3. Application Submission:
    • The employer submits the LOC application through the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) online portal.
    • To avoid delays, ensure that all documents are completed and accurate.
  4. Application Review: MOM reviews the application. This typically takes 3 to 5 weeks, but it can vary based on the volume of applications and the specifics of the case.

Required Documents

Gathering the necessary documents is crucial for a smooth LOC application process. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Passport Copy: A clear and valid copy of the DP holder’s passport.
  • Dependant Pass Copy: A copy of the current Dependant Pass.
  • Employment Details: A detailed description of the job, including the job title, duties, and salary.
  • Employer’s Business Details: The company’s business registration information and any other relevant documents that validate the employer’s status.

Application Procedure

The procedure for applying for an LOC involves several steps that the employer needs to follow diligently:

  1. Prepare Documents: Ensure all required documents are ready and correctly filled out.
  2. Online Submission: The employer submits the application via the MOM online portal, providing all necessary information and uploading the required documents.
  3. Payment of Fees: Depending on the specifics of the job and employer, there might be application fees that need to be paid during the submission process.

Processing Time

The typical processing time for an LOC is between 3 to 5 weeks. Yet several variables could cause this to alter.:

  • Completeness of Application: Ensure all documents and information provided are complete and accurate.
  • MOM’s Workload: Processing times can be affected by the volume of applications the MOM is handling at any given time.
  • Additional Clarifications: If MOM requires additional information or clarification, this can extend the processing time.

Following this process ensures that both employers and employees are well-prepared for the journey ahead.

Benefits and Limitations of Working on an LOC

Advantages of Working on an LOC

Working on a Letter of Consent (LOC) offers several benefits to Dependant Pass (DP) holders and their employers. Here are some key advantages:

  1. Simplified Process: The LOC application process is generally simpler and faster compared to applying for an Employment Pass (EP) or other work passes. This streamlined process allows DP holders to start working sooner.
  2. No Quota Restrictions: Unlike other work passes, the LOC does not count towards the employer’s foreign worker quota, making it easier for companies to hire DP holders without affecting their quota limits.
  3. Flexibility in Employment: DP holders with an LOC can work in various sectors and industries, provided they meet the job requirements set by the employer and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
  4. Retention of Dependant Pass Benefits: DP holders working on an LOC retain all the benefits of their Dependant Pass, ensuring stability and security for their families while they are employed.

Potential Limitations and Restrictions

While there are significant benefits to working on an LOC, there are also some limitations and restrictions that DP holders should be aware of:

  1. Employment Tied to Employer: The LOC is employer-specific, meaning DP holders must reapply for a new LOC if they change jobs. This can create some uncertainty if the employment situation changes.
  2. Job Scope Limitations: Certain high-risk jobs may have additional requirements or restrictions, potentially limiting the types of positions available to DP holders on an LOC.
  3. Renewal Dependencies: The LOC is tied to the validity of the Dependant Pass, which in turn is linked to the principal pass holder’s Employment Pass. Any changes in the principal pass holder’s status can affect the DP holder’s ability to work.
  4. No Path to Permanent Residency: Unlike the Employment Pass, the LOC does not provide a direct pathway to permanent residency in Singapore. DP holders seeking long-term stay options may need to explore other work passes or residency options.

Scenarios Where an LOC May Not Be Sufficient

While the LOC provides a convenient way for DP holders to work, there are scenarios where it might not be sufficient:

  1. Long-term Career Goals: DP holders with long-term career aspirations in Singapore might find the LOC limiting due to its dependency on the principal pass holder’s status. Exploring other work passes like the Employment Pass or S Pass might be more suitable for career progression.
  2. Industry-Specific Requirements: Some industries may have specific requirements that an LOC cannot fulfill, necessitating a different type of work pass.
  3. Higher-Salary Positions: High-paying jobs with stringent qualification criteria might be better suited to an Employment Pass, which offers more flexibility and benefits for senior-level positions.

Take note, these benefits and limitations is crucial for DP holders and their employers to make informed decisions about employment in Singapore. By weighing the pros and cons, DP holders can better navigate their work opportunities while ensuring compliance with Singapore’s regulations.

Alternatives to the Letter of Consent (LOC)

Overview of Other Work Pass Options for DP Holders

While the Letter of Consent (LOC) is a popular choice for Dependant Pass (DP) holders seeking employment, there are other work pass options available. These alternatives may be more suitable depending on the individual’s career goals, job requirements, and industry standards.

Employment Pass (EP)

The Employment Pass (EP) is designed for foreign professionals, managers, and executives who wish to work in Singapore. It is an attractive option for those who qualify due to its benefits and flexibility.

  1. Eligibility:
    • Candidates need to have a job offer from Singapore.
    • They must meet the minimum salary requirement (typically SGD 4,500 per month, higher for older or more experienced candidates).
    • Relevant qualifications and work experience are essential.
  2. Application Process:
    • The employer submits the EP application on behalf of the candidate.
    • The process includes verifying educational qualifications and work experience.
  3. Benefits:
    • Provides a direct path to permanent residency.
    • Allows for more job flexibility and career advancement opportunities.
  4. Limitations:
    • The application process is more stringent and can take longer.
    • Higher salary and qualification requirements can be a barrier for some DP holders.

S Pass

The S Pass is another alternative for mid-skilled workers, including DP holders, who do not meet the criteria for an Employment Pass.

