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How to Apply for Work Permit or S Pass in Singapore

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Thinking of kicking off your career in Singapore? Well, you’re in luck! Singapore has been ranked as one of the best-ranking places in the world to start your career. The city is known for its world-class infrastructure, top notch healthcare system and high standard of living.  One of the reasons why Singapore is a great place to start your career is the diverse range of industries and job opportunities available. From finance and technology to healthcare and logistics, there’s something for everyone in Singapore.

So, are you ready to kickstart your career in the most vibrant and dynamic cities in the world? Hold your horses! Before you start packing your bags, you’ll need to apply for a Singapore work pass. In this article, we’re aiming to make it as simple, and as quick as possible for you to find all the information you need on how to apply for a work pass in Singapore. Without any further ado, let’s begin!

Types of Singapore Work Pass / Visas for Professionals

A job is a necessity for expats to cover costs like rent, bills, and leisure activities. However, you can’t just move to Singapore and start working right away. Instead, foreigners must obtain a valid work permit (based on their qualifications and work experience) to live and work in Singapore. 

Employment Pass (EP)

First things first, employment pass (EP). To apply for an employment pass,  you have to hold recognized qualifications and relevant work experience. You have to have a monthly salary of at least earn a minimum of SGD 5,000 (or SGD 6,000 if you’re a recent graduate from a recognized institution).  Once obtained, your EP is valid for 2 years and can be renewed for 3 years. Thinking of bringing your family members with you? Good news, you can bring them and renew their passes as long as they continue to meet the eligibility criteria. 

Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)

Moving on, personalised employment pass (PEP). It is a sort of employment pass that is not tied to any particular employer, which means you can switch jobs without having to reapply for a new pass. PEP holders can also bring their family members to Singapore and renew their passes as long as they continue to meet the eligibility criteria. Furthermore, it is also important to note that this work visa is for highly qualified foreign professionals who earn at least SGD 144,000 per year.

EntrePass

Last but not least, EntrePass. If you’re a budding entrepreneur with big dreams, then this might be just the work visa for you. This work visa is specialised for foreign entrepreneurs who want to start a business here. To be eligible to become this type of pass holder, you must have a business plan that meets certain criteria such as innovation, scalability and job creation. Not only that, it is also a must to have funding from a government-recognized venture capitalist or angel investor. 

Types of Singapore Work Pass or Visas for Skilled & Semi-Skilled Workers

How about the skilled and semi-skilled workers? Well, there are two types of work passes that may be helpful to your journey if you fall into this category; S Pass and Work Permit for Foreign Workers. Now, let’s dig more into it! 

S Pass 

First up, we’ve got the S Pass or also known as Singapore Pass. Those foreign workers or mid-level technical workers earning a minimum monthly salary of SGD 2,200 are eligible to apply for an S Pass. Of course, not to forget, you also need to meet certain criteria, like having relevant qualifications and work experience. If you get approved for the S Pass, you’ll be able to work for a specific employer in Singapore for up to two years (renewable). You’ll also be eligible to bring your spouse and kids, and have access to all the awesome benefits or facilities that Singapore has to offer. 

Work Permit for Foreign Workers

Cheerful Vietnamese construction worker spending short break with smartphone in hands

Next, the Work Permit for Foreign Workers. This visa is also known as an employment visa as it allows unskilled foreign labourers to do blue-collar work. To be eligible, you have to have a job offer from a Singaporean employer, and your employer or appointed employment agent must apply for the work permit on your behalf. Unlike S Pass, you cannot bring your family along but you’ll have the chance to work hard, earn money and maybe even learn some new skills. 

Both the S Pass and the Work Permit are great options for skilled and semi-skilled workers who want to work in Singapore. Of course, applying for these work passes can be a bit of a hassle. Therefore, make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row and meet the criteria before applying. You can also hire a Singapore Manpower Agency to apply for the permit or pass on your behalf. 

Work Pass Application

So, are you ready to get down to the nitty-gritty on how to apply for work permit or pass? Well, hold onto your hats, folks, because this is going to be a wild ride.

How to Apply for an Employment Pass in Singapore?

To get your employment pass game on, you need to make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria, which includes having a job offer from a Singapore employer and meeting certain salary and educational requirements. Once confirmed, you’ll need to gather all the necessary documents and information. Make sure you have copies of everything too, because you don’t want to be caught off-guard. 

Next, your employer will need to apply for the Employment Pass card on your behalf through the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) online portal. In the application form, they need to provide information about the company, the fixed monthly salary paid, the job you’ll be taking on along with your personal and professional details.

Documents Needed to Apply for Employment Pass

Documents such as your passport, educational certificates and proof of your work experience also need to be submitted.

