Singapore Visas, Permits and Immigration

by Jose Marc Castro on August 11, 2009

VISASingapore200The immigration rules in Singapore are quite complex. You need to be aware of these immigration rules if you plan to migrate or even if you just intend to visit the country and have a relaxing and enjoyable vacation. Outsiders who want to enter Singapore do not need a visa in advance. Incoming foreigners are required to have a return ticket, a valid supporting document, and sufficient money to cover airfare and other expenses when in Singapore.

Types of Immigration Visas

There are specific rules for particular foreigners with passports issued by an Assessment Level I country before entering Singapore.

PVP or Professional Visit Pass

Foreigners need a PVP or Professional Visit Pass to take a short-term professional assignment in Singapore. These visas are issued by Singapore immigration to a foreign professional who has found employment in Singapore and is about to begin work. A foreigner who is an organizer, speaker,  moderator at a conference, a workshop leader or a religious leader needs a Professional Visit Pass to enter this country.

Training Visit Pass

The Training Visit Visa or pass is required for foreigners undergoing training in Singapore. The internship should be of a managerial, professional, specialist or executive nature. There is no charge for this Training Visit Pass if the visit is less than three months. Forty Singapore dollars is charged for visits longer than three months.

Social Visit Pass

The Social Visit Pass is required if you are a foreign national wanting a short stay in Singapore to attend a business negotiation or a job interview. You are not allowed to work in Singapore throughout this time. The Social Visit Pass is valid only for two to four weeks but can be renewed for up to three months.

Employment Pass

Foreign executives, professionals, manager directors as well as shareholders who want to work in Singapore can apply for the Employment Pass or EP. Singapore immigration permits foreign entrepreneurs to apply for employment passes or visas only after they have established their company in Singapore.

This Employment Pass is provided to facilitate the stay and entry of entrepreneurs who are ready to begin new business in Singapore. The Singapore Employment Pass has a validity period of two years.

Student Pass

Foreigners who want to pursue full time studies in universities, schools or institutes of higher education in Singapore must apply for a Student Visa or Student Pass. The processing of this student pass will take about four weeks. The required documents for this visa or pass are listed below.

•    Two copies of Form V103, Form 16, Form V396 as well as Form V39Q which are properly finished and signed by the local sponsor, applicant and the school at the pertinent section.
•    Two recent copies of a passport-sized color photograph
•    The original copy of the Letter of Acceptance from the school, university and institution of higher education in Singapore
•    Passport copy
•    Applicant’s official birth certificate
•    Local sponsor identity card

As shared in Singapore Expat Forum last June 1, 2008:

Your spouse’s employer will arrange the visas, as the company will be his sponsor. You will fill out or sign forms, but the business of actually getting the visas won’t be your responsibility at all.

If you want to work yourself, you need to investigate your status as a ‘trailing spouse’. Some countries, like Japan, allow a trailing spouse to work. Others, like the US, usually don’t.

When your husband gets an offer, ask the company for an information packet of some sort. Singapore is bringing in so many workers that the employers should have this whole process down pat. There have even been articles about the population not even looking Chinese any more, since there are so many high tech workers coming in from all over the world, and so many construction workers from Indonesia.

Immigration Laws

The Employment of Foreign Workers, the Immigration Act and the Employment of Foreign Workers Act are the major sources of the immigration laws in Singapore. The Immigration Act is the basis of Singapore immigration policy and laws. Singapore has formed a generally excellent climate for foreign workforce and visitors.

The Singapore labor force and its immigration laws distinguish different categories of employees in terms of requirements, accessibility and validity of obtaining work permits. Special requirements are applied to definite types of work and for those nationals of countries historically known as sources of illegal migration in Singapore.

Immigration Permits

If you intend to work in Singapore, you should apply for the work permit in the Singapore immigration office. Potential employers should furnish a 5,000 Singapore dollar security deposit for all foreign workers except for those coming from Malaysia.

Singapore Permanent Residence

Permanent residence is usually sought by foreigners who experienced Singapore life before and who want to sustain living an excellent life.  The Singapore government requires good education and other qualifications of a person who may respond to certain needs of Singapore’s economy. Policies and requirements are changed according to the nature of these economic needs.  This is to make sure that the new Singapore citizens and permanent residents fit the relevant profile.

Singapore continues to welcome immigrants who can identify with the way of life of Singapore and whose diverse skills can contribute to the viability and vibrancy of their country.

Scheme for professional skilled workers and technical personnel

Permanent residents or the PR status, which is under the technical personnel, professional and skilled workers scheme, is granted to those who have secured employment in Singapore prior to permanent residents’ application. They can also hold employment passes. The applicant must be below fifty years old of age. The spouse as well as unmarried children who are below twenty-one years of age under the permanent resident policy can also apply for permanent status.

The entire population of applicants who are under this scheme will be evaluated by a point system that takes into account the class of employment.  It will also consider your academic qualification, length of stay, monthly salary and kinship.

