Prayer For Employment Visa
Singapore Employment Pass Scheme
Back to Immigration guides
If you have been deployed by your company to Singapore for work, there are be a number of work passes that you may qualify for, among which, is the Singapore Employment Pass (EP). Here’s all you need to know about qualifying and applying for the EP.
An Employment Pass or EP is a Singapore work visa issued by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower to foreign professional employees, managers, and owners or directors of Singaporean companies. This work visa allows you to live and work in Singapore, as well as travel in and the country without having to apply for entry visas.
An Employment Pass is usually valid for 1-2 years and can be renewed after. Possessing an EP also makes it easier for you to apply for permanent residence (PR) in Singapore.
How do I qualify for an Employment Pass?
To qualify for a Singaporean Employment Pass, you need to:
- Draw a minimum fixed salary of S$3,600 per month. This usually applies to young graduates. More experienced candidates may need higher salaries to qualify.
- Works in a managerial, executive or specialised job.
- Possess a tertiary degree from a reputable university. A strong professional employment history and high salary may compensate for lack of education.
Do note that these are general guidelines – the authorities review all Employment Pass applications before approval is granted.
There is no limit to the number of EPs that can be granted to an employing Singapore company.
What documents do I need to apply for an Employment Pass?
- An EP Application Form 8, duly endorsed by the employing Singapore company
- A copy of your latest resume and relevant educational certificates
- References/testimonials from previous employers
- A passport-size photograph of yourself, taken within the past three months
- A copy of the personal particulars page of your passport
- A copy of the business profile of the employing Singapore company
- A detailed description of your job duties
- A detailed description of the activities and/or products of the employing Singapore company
Beside the eight documents described above, you may have to supply additional supporting documents as needed. You will also need to have any non-English documents officially translated into English.
How do I file my Employment Pass application, and how long will it take to process it?
There are two ways to file your Employment Pass application:
- You may register online if the employing Singapore company has registered for an EP online account. Online applications are usually processed within 3 weeks from the date of submission.
- You may also submit a manual application, which allows for the attachment of all supporting documents (which cannot be done online). Manual applications are usually processed within 8 weeks from the date of submission.
The overall processing time of your application may vary by several days or weeks.
This is due to several factors, such as the credentials of the employing Singapore company, the qualifications of the applicant, and the availability of supporting documents.
How do I know if my Employment Pass has been approved, and how do I collect it?
When your Employment Pass application is approved, MOM will send an In-Principle-Approval (IPA) letter to the employing Singapore company’s address. The IPA letter is valid for 6 months from the date it is issued.
To collect your pass, you will need to come to Singapore and present a copy of the IPA letter, your passport, and any other documents that may be requested in the IPA letter. A one-time entry visa will be issued to you to enter Singapore and collect your Employment Pass.
Your IPA letter may require you to go through a medical test and produce the report when you collect visa. You may opt to do the medical test in an established clinic or hospital in your home country, or when you arrive in Singapore.
If you applied for Dependent’s Passes and/or Long-Term Visit Passes for your family, you can collect these at the same time.
Do note that all EP applications are not considered final until you have received an In-Principle-Approval of your application. Please do not make any prior relocation plans.
I have successfully obtained an Employment Pass. Can I bring my family to live with me in Singapore?
You can, if you draw a minimum fixed monthly salary of S$6000. Spouses and children of successful Employment Pass holders can apply for a family visa known as a Dependent’s Pass (DP) during or after the approval of the EP.
DPs are approved automatically once the EP application is approved and expire at the same time as the EP.
Common-law spouses, unmarried handicapped children (above 21 years old), and unmarried step-children (under 21 years old) of successful EP holders can apply for a long-stay visitor visa known as a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP).
Similar to the DP, LTVPs are approved automatically once the EP application is approved and expire at the same time as the EP. Parents of successful EP holders can also apply for the LTVP, but the successful EP holder needs to draw a minimum salary of S$12,000 (from 1 January 2018 onwards) in order for them to qualify.
