Post Study Work Options: How to Get a Work Visa in Singapore After Studies

Post Study Work Options: How to Get a Work Visa in Singapore After Studies

After tackling the Post Study Work options in the EU/Schengen area, we move ahead to the Asian nations who are also highly favoured by international students. And so, we bring you to Asia’s travel hub, Singapore.

Singapore is a city-state located in Southeast Asia, about 85 miles north of the Equator. It consists of the diamond-shaped Singapore Island and some 60 small islets. The main island occupies all but about 18 square miles of this combined area. 

As English in the main working language in the country, you won’t experience the dreaded language barrier. 

Singapore may be a small country however in the terms of higher education and research, Singapore is an institution. The country is known for its world-class education, so it’s hardly surprising to note that its universities are ranked among the world’s best.

As one of the financial capitals of the world, Singapore is a magnet to foreign nationals searching for opportunities to work in Asian markets. Due to the booming economy, companies are offering top salaries and lucrative benefit packages to attract highly-skilled workers and talents. 

With a population of around five million, and dropping fertility rates, Singapore is highly interested in acquiring new residence and labor force to boost the country’s economy to soaring heights. 

For any international student planning to gain employment after graduation, obtaining a work visa of Singapore is required. To obtain a post-study work visa, students are required to apply for a Long Term Social Visit Pass followed by a working pass. 

Check out your options below on how to stay in Singapore after completing your studies or check out your other post-study options to the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or Europe!

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Long-term Visit Pass

If you still need to search for a job after graduation, you can apply for a Visit Pass which will allow you to remain in Singapore for up to 12 months.

To qualify, you will need to be a graduate of an accredited Singapore Institute of Higher Learning to be eligible for the pass. You can see the accredited universities here. You will need to apply for this pass via the electronic service e-Service.

You will need to submit original and copies of the following documents:

  • Travel Document 
  • Foreign Identification Number (FIN)
  • Photograph in accordance to our Digital Photo Image Guidelines
  • Certificate(s) showing your highest level of academic qualification
  • Disembarkation/ Embarkation (D/E) card
  • Online payment

The application process for The Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP)  may take up to six weeks. You cannot apply for a long-term visit pass if you have less than 10 days left on your student’s pass.

The holder of a Visit Pass is not permitted to work or engage in any business, profession or occupation without a valid work permit or written consent from the Controller of Work Pass. This means that you are not allowed to take any type of employment while you are on this permit and this pass cannot be renewed.

Work Pass

Once you’ve been offered a job, your employer will put you forward for a work pass. Getting a working pass is mandatory for a foreign national/ non-resident working in Singapore. 

This pass is specific to one employer and if you switch from that company, your current working pass will be cancelled and then your new employer will have to re-apply for a work pass for you.  

There are two types of working pass. Which permit you have will depend on your salary, and in most cases as a fresh graduate you’ll need what is called an ‘S Pass.’ If you secure a high-paying job then you might be eligible for an Employment Pass.

TypeForEligibility Requirements
S PassMid – Level Skilled Staff
  • Should have minimum monthly salary of SGD 2,500
  • Required educational qualification from accredited institutions
Employment PassWorking Professionals, Specialists, Managers, Executives
  • Should have minimum monthly salary of SGD 4,500
  • Required educational qualification from accredited institution
  • Work Experience

Documents to be submitted for Work Pass application:

  • Bio page of your passport
  • Company’s latest business profile or instant information registered with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
  • Your educational certificates

* Additional documents may be required

S Pass

Your employer will need to apply to the Controller of Work Passes before they’re able to take on a foreign worker, and then you’ll be assessed against a points system that takes into account your salary, educational qualifications, relevant work experience and any technical certificates (if relevant) that you might hold. You should note that the S Pass issued to each Employer is subject to a quota.

To qualify, you’ll need to be earning a fixed monthly salary of at least SGD 2,500 and hold relevant qualifications. The S pass is valid for up to two years and can be renewed.

Employment Pass

If you’ve been offered a job with a fixed monthly salary of over SGD 4,500 then you will be eligible for an Employment Pass. As with an S pass, you’ll be judged against a set of criteria that considers your salary, qualifications and work experience. 

Employment Pass is not subject to any quota and the first pass is valid for up to two years and can be renewed for up to three years.

Pass holders who have a fixed monthly salary of at least $6,000, are eligible for a Dependant’s Pass for their spouse and children.

EntrePass

The EntrePass allows eligible foreign entrepreneurs to start and operate a business in Singapore that is venture-backed or possesses innovative technologies. 

