Singapore – Longer Processing Times For Work Passes and Dependent Passes

What has changed

Effective immediately, certain categories of Work Passes (Employment Pass, S Pass and Personalized Employment Pass), and related dependent’s passes (Dependent’s Pass and Long Term Visitor Pass) will experience longer processing times for both renewals and new applications. Online applications will usually be processed within three (3) weeks. Manual submissions will be processed, in most cases, within eight (8) weeks. Previously, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) processed around 80% of online applications in a week, and manual applications took about five (5) weeks.

Who is affected?

  • Assignees submitting either a renewal or a new application for an Employment Pass (EP), S Pass, or Personalized Employment Pass (PEP)
  • Dependents of assignees submitting a renewal or new application for a Dependent’s Pass (DP) or a Long Term Visitor Pass (LTVP)

What to expect

For new applications, the longer processing time may delay the start date of new employees.

For renewals, if the MOM takes a longer time to process the application, going past the expiry date of the Work Pass, then the extra step to extend the current Employment Pass (EP), and related dependent’s passes (DP or LTVP) for the assignee and dependents to stay in Singapore, may be required, incurring additional expenses. If an extension is granted, the Work Pass holder should not travel until the renewal application has received the In-Principal Approval (IPA) and the renewed EP has been issued. If the assignee leaves Singapore before the renewed EP has been issued, the extension will automatically be cancelled. The assignee is not allowed to work when they return to Singapore until the renewed EP has been issued.

What you need to do                                                                                                                                               Planning ahead

  • For new applications, clients should initiate cases about two (2) to three (3) months prior to their candidate’s targeted start date.
  • For renewals, the earliest that a Work Pass and related dependent’s passes can be renewed is six (6) months before the expiry date. As such, the client may want to initiate renewal cases earlier instead of 1 (one) to two (2) months before the expiry of the date of the Work Pass.
  • Assignees and dependents (especially dependents coming separately) should not purchase their flight tickets until they receive the In-Principle Approval (IPA).
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.