If you’re planning to work in Singapore, it is important to determine what work visa you need to apply for. However, it will ensure that you don’t waste time and effort making the wrong decision when applying for a work permit. Work permits that Singapore provides are known as the S Pass.
In this article, we will be going discuss more in-depth about the S-Pass and the eligibility criteria for applying for S-Pass.
What Is a S-Pass?
The S-Pass is a working visa in Singapore. It is suitable for mid-level skilled foreign employees who are specialized technicians and advanced expertise in industries related to chemicals, electronics, aerospace engineering, marine, pharmaceuticals, and others. This pass is valid for a period of up to 2 years.
Foreign employees are granted employee pass and s pass. But S-Pass is a good option compared to an employee pass when a company does not have a high budget to pay high salaries to employee pass holders.
Employees must have a fixed monthly salary of at least $3000. They can also have passes for the family if they qualify for this criterion. They are also eligible for permanent residency after having S-Pass.
An employer or appointed agent must apply for this pass on behalf of their employees or applicants. In case a pass holder changes job, then his new employer can apply for a new pass. And all employers are required to provide medical insurance for S-Pass.
S pass is considered a higher value than employee passes. Different companies have a quota for S-Pass or employee pass, which depends on the employees employed in that company.
Obtaining a quota for S-Pass is challenging. Our ODINT Consultancy will help you to understand the S-Pass and related information.
Eligibility Criteria For S Pass in Singapore
The S pass is only for skilled foreign employees who qualify the following criteria.
- Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $3000. Older and experienced employees required more salary to qualify.
- Having required working experience.
- At least have 1-year full-time study certificate and degree of diploma related to technicians and specialists courses.
Qualifications from unaccredited institutions are not acceptable.
You can contact these agencies for checking whether the institute is unaccredited or accredited-
- Global verification agencies
- Awarding country’s educational authorities
- International accreditation bodies
There are three types of accrediting bodies:
Each of the accredited institutes maintains standards in that area. Seven regional bodies approve the four-year public and private institutions.
Concept of a self-assessment tool
One can use self-assessment toot to check whether he is eligible or not for having the S-Pass.
With the use of the self-assessment tool, if he is not eligible and even after this he applies for S-Pass, then it will be rejected.
If he is eligible according to the self-assessment tool, then there are 90 to 95 percent chances to get S-Pass without any rejection.
Family members pass
A pass holder can apply for Dependant’s Pass for family members too, if he will qualify for this criterion of having a fixed monthly salary of $6000 at least.
Employers may file the request simultaneously with the S Pass request or thereafter, individually.
Quota requirements for S-Pass
If the employers are new and have not applied for any pass yet, they need to declare their business activity for quota calculations.
Under an existing quota for S-Pass, a company can hire several S-Pass holders is depending upon the following conditions:
- The company is having at least 10 percent of the total workforce in the service sector.
- 15% in the manufacturing, shipbuilding, construction, and process industries.
Employees who have an existing quota and want to exceed that quota will:
- Require to keep existing employees in the company until their pass expires.
They are not allowed to renew their existing S-Pass and to apply for a new pass-over quota.
Read More: Singapore company registration services
Foreign workers levy is also known as a levy. It is a pricing mechanism that regulates the number of foreign employees/ workers in Singapore.
All employers must need to pay a levy for all S-Pass holders. The liability to pay a levy starts with the issue of the s pass and ends when S-Pass canceled or expires.
Levy rate for different percentage of quota in different sectors are as follows:
- For the service sector, having a quota of up to 10 percent monthly levy is $450.
- For all the sectors other than the above-mentioned, the quota is up to 10 percent, then the monthly levy is $450, and in case of quota is from 10 to 15 percent, then the monthly levy is $650.
How to pay levy and when?
All employers are required to pay levy through GIRO. For this, they need to apply through the GIRO application form.
In case GIRO is approved, then on the 17th of the following month, it will be deducted from the bank account. For this, the employer should maintain their bank account with enough balance.
In case of using another method to pay the levy, then he has to pay the levy till the 17th of the following month, but it will take more time and longer process.
Penalty for not paying the levy
When the employer did not pay the full levy, then he will be liable for the following penalties:
- Late payment is charged 2% per month or $20, whichever is higher as a penalty.
- The existing S-Pass is revoked.
- New issues or renewing of S-Pass is not allowed.
- Legal actions may be taken to recover the unpaid amount.
Medical insurance for S-Pass holders
All employers are required to maintain medical insurance for all the S-Pass holders until their employment period. It covers inpatient care and day surgery and also the amount of at least $15000 per year.
Arrangements for co-payment of medical insurance
Employers have to pay the amount of medical insurance up to the following amount:
- It must not be more than 10 percent of the employee’s monthly salary and must be a reasonable amount.
- Its duration does not exceed 6 months.
- It is with the full consent of the employee and must be expressed in the employment contract.
Requirements To Pay salaries to s pass holders
In an employer who employs S-Pass holders as their employees, then they have to pay salary as:
- Pay salaries in electronic form
- Start paying salaries through the electronic form from 3rd month of issue of S-Pass
- Maintain a record of salary payments of all employees.
- When S-Pass is issued for 3 months or less than 3 months.
- The salary is for the last month of employment.
- If it is an overtime wage.
Method of paying salary online
The employer can use these methods to pay salaries through online platform:
- Internet fund transfer.
- GIRO linked with bank
- ATM fund transfer
- Through bank counter and more.