I was rejected for an Employment Pass. What should I do?
If your initial Employment Pass application is rejected, do contact us.
We will work closely with MOM to explore the possible reasons for the rejection – and when appropriate, we can help you to submit an appeal that directly addresses these reasons.
Appeals are usually processed within 4-6 weeks, and will ly be approved once the additional details submitted are deemed satisfactory by MOM.
How do I renew my Employment Pass?
An Employment Pass renewal form will be sent to your employer’s registered address three (3) months before your EP expires.
The renewal application should be completed and submitted to MOM at least four weeks before your EP expires. If your renewal application is approved, your employer will receive an approval letter.
You will need to visit the MOM office to collect your new EP.
For more information about Employment Passes, see Employment Pass FAQs.
Hawksford are renowned for supporting entrepreneurs and foreign companies and their employees establish their roots in Singapore.
Find out how Hawksford can help
Contact us directly to get your immigration and relocation issues sorted out. It's easy and quick. Let us help you get established in Singapore.
Find out more
Self-employed Dutch visa for freelancers and entrepreneurs – Expat Guide to The Netherlands
If you want to set up your own business, work as a freelancer or practice a profession in the Netherlands, you can apply for a self-employed Dutch residence permit.
If you want to live in the Netherlands and start your own business, work as a freelancer or practice a profession, you must apply for a Dutch residence permit as an entrepreneur. Certain conditions apply to each situation, which are outlined in this guide.
Immigration updates 2017
- The requirements to work as self-employed in the Netherlands can be rigorous if you are a foreign national. To avoid deterring new businesses, the Dutch government introduced the ‘Startup Visa’, effective as of January 2015, that allows new businesses a preparatory year to prepare the requirements for qualifying for the Dutch self-employment permit.
- Further changes were made to the Startup Visa in 2016, when the Dutch authorities recognised that after the preliminary start-up year many enterprises were still not able to pass the rigorous scrutiny of the standard self-employed application. As of January 2016 startups may introduce a favourable recommendation from their business facilitator that will replace the points-based system.
- The prices for self-employment permits were increased in January 2017 (see below).
Moving to the Netherlands
Different rules apply for citizens from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA – EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland – and their family members. Read more in Expatica’s guide for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals moving to the Netherlands.
Otherwise, depending on your nationality, you may need a provisional residence permit (MVV) to enter the Netherlands in addition to a Dutch residence permit to stay in the country for more than three months, although exemptions apply. Find out if you need an entry visa for the Netherlands in our guide to Dutch residence visa (MVV) and permit.
Conditions for self-employed Dutch residence permit
If you’re coming to work as a self-employed person or to set up your own business in the Netherlands, there are certain conditions that must be met to receive approval for your Dutch permit, most notably proving that your business activities serve an essential Dutch interest using a point-based system.
If you are applying for a residence permit to work for your own company, your business will be assessed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), a division of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, which awards points in three different areas: your personal experience, your business plan and how the business will benefit the Dutch economy.
The points-based review is rigorous; a well-prepared business plan with robust financial projections is a must and your application package should be very carefully put together.You must score at least 90 300 points, of which you must score at least 30 points in each category.
Only in very limited cases will an exceptional score in one category compensate for a unsatisfactory score in another category.
You must also prove sufficient and long-term means of support, for at least 12 months from the start of the procedure.
To be deemed as self-employed when acting as director or a major shareholder of a company, you must additionally prove you have at least 25 percent interest in the company, be liable for risks and be able to influence the level of your income. If this is not the case, your relationship with the company would be considered as an ’employee’ and you would be required to obtain a work permit for employees.
If you are applying to work as a freelancer you must additionally prove that you have work assignments in the Netherlands at the time that you apply.
If you intend to provide healthcare services you are subject to regulation by the Individual Healthcare Professions Act (BIG) and you must be included in the BIG register. Upon admission you are able to use your professional title in the Netherlands.
