FAQ On Work Permit For Foreign Worker

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FAQ On Work Permit (WP) For Foreign Worker (FW)

Find answers to commonly asked questions about Work Permit (WP) for Foreign Workers.

Am I allowed to send my Work Permit or S Pass holders to work at my client’s place?

Yes. In general, your migrant workers (Work Permit or S Pass holders) are allowed to work at your client’s place. However, you will continue to be responsible for their well-being and maintenance.

Your company needs to fulfil the following conditions before your workers are allowed to work at your client’s place:

  • Your workers are at your client’s place to provide your company’s services under a contractual agreement.
  • Your company remains the employer which manages the workers and pays their salary.
  • The work activities are relevant to the occupation and sector which your workers are employed.


  • A cleaning firm that is providing cleaning services to a condominium.
  • A power generator manufacturer that is installing or repairing the generator at a client’s factory.

However, there are restrictions for groups such as the construction and marine shipyard sectors, and performing artistes:

  • Your construction workers can only work in a construction worksite.
  • If you are a resident contractor of a shipyard, your marine trades workers can only work in that shipyard.
  • If you operate an entertainment outlet employing Work Permit (Performing Artiste) holders, they can only work at the location specified in your Public Entertainment Licence (PEL) from the police.

Are employers responsible for the cost of a Work Permit or S Pass holder’s dental treatment?

All employers who wish to bring in migrant workers are required to bear the full costs of employing them, including the cost of medical treatment for S Pass and Work Permit holders. This is to ensure that migrant workers’ medical bills do not remain unpaid and instead get passed on to taxpayers.

If the dental treatment is deemed necessary for their health by a Singapore-registered medical or dental professional, you will have to bear the cost of dental treatment. This applies even if the condition is not work-related.

For better peace of mind, employers have the option to purchase additional insurance for added protection.

Are there any ward class restrictions for the compulsory medical insurance?

No, there are no ward class restrictions.

Are Work Permit construction workers allowed to drive?

Construction Work Permit holders are allowed to drive within the construction site.

They are only allowed to drive on public roads for work if they hold driving-related occupations such as ”Lorry/Truck Driver”, ”Driver” or ”Worker-cum-Driver”, and have a valid driving licence recognised by Traffic Police.

In general, you should not deploy your workers to occupations other than the one specified on the Work Permit.

Are Work Permit holders covered under the Employment Act?

Yes, they are. The Employment Act does not make any distinction between local or foreign employees. It covers every employee under a contract of service, except for domestic workers, seamen and government employees.

Are Work Permit holders eligible for paid sick leave?

Yes. All employees, including Work Permit holders are entitled to paid sick leave, as long as they are covered under the Employment Act.

The number of days of paid sick leave an employee is entitled to depends on how long they’ve served their employer for.

As a resident or common contractor, what happens if my shipyard no longer supports me?

Without the shipyard’s support, your company will no longer be classified under the marine shipyard sector. You will also not be allowed to perform work pass transactions under this sector. To continue employing work pass holders, you must submit a business activity re-classification request using iSubmit. Choose request type 6.

If you have a proposal to develop a productive workforce with a strong Singaporean core, you can consider applying for transitional manpower support under the Lean Enterprise Development (LED) Scheme.

As a resident or common contractor, why must I be supported by a shipyard to be classified under the marine shipyard sector?

The marine shipyard sector is to support the manpower needs of shipyards. Thus, the shipyard’s support is necessary.

As an employer, am I obligated to pay treatment costs that are not deemed medically necessary, such as cosmetic treatment?

No. You are not liable for the costs of procedures that aren’t medically necessary for your employee’s health.

This must be determined by a Singapore-based doctor.

Can a company not registered in Singapore apply for Work Permits for foreigners to work here?

No, a company applying for Work Permits to recruit foreigners in Singapore must be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) in Singapore.

Can a worker work for his official employer during cross-deployment?

Yes, provided that the worker does not work for both contractors in overlapping periods and there is no infringement of the Employment Act.

Can an employer hold on to a migrant worker’s Work Permit card?

