Work Permit for foreign worker

The Work Permit allows semi-skilled foreign workers from approved source countries to work in certain sectors.

Who is eligible

Foreign workers from approved source countries working in the construction, manufacturing, marine shipyard, process or services sector.

What is the duration

Up to 2 years, depending on the validity of the worker’s passport, security bond and employment period.

Is it renewable


Passes for family

Not available.

Quota and levy

Yes. Employers are limited by a quota for their industry and have to pay a monthly levy for each worker.

Medical insurance

Employers must provide medical insurance

As an employer, you must buy and maintain medical insurance coverage of at least $15,000 per year for each Work Permit holder.

The insurance should cover inpatient care and day surgery, including hospital bills for conditions that may not be work related.

You can have a co-pay arrangement with the Work Permit 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.
You cannot pass on the cost of purchasing the medical insurance to Work Permit holders.

Submit insurance details

You need to submit medical insurance details online before you request to issue or renew a Work Permit, and when the details change.

To update the information, log in to WP Online.

You need to keep the following information up to date:

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

Security bond requirements for foreign worker

As an employer, you need to purchase a security bond for each non-Malaysian foreign worker you want to employ. You can buy the bond at any bank or insurance company.

What is a security bond

You need to place a $5,000 security bond for each non-Malaysian Work Permit holder you want to employ. The bond is in the form of a banker’s or insurance guarantee to support the security bond.

The bond is between you (the employer) and the Government of Singapore. It is used to ensure that both you and your workers comply with the conditions of the Work Permit. You cannot ask the worker to pay for the bond.

When to buy the bond

Before your worker arrives in Singapore, you must:

  1. Buy a security bond.
  2. Ensure your insurer sends us the security bond details (takes up to 3 working days) and the bond takes effect on the worker’s arrival date.
  3. Log in to WP Online to check the status of the security bond and print the security bond acknowledgement letter. Send a copy of the letter to your worker.

If you do not complete the steps above, your workers will be refused entry and you will have to pay to send them home.

When will the bond be discharged

You will be discharged from the security bond liability for a worker only if you meet all of these conditions:

  • You have cancelled the Work Permit.
  • The worker has returned home.
  • You did not breach any of the conditions of the security bond.

If all conditions are met, the security bond will usually be discharged one week after the worker left Singapore.

You’ll be notified by post when the security bond is discharged.

When the bond will be forfeited

Your security bond may be forfeited if:

  • You or your workers violate any of the conditions of the Work Permit or the security bond.
  • You don’t pay their salaries on time.
  • You fail to send them back when their Work Permits are expired, revoked or cancelled.
  • Your worker goes missing. If a worker goes missing, half of the security bond ($2,500) will be forfeited if you have made reasonable effort to locate the worker and filed a police report.

You will not be liable for your workers’ violations (such as those relating to pregnancy) if you can prove that you have:

  • Informed them of the Work Permit conditions they must comply with.
  • Reported a violation when you first become aware of it.

Relevant legislation

Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (Chapter 91A) and Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations 2012

Apply Now

To apply for a Work Permit, you will need to follow the following steps:

(Steps 1 to 4 can be done by the applicant outside of Singapore)

Step 1: Access whether you are eligible for a Work Permit.

Step 2: The employer should know the quota and levy requirements

Step 3: First-time employers should declare their business activity

Step 4: Check that you have all the documents required

Step 5: Fill up the following forms.

Here is a guide on how to fill out the forms.

(YouTube video goes here)

Step 5: Inform us that the form has been completed and make payment. Please note that we will only process the Work Permit application after we have received payment.

Once the application is approved (in-principle approval), you can travel to Singapore.

Step 6: Upon receiving the in-principle approval, purchase medical insurance and bond (if required) and submit details, register fingerprints and photograph and the Work Permit will be issued to you.

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