SINGAPORE: Changes to the Immigration Rules

Recently, Singapore”s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced several changes to the country”s immigration rules.  These include revisions to the administrative fees for most work passes, changes to the rules for dependents of Work Pass holders and the introduction of a new requirement for employment pass applicants which involves submitting verification evidence of qualifications obtained in China.

Changes to Work Pass Administrative Fees

Effective from the 1st April 2013, the administrative fees for most work passes will increase.  According to MOM, “this is in line with the Government’s financial principle that the full cost of providing a public service should be borne by users of the service, rather than taxpayers in general.”

  • Application fees for Employment Pass, S Pass and Work Permit will increase from the current $20 to $70, $60 and $30 respectively;
  • Issuance/Renewal fees for Employment Pass, S Pass and Work Permits will increase from the current $120, $70 and $20 to $150, $80 and $30 respectively;
  • Application fees will be introduced for passes for dependants of work pass holders, to recover the cost of processing them. The application fees for the Dependant”s Pass and Long Term Visit Pass will be $60 and $30 respectively.
  • Application and issuance/renewal fees for other passes will generally be adjusted in line with the Employment Pass, S Pass and Work Permit fees.

Electronic Submission of Verification Proof for People”s Republic of China (PRC) Education Certificate

Applicants may now be asked to provide verification of their degree or qualification if this has been obtained in China.  They will need to upload online a clear copy of this verification proof, which can be arranged through any of these independent verification channels:

    CHESICC – China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center (

    CDGDC – China Academic Degrees & Graduate Education Information (

    Dataflow – (

 MOM has stated that the documents being uploaded must be clear, not cut off at the sides nor with blurred text/images.  Facial features on the photographs should be clearly visibl

New rules for dependants of Work Pass holders

Generally, foreign nationals who are living and working in Singapore can sponsor their spouses and any unmarried or legally adopted children aged under 21 to live with them.

According to the Ministry;

“The Government is tightening the criteria for work pass holders to sponsor dependants as part of the overall direction to moderate the growth of Singapore”s non-resident population.  This will help ease the pressure on our social infrastructure.  Nonetheless, Singapore remains a global talent capital.  We continue to welcome highly skilled foreign professionals who wish to bring their dependants to stay with them.”

What this means in practice can be summarised as follow:

  • S Pass and Employment Pass (EP) holders need to earn at least $4,000 per month to sponsor their spouses and children to live with them in Singapore.
  • P1 Pass holders will no longer be able to sponsor their parents-in-law. They may still bring in their parents, spouses and children.
  • P2 Pass holders will no longer be able to bring in their parents or parents-in-law. They may still bring in their spouses and children.

Changes to In-Principle Approval Letters

The In-Principle Approval (IPA) letters for Employment Pass, S Pass, Training Employment Pass, Dependant’s Pass, as well as the Long-Term Visit Pass have now been amended as follows;

  • There is a new letter design which is clearer and easier to understand;
  • Separate IPA letters will be issued for employers or sponsors and their pass holders.  Sponsors must forward the pass holder”s copy of the IPA to the pass holder

We hope this summary has been useful, but for more detailed advice or assistance with planning a relocation to Singapore, please call us on 0207 001 2121 and one of our global visa experts will be pleased to assist you.

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