Did you know that the Ministry of Manpower has a new mandate? It states that effective 1st May 2021 all Dependant’s Pass holders will be required to apply for Employment Pass, S Pass or Work Permit if they wish to work in Singapore. Let’s find out more about Dependant’s Pass employment options in Singapore from our expert CA Mohamed Saleem.
Mr Saleem, a Chartered Accountant by profession has spent over a decade being a business and migration specialist and runs a firm called Enrich consulting in Singapore. With a team of professionals working round the clock Enrich consulting has managed to fulfil the dreams of several individuals with a vision of working in Singapore.
Singapore has over the years become a hub for expats seeking a better quality of life and excellent job prospects. In Singapore only legally married spouses and children below the age of twenty-one can apply for a Dependant’s pass. It also specifies that an S pass holder needs to earn above S$ 6,000 a month to be eligible to bring their dependents to Singapore.
In the past, Dependant’s pass holders could seek employment and work in Singapore without applying for a separate visa. All they needed was a letter of consent (LOC) from the Ministry of manpower and they could be legally employed.
As of 1st of May 2021, the government of Singapore has made it compulsory for those on a Dependant’s pass to apply for either an Employment Pass, S Pass or a Work Permit if they wish to seek employment in Singapore. They also mentioned that existing DP holders who are currently employed need to apply for an employment pass upon the expiry of the LOC. Other than this DP holders can also start a company in Singapore by applying for an Employment Pass.
There are a number of issues associated with Dependant’s Pass employment options in Singapore.
An Ep is issued to highly qualified individuals who are managers, executives, specialists or professionals. The process to apply for an Employment Pass is lengthy and subjected to approval. There is also no guarantee that the person applying for an EP will receive it.
The DP holder applying for an EP needs to have
Mid-level skilled workers with relevant certification can apply for and receive an S Pass. Secondly, the number of S Pass holders that a company can hire is limited by a quota.
For a DP to apply for an S Pass, the applicant needs to have
In Singapore, a work permit is issued to basic skilled individuals. These individuals are generally from specific source countries. These individuals need to seek employment in specific in-demand sectors. The duration of this permit is 2 years.
In order to apply for a Work Permit, the applicant needs to have
A sad reality is that due to the complexity of the application process several professionals on a dependant’s pass remain unemployed. If they do not have a job offer or LOC or specific qualifications there are high chances the individuals with PHDs, engineering and other degrees there is a high possibility of them not finding employment. If companies are willing to employ DP holders and apply for either an EP or an S Pass things will get easier but if that’s not the case DP holders have another option – going the business route
Here is all you need to know about
Dependant’s Pass holders in Singapore have an option of starting their business. They can do this by registering a private limited company and enlisting themselves as a shareholder.
To register a company in Singapore, DP holders need to have
One local resident as a director – at the time of incorporation the company needs to have a local director with at least 30% shareholding in the business. He or she needs to either be a Singapore citizen or a Permanent Resident living in Singapore.
One Shareholder – the shareholder can either be an individual or a corporate either local or foreign and needs to have at least 30% shareholding in the business.
One company secretary – the company needs to have a legal representative who will liaise with the government and make sure the company is compliant.
A registered address in Singapore – the company needs to have a physical address, not a Post Office number. all documents related to the company will be sent to this address.
Paid-up capital – the minimum paid-up capital required is S$ 1
Local or PR employee – the company needs to have employed at least one local or PR who earns at least S$ 1,400 a month and receives Central Provident Fund (CPF).
Please note: As DP holders cannot work in Singapore they will need to apply for a LOC to be a director of a company registered in Singapore.
When it comes to seeking employment DP holders need to apply for an EP but the problem arises when they start looking for career prospects.
As per the Ministry of Manpower rules, companies in Singapore need to prioritize locals over foreign nationals for job vacancies. They first need to put out advertisements and interview locals. Only if they fail to find suitable candidates can they interview and hire foreign nationals.
Hence an EP or S Pass does not guarantee employment.
As mentioned in the previous section the DP holder can start a company and offer services to other companies. In this case, if the DP holder is looking for an accountant’s job in company X, his or her company Y can offer accounting services to company X.
At the end of the month company X will be billed for man-hours. They will then be required to pay a stipulated fee to company Y. The DP holder can then take a director’s salary from company Y.
In this way, the DP Holder can visit the company regularly. They can then work at the premises for a stipulated amount of time.
This process can get a little expensive for company X as they are paying professional charges to an entity. Some may argue that an EP application is less complicated. Agreed, but it’s not guaranteed that the application will get approved and the DP holder will receive employment. Secondly, the DP holder can also offer services to other companies which can be lucrative.
With new regulations employment options for Dependant’s Pass holders has become a little complicated. They can either look for employment or start a business. Either way, it is always a good option to have a local consultant guiding them through the process. Enrich consulting offers an in-depth consultation for Dependant pass holders seeking employment.
Hope this article gave you a fair idea about Dependant’s Pass employment options in Singapore. Check out our article on the Importance of Proper Book-Keeping.
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