Before you relocate to Singapore, you'll first need to navigate various visa and employment requirements.
All foreigners who plan to work or study in Singapore must hold a valid pass. The type of pass you'll need will depend on the category you fall under. These include but are not limited to:
Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) regularly reviews the application criteria and may make changes to them. While you can use our guide as a starting point, do make sure to check the MOM website for the most up-to-date information.
Are you a foreign professional working in a managerial, executive or specialised position? This one's for you. Your employer or employment agent must apply for an Employment Pass (EP) on your behalf. It will be cancelled when your employment contract ends.
To be eligible for an EP, you'll need recognised qualifications and you should be earning a minimum fixed monthly salary of SGD5,000. If you're in the financial sector, the minimum can go up to SGD11,500.
If you're a first-timer, your pass will be valid for up to two years. Renewals are valid for up to three years. If you wish to apply for dependant privileges (which gives you the option of applying for a Dependent's Pass), you'll need to earn at least SGD6,000 monthly to qualify.
As of 1 September 2023, new EP applicants must also satisfy the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS). You can find more information about this points-based system on the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) passes and permits page.
If you're a mid-level, skilled non-citizen, you'll need this pass to work in Singapore.
You'll need to earn a fixed monthly salary of at least SGD3,000, and your salary should reflect your work experience. This means older and more experienced candidates should command higher salaries. Other requirements include a degree or a diploma. Technical certificates may be considered in some cases. Either way, you'll need to have completed at least one year of full-time study.
There are plans to raise minimum salaries, levy rate and quotas in a few stages. You'll find the most up-to-date information on the MOM website.
If you're planning to start your own business or invest in Singaporean startups, look no further.
A basic requirement for entrepreneurs involves at least SGD100,000 in funding from a government investment vehicle, venture capitalist or business angel recognised by a Singapore Government agency. While there's no minimum salary requirement, serious investors will need to have at least 8 years of experience as a senior management professional or executive of a large corporation. Businesses that are not eligible for an EntrePass include coffee shops, bars and night clubs, and massage parlours.
HSBC Premier offers international banking to help you launch your investments in Singapore. To apply, you can place a minimum of SGD200,000 (or foreign currency equivalent) in your Total Relationship Balance. If you're an HSBC Premier customer in another country/region, you already qualify to join Premier in Singapore.
See if you're eligible to open your account online with HSBC EasyID or your Singpass account. Make sure you have one of the following ID on-hand:
Watch the video to learn how EasyID makes opening your account even simpler.
If you're an independent foreign professional, you could consider the PEP. This is an open work visa that's valid for three years. It's not linked to an employer, and allows you to stay in Singapore for up to six months between jobs.
You will need a fixed monthly overseas salary of at least SGD18,000, last drawn within six months of your application. If you hold an EP, you must have a fixed monthly salary of at least SGD12,000.
As of 1 September 2023, the minimum fixed monthly salaries for both EP holders and overseas professionals will go up to SGD22,500.
This 5-year flexible work pass was created in a bid to attract top talent to Singapore. It's offered to those who meet the minimum salary or excel in sports, science, arts and culture, technology and academia.
To be eligible for it, you must either:
If you hold this pass, certain family members may also be eligible to apply for passes to join you.
You could apply for a Dependant's Pass (DP) if you're an EP or S Pass holder who earns a fixed monthly salary of SGD6,000 or above, and meets all the necessary requirements. This means you can apply to bring your legally married spouse or unmarried children under age 21 with you here, via your employer or employment agent.
EntrePass holders will have to meet certain requirements for total annual business spending and local employment. PEP holders will have to be employed for at least six months at any time and earn a fixed annual salary of SGD144,000 and above (or SGD270,000 after 1 September 2023). Approved DPs are valid for up to two years and are tied to the main work pass.
This pass applies to a common-law spouse, unmarried stepchild under age 21 or an unmarried, handicapped child above age 21. Successful candidates holding this pass can stay in Singapore on a long-term basis, provided that the main work pass holder meets the minimum fixed monthly salary requirement of SGD6,000 and has a valid EP or S Pass. Work pass holders who earn at least SGD12,000 monthly can choose to apply for the LTVP for their parents as well. You can work in Singapore as a Long Term Visit Pass holder if your employer provides you with a Letter of Consent.
If you're a foreigner who's planning to study in Singapore, you may need this pass if you're not a child of an EP or DP holder. It's also needed for those intend to further their studies at a Singaporean university or college.
You can work on a Student Pass if you're a full-time student at an approved school and meet the requirements. These requirements may differ based on when you work during the school year. To apply for a Student Pass, head on over to the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority website.
Want to plant more long-term roots in Singapore? You might want to try for a Permanent Resident (PR) status. Expats with a Singaporean PR or citizen spouse may have a higher chance of obtaining this visa, which comes with both perks and requirements. Successful candidates could find it easier to purchase a house or set up a company, but note that sons of PRs will be expected to fulfil a two-year National Service stint.
For more in-depth details on requirements and applying for employment passes and visas in Singapore, visit the Ministry of Manpower and Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority websites.
All information about salary and work pass requirements current as of 29 November 2022.
Employment Pass eligibility is subject to change. Check for latest updates at the MOM website: https://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permits/employment-pass/upcoming-changes-to-employment-pass-eligibility