How to apply for S Pass?
One who wants to apply for an s pass can have access to the EPOL account for the submission of the S-Pass application. We can also engage a third party or any agency to apply for the s pass. The following steps are involved in filling for S-Pass:
- Step 1- Log in to the EPOL account, fill the form and upload the required details
- Step 2 – Pay the application fee through visa, master card, or GIRO.
- Step 3 – After 3 weeks, check the application status.
- Step 4 – After the approval of the application, download the IPA letter by logging in EPOL portal.
Step 5 – Log in to the EPOL portal for issuance of the pass, pay the necessary fees and visit the MOM card collection center for the face to face interaction.
Documents required while applying for S Pass
- Scanned copy of passport bio-data
- The latest business of sponsors company and ACRA profile
- Educational certificate of applicants and also other required documents which are not filled with the application form.
Benefits of s pass in Singapore
- It essentially comes above the normal work permit, but it factors in as organizations have different quotas for different types of permit levels.
- Therefore, you may be able to get an S-Pass but still not have a work permit. It all depends on the employees already employed. Also, there are different pay levels for different permits as well.
- It allows you to bring your family but only if the salary is above or equal to $6000. Also, on the smaller side, one benefit is that you won’t be charged local rates to enter a couple of establishments like casinos.
- The pass doesn’t have differentiable benefits from the other passes like Q, P1, P2, and PEP.
Differences between S pass and E pass
Now, we know that the S-Pass refers to the ‘Short-Term Employment Pass’, whereas E Pass stands for the ‘Employment Pass’. Let’s look at some differences between both kinds of passes below:
E pass (employee pass):
This pass is meant for the highly skilled people from foreign grounds having expertise in a certain field and have achieved a degree from any reputed global university. The E Pass comes into play when the person applying is skilled or eligible enough to be employed over special admin positions such as corporate executives, specialists, managers, ministers, or administrators exclusively assigned by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of Singapore. Also, having experience in a white-collar range of jobs often presents the applicants with an advantage over the others.
S pass (short term employment pass):
Alike the E Pass, this pass is also meant for foreigners. Specifically speaking, it is meant for foreigners who are just as skilled or experienced as the residents or employees already residing within the country or, are about to be appointed as an employee under the mid-level administration of the country’s workforce. Now, applying for this pass is also allowed to highly or semi-skilled individuals who have already been a part of or have been working under the general work permit. If an employee’s work permit has been rejected earlier due to certain reasons, he/she may apply for the S Pass as well.
How to appeal against the application of rejected S Pass?
One can apply against the rejection of the S-Pass application within 3 months of rejection. One should mention the issue with the rejection advisory.
The employers and the third party who had applied for S-Pass can make enquire and appeals. The candidate cannot make any appeal or enquire.
After making an appealing one can check its application status by logging in to the EPOL portal. The appeal can take at least 3 weeks in most cases, but in some cases, it takes longer than that.
How to Renew the S Pass?
Employer and appointed employment agent can renew its S-Pass by applying 6 months before its expiry. In most cases, it takes 3 weeks to renew an S-Pass. It costs $100 per renewal in Singapore.
For renewing S-Pass in Singapore, the employer should:
- Qualify in the existing eligibility criteria
- 7 months validity of passport of the pass holder.
- Have sufficient s pass quota.
Cancel an S-pass
Before canceling an S-Pass, one should need the following:
- To give a reasonable reason for S-Pass holders returning to their origin country.
- From the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, seek tax clearance.
- Do settlement of the outstanding employment issues of the pass holder.
- Pay for the traveling cost of the S-Pass holder.
Employer or employment agent can apply for cancelation of S-Pass in Singapore by logging in into my MOM portal 1 week before the last days’ notice. It will immediately be canceled most of the time. If s pass holder wants to stay in Singapore after the cancelation of S-Pass, then he should apply for a short time visit pass within 30 days.
Replacement Process of s passes in Singapore
For replacement of s pass in Singapore, required documents are:
- Original passport
- Card replacement letter
- The damaged card
- Completed declaration form
- Police report (if stolen)
Employer or employment agent can apply for replacement of S-Pass Singapore within 1 week with the required documents as stated above through the EPOL portal. It may take 4 working days for approval of the application in some cases, but sometimes it takes less than that. For a damaged card, it charges $60, in case of loss card for the first time, it charges $100, and loss for subsequent times it charges $300.
Notified to MOM
All the employers have to submit the information to the MOM related to the S-Pass holder and the company. This will include the name, address, salary, and other information.
If you’re planning to work in Singapore, it is important to determine what work visa you need to apply for. Work permits that Singapore provides are known as the S Pass.
If you intend to work in Singapore, though you must be aware of all the norms, it is advisable to get assistance from Odint Consultancy professional experts, to help you in finding the right visas.
Read More: Singapore Work Visa
An S-Pass has validity for 2 years in Singapore. After that employer is required to renew his pass. An S-Pass holder can stay up to his employment period.
Yes, an S-Pass holder in Singapore can apply for permanent residency in Singapore. He has to apply through ICA for this. ICA will approve the application for PR.
No, S-Pass holders must work for a full day. Part-time jobs are not allowed as pass holders.
Yes, an S-Pass holder can change his job, but he is required to ask his new employer for a new S-Pass.
Yes, he can study in Singapore even after he is an S-Pass holder, but he can not work while having a student’s pass.