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Work Passes – Skilled and semi skilled workers S P

Singapore Payroll

Work passes
All foreigners who intend to work in Singapore must have a valid pass (commonly known as a work visa) before they start work. If you are engaging foreigners to work in Singapore, you must ensure that they hold a valid pass. Find out which pass is suitable, if they are eligible and how to apply.

Skilled and semi-skilled workers

  1. S Pass

The S Pass offers flexibility to employers to hire skilled workers (Associate Professionals and Technicians (APTs)) who may not meet the EP criteria, subject to a quota. New candidates need to earn at least $3,150 a month.

Key facts on S Pass

Get an overview and key facts about the S Pass for hiring foreign skilled workers (Associate Professionals and Technicians (APTs)) to work in Singapore.

Pass facts

Who it is forMid-skilled technical staff who meet the eligibility criteria.
Who can applyAn employer or appointed employment agent must apply on behalf of the applicant. If the pass holder changes jobs, the new employer has to apply for a new pass.
Qualifying salaryFixed monthly salary comparable to top one-third of local APT salaries. This is a minimum of $3,150 (and increases progressively with age, up to $4,650 for those in mid-40s).
Candidates in the financial service sector need higher salaries to qualify.
What is the durationUp to 2 years.
Is it renewableYes.
Passes for familyAvailable for eligible pass holders.
Quota or levyYes. Employers are subject to a quota and levy for S Pass employees.
Medical insuranceEmployers must provide medical insurance for S Pass holders.
Relevant legislationConditions of Work PassEmployment of Foreign Manpower Act

Eligibility for S Pass

Only eligible candidates will be considered for an S Pass. Criteria include earning a salary of at least $3,150, which is benchmarked against the top one-third of the local associate professionals and technicians (APT) salaries by age.

Who is eligible?

The S Pass is for foreign employees across all nationalities or citizenships who:

  • Have a job offer in Singapore.
  • Earn a fixed monthly salary comparable to the top one-third of the local APT workforce by age, as shown below:
SectorMinimum qualifying salary for renewals from 1 Sep 2023Minimum qualifying salary for new applications from 1 Sep 2023, and for renewals from 1 Sep 2024Minimum qualifying salary for new applications from 1 Sep 2025, and for renewals from 1 Sep 2026
All
(except financial services)
$3,000
(increases progressively with age from age 23, up to $4,500 at age 45 and above)
$3,150
(increases progressively with age from age 23, up to $4,650 at age 45 and above)
 At least $3,300
(to be finalised) 
Financial services$3,500
(increases progressively with age from age 23, up to $5,500 at age 45 and above)
$3,650
(increases progressively with age from age 23, up to $5,650 at age 45 and above)
At least $3,800
(to be finalised)

Acceptable qualifications

You will be asked to provide details of qualifications and work experience when submitting your candidate’s work pass applications. We do not accept qualifications from unaccredited institutions.

Who can apply

An employer or authorised third party has to apply for a candidate’s S Pass.

Self-Assessment Tool

se the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) to check a candidate’s eligibility before you apply.

If the SAT shows that the candidate is not eligible, you shouldn’t apply for the S Pass because it will be rejected.

If the SAT shows that the candidate is eligible, there is around a 90% chance that the candidate will get a pass.

Passes for family members

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.

Employers can submit the application together with the S Pass application or separately at a later date.

S Pass quota and levy requirements

The number of S Pass holders you can hire is limited by a quota. You must also pay a monthly levy for these workers.

What is the foreign worker levy

The foreign worker levy, commonly known as “levy”, is a pricing mechanism to regulate the number of foreign workers in Singapore.

As an employer, you must pay the levy for all your S Pass holders. The levy liability starts from the day the S Pass is issued and ends when the pass is cancelled or expires.

Quota requirement

If you have never applied for a Work Permit or S Pass, you need to declare your business activity for calculating your quota.

Under the existing quota, the number of S Pass holders your company can hire is capped at:

  • 10% of the company’s total workforce in the services sector.
  • 15% in the construction, manufacturing, marine shipyard and process sectors.

Levy rate

TierQuota % Monthly levy rate Daily levy rate 
Basic / Tier 1 Up to 10% of the total workforce $550$18.09

For all sectors (excluding services), the levy rate is as follows:

Tier Quota % Monthly levy rate Daily levy rate 
Basic / Tier 1 Up to 10% of the total workforce $550$18.09
Tier 2 Above 10% to 15% of the total workforce $650 $21.37

Levy rates are regularly reviewed and adjusted as required.

Note:

  • For all sectors, the S Pass quota will be counted within the Work Permit quota.
  • The daily levy rate applies only to S Pass holders who did not work for a full calendar month. The daily levy rate is calculated as follows: (Monthly levy rate x 12) / 365 = rounding up to the nearest cent.

Paying the levy for S Pass

You will have to pay a levy for your S Pass holder every month. Find out how to pay the levy and view bills online, and the penalties for late payment.

When and how to pay the levy

You must pay the levy via General Interbank Recurring Order (GIRO).

If you don’t have a GIRO account, apply for one using the GIRO application form. We will notify you of the outcome by post.

You can check your application status and start date of your GIRO deduction one month after your GIRO application.

After GIRO is approved
The levy for each month will be deducted from your bank account on the 17th of the following month (or the next working day if it falls on a weekend or public holiday).You should maintain enough funds in your account before the deduction date. If the GIRO deduction is unsuccessful, your bank may charge you a failed transaction fee.
The levy for January 2017 will be deducted on 17 February 2017.
If you need to pay levy using other methodsYou must pay the levy for each month by the 14th of the following month.
Note: It takes longer for us to process your payment when you pay using other methods.