  • No.
  • The Work Permit card is issued to the worker, and must be held by the worker at all times for proper identification.
  • As an employer, you must not keep the Work Permit cards of your migrant workers or migrant domestic workers.
  • You should also not force your workers to give you their Work Permit cards.
  • Likewise, workers should not ask their employers to keep their Work Permit cards for them.
  • Employers should provide their workers with the means to keep their Work Permit cards and other belongings securely, such as lockers, etc, with unrestricted access.
  • If your employer insist on keeping your Work Permit card, you can contact MOM for help.

Can another party declare business activity on behalf of an employer?

Yes, employers can authorise another person or an employment agency to declare business activity on their behalf. Before doing so, the person or the employment agency will be asked to declare that they have been authorised by the employer to perform the transaction.

Can employers pass on the foreign worker levy costs to their foreign workers?

  • No. The foreign worker (FW) levy is a pricing mechanism to regulate the number of FWs in Singapore. As employers benefit directly from hiring FWs, they must pay the monthly FW levy for each work pass holder they employ, and must not pass the levy cost on to their workers.
  • The Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA) states that employers must not recover the FW levy or other employment-related costs from their workers.
  • MOM will take action against employers who attempt to recover the levy from their FWs. If convicted, employers may be fined or jailed, or both. In addition, employers may also be barred from hiring FWs.
  • If your employer insist on deducting the cost of levy from your salary, you can contact MOM at 6438 5122 for help.

Can migrant construction or process workers be cross-deployed to another sector?

No, the migrant workers can only be deployed within the construction or process sectors. MOM will take action against contractors who illegally deploy their migrant workers to work outside these sectors.

Can migrant construction workers be cross-deployed to an individual or a non-construction firm that does construction work?

No, the migrant workers can only be deployed to work for another construction company. This company must also have prior employment records with the Work Pass Division. This is to prevent fly-by-night set-ups from gaining access to non-traditional source (NTS) workers and illegally profiteering from the supply of labour.

Can I allocate MYE to other projects?

No. You cannot allocate MYE allocated from one project to another project.

However, employers can deploy their NTS and PRC workers (whose Work Permits have been approved under an MYE) to other projects, provided the workers work in the same capacity and for the same company as stated in their Work Permit cards. The employers must have the Letters of Award or contracts of the other projects.

Can I appeal if I have been debarred from hiring migrant workers?

Employers who wish to appeal their debarment can write to the Minister for Manpower at:

Minister for Manpower, 18 Havelock Road, Singapore 059764

Can I appeal to reinstate a Work Permit after the given deadline?

No, late appeals for Work Permit reinstatement will not be accepted.

You will have to send the migrant worker home immediately. There will be an overstaying fine if the worker overstays, and the $5,000 security bond will be forfeited if the worker is not sent home.

Can I be classified under the marine shipyard sector based on the support from ship owners instead of from shipyards?


The marine shipyard sector is to support the manpower needs of shipyards. Thus, the shipyard’s support is necessary.

Can I be exempted from the requirement to buy medical insurance for my migrant worker?

No. All employers are required to purchase and maintain medical insurance for their Work Permit and S Pass holders, including migrant domestic workers.

Can I change the effective date or expiry date of the security bond, if I am able to issue the Work Permit (WP) early?

Yes. You can approach the financial institution to change the effective date or expiry date of the security bond. You can request for the WP to be issued after the financial institution has informed MOM of the amendment.

Can I employ a non-traditional sources (NTS) worker as a driver or lorry/truck driver in the construction sector?

  • No. NTS workers can only work as construction workers.
  • However, they may be allowed to drive on public roads as a secondary duty if they hold an occupation of “Worker-cum-Driver”.

Can I get a refund for my employment agency fee if I resign from my employment?

If you resign from your employment, you will not be entitled to any refunds of your agency fees.

If you are terminated from your employment, and was instructed by your employment agency or employer to submit a resignation letter, you should contact MOM for assistance.

Can I get a refund of the reinstatement fee if I decide not to reinstate the Work Permit?

You cannot get a refund of the fee for applying to reinstate a Work Permit, unless the fee was not due from you. Any request for a refund will be at the discretion of the Controller of Work Passes.