Startup Visa for new entrepreneurs
Since January 2015, certain foreign nationals may be eligible instead to apply for an entrepreneur permit for one preparatory year.
The Dutch authorities acknowledge that many startup companies are not yet in the position to satisfy the points criteria for the standard self-employment visa, and thus the start-up visa was introduced.
The start-up visa authorises a one-year preparatory period in the Netherlands, during which the startup entrepreneur works closely with a business facilitator to get the new enterprise ready to satisfy the conditions of the standard self-employed permit.
The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) keeps a list of recognised facilitators.
The start-up visa cannot be extended. After the first year the facilitator can submit a positive reference to the immigration authorities to support the self-employment permit application.
A declaration issued by your facilitator can be equal to at least the minimum score for personal experience, business plan and added value for the Dutch economy of the point-based system.
Read the conditions to see if you qualify for the Dutch Startup Visa.
Treaties with US and Japan
US citizens can operate as self-employed under a trade agreement between the US and the Netherlands – known as the Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT) – if they start a new business representing a US interest in the Netherlands, invest substantial capital in the enterprise and meet residence requirements in the Netherlands (staying at least six months per year). American entrepreneurs applying for a DAFT permit do not have to satisfy the points-based review.
Japanese nationals were also previously granted freedom on the labour market in the Netherlands, however, since 2016 the IND requires that a residence and work permit is obtained for stays longer than 90 days.For Japanese entrepreneurs, the IND currently takes the position that the self-employment permit is the appropriate residence permit. The application process is similar to that for US nationals, as there is also a trade agreement in place between Japan and the Netherlands.
This is a situation that is ly to change and Japanese nationals should confirm the latest regulations before applying.
How to apply for a self-employed residence permit
If you require an MVV visa you must file your application at the Dutch embassy or consulate in your own country or in a country where you are legally residing, before you arrive. Read more about applying for your Dutch provisional residence permit (MVV).
If you only need to apply for a residence permit, you can wait until you arrive in the Netherlands to open your Dutch company and file your application.
You can apply by making an appointment at your regional IND desk; contact to find your nearest IND desk, and download the application form here.
You can also apply prior to your arrival if you want to start work as soon as you arrive (apply for your residence permit).
If you are applying for the start-up visa, you do not require an entry visa (MVV) regardless of your nationality, provided all the requirements for the permit are met. Read more about the application process; you or your facilitator can apply directly the IND using this application form.
When you apply for your residence permit, you will need to submit certain documents specific to your business and prove it has an essential Dutch interest. These may include:
- your passport/ID;
- proof of income;
- proof that you are qualified to practice your profession (eg. degree or certification);
- comprehensive details of your business, such as a business plan, legal and financial aspects, organisation, or market analysis;
- a certificate of the registration at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (if you will be running a company in the Netherlands) – for more information, click here;
- work assignments from Dutch employers (if you’re a freelancer);
- evidence of intended investments in the Netherlands (to demonstrate financial interests in the Netherlands);
- proof of educational qualifications;
- evidence of work connections and experience within the Netherlands.
You will have to pay a fee to process your application, which is non-refundable even if your application is rejected. Currently the self-employment permit costs EUR 1,319 (or less after having a Startup Visa), or EUR 317 for the initial start-up visa. Fees are reviewed bi-annually (January and July).
You should allow 90 days for the IND to make their decision. In some cases the IND can extend the decision period for an additional 90 days.
If you are self-employed, you can work without a work permit as long as the work you carry out is the same as set out in your residence application (ie. self-employed activity). If you take on any additional employment, your employer must obtain a work permit for you.
How long is the permit valid for?
Your permit is usually valid for a maximum of two years but it’s possible to extend. Find out how to extend your permit when it expires.
If your circumstances change
If you are no longer self-employed, you will need to apply for a new residence permit. Read our complete guide to Dutch visas and permits to find out which permit could be suitable for your individual situation.
