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WORK PASSES AND PERMITS IN SINGAPORE
All foreigners who intend to work in Singapore must have a valid pass (commonly known as a work visa) before they start work. If any employer is engaging the foreigners to work in Singapore, then the employer must ensure that the foreigners hold a valid work pass.
There are many types of work passes available in Singapore with their own features and stipulated terms and conditions by the regulatory authority Ministry Of Manpower (MOM).
Work Holiday Pass (under Work Holiday Programme) (WHP)
The Work Holiday Programme (WHP) allows eligible students and young graduates to work and holiday in Singapore for 6 months. Find out about the programme and how to apply.
Get an overview and key facts about the Work Holiday Programme for students and young graduates to work and holiday in Singapore.
Find out key facts about the pass:
|Who it is for|| |
|Who can apply|| |
|What is the duration|| |
|Is it renewable|| |
|Passes for family|| |
|Foreign worker levy|| |
|Relevant legislation|| |
Eligibility for Work Holiday Programme
The Work Holiday Programme is for eligible students and young graduates who want to work and holiday in Singapore for 6 months.
Who is eligible
You can apply for a Work Holiday Pass under the Work Holiday Programme if you meet these requirements:
- You are aged 18 to 25.
- You are an undergraduate or graduate of a university in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom or United States.
- Your university is recognised by the government of the respective nine countries or regions.
- For undergraduates: you have been a resident and a full-time student of the university for at least 3 months before applying for the pass.
- For graduates: you were a resident and a full-time student of the university.
Note: The Work Holiday Programme has a capacity of 2,000 applicants at any one time.
Under the Work Holiday Programme, you can get a Work Holiday Pass that lets you stay and work in Singapore for 6 months.
You are not restricted to specific types of work. However, the Work Holiday Pass does not exempt you from complying with registration requirements to practise in Singapore for professions such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, architecture, law, etc.
Apply for a Work Holiday Pass
You can apply for a Work Holiday Pass by submitting the required documents through the online application portal. It takes around 3 weeks to process an application.
At a glance
|Who can apply|| |
|How much it costs|| |
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These are the steps for applying:
|Who does this|| |
|Submit an application|| || |
|Get the pass issued|| || |
|Register fingerprints and photo (if required)|| || |
|Receive the Work Holiday Pass card|| || |
- If you have held a Work Holiday Pass before, you can only reapply for another Work Holiday Pass after 12 months from the day you last held the pass.
- If you are planning to submit your application early, make sure it is not more than 3 months from your intended travel date.
Submit an application
Processing time: Around 3 weeks
To submit an application for a Work Holiday Pass under the Work Holiday Programme:
- Submit the application online.
- Attach soft copies of the following required documents:
- A letter from the university stating your matriculation, name, nationality and date of birth.
- A copy of the personal particulars page of your passport.
- (For graduates) A copy of the degree certificate or transcripts.
- (For undergraduates) A copy of the student card issued by the university.
- (For international students at the university) A copy of your student visa.
MOM may ask for other documents when reviewing your application.
- If the documents from your university are not in English, submit a copy of the original document and an official English translation certified by the university.
- Documents must be in PDF or JPEG format.
- Each document’s file size should not be more than 2MB.
It takes around 3 weeks to process the application.
If your application is approved, you will get an in-principle approval (IPA) letter by email.
The Work Holiday Pass is valid for 6 months. You must get the pass issued within 3 months of the date of the IPA letter.
Get the pass issued
When: Within 3 months of in-principle approval
You or your appointed employment agent can ask for the pass to be issued. You need to be in Singapore when the request is made.
There are two ways to get the pass issued:
- Using EP Online (use this if you have an employment agent or if you have a SingPass)
- Over the counter
Using EP Online
You (if you have SingPass) or your employment agent can apply to have the pass issued using EP Online. To get the pass issued:
- Log in to EP Online to make the request and submit the supporting documents (see what you’ll need).
- Pay the fees using GIRO, or eNETS credit or debit:
- $150 for each pass
- (If applicable) $30 for each Multiple Journey Visa
- When the pass is issued, print the notification letter.
The notification letter:
- Allows you to travel in and out of Singapore while waiting for the pass card.
- States if you need to register to have your fingerprints and photo taken.
Over the counter
If you are the candidate and you don’t have SingPass, you can have your Work Holiday Pass issued over the counter at the Employment Pass Services Centre.
You must make an appointment for the pass to be issued.
Bring these documents for your visit:
- Completed card delivery form.
- Supporting documents (see what you’ll need).
What you’ll need
You will need the following for the pass to be issued:
- Candidate’s passport details.
- Details of the candidate’s current Short Term Visit Pass or immigration pass.
- Candidate’s residential address in Singapore.
- A local address where MOM can deliver the card.
- Contact details of at least one authorised recipient to receive an SMS or email alert with delivery details.
You may also need copies of these documents:
- Disembarkation/Embarkation card (IMM27).
- Completed declaration form attached with the candidate’s in-principle approval letter.
- Proof of return in the form of air, rail or ferry ticket showing that the candidate will leave Singapore by end of the 6-month validity.
Register fingerprints and photo
When: Within 2 weeks after pass is issued (if required)
Check the notification letter for whether you need to register your fingerprints and photo. First-time candidates or those whose last registration was more than 5 years ago will need to register.
For registration, you or your employment agent must make an appointment for you to visit EPSC. You need to register within 2 weeks after the pass is issued.
Bring along these documents for the appointment:
- Original passport.
- Appointment letter.
- Notification letter.
- Documents listed in the IPA letter and notification letter.
Receive the Work Holiday Pass card
When: 4 working days after registration or document verification
MOM will deliver the card to the given address 4 working days after you register and get your documents verified at EPSC.
If you don’t need to register, MOM will deliver the card 4 working days after checking your documents.
The authorised recipients will get an SMS or email with the delivery details at least 1 day before the delivery.
You can also check the card delivery details in EP Online.
Download SGWorkPass to scan QR code on your new card to check status, expiry date and more.
If card delivery fails
After two unsuccessful deliveries, you’ll have to collect the card at EPSC.
You or an authorised person can collect it 3 working days after the second attempted delivery. You don’t need an appointment.
Bring along these documents for the visit:
- Candidate’s original passport.
- Notification letter.
- (If an authorised person is collecting) the completed authorisation form for card collection at EPSC.
You need to cancel your Work Holiday Pass when you have finished your stint under the Work Holiday Programme. You can cancel it yourself or get an employment agent to do it for you.
At a glance
When to cancel
Who can cancel
How long it takes
You can issue a 30-day Short Term Visit Pass (STVP) to allow the pass holder to stay in Singapore before departing. The pass holder must give the STVP to the immigration officer when leaving the country.
You can only reapply for another Work Holiday Pass after 12 months from the day your previous one had expired, or was cancelled.
Cancellation by yourself
Cancellation through Employment Agency
Work Pass Division
Ministry of Manpower
18 Havelock Road