Can I get my migrant workers to pay for their own medical expenses if these are payable under the Work Injury Compensation Act?

No, you are not allowed to recover medical expenses that are payable under the Work Injury Compensation Act from employees.

Can I get my work pass card sent to any delivery address?

You can choose any valid local address for the card delivery during pass issuance or renewal. It does not have to be your office or home address. MOM will deliver to all addresses in Singapore, except for secured or restricted premises such as army camps, prisons and all offshore islands. If you indicate an address which MOM cannot deliver to, MOM will prompt you for another delivery address.

Can I pay my migrant workers less than the salary declared in the Work Permit application if they have worked less e.g. because they are paid on a piece rate?


As an employer, you must pay your migrant workers the salary amount declared in the Work Permit application. This is to ensure that employers only bring in migrant workers when there is work, and that the welfare of workers is not compromised during periods of little or no work.

Not paying workers their salaries when there is little or no work may also lead to downstream social problems, as workers could turn to illegal employment or crime to make up for the loss in salary.

Any changes to a worker’s salary must only be done with written agreement and after informing MOM.

Can I reapply for a worker’s Work Permit on the same day I cancel the worker’s in-principle approval (IPA)?

Yes, you can do so as long as the date of application is different.

Can I reduce a Work Permit holder’s salary?

You are not allowed to reduce a Work Permit holder’s salary, unless:

  • You get the worker’s written consent. Please keep a copy of the document to protect you and your worker, and prevent any salary disputes.


  • You inform MOM of the change in salary.


Can I refuse to pay my WP’s medical expenses if they did not consult with one of my company’s appointed doctors?

No. As an employer, you are responsible under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act for your Work Permit (WP) holder’s medical expenses.

You will have to pay your worker’s medical expenses even if they did not see a company doctor.

Can I reinstate an in-principle approval if I accidentally cancelled the wrong one?

No. You will have to resubmit a new work pass application for the worker.

Can I renew my migrant worker’s Work Permit early?

No, you cannot apply for early renewal of your migrant worker’s Work Permit. You can only start renewing 6 to 8 weeks before the expiry of the Work Permit.

Can I request to extend my reinstatement deadline?

No, you cannot request to extend the reinstatement deadline stated in your Suspension of Work Permit letter. You will have to send your workers home once the reinstatement deadline has passed.

Can I start work if I haven’t received my work pass card but have my notification letter?

Yes. The notification letter is a temporary approval before you get your card. A valid notification letter allows you to start work and also enter or leave Singapore.

The notification letter has a validity period of 4 weeks, which is more than enough time for you to receive your work pass card.

Can medical insurance for migrant workers be in the form of a group plan, individual plan or rider/add-on?

Yes. All forms of insurance directly financed by the employer are acceptable, as long as the coverage meets Ministry of Manpower’s requirement.

Can my migrant worker pay for their medical treatment if it costs more than the medical insurance payout?

To help employers better manage the risks of paying large sums of money for your migrant worker’s medical expenses, MOM requires you to buy medical insurance of a minimum coverage for your Work Permit holders and S Pass holders, before you are allowed to employ them.

You are encouraged to buy insurance with a higher coverage to protect yourself from any excessive medical bills.

If the cost of medical treatment exceeds the coverage of the medical insurance, you can mutually agree with your migrant worker to co-pay part of the cost of treatment. You can only do this if:

  • The amount to be paid by the worker does not exceed 10% of his or her monthly salary.
  • The period of co-payment does not exceed 6 months.
  • The co-payment option is explicitly stated in the employment contract or collective agreement and has the worker’s full consent.
  • If your arrangement is to deduct from workers’ salary, you must also write in to MOM to seek permission before making the deduction.


  • You must not pass on the cost of purchasing the medical insurance to your Work Permit or S Pass holders.
  • For work injuries, you must first fulfil your responsibilities under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) before having a co-payment arrangement with your migrant worker.

Can pass holders travel in and out of Singapore if they have not received the pass card?

Yes. Pass holders can travel in and out of Singapore as long as their notification letter is still valid.

