March 2015

This summary is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered an authoritative guide on how to obtain work authorization in Singapore. The intent is to give the reader a general overview of the process only. Procedures and requirements may have changed since the writing of this article. For current and detailed information regarding the topics below, as well as documentary requirements, processing times, post-arrival and departure requirements, penalties for non-compliance, allowances for accompanying family members, and any other information pertaining to your specific needs, please contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration professional.

Overview

BUSINESS VISITOR

Permitted Activities – Business visitors must generally limit their activities to the following:

• Attending business meetings or discussions;
• Making sales calls to potential Singapore clients provided that the visitor represents a commercial entity outside of Singapore;
• Attending seminars or “fact-finding” meetings.

Type of Business Visas – Certain nationals may enter Singapore without need of a business visa (visa-exempt nationals).   All other nationals will require a Short-Term Visit Pass or an Entry visa.

Basic Requirements

1. Intention of a genuine visit for business and not for paid employment;
2. Valid passport;
3. Evidence that there are no restrictions on his or her traveling to Singapore;
4. No intention to permanently reside in Singapore;
5. A ticket for onward travel from Singapore;
6. Proof of funds.

Estimated Processing Times – This varies by diplomatic post and country.

Maximum Time On Visa – This visa allows business people to make a short business visit to Singapore for thirty days during the visa validity period. Visas can be extended in country.

Typical Documents Required – All travelers need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

• a valid passport or other acceptable travel document and in some cases;
• a valid visa or authority to enter Singapore.

EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION 

Basic Requirements – The principle immigration category for temporary employment in Singapore is the Employment Pass – of which there are several types. This is a category for employers to sponsor qualified skilled workers to work as intra-company transferees in Singapore on a temporary basis.

Process Overview – The process for obtaining an Employment Pass involves a five-step process summarized below:

1. Employment Pass application;
2. Issuance of In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter from the Singapore Ministry of Manpower;
3. Issuance of Notification Letter (online, after arrival to Singapore);
4. Registration of Biometric Data (post arrival);
5. Long Term Pass card collection (a medical exam report might be required if stated in the IPA letter).

Estimated Processing TimeOne to two weeks for EP Online registered companies, six to eight week for companies using the manual process.

Validity periods – Passes are usually valid for 24 months and can be renewed for up to 36 months.

Family Members – Application for dependents will be issued for specific employment pass holders and on a discretionary basis. If granted, dependent pass holders will require additional authorization to work and study.

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