Once submitted, it’ll be reviewed by the MOM. This process can take anywhere from several days to weeks, depending on the complexity. So, always keep an eye out! Once your pass is approved, voilà! You’ll be notified and can then proceed to complete the formalities such getting the pass issued to you and completing the necessary medical exams. 

How to Apply for S Pass in Singapore?

Cheerful young Asian businessman looking at camera and showing credit card. Successful man using cashless payment. Or confident manager offering to use credit card. Banking or money concept

Do you belong to the skilled and semi-skilled workers group? If so, S Pass would be the best option for you. This work pass is slightly more straightforward and pretty convenient than some of the other passes. In order to apply for this, your employer has to apply on your behalf by submitting the application through Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website.

Documents Needed to Apply for S Pass

Supporting documents such as your passport, educational certificates and employment contract need to be submitted by your employer too. 

Now the waiting game begins! The processing time for the application to process usually takes around one to several weeks and you can check the status of your application online. Once approved, your employer can collect the S Pass from MOM. That’s it. Isn’t it as easy as pie? The application process can be a bit tedious but as long as you meet the eligibility criteria and provide all the necessary information, it should be a relatively smooth process. 

Contact a Work Pass Application Services Agency Today

If you’re an employer looking for a reliable construction worker agency, Singapore manpower agency or foreign worker agency, then look no further. Yuanyii Agency partners up with reliable foreign counterparts to provide you with the most suitable talents. Whether you need workers for construction, manufacturing or any other industry, we have a vast network of qualified candidates ready to work. Let our experienced teams save your time and help you out with the process. Contact us today and let us help you streamline your hiring process and find the perfect workers for your organization. 

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Singapore Manpower Agency – Work Pass Application Services

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Work Pass Application Services

Navigating the restrictions of employment in Singapore can be a complex process. That is why many foreigners and Malaysians opt to hire Singapore manpower agencies for a one-stop HR solution to save their time and effort. Recruitment agencies in Singapore offer a variety of services including employment placement, work pass applications and also immigration services. Understanding the difference between the various types of work permits is essential for anyone wanting to start working in Singapore. This article discusses the key differences between a Singapore Work Permit, an S Pass and an Employment Pass (EP) as specified by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM). We also look at what employers need to know when hiring foreign workers for their company in Singapore.

What Are the Different Types of Work Pass in Singapore?

Singapore is a major ex-pat hub, and those looking to work in the city have the right paperwork. Work permit, S Pass, and Employment Pass are three of the most important documents needed by foreign nationals who want to work legally in Singapore. 

Work Permits

Firstly, low or semi-skilled foreign workers are classified under Work Permits holders. Most of the workers come from sectors such as services, manufacturing, construction, or marine shipyard. Only workers from a few pre-approved Asian countries are eligible for the work permit, with no minimum salary requisite. The permit will only last up to 2 years, depending on the worker’s passport, security bond, and employment period. 

S Pass

Mid-skilled staff are eligible to apply for S Pass. Employees were required to earn at least S$3000 monthly fixed income. S Pass: You must be a diploma, degree holder, or technical certificate holder. The validity of an S pass is up to 2 years.

Employment Pass (EP)

Employment Pass, or E-pass, are only eligible for foreign highly skilled expertise. This employment pass is for foreign professionals, managers, executives, and those with specialised skills who wish to work in Singapore long-term. To qualify for this pass, they must meet certain at least S$5000 monthly fixed income and professional educational qualifications.

Who Qualifies to Apply for an Employment Pass (EP) in Singapore?

For candidates looking to take advantage of the exciting job opportunities in Singapore, it is important to understand the requirements for obtaining an Employment Pass (EP). Applicants for EP can be from any nationality; the foreign professional must have an actual job offer to work in Singapore. The job position should be at least managerial, executive, or specialist level. Besides, to be eligible for an EP permit, applicants must meet one of the most critical criteria: candidates who graduated from reputable universities must earn at least S$5000 fixed monthly income. The likelihood of EP application will be accepted if you are a university graduate with professional qualifications and specialised skills would be the best. Candidates must meet a minimum of 40 points under the new point-based COMPASS (Complementarity Assessment Framework), which is evaluated based on an individual’s qualifications and organisation attributes. In addition, all candidates must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of February 1, 2022, to be accepted.

Employment Pass (EP) – Application, Renewal & Cancellation 

Singapore Employment Pass (EP) is one of the most sought-after residencies passes available in the country. This pass gives foreign professionals access to Singapore’s job market and a wide range of privileges, such as secure employment rights and generous tax benefits. The employment pass includes three processes: application, renewal, and cancellation. Knowing each process related to your likelihood of acceptance, renewal, or cancellation is necessary.