If your pass holder has to leave Singapore urgently and may not be back before receiving the card, you can request to extend the 1-month validity period:

For Work Permit or S Pass holders:

  • https://form.gov.sg/#!/5b68f6c561cffc000f885453

For Employment Pass holders:

  • https://form.gov.sg/#!/5b6d4563ca1efb000f3b03a4

Can the cost of housing be counted towards fixed monthly salary?

Yes, but only if you pay it to the worker as part of their basic monthly salary or fixed monthly allowance.

Do note that when assessing the salary criteria for the Market-Based Skills Recognition Framework, MOM looks at fixed monthly salary (basic monthly salary + fixed monthly allowances, before deductions).


You pay your construction worker with 8 years’ experience the following package:

  • Basic monthly salary: $1,350.
  • You also pay the dormitory operator $250 a month for the worker’s stay in the dormitory.

If you wish to include the $250 such that he qualifies for lower levy, you will have to include and declare the $250 as part of his fixed monthly salary (either within his basic salary or fixed allowance).

Thereafter, you can do one of the following options:

Option 1: Ask the worker to pay the dormitory operator directly.

Option 2: Deduct the fixed amount of $250 for providing the worker the accommodation, but make sure that:

  • Your worker agrees to the value of the deduction.
  • The value of the deduction cannot be more than the cost of the housing provided.
  • The deduction for housing cannot exceed 25% of your worker’s salary.
  • The total sum of deductions (e.g. food, housing, transport) cannot exceed 50% of your worker’s salary.

If you do change the value of the deduction, your worker must agree and you must update MOM via WPOL.

Do note that if housing (e.g. $250) is added to the basic monthly salary, then the overtime rate should be calculated based on the higher basic salary ($1,600).

Do I need to pay my Work Permit holder’s outpatient treatment costs?

Yes. As an employer, you are responsible under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act for the cost of both inpatient and outpatient treatment.

Does an employment agency need the employer’s authorisation before cancelling an in-principle approval (IPA)?

Yes, the employment agency must get written authorisation from the employer before submitting the cancellation request.

When making the request in WP Online, the employment agency will be prompted to declare that they have obtained authorisation. Unauthorised cancellation is an offence.

Does MOM accept medical insurance policies bought overseas?

Yes, MOM will accept medical insurance bought overseas for a migrant worker as long as the policy is valid in Singapore, fulfils the required minimum coverage and is paid by the employer.

For registration of Settling-in Programme (SIP), when does the 14-day window start?

The 14-day window for registration of SIP begins on the second day of their arrival in Singapore.


If your migrant worker landed in Singapore at night on 1 August, the 14-day window starts on 2 August. Your migrant worker must attend SIP by 15 August.

How can I guarantee that the medical insurance for migrant worker or MDW meets MOM’s requirements?

MOM would consider the medical insurance plan to have met the requirement if it includes a clause specifying that the underwriter or insurance company guarantees that the benefits of the coverage will not be worse than MOM’s requirement.

How can I request to reinstate a Work Permit that is revoked due to levy default?

To request for reinstatement:

  1. Pay all your outstanding levy using these payment methods.
  2. Submit your reinstatement request via WP Online before the deadline stated in the Work Permit suspension letter.
  3. Pay the transaction fee to reinstate the Work Permit of your worker:
  • Work Permit: $35
  • Work Permit for Performing Artiste: $75

For construction employers, you may need to submit a levy bond before you can request for reinstatement.


  • You cannot reinstate a Work Permit if you have defaulted on levy more than 2 times within the last 24 months.
  • If you are unable to proceed with the reinstatement using MOM system, you can submit a request to MOM.

Please note that if the Work Permit is successfully reinstated, you will also be liable for levy for the period when it was revoked.

How do I check the employment history of a migrant worker?

You can check the employment history of a migrant worker by:

  • Logging in to WP Online – Use the “Enquire” function and click on “FW/FDW Employment history”.
  • Enquiring through an employment agent.

How do I find out my Work Permit holders last declared salary?

If you are the employer of a Work Permit holder, you can check their last declared salary from the Change Worker’s Salary section of WP Online.

