Singapore Dependant's Pass holders need work pass from 1 May

Out-Law News | 05 Mar 2021 | 2:38 am | 1 min. read

Foreigners who are staying in Singapore on Dependant’s passes (DP) will have to apply for a work pass and would no longer have the option to work on a letter of consent from 1 May.

DP holders who are currently working on a letter of consent will be allowed to continue working until their current letter of consent expires. After that they will need to apply for a work pass.

This means that their employers will need to apply for a work pass such as an employment pass, S Pass or work permit for them, and any qualifying salary, dependency ratio ceiling and levies will apply. The change aims to bring people into line with the requirement for other foreigners working in Singapore, according to Singapore’s manpower minister Josephine Teo.

DP holders who are running businesses locally will be allowed to continue working on a letter of consent if they are either the sole proprietor, partner, or director with at least 30% of the company shares, and their business creates local employment.

To fulfil the condition of creating local employment, the business must hire at least one Singaporean or permanent resident earning at least S$1,400 and make contributions to the employee's Central Provident Fund (CPF) account for at least three months.

Those who do not meet the new criteria can continue working until their letter of consent expires. They can also apply for a one-off extension of their letter of consent until 30 April 2022.

The manpower ministry is expected to release further details in the future.

Mayumi Soh of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “This change is likely to have a big impact on expatriates as well as their employers. Employers should look at their workforce and assess whether any of their employees will be impacted by this change. They must then consider whether the affected individual can qualify for a work pass, or if not, what adjustments have to be made.”