Global Investor Program in Singapore

The global investor program in Singapore is the easiest way for foreign entrepreneurs, investors and business executives to conduct and set up a business in Singapore.  The EDB or Economic Development Board gives assistance in linking-up foreign investors and entrepreneurs with local business networks to create a wider range of opportunities for business collaborations. Through the Global investor program, you can tap into a range of immigration service that facilitates and enhances your stay in Singapore. This aspect is discussed in Singapore Expat Forum last August 13, 2009:

Setting up a restaurant in Singapore is certainly a viable business option. The F&B sector is a crucial element of the economy and the government aims at establishing Singapore as the gastronomic capital in the region by 2010. In fact, several programs and assistance schemes have been rolled out to help the F&B sector to develop their business and profitability.

Setting up a restaurant will involve the following basic steps:
1. Business Incorporation
2. Obtaining a food shop licence for your restaurant
3. Obtaining halal certification
4. Applying for a liquor licence (if you wish to serve liquor)
5. Obtaining a licence for importing food ingredients
6. Applying for Goods and Service s Tax registration (equivalent to sales tax/VAT)
7. Hiring staff

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

ms. ann October 11, 2014 at 2:14 pm

the immigration refused me to enter singapore. They sent me to philippines that was 3 yrs ago. Can I enter singapore again as a tourist.


shakira October 15, 2014 at 12:48 am

i visited singapore last year, when i was in the immigration they took a picture of me and they get my fingerprints, after that, they allowed me to enter singapore. my stay there is only for a week and return back to my country. with that mentioned, can i still enter singapore? am i banned or may be listed because they get my fingerprints/picture?


riza May 7, 2015 at 2:59 am

yes u can still go back in singapore. sorry 2 say this but they juz did tht bec they thought u goin to work in SG without working permit


mellody October 19, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I am apying for studies in singapore and if i get approved.
Will I still be needing a return ticket? And of so, when is the date i need to book, is it when my student pass expires ??

I really need ur help.. thanks


riza May 7, 2015 at 2:59 am

no need


Luisa B.Soriano November 7, 2014 at 4:48 am

Hi,my husband assingned work in Singapore,if given a chance to visit him can I apply for a job there?


anthony January 8, 2015 at 6:23 am

i’m malaysia citizen has been imprisoned in singapore for 10 month release on 19 august 2012…and banned for 1 (one) year from entiring singapore…now i am applying to entering singapore. .the question is..if i be able to get permission from ICA to enter singapore…???did ICA allowed me to going in? ?how many percentage i gad to entering singapore??did someone have tried before my situations…help me please…now i’m hold a form 14 under IMMIGRATION ACT [CHAPTER 133,SECTION – 55(1)] due to submit on next weeks..


anthony January 8, 2015 at 6:27 am

Certain word type wrongly…hope you can cat up my sentence…i ‘m sorry for that…my english not really good..


yogesh February 12, 2015 at 8:02 am

dear sir, I am from India.I have applied for S pass so do I need to stamping my passport here or in singapore..can I use IPA letter as a visa….plz reply


Babi Idris May 7, 2015 at 10:00 am

I am a Bangladeshi citizen and I would like to apply for Singapore visa. But the problem is that I was deported from Singapore Airport on 16 March 2015 due to current immigration policies. Notice of refusal of entry no IC0046203. It is to be mentioned that I stayed Singapore for 1 month and left for my country on 23 February 2015. Please let me know what I should write on the 14A Application form about the refusal of entry?


musthafa June 18, 2015 at 6:26 pm

Dear sir
I am musthafa from kerala India.i found quikr app advartismet like” 2years multiple entery visa with job for singapore”. I contacted with agent and they said to me that evan if it is illeagel you can work and stay.sir pls give me some clarifications about it
Can I do work in this visa
What is the emigration rule if I do work like this
Pla give a reply


kumar July 1, 2015 at 4:52 am


I and my wife wish to work in singapore both of us are 12 pass or senior secondary education qualified we have a baby of 6 yrs old and wish to make him complete his education in singapore how can i do that what visa have i to apply . how to try jobs if i am in india.



fernando lawrence July 6, 2015 at 1:09 am

application for dependant pass for my worker in my company as a chief in singapore please inform me the procedure with immigration checkpoint authority singapore


fernando lawrence July 6, 2015 at 1:11 am

what in the procedure for indian national application for depandant pass with san fernando recruitment agency
as a partner. please confirm.
Thanks for your kind attention and co-operation in advance.

fernando lawrence


ellystarks August 1, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Getting a Singapore visa can be hard and sometimes annoying. There are times time and effort are wasted. Knowing what to do or asking the right person of what to do can make the process easier and comfortable. The right person can be your family, friend or a professional on the business.