How do I lift a block on work pass transactions due to unpaid levy?

You need to:

  1. Use check and pay foreign worker levy to pay all outstanding levies.
  2. Wait 3 working days for payment to be processed.
  3. Proceed with your work pass transactions.

Alternatively, you can use other payment methods. You need to wait up to 5 working days for payment to be processed before you can proceed with work pass transactions.

Note: MOM will not be able to process late levy payments immediately.

How do I obtain a Work Permit holders prior written agreement for changes to salary or deductions?

Before you can decrease a worker’s salary or increase their deductions, you need to obtain their written agreement and inform the Controller of Work Passes.

This could take the form of a separate written document, or an addendum to the contract. The Work Permit holder’s signature must be on the document as proof of agreement.

You should also provide a copy of the document to the Work Permit holder.

How do I open a bank account for my migrant worker?

For both new and existing migrant workers, you can apply for their POSB account:

  1. Log in to WP Online.
  2. Choose Bank Account on the left menu.

POSB will notify your company of the outcome by post within 7 working days.

If approved, POSB will also post your worker’s ATM card and PIN mailer to your company’s address within 7 working days. Your worker does not need to collect the card from the POSB Account Services Centre at Kaki Bukit.

Note: Besides the POSB account, your workers will also get free MWC membership.

Alternatively, your worker can approach another bank to open the account.

How do I verify if another contractor is eligible for cross-deployment?

You can check if a contractor if eligible for cross-deployment in WP Online. Under Enquire, choose Employer Eligibility for Cross Deployment of Construction / Process Workers.

How is medical insurance for migrant workers different from the other insurance requirements?

The medical insurance requirement provides cover for a migrant worker’s medical expenses, including hospital bills arising from treatment for causes that may not be work-related.

It serves a different purpose from the other employer-paid insurance requirements, such as:

  • Work injury compensation insurance. This covers compensation, including medical expenses, for work-related injuries only. It applies to both local and migrant workers.
  • Personal accident insurance for migrant domestic workers (MDWs). This insures against accidental death and permanent disablement, not medical expenses.

How long are employers debarred from hiring migrant workers for the various offences?

Each case is assessed on its own merits and the period for which employers are debarred from hiring migrant workers is based on the severity of the offences committed.

Individual employers will be informed of the period for which they are debarred.

In general, an employer will be debarred from hiring migrant workers for committing offences such as:

  • Physical or psychological abuse of workers.
  • Deliberately attempting to cover up fatal or serious accidents, e.g. removing the injured or deceased from the scene of accident.
  • Repeated convictions under the Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSHA) for accidents that have resulted in fatalities (under section 51 of the WSHA).
  • Deliberately defying a Stop Work Order and allowing workers to continue working without rectifying unsafe working conditions.
  • Illegally employing or deploying migrant workers.
  • Exploiting migrant workers, e.g. failing to pay workers’ salary or failing to provide basic employment benefits under the Employment Act, such as annual leave, public holiday and rest day.
  • Committing fraud to obtain work passes which would otherwise not have been issued e.g. forging educational certificates or deliberately falsifying information.

How do I notify MOM when I am sending a Work Permit holder to a country other than their home country after their employment ends?

If you’ve reached a mutual agreement with your employee to send them back to a country other than their own, you can notify the Controller of Work Passes through the cancellation page in WP Online.

What can I do when I have not received the renewal notice for my construction worker who is eligible for transfer soon?

There are two reasons why you may not have gotten your worker’s renewal notice.

1. Your workers are not eligible for renewal.

For example, you cannot renew your workers’ Work Permits (WPs) if they have reached their maximum period of employment (POE) in Singapore, or you have exceeded your quota. You can check Work Permit Online (WP Online) for your worker’s total POE and your company’s quota.

2.Your worker is eligible for renewal, but the renewal notice is not ready yet.

The renewal notice is published on WP Online once a month, the Monday after the second Saturday of the month. You may view and print the renewal notice once it is available and submit the renewal application.

Can I remit any excess released to the pass holder after they have returned home when I have to withhold some of my pass holder’s salary while IRAS makes an income tax assessment?

