Foreigners in Singapore who hold a Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP / LTVP+) or a Dependant Pass are allowed to work with a Letter of Consent delivered by the Ministry of Manpower (MoM). In this article we explain how to work with a Letter of Consent in Singapore.
Who is eligible to a Letter of Consent (LOC)?
There are two categories of foreigners eligible to the LOC:
1. The holders of a Long Term Visit Pass
The Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP / LTVP+) is a visa for family members of Singaporean or Permanent Residents as well as some work pass holders in Singapore. The LTVP allow for foreigners to stay and live in Singapore for more than 30 days.
LTVP and LTVP+ holders are eligible to a Letter of Consent if:
- The LTVP is linked to a Singaporean or Permanent Resident (PR) spouse.
- The LTVP is held by an unmarried child below 21 of a Singaporean or PR.
Provided that the LTVP holder has been offered a job by a Singaporean incorporated company, the company can thus apply for a Letter of Consent to have the pass holder authorisation to work.
2. The Dependant Passes holders
The Dependant Pass is a visa available to family members of an Employment Pass or S Pass holders to stay and live in Singapore for more than 30 days. The duration of the validity of the pass is linked to the work pass’s validity to which it is tied to.
Dependant Pass holders used to be able to work in Singapore under a LOC, although the rules have changed and are tied to running a business in Singapore. Consequently, Dependant Pass holders are eligible to LOC if:
- The applicant must be a business owner in Singapore. They qualify if they meet at least one these criteria:
- Is a sole proprietor of a Singaporean registered business
- Is a partner in a Singaporean registered business
- Is a company director and holds at least 30% of shares in a company registered in Singapore
- Furthermore, the renewal of the Letter of Consent will require the applicant to employ at least one Singaporean or Permanent resident with earnings of at least the Local Qualifying Salary and for whom the CPF contribution has been paid for at least 3 months.
The LOC expires after one year or up to the date of the Dependant Pass expiry upon renewals of the LOC.
Who can apply for the LOC?
The employer willing to hire the foreigner under a Letter of Consent (LOC) is responsible to apply for the LOC. MyBusiness in Asia is also able to assist their clients with the Letter of Consent application and renewal.
The Pre-approved Letter of Consent (PLOC) is also available to LTVP holders
The Spouse and unmarried children falling under the LTVP and LTVP+ eligibility described above are also eligible to apply for a Pre-approved Letter of Consent (PLOC).
The Long Term Visit Pass application is a process under the responsibility of the Singapore Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA). An eligible LTVP/LTVP+ applicant can apply on their own to the PLOC while applying or renewing their LTVP/LTVP+ with the ICA.
The PLOC will be granted for the same duration than the Long Term Visit Pass, provided it is accepted. The PLOC has the advantage of being granted before having to find a job and employer. The employer of a LTVP holder with a PLOC thus only requires notifying the MoM of the hiring of the employee.
Other important points related to the LOC and PLOC
- Depending on the type of job offered to the prospective employee, a Singaporean company should also consider the other type of work passes in Singapore such as the Employment Pass which offers a better immigration stability to the employee.
- Holders of Long Term Visit Passes issued by the Ministry of Manpower (tied to an Employment Pass or S Pass) are eligible to the LOC only if they are local business owners.
- The LOC is only valid for the duration of the employment and expires along with the pass (Dependant Pass or Long Term Visit Pass) to which it is tied.
- Letters of Consent are not subject to levy or quota, and do not require a minimum salary to be obtained.