The Immigration & Naturalisation Service (IND)
See the IND website for more information and to find your nearest IND desk; in general, you cannot visit an IND desk unless you have an appointment (with the exception of collecting your permit).
For queries or to make an appointment, you can contact the IND by phone Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm on 088 0430 430 from within the Netherlands or +31 88 0430 430 from abroad.
Immigratie-en NaturalisatiedienstKlantinformatiecentrumPostbus 287
7600 AG ALMELO
Working in Europe – How to get an EU Visa / Work Permit
Anyone who meets the criteria and requirements set by the European countries can work in Europe. Most European states have their programs, through which they tend to lure foreign professionals and fill job shortages in different fields in the country.
The Schengen work visa does not exist. You can get a Schengen visa for other purposes, as tourism, visiting family and friends, business, medical purposes etc. However, you cannot get a Schengen visa to work in Europe. You are not permitted to work while holding a Schengen visa for other purposes, as well.
Still, you can work in the Schengen Area if you hold a National (D) Visa for employment purposes issued by one of the 26 European countries part of the Schengen Zone.
Each of the Schengen member countries has its own visa policies, which policies differ from one country to the other. The employment visa programs in the European countries have been established to cover the labor needs of the respective countries and fill job shortages.
Therefore, employment visa criteria and requirements, as well as the application process, depend a lot on the labor needs of each country.
Who needs a visa to work in Europe?
Citizens of the USA, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, as well as EU citizens do not need to apply for a work visa to Europe. However, upon arriving at the country where they will be working, they have to apply for their residence and work permit.
Citizens of other countries must apply and get an employment visa before entering the Schengen territories for work purposes.
What are the requirements for a European Work Visa?
The standard requirements for a European employment visa are as following:
- Application Form. Fully completed and printed twice. Do not forget to sign both copies at the end!
- Two identical photos. These photos should be taken within the last three months, according to the common Schengen visa photography criteria.
- Valid passport. Your passport should be no older than ten years and valid for at least three more months, on the date you plan to exit the Schengen territory. Make sure it has at least two blank pages for the visa sticker.
- Roundtrip flight reservation. This should indicate the dates and flight numbers of entry and exit from the Schengen area. Here you can learn more about how to book a flight reservation for EU visa application!
- Travel medical insurance. Covering any medical emergency with hospital care and travel back to one’s native country due to medical emergencies, up to 30,000 euros. Insurance must be valid in all Schengen countries and purchased before picking up the visa.
- Proof of Accommodation. A document that shows where you will be residing in the Schengen Area, i.e. rent agreement.
- Employment contract. An employment contract signed between you and your future employer, residing in the Schengen territory.
- Proof of Academic Qualifications. As diplomas, certificates, grades’ transcript etc.
- Proof of language knowledge. Most countries want you to fit in even if you are planning to work there only per one year. That is why many of them will ask you to meet a specific level of knowledge of their official language.
Please note that these are only the basic requirements that you will have to provide in order to get a work visa to Europe. Each of the Schengen member countries, as well as other European states outside of this zone, have their additional requirements.
To get a European work visa, follow the steps listed below:
- Check what Employment Visas the country where you wish to work offers.
- Figure out if you qualify for a work visa to EU.
- Meet the criteria for an EU work visa. Some of the countries will require from you to get a job prior to applying for a visa. Make sure you fulfill these kinds of requirements before applying to get the visa.
- Collect the required documents for an employment visa.
- Schedule a visa interview.
- Attend the interview with all the required documents with you.
- Wait for you visa to be processed!
Keep in mind that this is only the standard procedure to apply for an employment visa in Europe. The exact process may differ from one country to the other.
Where to apply for a European Working Visa
Submit your visa application at the body that represents the country where you will be working, in your country of residence. This body could be one of the following:
- Their embassy
- Their consulate
- A visa application center
In case you need to enter the Schengen Area for a short stay, and you do not know where to apply check the rules on Where to apply for a Schengen Visa and How to Choose the Right Embassy/Consulate/VAC to Submit the Visa Application.
