Non-residents aspiring to work in Singapore require a work visa before they can legally begin employment. Companies that hire non-residents without a valid work pass will be prosecuted under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.


Step 1: New Employer applies for Employment Pass

Step 2: Once approved, New Employer receives an In-Principle Approval (IPA) from the Ministry Of Manpower (MOM)

Here are some important facts to take note of at this time:

Fact 1: The Employee does not need to cancel their existing pass for a new application to be put in.

Fact 2: An Employee can have only one application processed at a time.

Step 3: Once the EP application is approved and IPA is issued, Employee gives notice to Current Employer as per terms of employment contract

Step 4: Current Employer lodges tax clearance (Form IR21) with IRAS as soon as notice is received. This is to be done at least 20 days before the employee leaves. If tax clearance is done with less than 20 days notice, a reason has to be provided to Inland Revenue such as immediate resignation.

The Employer is required to withhold any monies payable to the employee until IRAS computes the tax amount due. Then the tax amount is paid to IRAS from the monies withheld, and balance is paid to the employee. If the monies withheld is not sufficient to meet the employee’s tax bill, IRAS will charge the employee directly for the balance. The employer’s duty is limited to lodging a Form IR21 tax clearance as soon as a foreign employee resigns/is terminated.

Step 5: : On the last day of service, Current Employer cancels the employee’s work pass. With the cancellation of the Employee’s work pass, a 30-day social visit visa is issued to the Employee to continue staying in Singapore. During the last day of service, the Employee must surrender his / her Employment Pass card to the Current Employer.

Step 6: The New Employer will then issue the new Employment Pass through MOM’s Employment Pass Online (EPOL). MOM will provide a Notification Letter which will allow the Employee to work and stay in Singapore until the new EP card is received by the Employee. The official start date of the Employee is as per the date stated in the Notification Letter.

Step 7: The Notification Letter will provide instructions to the New Employer and the Employee on the next steps, which can be any of the following:

  • Make an appointment for your card registration. At registration, MOM will check your documents listed in the Notification Letter, register your fingerprints and take your photograph. After this registration formality, your card will be delivered to you within 4 working days.
  • Wait for your card to be delivered to you.