Application

Anyone applying for an EP must meet certain criteria set by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) before they can be approved. Applying for an EP begins with submitting a comprehensive online form on MOM’s website. Once this is done, applicants must provide supporting documents such as their qualifications, employment records, passport copies and other relevant information. The process usually takes up to 10 days from filing to approval and within eight weeks for overseas companies without Singapore-registered companies. However, it may take longer if additional information is requested. Both candidates and agents will get updated if the application is successful, and a pass card will be sent to the provided address within five working days after everything is settled. The duration of EP for first-time candidates would be up to 2 years, and renewal is compulsory after the period.

Renewal

For your information, renewal is allowed up to 6 months before expiration. However, for sponsorship form EP, renewal three months prior to expiration is allowed, whilst renewal application has to reach MOM 2 months prior expiration date. Employers or employment agents are responsible for this renewal process. The renewed pass card lasts up to 3 years, and it’s not affected by the pass holder’s passport validity. The cost of each pass is S$225 and is S$30 for each Multiple Journey visas if applicable. Your application will take up to 10 business days for an update and eight weeks for sponsorship-type EP.

Cancellation

Lastly, cancellation occurs when you are no longer working with your employer or will soon leave Singapore permanently. Before cancelling your EP, you are required to provide reasonable notice of repatriation. Don’t forget to seek tax clearance from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) whilst settling all your outstanding employment issues. Employers or any Singapore manpower agency handling the overall process be responsible for the costs of the pass holder’s air ticket to their hometown unless the pass holder agrees to bear their own expense. For cancellation applications, pass holders are allowed to submit cancellation requests up to 14 days in advance; the cancellation is immediate unless you submit an advance cancellation request. There is an exception in which a pass card will be automatically cancelled if the pass holder becomes a permanent Singapore resident. Gently reminder here to cut the pass card in half and discard it immediately to prevent misuse.

The Difference Between Singapore Work Permit, S Pass & Employment Pass

Singapore’s labour market is complex, with various work permits for foreign employees. Understanding the differences between Singapore Work Permit, S Pass, and Employment Pass is important for employers or potential employees looking to work in Singapore.

Singapore Work Permit (WP) 

A Singapore Work Permit (WP) is a type of permit issued to those who hold lower or semi-skilled jobs, such as services, manufacturing, construction, marine, shipyard or process sector. As such, construction worker agencies mainly deal with work permits for foreign workers. There is no minimum qualifying salary. However, only workers from the pre-approved list of countries are eligible for this permit. While the validity period for a license is up to 2 years, the family dependents are not allowed to apply for a work permit at different times. A levy will also be imposed on employers, depending on the nationality and salary of their employees. Unfortunately, as every sector has different sets of quotas for employers and due to recent tightening measures, the service sector quota has faced a 5% decrease, and many WP holders might face job loss in the future. S Pass is applicable for mid-skilled workers, for the processing time usually will be within three weeks unless more information is required. 

Not sure how to apply for work permit? Click here.

S Pass

Candidates applying for S Pass should be offered at least S$2,500 of fixed monthly salary to be accepted, and the pass duration is up to 2 years as well. Just like the Work Permit holders, the S-Pass Holders have a 10% quota limiting the number of workers in the service sector and 18% in all other sectors as of 1 January 202. A smaller allocation of 15% in all other sectors will be implemented as of 2023. A monthly levy and health insurance are necessary for your employee with a validity of 2 years. Additionally, dependents are entitled to apply for a pass to reside in Singapore.

Employment Pass (EP)

The Employment Pass is designed for managerial, executive or specialised positions with at least a S$5000 fixed monthly salary for high-skilled workers and is up to S$10,500 for mid-40s candidates. The holder must have a degree or diploma from an accredited institution. Optimistically, no foreign worker levy or quota is required for employment passes, which is cost savings. At the same time, employers can decide whether to provide health insurance for EP employee holders. The Employment Pass is more favourable as it allows holders to be sponsored for permanent residency in Singapore after two years. In conclusion, the overall minimum documents needed for application would be a particular page of the candidate’s passport, the company’s latest business profile or instant information with ACRA. Besides, a candidate’s educational certificate is required for candidates who applied for S Pass or Employment Pass.

In brief, Singapore Work Permit, S Pass, and Employment Pass have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the differences between them is key to navigating the Singaporean job market. The application process requires careful consideration and due diligence on the part of employers and employees. Employers and employees must be aware of the responsibilities associated with each pass before deciding which one is best.

Want to know more about E Pass application services? Click here.