When to Apply for a Visa to Work in Europe
You are highly advised to apply for a work visa to Europe at least two months prior to your trip to the Schengen country where you plan to work in. The reason for that, is because the European embassies make take six weeks to process an employment visa application. In extraordinary cases, the processing time may be extended up to 12 weeks.
How long is a work visa valid
Most European Work Visas are valid for one year. Still, in most countries, the visa holders have the chance to apply for a visa extension, upon the expiration of their visa.
The validity of your visa, as well as a few other details will be written in the visa sticker affixed in your passport. Read the visa sticker in your passport carefully for more information.
Can I extend an EU work permit?
You will be able to extend an EU work permit in most countries. There is an application process and some required documents, which you will have to collect and submit at the competent authorities in your European country of residence, prior to your visa / residence permit expiration.
Last Updated on October 26th, 2018
Dubai Visa, Residency and Sponsorship Questions and Answers
It is illegal to work on a visa other than a valid employment visa in Dubai. However, you may come on a visit or tourist visa and actively search for jobs in Dubai. Under recent legislation pertaining to employment visas, successful candidates who are hired by Dubai employers are required to exit the UAE pending release of their Employment Visas.
Clearly, any employer asking you to start work immediately or without a valid employment visa is not in compliance with legal requirements. If you choose to begin work without a valid employment visa, you:
- give up you chances of using the Labour Code or having the Labour Ministry to mediate your case in the event of a dispute with your employer;
- run the risk of being caught, fined and deported. You will also be blacklisted such that you may never return on an employment visa to the UAE. In many cases, illegal laborers spend jail time prior to deportation and their retina scans are kept active to effect the blacklisting.
Can I apply for an employment visa myself?
No, you can’t do that on your own. Employment and residency in Dubai work within a system of sponsorship. An employer is the appropriate party to apply for an employment and residency visa for employees. This means you have to have been hired prior to the application for your employment visa.
How does the UAE’s system of sponsorship work?
An employee’s designated sponsor for residency visa is their employer, whether the respective company is operating within or outside of Free Zones. Dubai or UAE residency is temporary and normally valid for three (3) years but may be renewed. The visa is stamped on the face of your passport.
UAE Laws require resident aliens (foreign nationals) to be primarily sponsored by a UAE national (citizen).UAE nationals may be direct private sponsors, as in the case of a UAE national hiring a domestic servant or, they may be indirect sponsors, as in the case of business employees.
Businesses are able to sponsor their employees mainly because a UAE national is a partner, owner or a majority shareholder of the business-sponsor.
Besides being sponsored by my employer, how else can I get a UAE residency visa?
You have three options:
- Set up and register your own company in Dubai. Your business can then be your sponsor. Note however that you’ll be required to have a local partner, i.e., a UAE citizen.
- Set up a consultancy off of a free zone to become eligible for both residency and work permits
- Buy a property so that the property developer becomes your sponsor for residency. Note however that this does not entitle you to work in the UAE.
Can someone who is not a UAE national sponsor a resident?
Yes. This is possible through secondary sponsorship. Secondary sponsors are sponsored residents, usually employed males who would to have their wife and children live with them in the UAE.
Can women be secondary sponsors as well?
Yes, women can sponsor their children if they’re divorced or widowed.
Can a married woman sponsor her husband and children?
Yes, she can, but only under certain circumstances and with prior approval by both the Depart of Labour and the Department of Immigration and Naturalisation. Wives sponsoring husbands are not customary. In most cases, approval is granted if the wife-sponsor has a profession of strategic and economic importance such as teachers or medical personnel.
What are the qualifying criteria for secondary sponsors?
Employed persons may sponsor only their immediate family, and must meet the minimum salary requirement for sponsorship. The consent and signature of the primary sponsor is required before an employee may sponsor their family.
Whose residency can I sponsor so that they can reside with me in the UAE?