  • No. You are required to pay all outstanding monies due to the Work Permit or S Pass holder before they return to their home country. The excess released by IRAS should be returned to the worker before repatriation.
  • To avoid unnecessary delays, MOM encourages you to send in your income tax assessment for your migrant workers early.

If I change workers basic monthly salary, how do I compute the changes to salary components?

If you change your worker’s basic monthly salary, other salary components may change, including:

  • Overtime pay
  • Rest day pay
  • Public holiday pay

Learn more about salary computation and hours of work, overtime and rest days from MOM sources:

  • https://www.mom.gov.sg/employment-practices/salary
  • https://www.mom.gov.sg/employment-practices/hours-of-work-overtime-and-rest-days

Do I need to report these changes to MOM if I increase a Work Permit holder’s salary or monthly allowance, or reduce their food and housing deductions?

As an employer, you are not required to report an increase in basic monthly salary, fixed monthly allowance or fixed monthly salary.

However, you are encouraged to do this, so that MOM has a record in case of a salary dispute. You should also document these changes at your end.

If you are decreasing basic monthly salary, fixed monthly allowance or fixed monthly salary, or increasing food and housing deductions, you will need to notify MOM.

If the salary increase affects a worker’s upgrade to skilled status, you will need to update their salary using WP Online. You should do so promptly. Upgrades to skilled status are done on the 1st of each month, so any delay in changing the salary information will delay the upgrade.

If my company has a number of medical insurance policies, can I use the combined coverage to meet the insurance requirement?

Yes, as long as the combined coverage meets the minimum requirement of $15,000 per annum for inpatient care and day surgery for each Work Permit and S Pass holder.

If you fulfil this requirement, it does not matter how many medical insurance policies you buy for your Work Permit and S Pass holders.

If my company has existing medical insurance for all employees, must I buy a new plan for Work Permit and S Pass holders?

  • If you have an existing medical insurance plan for your Work Permit holders and S Pass holders, you do not need to buy a new plan as long as the existing plan meets MOM’s stipulated requirement.
  • If the coverage provided by the existing insurance plan is inadequate, you will have to adjust the coverage to meet the requirement.

If my migrant worker has an individual insurance plan that meets MOM’s requirements, do I still need to buy medical insurance?

Yes, you will need to buy medical insurance for your migrant worker.

The insurance plan must be paid by the employer. You are also required to submit medical insurance details for issuing or renewing Work Permits.

In what situations can employers be debarred from hiring migrant workers?

MOM will debar employers for infringing employment rules and regulations, such as the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, Employment Act and Workplace Safety and Health Act.

If an employer is under investigation for such offences, MOM will take this into consideration when they apply for or renew a work pass.

Is the main contractor or sub-contractor responsible for a Work Permit holder’s medical expenses?

In situations involving main and sub-contractors (for example, in the construction industry), the direct employer of the Work Permit holder is liable for their medical expenses.

If you are the employer listed on the employee’s Work Permit card, then you are responsible.

Is there a prescribed minimum wage for migrant workers in Singapore?

  • No.
  • As a matter of national policy, MOM does not prescribe minimum wages for all workers in Singapore, whether local or foreign. Whether wages should increase or decrease is best determined by market demand and supply for labour.
  • Employers should pay their employees (whether local or foreign), based on their skills, capabilities and competencies. A competitive pay structure can help a company motivate their staff, and retain valuable employees.

Must employers house their workers at the dormitories listed on the MOM website?

No. The list of dormitories is provided as a reference for the employers.

You can choose other off-site accommodation for your workers. However, the accommodation must be approved under the land-use policies by the relevant government agencies and comply with the regulations of the National Environment Agency, Public Utilities Board, Singapore Civil Defence Force and Building and Construction Authority.

Must I update the overseas address of workers who travel daily to work in Singapore?

Yes, you should provide the overseas address of a migrant worker who travels daily to Singapore to work. Use the Online Foreign Worker Address System (OFWAS) to update the address.

My future spouse used to be a Work Permit holder, but no longer works in Singapore. Do we still need approval to get married?

Yes. If their last-held pass was a Work Permit, they must still get approval from MOM to marry a Singapore citizen or permanent resident.