Reasons Your Employment Pass (EP) Gets Rejected

Receiving a rejection letter for your employment pass application in Singapore can be disheartening. Before you hit the redo button or hiring an employment agency for their services, it’s essential to understand why your application was rejected. Employment pass rejections could be due to various reasons, such as personal use, suspicious calculation of your background, lack of skills, employer discriminatory history or health issues. 

Misuse of Pass For Personal Purposes

First and foremost is the misuse of the pass for personal purposes. This includes failing to adhere to the guidelines for working in Singapore and engaging in activities outside their job scope or unrelated to the original intent of obtaining an Employment Pass.

Insufficient Documents

Another common reason for rejection is ability calculation errors or insufficient proof/documentation provided by employers or candidates during the process. The ratio of your pay, rank, education and ability presented red flags to the MOM, which you still need to meet the requirements for employment in Singapore. Your or your employer’s ill-will was never a factor, just the MOM proportional determination.

Applicant’s Abilities & Qualifications

Next, the government assumes that your abilities and qualifications aren’t something unique or valuable to Singapore. Framing the work as a whole makes you more appealing to others, so if you convince them everything can be done by local professionals, an application may be rejected for Singapore Employment Pass. How your qualifications and skills were portrayed in your professional application profile shaped things greatly. It a better to leave your EP appeal in the hands of professional visa experts or experienced Singapore manpower agencies in handling Federal visa requests.

History of Discriminatory Acts

Besides, a history of discriminatory acts by your employer could also result in an EP rejection. Believe it or not, if your employer hires few to no local workers, your EP might also get affected. Lastly, health issues are one of the most important factors for MOM to accept or reject your application. You might get your EP rejected if you are diagnosed with a serious illness.

Contact a Singapore Manpower Agency Today!

If you are looking for a Singapore manpower agency to outsource your HR needs such as staffing services or ease your recruitment process, check out Yuanyii Agency, a Singapore job agency for Malaysians. We specialize in recruitment or employment services, work pass applications and immigration services. Drop us a message or contact us today, let us help you find the right talent with the right skills.

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IN-PRINCIPLE APPROVAL LETTER (IPA)

IN-PRINCIPLE APPROVAL LETTER (IPA)

It has come to our attention that there are a lot of people who only know they need a valid work pass to work in Singapore but do not know what an IPA is.

In this post we will tell you the full procedure from when you get hired for a job to when you finally start your first day of work in Singapore.

What is In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter?

When you get your offer from a company, and you accept it, the company will apply for an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). This letter indicates that MOM has approved the request that you will be working under this company and this company only.

Work Permit, SPass, EPass holders are all required to have an approved IPA before they are deemed as officially enrolled for the job position.

What's next after receiving IPA letter?

Upon receiving the IPA, you should look at Page 2 and go through what you must do before you are allowed to officially start work. This often includes going for medical checkups and courses required by MOM. You must complete all the steps otherwise your company will not be able to issue work pass and you may not start work.

Once all the steps have been completed and your company has issued your work pass, they will make an appointment for you at the MOM services center to register your thumbprint and take a photo so they can print your card and mail it to your company address within 1 to 4 weeks. Bring along your passport, Notification Letter, Appointment Letter to the MOM appointment.

After completing the above, you are now ready to start work!

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further enquiries,

Yuanyii Agency is here to help!

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3 COMMON TYPES OF WORK PASS

3 COMMON TYPES OF WORK PASS

All foreigners who intend to work in Singapore 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).

3 Common Types of Work Pass in Singapore 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 Salary No minimum required.
Duration of pass Up to 2 years, depending on the validity of the worker’s passport, security bond and employment period.
Is it renewable? Yes.
Passes for family Not available.
Quota & Levy Employers 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 Insurance Employers must provide medical insurance for their employees.
Primary Care Plan Employers 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 salary Minimum of $3,000 (and increases progressively with age, up to $4,500 for those in mid-40s).
Duration of pass Up to 2 years.
Is it renewable? Yes.
Passes for family LTVP and DP is available.
Quota & Levy Employers 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 Insurance Employers must provide medical insurance for their employees.
Primary Care Plan Employers 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 salary Minimum of $5,000 (and increases progressively with age, up to $10,500 for those in the mid-40s.) 
Duration of pass The 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 family LTVP and DP is available.
Quota & Levy No foreign worker levy or quota required.
Medical Insurance Employers can choose whether to provide medical insurance for EP holders.

Looking for work pass application services in Singapore? Click here.

 

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LAUNCH OF NEW WORK PASS FROM 2023

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.

Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass Key details of the pass

 

Who is it for Top talents in the area of business, arts and culture, science and technology, academia and research, or sports.
Eligibility

Candidates 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
Renewability Yes, if meet the renewal criteria.
Family passes

Dependant’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 levy No 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 S PASS ELIGIBILITY

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:

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

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

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