- Your spouse. This means either your lawfully-wedded husband or wife. This does not include a same-sex partner, even if such person is a lawfully-wedded partner.
- Your children. These are male and female offspring under 21 years or unmarried daughters over 21 years.
What does being a secondary sponsor mean?
Secondary sponsors are responsible for their dependents whilst such dependents are residents of the UAE. This means you are responsible for their financial support, debts, if they incur any, and all aspects of life and living whilst they are under your sponsorship, including their conduct and behaviour.
Also, as their sponsor, you are responsible for the visa, processing fees and other related costs for obtaining the residency permit for your dependents.
This is not your employer’s responsibility and they may not be obliged to assist you beyond giving their consent to your sponsorship.
However, in some cases, employers may provide employees with visa-assistance benefits for employees to bring their families over.
Can I acquire permanent residency in the UAE?
No, you can’t. Residency in the UAE is only temporary. However, it is renewable.
Can I acquire UAE citizenship?
No, you can’t. An expatriate is not eligible for UAE citizenship. UAE citizens are defined by law to be only those persons born of parents who are both UAE citizens or born to a father who is a UAE citizen.
What happens to an expat’s child born in the UAE?
The child takes on the citizenship of the parents who must then apply for temporary residency status for their child under the secondary sponsorship system within three months of birth.
What right does temporary residency NOT include?
Temporary residency status is not concurrent with the right to work or seek employment in the UAE, nor does it guarantee employment.
Sponsored children under 18 and freehold property owners over 60, whose residency is sponsored by the respective property development company, are not eligible for employment in the UAE.
All other residents may go through the usual application process to be legally employed. Legal employment in the UAE is evidenced by the Labour Card.
I have a valid UAE residency visa. I’d to spend some time in my home country. Will my visa still be valid when I return?
Assuming your UAE residency visa is not expiring within the next six (6) months, you can stay outside of the UAE for at most six months and return on the same visa. Staying outside of the UAE for more than six months at a time automatically invalidates your UAE residency.
What is a “ban”? How do I get banned?
A ban is a legal mechanism that prevents a resident or an employee from re-entering the country or from accepting a position with a new employer for a fixed period of time, usually for six (6) months.
A permanent residency ban may be imposed on serious labour offenders, such as illegal or absconded workers, illegal aliens or convicted felons.
Fingerprint samples and retina scans of banned individuals are kept on file by the Federal Department of Immigration.
A labour ban is mandatory. You get banned when:
- Your contract expires and no action pertaining to your employment has been taken by your current employer, or no new application by a different employer is filed for you.
- You terminate an unlimited labour contract before completing one year of service.
- You terminate a limited labour contract before its expiration.
How do I NOT get banned?
- Your current employer must have taken appropriate action with the Department of Labour to extend your employment with them prior to the expiration of your labour contract;
- Your sponsorship must have been transferred with a different employer. To effect this, certain conditions must be met, otherwise, your Labour Card will be cancelled and you will be banned.
How do I have my sponsorship transferred from one employer to the next?
Your limited labour contract must have already expired or you must have performed at least one year of service under an unlimited labour contract. As your current sponsor is required to issue a No Objection Certificate (NOC), they must have no objections to the transfer or their conditions must have been met prior to the issuance of such certificate.
In any case, this is usually discussed by your current and prospective employers. The NOC is required for the transfer of your Labour Card and both must be filed with the Department of Labour. In addition, you can only transfer sponsorships under the same labour category. This simply means your new employment must be for the same position, e.g.
Accountant to Accountant, Manager to Manager.
What is the NOC? Can my current employer be legally ordered to provide this document?
A No Objection Certificate (NOC) is a formal letter by your current sponsor addressed to the Department of Labour and the Department of Naturalisation and Immigration to prevent you, the employee, from being banned after completion of your labour contract or in the process of transferring your sponsorship to a new employer. This is entirely discretionary and must be freely given by an employer. No employer may be forced to provide an employee with a NOC, under any circumstance, even after successful completion of a labour contract.