You may only register your marriage in or outside of Singapore after your spouse-to-be has obtained approval.

My WP holder requires long-term medical care. Am I obligated to pay for the entire course of treatment?

If the Work Permit (WP) holder’s long-term medical care is for a condition unrelated to work, then as an employer, you can send them home to continue treatment at their own expense.

You can only do this once your employee’s condition has stabilised and they have been deemed fit to travel by a Singapore-based doctor. You’ll have to arrange for and bear the cost of repatriation.

However, you may not send your worker home if they have an existing statutory claim with MOM, such as a work injury compensation claim.

What happens if an employer is debarred from hiring migrant workers?

Employers who are debarred will not be allowed to apply for work passes for new migrant workers, or renew the work passes of their existing workers. This includes Work Permit, S Pass and Employment Pass holders.

What happens to employers who don’t comply with Work Permit housing requirements?

If an employer fails to comply with housing requirements, it is considered a breach of the Work Permit condition to provide acceptable accommodation as well as a breach of the relevant agencies’ regulations. This includes updating your migrant workers’ addresses.

The relevant agencies will take enforcement work in their respective areas. Any employer who violates this condition can be prosecuted under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. It will also be taken into consideration if the employer applies for subsequent Work Permits.

What happens to MYE if the main contractor’s project is prematurely terminated?

MOM may withdraw the main contractor’s man-year entitlement (MYE) and prior approval in such a situation.

What happens to MYE if the sub-contractor’s project is prematurely terminated?

A main contractor who terminates a contract with a sub-contractor prematurely can write to the Work Pass Division to cancel Work Permits issued using its man-year entitlement (MYE).

The MYE will not be returned to the main contractor if the sub-contractor has already used the prior approval to apply for the workers.

In some cases, the sub-contractor may be allowed to retain their workers by using another main contractor’s MYE. This, however, will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

What is a man-year entitlement (MYE) waiver?

The man-year entitlements (MYE) waiver helps the construction and process industries retain experienced and skilled workers.

With the MYE waiver, you can apply or renew the Work Permits of experienced migrant workers without the need for MYE.

However, they will be subject to higher MYE-waiver levy rates.

Construction sector

To qualify for MYE waiver:

  • The worker must have at least 3 years of construction experience in Singapore.
  • Contractors must have a valid Building Construction Authority (BCA) or Singapore List of Trade Subcontractors (SLOT) registration certification. They must engage only in construction activities.
Process sector
  • To qualify for MYE waiver, the worker must have at least 2 years of experience in any sector in Singapore.

Note: Maximum renewal period is 2 years at a time.

What is the Household Services Scheme?

The Household Services Scheme (HSS) allows companies in this sector to hire migrant workers to carry out part-time household services, such as home cleaning.

Difference between getting a helper and HSS

Migrant domestic workers live with their employers, and can only work for them.

Workers from HSS companies can be deployed to multiple houses on a part-time basis to provide select household services. They also do not live in the houses that work at.

Families who need household services on an ad-hoc basis can engage the service of a HSS company, instead of hiring a full-time live-in helper.

To get part-time help with household chores, you can contact any of the HSS companies.

Companies keen to be part of HSS

Companies providing household services can email MOM at mom_wpd@mom.gov.sg to be considered for the HSS. If approved, your company will be eligible for the following:

  • Additional Work Permit quota. MOM will assess your company’s headcount and employee composition to determine the additional quota entitlement.
  • Hire female workers from India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka or Thailand, in addition to the existing source countries for the services sector.

Note: From 1 Sep 2021, Cambodia will be added to the list of approved source countries that HSS companies can hire workers from. Please refer to the press release on the formalisation of the HSS.

What is the minimum I need to pay the Work Permit holder? Do I need to continue paying if they have no work?

As an employer, you need to pay your Work Permit holder at least the fixed monthly salary declared in the WP application form, or in the subsequent revision.

You need to pay them even if you don’t have work for them. The only time you don’t need to pay a Work Permit holder is if they are on no-pay leave outside of Singapore.

When does the salary period for Work Permit holders begin?