M V VASUPRIYA KURHEKAR August 14, 2015 at 12:38 pm

i got a job in singapore but i want to take my child along. is it possible to take child with me.. if so, which visa is required to get that …

Dr. mv vasupriyaPT


Kimi September 10, 2015 at 4:55 am

I am a Malaysian,I am a single mom with two kids.i would like to work in Singapore and bring my children along to study in question is:
1)can I bring them along to singapore while I’m searching for a job and concurrently looking for their school?
2)which organization should I seek advice to in singapore for the whole procedure?
3)after hired from a company,should I need the company confirmation before I can bring along my children to singapore?
4)what pass is needed suitable for me and my kids to enter singapore for a long term period?
Thank you


mani September 10, 2015 at 2:57 pm


Singapore country band my passport. How to know the status in online.


mohammad irfan September 14, 2015 at 7:31 am

i need student visa Singapore kindly help me.


florie saturno October 26, 2015 at 4:36 am

I just want to asked for the meaning of WPSP on my passport, and if I can still go back to Singapore to visit my relatives.. Because they are planning to invite me in Singapore this year hope you can help me to the meaning thanks you


Kyaw December 20, 2015 at 2:47 pm

Hi All,

Please give me advice , i had refused to entry by SG immigration last June 2015 . It has been already 6 month . I had lived in Singapore for four year working as a IT programmer . I left my job last may 2015 and return back to my own country. Three week later, i had decided to go back to sg . Then refused to entry by Sg immigration last june 2015 . When i arrived back to my country , I got a job from Sg , then agent helped me to applied EP . Unfortunately got rejected by MOM with no reason ( said they have reverse record about me ) . I think it is related to refused entry by immigration . But i am not sure they don’t give exact reasons . Please give me advice how to solve this problem . Could i have chance to get EP again . Could i entry to Singapore with e-visa since it has been already 6 months ? . Thanks please help . I am a  Myanmar citizen .


Akingba idowu December 20, 2015 at 6:27 pm

I am a nigerian, been married to singaporean since 2008, i have applied for ltvp plus twice but rejected by ica. Am about to finish my masters in economics from upm in malasia, pls kindly advise me on step to take once i concluded my program.


Jayanta Dutta December 24, 2015 at 11:52 am

I m a indian proffessional trying to get work visa in Singapore, is there any agency specified who can help me getting work permits over there in Singapore, pls contact me on my below mentioned email and no.
+918298047995 [email protected]


Priscilla Uy January 20, 2016 at 5:35 am

Hi. My boyfriend and I are planning to tour Singapore and visit some friends and relatives. We heard the immig is only allowing tourists for only 2 weeks. However, we’re planning to stay there for 3 weeks so we could also go to Malaysia and other places nearby. You think we’ll get through the immigration? Thank you!


Ariunaa January 27, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Dear, Sir/Mdm
I’m currently under social visit pass and I just graduated my secondary school in Singapore . On the other hand, recently I graduated my diploma one of the private school in Singapore and my social visit pass expiring in 10 days time . However, I’m looking for full time job as well and I submitted my documents to the company that hiring me . I would like to know wether I can get my social visit pass extended to another few months ?
Lastly , I would like to know wether private school students can get S pass in Singapore ?
Thank you . Hope to hear from you soon .
Regards, Ariunaa


Shreyas Chaurasia April 12, 2016 at 10:53 pm

Dear Admin,

I would like to know how the immigration rule works for expatriate whose base is into logistics/ warehouse mgmt. I mean like other countries such as Denmark, Norway, Canada, Australia and NZ, do we have to qualify in specific occupation or can we apply work permit straight through Singapore immi office overseas.

Singapore being the global hub of logistics/ port activities & Scm, i want to build a career in Singapore but confused how to get an entry. I have already done my MBA from Australia and I work in Lagos, Nigeria as a Warehouse Manager and its almost a year.

Do share your views that what is the criteria or the visit visa works to find employment there.



Karthik May 6, 2016 at 9:34 am

I am an expat working in singapore. My wife is on dependent visa. My question is if she goes to our country and she choose not to come back to singapore then can i complte her exit formalities in here. Does she has to come her to finish up in here. What can be the consequences on this? Please help


jonathan May 16, 2016 at 6:47 am

Hi all!

I am planning to study in Singapore at Air Transport Training College. Do I apply for a Student Pass or Training Visit Pass. After I graduate, I plan to work there as well at Changi Airport. What do I need for an Employment Pass? Please can someone respond to my questions because my graduation here at Manila is near.

Thank you


vivek July 19, 2016 at 4:25 pm


Last year 17/10/2015 i was arrived Singapore changi airport to join ship
While immigration at airport officers said my visa documents are all fake and there is no company by this name.. So the officers take my finger prints and photos all my records and kept me in a security room and send me back india same flight Air india on next day 18/10/2015..
Now i have placed in a proper company and my joining port is Singapore .
When my company ask for a ica approval to join ship in your port my name has been rejected by ica coastal command..
Now i want to know the reason why they reject me and how to clear this immigration problem please be guide accordingly and want to know what is the time period unable to enter your country .. It will be useful for my joining ship.. ..

Thanks and Best Regards,



Rashi January 2, 2018 at 8:05 am

Dear i am interested for work permit in Singapore, please let me know how to apply and requirements for work permit.Moreover on work permit are we allowed to do business? like opening a cafe ?i am currently residing in UAE.


Shubam November 16, 2018 at 6:57 pm

Last time i was on internship program in Singapore after that before 5 days my employer canceled my trainee work permit and gave me 2 days special pass.when i exit singapore they chopped me wpsp stamp .so now i want to apply for a tourist there because i want to collect my original from my college. They give me entry or not please help me thank you


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