View levy bills online

You can view your latest levy bill on the 6th of every month using Check and pay levy.

Penalties for not paying levy

If you don’t pay the full levy on time, you may face these penalties:

  • You’ll be charged a late payment penalty of 2% per month or $20, whichever is higher. Your total late payment penalty will be capped at 30% of the outstanding levy.
  • Your existing S Passes will be revoked.
  • Note: After clearing the arrears and fines, you may submit a new application for S Pass holders. Your S Pass holders must obtain new S Passes before they can continue to work.
  • You won’t be allowed to apply for or issue S Passes, or renew existing S Passes.
  • You may face legal action to recover the unpaid levy.
  • If you, your partners or directors head other companies, these companies will not be allowed to apply for S Passes.

Apply for levy waiver for S Pass

You can get waiver of levy for S Pass holders only in certain specific situations. These include overseas leave and hospitalisation leave.

When you can get a levy waiver

You can apply for a levy waiver only if the S Pass holder:

  • Is on overseas leave for at least 7 consecutive days.
  • Capped at 60 calendar days per calendar year.
  • Is on hospitalisation leave issued by Singapore hospitals.
  • Capped at 60 calendar days per calendar year.
  • Failed to return to Singapore after overseas leave.
  • Is under police custody or is housed at the embassy.
  • Passed away.
  • Has been granted Singapore permanent residence.
  • Is in the harbour-craft industry and is on board a vessel leaving Singapore’s port for at least 3 consecutive days.
  • Is a Malaysian and is serving National Service in his home country (usually for 3 months).

What you need

If S Pass holderYou need
Went on overseas leaveNo documents needed. We will contact you if we need any.
If the pass holder chose not to return from overseas leave, you should cancel the work pass before you apply for a waiver.
Was admitted to a hospital in SingaporeAny of the following:
Medical certificate showing the period of hospitalisation leave.Hospital bills which reflect the admission and discharge dates.
Was in the custody of the police or embassyA letter from the relevant organisation stating the period of custody.
Passed awayA copy of his death certificate.
Became a Singapore permanent residentOne of the following:
A copy of his NRIC.The approval letter from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
Is on board a vessel leaving Singapore’s port for at least 3 consecutive days (for harbour-craft industry)A declaration form signed by vessel captain from the Maritime And Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) stating the period he was on board the vessel.
Is a Malaysian serving National Service in his home countryAll of the following:
A letter from the Malaysia Authority stating the period he is required to do National Service.A copy of the certificate of completion of National Service.

When to apply

You can apply for the levy waiver only after the levy has been charged and it must be within 1 year of the levy bill.

How to apply

You need to apply online at CPF website. After logging in, choose Application for Waiver of Foreign Worker Levy (Business).

You can check your application status online after 12 working days.

How to calculate the waiver

Amount waived = Monthly levy rate – Levy payable scenario

  • Waiver period: 1 – 15 September
  • S Pass holder’s levy rate: $650 monthly (or $21.37 daily)

How to calculate

  1. Count the number of days from 16 to 30 September where levy is payable, i.e. 15 days.
  2. Find out the amount of levy payable using daily rate, i.e. 15 days x $21.37 = $320.55
  3. Amount waived = Monthly levy rate – Levy payable
  4. $650 (monthly levy rate) – $320.55 (levy payable) = $329.45 (amount waived)

S Pass medical insurance requirements

Before you can issue or renew an S Pass, you must buy medical insurance for the pass holder and submit the details online.

What it should cover

As part of an employer’s S Pass medical obligations, you must buy and maintain medical insurance for your S Pass holders as long they are under your employment.

The insurance coverage must be at least $15,000 per year and cover inpatient care and day surgery.

Co-pay arrangement

You can have a co-pay arrangement with the S Pass holder only if all of the following are met:

  • The medical treatment is not for work-related inpatient expenses.
  • The co-pay amount is reasonable and does not exceed 10% of the worker’s monthly salary.
  • The duration co-payment does not exceed 6 months.
  • The co-payment option is explicitly in the employment contract or collective agreement and has the worker’s full consent.

Submit insurance details

You need to submit medical insurance details online before you request to issue or renew an S Pass, and when the insurance details change.

You can submit the medical insurance details through:

  • WP Online
  • EP Online – you can submit the details when you issue the S Pass.

You need to keep the following information up to date:

  • Name of insurer
  • Insurance policy number
  • Insurance policy commencement date
  • Insurance policy expiry date

We encourage you to get a WP Online account to make it easier for you to update your employees’ medical insurance. Registration is free.

Paying the salary of S Pass holders

You will need to pay S Pass holders using electronic methods such as GIRO and funds transfers.

Requirements for paying salary

If you employ S Pass holders, you need to:

  • Pay their salaries electronically.
  • Start electronic payments within 3 months after the S Pass is issued.
  • Maintain a record of the salary payments.

Employer can be fined or prosecuted if they don’t comply with these requirements. We may also take this into account when assessing future work pass applications.

Electronic payment methods

You can use these methods for paying S Pass salaries:

  • General Interbank Recurring Order (GIRO) with your designated bank.
  • Internet funds transfer.
  • ATM funds transfer.
  • Standing order.
  • Funds transfer through bank counters.

Exemptions from electronic payments

You are exempted from electronic payment of salaries in these situations:

  • The S Pass has been issued for 3 months or less.
  • The wages are for the worker’s last month of employment.
  • The wages are for overtime work.