The salary period begins once a foreign employee is legally allowed to start working.

Where can I buy medical insurance for migrant workers?

You can buy plans from any insurer as long as it meets the compulsory minimum coverage requirements.

However, you are strongly encouraged to buy additional insurance coverage for greater protection against medical bills incurred by your migrant workers and peace of mind.

When buying medical insurance for your migrant workers, you are also encouraged to pay attention to the features of the plan, such as the exclusion clauses.

Who is responsible for the workers’ well-being during cross-deployment?

The official employer will continue to be responsible for the well-being and maintenance of the cross-deployed workers. In addition, there should only be one standing contract of deployment at any one time.

Why is cross-deployment allowed only for construction or process employers?

The nature of work in the construction or process sector is such that manpower requirements fluctuate throughout the project. There are periods where contractors need to ramp up their operations, but there are also times when fewer workers are needed.

Allowing cross-deployment of migrant workers in the industry will allow contractors to optimise their foreign manpower, especially during periods of lull or low work activity.

Would a medical insurance plan with sub-limits meet MOM’s requirements?

Medical insurance plans with sub-limits, e.g. inpatient care, day surgery or ‘per disability’ sub-limits, will meet MOM’s requirement if each sub-limit is at least equivalent to $15,000 a year.

Where there are no sub-limits for inpatient care and day surgery, a total coverage of $15,000 for both categories would meet MOM requirements. This means policyholders (migrant workers) can claim up to $15,000 for inpatient care if they did not incur any day surgery expenses in the policy year, and vice versa.

What should I do if I decide not to hire a worker after getting in-principle approval for the Work Permit?

  • If you no longer need to employ the worker, you should cancel the in-principle approval (IPA).
  • If you’re a business employer cancelling your migrant worker’s IPA, you can do it using WP Online.

Cancellation is immediate. There will be an overstaying fine if the worker overstays.

As an employer, you can cancel the IPA even though someone else (e.g. the employment agency) had submitted the Work Permit application. You can also view cancellation requests that were not submitted by you.

Will my Malaysian worker’s Temporary Permit also be cancelled if I cancel the in-principle approval?

Yes, the Temporary Permit will automatically be cancelled when the in-principle approval is cancelled.

Can I reinstate an in-principle approval if I accidentally cancelled the wrong one?

No. You will have to resubmit a new work pass application for the worker.

How do I extend the Special Pass if my Work Permit holder needs more time to leave Singapore?

If your Work Permit holder needs more time to leave Singapore (e.g. flight has been rescheduled), you can request for an extension of their Special Pass:

  • Log in to the relevant eService:
  • WP Online for workers employed by businesses > click ‘Special Pass / Short Work Permit Extension’.
  • Give the new Special Pass to the worker.
  • The worker must show it and a valid passport to the immigration officer when leaving Singapore.

I have cancelled my worker’s Work Permit by mistake, how do I reinstate it?

Before MOM can consider your request, ensure that:

  • The Work Permit has not expired.
  • The migrant worker or migrant domestic worker is still in Singapore.
  • You can then submit your request at:

o https://form.gov.sg/#!/5b18ea85d1b046001a65ce17

  • MOM will email or call you with the outcome within 1 week.

If approved, apply and pay the transaction fee to reinstate the Work Permit of your worker:

  • Work Permit: $35

Once this is done, your worker can continue to work using the current Work Permit.

Levy will be charged from the date the Work Permit was cancelled.

If rejected, you must send your worker home.

If your worker’s Work Permit is revoked due to levy default, you can make online request to:

Reinstate Work Permit for migrant worker at:

  • www.mom.gov.sg/reinstate-wp-levy-default

Please refer to MOM website at www.mom.gov.sg or www.cpf.gov.sg for more detailed information and up-to-date guidelines with regulations.


ACHI BIZ is one of the licensed Employment Agencies in Singapore. We will assist your work pass related applications and appeals at our level best with the regulatory authority Ministry Of Manpower (MOM) for successful outcome.
Please refer to our GUIDES for more information, SERVICES to meet your requirements or CONTACT us if you wish to avail these or many other services.