You can apply for an EntrePass if you meet both conditions:

  • Have started, or intend to start, a private limited company registered with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) that is venture-backed or owns innovative technologies.
    • If registered, the company must be less than 6 months old on the date you apply.
    • If not registered, you can do so after you know the outcome of your application.
  • Meet any of the following innovative criteria as an entrepreneur, innovator or investor listed below. You do not need to meet all of the criteria for each respective profile, but having more qualifications would help your application.    

The company can be considered as venture-backed if it meets the any of the following conditions:

  • Raised funding from capital providers including government investment vehicles, venture capitalist, corporates, family offices or business angels.
  • Developed, produced or commercialised tech products, services or platforms.
  • Registered a patent with an approved national IP institution.
  • Collaborated in an ongoing research with a research institution.

You will need these documents to apply:

  • Personal particulars page of your passport.
  • If available, past employment testimonials in English or resume to elaborate on professional experiences, awards or recognitions.
  • (For businesses registered with ACRA) Company’s latest business profile or instant information from Bizfile.
  • A business plan in English, maximum 10 pages, consisting of:
  • Product and service offered
  • Market analysis
  • Operation plan
  • Profile of management team
  • Supporting documents, e.g. licensing agreements, product certificates and endorsement patents
  • Other documents that will support your EntrePass application. We may ask for other documents when we review your application.

Additional documents are needed depending on what category you want to submit your application such as an entrepreneur, innovator or investor.

The application process usually takes up to 8 weeks. The first pass issued is valid for a year and can be renewed for another year. Subsequent renewal will be valid for two years.

As an EntrePass holder, you can get certain family members to join you in Singapore if you meet the requirements for minimum business spending and local jobs created. To check if you are eligible to bring your family, you can request an online assessment with the Ministry of Manpower.

Permanent Residence (PR)

As a foreign national, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence if you are:

  • Holder of an Employment Pass or S Pass
  • Student studying in Singapore
  • Foreign investor in Singapore.

Ideally, you can submit your application the day you start working in the country as a Work Pass holder. However, one of the application requirements is to provide six months payslip from your employer. This means that you should wait at least six months from the day you start work before you submit your Permanent Residence application.

Realistically, how soon you can apply for a Permanent Residence also depends on the type of employment pass you are holding and the unofficial annual quota set by the government.

Tip: Make sure you are on good terms with your employer at the time of submitting your application as the form contains a section that is to be completed by the employer.

To apply, you need to prepare the following documents:

  • Valid travel document and passport pages showing personal particulars and official descriptions
  • Employment Pass or S Pass
  • Identity card (if applicable)
  • Birth certificate or official household census list or family register showing both parents’ name
  • Deed poll or change of name certificate (if applicable)
  • Highest educational certificates, transcripts, professional
  • license/membership certificates and vocational trade certificates
  • Testimonials from previous employer(s) stating the nature and duration of employment and the last drawn
  • basic salary (if any)
  • Payslips for the last 6 months
  • Current Employer’s letter stating the date of employment, position held, salary per month for the past 6 months
  •  with breakdown into basic, overtime and allowance per month. The letter, addressed to the Controller of
  •  Immigration, should be dated within 1 month from the date of submission;
  • IRAS consent form to give consent for ICA to obtain and verify financial information provided in respect of this
  • application with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore directly;
  • For self-employed: Valid Business Registration Certificate with names of partners shown; and
  • For self-employed: Occupational license pertaining to your employment 

*Additional documents may be requested

Applications for Permanent Residence usually take about 4-6 months to process, provided all the required documents are submitted.

Naturalised Citizenship

You are eligible to apply for a naturalised citizenship if you meet the following conditions:

  • Have been a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) for at least two years and are aged 21 and above
  • Permanent Resident studying in Singapore; and have been residing in Singapore for more than 3 years (of which, at least one year as a PR); and have passed at least one national exam 

To apply, you need to prepare the following documents:

  • Foreign Identification Number (FIN)
  • Photograph in accordance to our Digital Photo Image Guidelines
  • Valid travel document 
  • Birth certificate or official household census list or family register showing both parents’ name
  • Educational Certificates
  • Skill Certificates
  • Professional Licence
  • Letter of employment from current employer or Business Registration Certificate
  • Latest 6 months payslips
  • Income tax assessment for at least 3 years

* Additional documents may be required

Are you excited to move to Singapore? Talk to us in the comments section below.

IaM can help with your visa application to the United States, the UK & other countries

If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.

Charlie

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