Singapore to Require Work Permits For All Dependents Working With a Dependent’s Pass

March 9, 2021

Key Points

  • Beginning May 1, 2021, all Dependent’s Pass (DP) holders working in Singapore will need an applicable work pass (Employment Pass, S Pass, or Work Permit) to continue working in Singapore, instead of a Letter of Consent (LOC)
  • Existing DP holders with permission to work under a LOC are permitted to continue working until its expiry, but will be required to secure a work pass after its expiration
  • Employers or an appointed Employment Agent must apply for the relevant work pass on behalf of the candidate
  • Employers of DP holders will be required to provide the qualifying salary, dependency ratio ceiling, and/or levies to apply
  • DP holders who are business owners can continue running their business under their current LOC if they meet the specified criteria

Overview

At present, Dependent’s Pass (DP) holders who are the dependents of foreign nationals with an Employment Pass, EntrePass, or Personalized Employment Pass can work in Singapore by securing a Letter of Consent (LOC) provided by the Ministry of Manpower. Beginning May 1, 2021, all DP holders who wish to continue working in Singapore will be required to obtain the applicable work pass (Employment Pass, S Pass, or Work Permit) instead of a LOC.

What are the Changes?

Existing DP holders with an approved LOC will be permitted to continue working until their LOC expires. Once their LOC expires, the Employer of the DP holder will need to apply for the appropriate work pass should they wish to continue employing the existing DP holder.

DP holders who are business owners will be eligible to continue running their business under a LOC provided that they create local employment through the following criteria:

  • The DP holder is a sole proprietor, partner, or company director with at least 30% shareholding in the business;
  • The business hires at least one Singapore national citizen or permanent resident;
  • The employed Singapore national citizen or permanent resident earns at least the prevailing Local Qualifying Salary ($1,400); and
  • The business contributes to that employee’s Central Provident Fund account for at least three months.

DP holders who are business owners who do not meet the above criteria are permitted to continue operating their business under their current LOC until its expiry. Alternatively, they may apply for a one-off extension of their LOC until April 30, 2022 when next renewing their DP. Afterwards, they will be required to meet the above criteria in order to obtain a work pass and continue operating their business.

Who is Affected?

Foreign nationals who are DP holders and working under a Letter of Consent are permitted to continue working until the LOC’s expiry. Once the LOC expires, their employer will be required to apply for an applicable work pass so they may continue working.

Employers that hire DP holders will be required to meet the current conditions of hiring all other foreign nationals working in Singapore. When transitioning DP holders to the applicable work pass, the relevant qualifying salary, dependency ratio ceiling and/or levies for the respective work pass will apply.

DP holders who are business owners may continue operating their business under their current LOC if they meet the specified criteria of creating local employment. If they are unable to meet these criteria, they will be required to obtain the appropriate work pass.

Looking Ahead

The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore is making updates to have more consistency in their work pass framework. These changes are aligning the requirements of DP holders who are employed or looking for employment with all other foreign nationals working in Singapore. For more information regarding the upcoming changes set to take effect May 1, 2021, please refer to this link provided by the official Ministry of Manpower in Singapore.


Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.

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