The Ministry of Manpower has announced that as of March 16, 2015 Employment Pass applicants will need to obtain their Notification Letter before they are allowed to start working. The Notification Letter is the result of the second of three steps in the Employment Pass process:
1. Employment Pass application at the Ministry of Manpower
Once approved an In Principal Approval (IPA) letter with six months validity is issued. The employee uses this IPA letter, in combination with a visa for some nationalities, to travel to Singapore and currently is allowed to start working upon arrival with this letter.
2. Application for issuance of the work pass.
This online application can only be filed once the employee has arrived in Singapore, but results in an immediate issuance of the (digital) work pass, also referred to as the Notification Letter. As of March 16 this step will need to be completed before the employee can start working in Singapore.
3. Application for the Employment Pass card.
This application involves a biometric registration appointment which needs to be booked at time of work pass issuance. The biometric Employment Pass card will be issued within approximately 4 working days from date of registration appointment.
The new requirement to have the Notification Letter in hand before commencing work should not have a major impact on Pro-Link GLOBAL’s clients, since it is already standard practice for us in most cases to issue the work pass on the start date of work. Issues with the timely issuance of the work pass might only occur when the employee would arrive immediately before the start date of work and the EP Online system would be down that specific day. Your Pro-Link GLOBAL Immigration Specialist will determine upon a case by case basis when the application can best be filed, to avoid this risk whenever possible.