How to convert work permit to S pass Singapore

How to convert work permit to S pass Singapore

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) increased the job pass requirements in August 2020 in order to maintain and increase local jobs. In general, Singaporea

Relocation during Monsoon. Here’s how to relocation
Tips on how to manage payroll in Singapore
How landscape architectures can help you predict the future

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) increased the job pass requirements in August 2020 in order to maintain and increase local jobs. In general, Singaporeans take precedence over foreign employees in filling local job vacancies. This is one of the government’s post-COVID-19 initiatives to permit employers to keep a core of Singaporeans on their payroll. When considering employment pass (EP) and S pass applications, Singapore-based employers must remember two main points:


  • The company has helped local professionals, managers, executives, and technicians (PMET) find work.
  • The company has assisted in the recruitment and training of more Singaporean PMETs.

Framework for fair consideration

All Singapore-based employers are expected by the Framework for fair consideration  (FCF) to treat local applicants equally for both new Employment Pass and S pass applications. Furthermore, they must post work openings on MyCareersFuture.sg for at least 28 days. This will take effect on October 1, 2020.

Passes for various types of jobs in Singapore

The three major categories of work pass in Singapore are classified primarily based on the employee’s education, job type, and salary. As an expat employed in Singapore, your employer will be necessary to assist you in having your pass or work visa. In this portion, we’ll go through the most recent work permit, S pass, and employment pass criteria and requirements.

#1 What exactly is a work permit?

Work permits (WP) are granted to semi-skilled foreign employees from a pre-approved list of countries. Work permits are given to Asian countries such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea, India, Thailand, and China, to name a few. About the fact that each sector has its own list of recognized countries, Malaysians who apply for WPs are granted more latitude. Your employer or approved representative may apply for a WP online. WP online can monitor applications and usually processes them within one business day.


WP holders usually work in labor-intensive industries. Construction, marine shipyards, manufacturing, and the service sector are some examples. Although there is no minimum wage, there is a maximum duration of employment and age restrictions. Once your application is approved, your WP will be renewable for up to two years.

Employers’ work permit conditions

In addition to the FCF, Singapore-based employers must follow the Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC) for WP applications. There are percentage limits levied on each industry to determine how many expats can comprise the total workforce. For example, in the Services Sector, SRC will be reduced from 38 percent to 35 percent beginning January 1, 2021.


Furthermore, employers must pay a monthly levy for each foreign worker in addition to providing them with medical benefits. This will have an effect on the employer’s hiring decisions.

#2 What exactly is an S Pass?

An S pass Singapore permit can be applied for by mid-level qualified personnel of all nationalities. A specific degree, diploma, or specialized professional certificate is required to apply. Furthermore, you must have many years of work experience to back this up. A work that pays at least SGD $2,400 per month is also expected as of 1 January 2020. Of course, for more seasoned and older candidates, the minimum salary threshold for receiving an S pass rises. It is renewable and valid for up to two years once obtained.

Employers’ S pass criteria

In addition, the Ministry imposes a DRC limit on the number of S pass Singapore holders allowed in each company. These figures will soon fall even lower. For example, in the service sector, it will fall from 13 percent to 10 percent beginning January 1, 2021. It will be reduced from 20% to 15% in all other sectors beginning January 1, 2023.


Likewise, the employer is required to pay a monthly levy for S pass Singapore holders. It costs SGD $330 or SGD $650 depending on the tier. Didn’t work in Singapore for a full month? Your levy will be calculated using a different regular rate.

#3 What is an employment pass?

High-paying expats of all nationalities in managerial, executive, or specialist positions may be eligible for an Employment Pass (EP). First, you must receive a monthly salary of at least $4,500. (from 1 September 2020). For older people with more experience, this requirement nearly doubles. The minimum qualifying wage for expats in the Financial Services Sector is even higher.


A good university degree, technical qualifications, or specialist skills are also needed. It should be noted that EP holders are not subject to DPC quotas or levies. If obtained, your EP is valid for two years and can be extended for a total of three years. Apply online with Employment Pass or by mail with an application form from MOM via Singpost. The processing period after submission is 3 weeks and 8 weeks, respectively. WP and EP holders are required to pay income tax to the Singaporean government.

#4 Pass for dependents

EP and S pass Singapore holders may apply for a Dependent Pass to bring their spouse, children, and parents to Singapore. This is open to all nationals from around the world, though some will be eligible to comply with additional papers. To sponsor your dependents, you must receive at least SGD $6,000 monthly in fixed salary.

What is the procedure for converting a work permit to an S pass?

These two work permits are comparable in some respects and dissimilar in others. The work permit is intended for individuals who are semi-skilled and seeking employment in construction, manufacturing, marine, or other service sectors. The employer should be the one to apply for the foreign worker’s work permit. While the S pass Singapore work permit is intended for mid-level professional employees earning at least S$2,300 monthly.


The employer should apply for the S pass, which is valid for up to two years. One big distinction between these two permits is that the S pass work permit comes with benefits. The S pass permits a person to travel to Singapore with his or her family, while the simple work visa does not.


As a result, a large number of employees wish to change their work permits to an S pass work permit. To do so, one must first determine if they are already qualified to apply. Qualifications include, but are not limited to, a monthly salary of at least S$2,300, a degree, and relevant experience in the field of employment. When you are eligible, the transfer must be handled by your employer.

Apply for a work permit today

Ren Ai Group is a market leader in Singapore’s recruitment and human resource consulting industries, with offices in the Asia Pacific. Ren Ai Group has several tools on our website that will assist both employers and applicants with the application process for the Singapore employment pass and work visa. Contact us today for a free consultation session if you need assistance with your application for a Singapore S Pass work permit or work visa.