Effective September 19th, employers operating in the construction, marine shipyard, and process (CMP) sectors will need to furnish evidence of suitable accommodation arrangements for their incoming non-Malaysian work permit holders before their entry into Singapore, as announced by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Monday.

This additional prerequisite, in conjunction with the standard work permit approval process, mandates that employers submit pertinent documents, such as tenancy agreements, rental contracts, or agreements with accommodation providers, to the ministry.

Employers who provide accommodations in purpose-built dormitories, construction temporary quarters (CTQs), temporary occupation licence quarters (TOLQs), or their proprietary dormitories can anticipate approvals within approximately a week. Conversely, those who accommodate their workers in private residential properties, hotels, or hostels should anticipate a lengthier approval process, spanning around six weeks or more due to supplementary verifications.

Failure to adhere to this new mandate by bringing workers into Singapore without the requisite accommodation proof may result in the suspension of work pass privileges for employers.

This decision comes in response to the substantial surge in work permit holders within the CMP sectors in July, marking a 19 percent increase compared to pre-Covid-19 levels. MOM has facilitated the entry of workers into Singapore to aid employers in mitigating project delays caused by the pandemic.

While the government has actively collaborated with the industry to augment dormitory bed capacity, adding nearly 17,000 beds since December 2022, the escalating number of work permit holders has led to near-full occupancy at dormitories, resulting in more migrant workers being accommodated in non-dormitory settings. The objective of this mandate is to regulate the demand for non-dormitory accommodations and guarantee suitable living conditions for workers, as emphasized by the ministry.

Employers are strongly encouraged to contribute to bed supply by establishing their own accommodations, such as CTQs, TOLQs, or factory-converted dormitories, to house their workforce. This approach will also expedite approvals, as the verification process will be streamlined, as per MOM’s guidance.


If you have any company-related queries, you may email us at [email protected]. When in doubt, seek legal advice or consult an experienced licensed Employment Agency with the Ministry of Manpower.

Yours Sincerely,
The editorial team at Singapore Employment Agency

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