Which visa do I need in Singapore ?

Whether you want to travel, live or work in Singapore, you need a visa. Singapore offers a plethora of options, which are more or less difficult to obtain, depending on your profile. We have listed them down below to help you find out which visa you need.

I am a student

If you come to Singapore for an exchange in a Singaporean university, you will need a student pass delivered by the ICA. This pass is valid for 6 months and can be renewed. You can’t have a full time position in a company with this pass but you are allowed to do some part-time jobs such as baby sitting, homework help, etc.

If you are between 18 and 25 years old and want to do an internship or work for a few months in Singapore, you will need a Work Holiday Pass (WHP). It is valid for 6 months but can’t be reissued. To be eligible you have to be a full time student in one of the best universities in the world according to official rankings. However some people got the WHP anyway and the criteria for getting or not the pass are quite unclear. You have to apply yourself and pay 150 SGD for the pass to get issued. Click here to know more about WHPs.

For a 3-months internship, you can get a Training Pass provided that you earn at least 3,000 SGD per month. This pass can’t be renewed and the company that hires you has to apply for you.

I am visiting Singapore

If you are from Europe, the United States or Australia, you will get a free social visit visa for 90 days at the customs. To renew it after expiry date, simply leave Singapore for a few hours and come back again to get a new one for 90 more days.

If one of your family members is living in Singapore with an employment pass or a permanent resident status, he or she can ask for a Long Term Visit Pass for you. This pass is valid for 2 years and can be renewed. You cannot work in Singapore but find a job and then get an employment pass.

I want to work in Singapore

The most common visa for expatriates working in Singapore is the Employment pass (EP), held by 11% of the non-resident foreigners in Singapore. The minimum monthly salary required for an EP is 3,300 SGD for a young graduate and more for managers and executives. As for the WHP, it is unclear why your application for an EP is accepted or rejected. However prestigious degrees and interesting professional experiences for the Singaporean market increase your chances of getting an employment pass. The company, which hires you, applies for the pass. There are no quotas and the pass can be renewed but if you lose your job, you will lose the EP that goes along.
If you earn more than 12,000 SGD per month and hold an EP (or apply for a position in Singapore paid more than 18,000 SGD) you are eligible for a Personalised Employment Pass, which is valid for 3 years but non-renewable. This pass offers more flexibility: no need to apply for a new EP when you change your job. You can also apply for more professions such as medicine, law, etc.

The S-pass is quite like an EP except that you have to earn at least 2,000 SGD per month and there are quotas. You also need a health insurance to get this pass. About 11% of the non-resident foreigners in Singapore hold this pass.

The Work Permit is meant for non-skilled or mid-skilled workers in the construction industry, marine, manufacturing or domestic personnel and services. 45% of the non-resident foreigners in Singapore have a work permit.

My partner works in Singapore 

If your partner found a job in Singapore and you wish to follow him, you and your children can obtain a Dependant Pass (DP), provided that the EP holder earns at least 4,500 SGD monthly. This pass depends on your partner’s EP and thus his or her job in Singapore. If you want to work, you will need a Letter of Consent delivered by the Ministry of Manpower. DP holders represent 14% of the non-resident population in Singapore. There are no quotas and it can be reissued.

I am an entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs can apply for an EntryPass. This pass is valid for a year and can be renewed. There are no quotas. To be eligible, you have to register your private limited company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, hold at least 30% of the shares and the company must have at least 50,000 SGD in capital in a Singapore-based bank account. However some businesses are not eligible: coffee shops, bars or massages salons, for example.

Need to top up your health cover:

You can optimise now your health cover in Singapore with one of our SingExpat advisers.

 

Date of publication Apr 7 2016