  1. Eligibility:
    • Candidates must earn at least SGD 2,500 per month.
    • They must have relevant qualifications and work experience.
  2. Application Process:
    • The employer applies for the S Pass on behalf of the candidate.
    • A medical examination may be required.
  3. Benefits:
    • Suitable for mid-level positions.
    • Quicker application process compared to the EP.
  4. Limitations:
    • Subject to foreign worker quota and levy.
    • Limited career advancement compared to the EP.

Work Permit

The Work Permit is designed for semi-skilled foreign workers in industries like construction, manufacturing, and services. It is less common for DP holders but still an option for specific job roles.

  1. Eligibility:
    • No minimum salary requirement.
    • Generally used for roles that do not require high qualifications.
  2. Application Process:
    • The employer applies for the Work Permit.
    • Health and security clearances are part of the process.
  3. Benefits:
    • Easier to obtain for low-skilled jobs.
    • Quick processing time.
  4. Limitations:
    • Strict limitations on job roles and sectors.
    • No pathway to permanent residency.

Comparison of Each Option with the LOC

Understanding how these work passes compare with the LOC helps DP holders make informed decisions about their employment options:

  1. Application Complexity:
    • LOC: Simple, quick process handled by the employer.
    • EP: Detailed and stringent, requiring thorough documentation.
    • S Pass: Moderate complexity, balancing between EP and Work Permit.
    • Work Permit: Simple but limited to specific sectors.
  2. Job Flexibility:
    • LOC: Tied to a specific employer; needs reapplication if changing jobs.
    • EP: High flexibility with easier job changes.
    • S Pass: Moderate flexibility with some restrictions.
    • Work Permit: Low flexibility, tied to job sector and employer.
  3. Career Advancement:
    • LOC: Suitable for immediate employment but limited in long-term growth.
    • EP: Best for career growth and long-term residency options.
    • S Pass: Good for mid-level roles, with potential to advance to EP.
    • Work Permit: Limited to entry-level or low-skilled positions.

Exploring these alternatives allows DP holders to find the best fit for their professional goals and personal circumstances. Whether it’s the simplicity of an LOC, the growth potential of an EP, or the sector-specific opportunities of an S Pass or Work Permit, understanding each option ensures a well-informed decision.

Services Provided by Yuanyii Agency

How Yuanyii Agency Can Assist with the LOC Application Process


Navigating the application process for a Letter of Consent (LOC) can be complex and time-consuming. Yuanyii Agency specializes in simplifying this process for both employers and Dependant Pass (DP) holders. Here’s how we can assist:

  1. Personalized Consultation:
    • We offer personalized consultations to understand your unique situation and employment needs.
    • Our experts provide tailored advice on the best approach for obtaining an LOC.
  2. Document Preparation:
    • We assist in gathering and preparing all necessary documents, ensuring they meet the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) requirements.
    • This includes verifying the completeness and accuracy of your application to avoid delays.
  3. Application Submission:
    • Our team handles the submission of your LOC application, ensuring it is processed efficiently and correctly.
    • We monitor the application status and provide updates throughout the process.
  4. Follow-Up and Support:
    • We offer ongoing support and follow-up services to address any queries or issues that may arise during the application process.
    • Our team liaises with MOM on your behalf to resolve any complications promptly.

Other Related Services Offered by Yuanyii Agency

In addition to LOC applications, Yuanyii Agency provides a comprehensive range of services to support expatriates and their families in Singapore:

  1. Employment Pass Applications:
    • We assist in obtaining Employment Passes (EP) for foreign professionals, ensuring compliance with all MOM regulations.
    • Our experts help with the entire process, from initial consultation to final approval.
  2. S Pass Applications:
    • For mid-skilled workers, we offer support in applying for the S Pass, handling all documentation and submission requirements.
    • We ensure your application meets the eligibility criteria and is processed smoothly.
  3. Work Permit Applications:
    • We provide guidance and support for obtaining Work Permits for semi-skilled workers, helping employers navigate the sector-specific requirements.
  4. Dependent Pass Applications:
    • Our services extend to obtaining Dependant Passes for family members of EP and S Pass holders, facilitating family reunification in Singapore.
  5. Renewal and Appeal Services:
    • We assist with renewing existing passes and handling appeals for rejected applications, increasing your chances of approval.
  6. Compliance and Advisory Services:
    • Our team offers compliance checks and advisory services to ensure all your employment practices align with MOM regulations.

Moving Forward

Understanding the work rights and options available for Dependant Pass (DP) holders in Singapore is essential for a smooth transition and successful employment. Whether you’re looking to apply for a Letter of Consent (LOC) or exploring other work passes like the Employment Pass (EP) or S Pass, having the right information and support can make all the difference.

From defining the Dependant Pass and its eligibility criteria to detailing the application process for an LOC and comparing alternative work passes, this guide has covered everything you need to know. We’ve highlighted the benefits and limitations of working on an LOC, ensuring you have a clear understanding of what to expect. Additionally, with Yuanyii Agency’s expert assistance, navigating these processes becomes significantly easier and more efficient.

Yuanyii Agency is committed to providing personalized support tailored to your unique situation. Our comprehensive services are designed to take the stress out of obtaining work passes, allowing you to focus on settling into your new life in Singapore. Whether it’s handling documentation, submitting applications, or providing ongoing support, we’re here to help every step of the way.

Ready to take the next step? Contact Yuanyii Agency today for expert guidance and a seamless application experience. Visit our website, call, or email us to book a consultation and start your journey towards secure and legal employment in Singapore.

Your future in Singapore begins with the right support. Let Yuanyii Agency be your trusted partner in this journey.

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