Common Questions about the Visa in Singapore answered

visa-singapore-answered

Here are some common questions about Visa in Singapore, answered by MBIA.
We are here to help you to get a Visa in Singapore, contact us here.

 

Do I need an Employment Pass or any other relevant work pass if I work without a salary in Singapore?

Quick answer – Yes, absolutely

The limitation of hiring of foreign manpower is governed by Section 5 of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, which states that:

(1)  A person must not employ a foreign employee unless the foreign employee has a valid work pass.

(2)  A foreign employee must not be in the employment of an employer without a valid work pass. 

The term employ is defined in Section 2 of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act as “to engage or use the service of any person for the purpose of —

(a) any work; or

(b) providing any training for that person,

whether under a contract of service or otherwise, and with or without salary;

It is therefore very clear that you are required to have an employment pass or a relevant work pass from the beginning of your assignment and even if you do not receive any remuneration. Theoretically, this scope could extend to charity works, although it remains unlikely that the MOM will enforce this prohibition for volunteering works done by foreigners. 

 

Do I need an Employment Pass or any other relevant work pass if I work for a Singapore company but am based overseas? 

The quick answer is no. You only need an Employment Pass or any other relevant Work Pass if you work from Singapore. The country of registration of the company that pays you is not always relevant in this situation.

The limitation of hiring of foreign manpower is governed by Section 5 of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, which states that :

(1)  A person must not employ a foreign employee unless the foreign employee has a valid work pass.

(2)  A foreign employee must not be in the employment of an employer without a valid work pass. 

The term “foreign employee” means “any foreigner (…) who seeks or is offered employment in Singapore”. The prohibition is limited in its geographic scope by the location of where the employment will be exercised and not by the country of registration of the employer. Hence, if your employer is a company registered in Singapore, but you exercise your employment from overseas, you are not required to apply for an employment pass, or any other relevant work pass. 

Please be aware that you may be required to apply for a work visa in the country where you exercise your employment. Your Singapore employer could also be subject to the employment laws and social contribution obligations in the country where you exercise your employment. Finally, it could also create a permanent establishment outside of Singapore.

On a personal level, your salaries will not be taxed in Singapore if you do not stay in Singapore more than 60 days per calendar year, but you will likely be subject to tax in the country where you reside. 

Conversely, if your employer is a company which is located outside of Singapore and you exercise your employment in Singapore, then you will need to apply for an employment pass. We often encounter this type of situation with dependant pass holders who keep employment with an overseas employer while relocating to Singapore or carry on previously established business activity under their own overseas company and continue to work without receiving a salary. In both situations, the dependant pass should be upgraded to an employment pass, even when the employer is not a Singapore company and even if no salary is paid. 

 

 

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