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work FAQS:How to find a job? How 's it going?

date:Aug 08,2012 source: editorial staff:linan clicks:

 
 
I am overseas and thinking of working in Singapore. Where do I start?
You are at the right place! The Contact Singapore website will take you through all the steps you need to find a job and move to Singapore. It also provides you with information on how to settle down here comfortably. To keep updated on employment trends, career updates and upcoming recruitment and familiarisation events, sign up to be a Contact Singapore Member and other social media platforms.
 
What is the Central Provident Fund (CPF)?
CPF is a compulsory social security savings scheme that employers and employees contribute to. It is applicable only to Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents. CPF is meant to take care of workers’ financial needs at retirement as well as other areas such as healthcare, home ownership, investment and medical insurance.
 
Do foreigners have to contribute to CPF?
CPF is mandatory for foreigners only if they are Permanent Residents (PRs). Contribution rates for the first two years as a PR are reduced. For more information on PR contribution rates to CPF.
 
What is an Employment Pass?
The Employment Pass (EP) is for foreign professionals and executives who wish to work in Singapore. They should earn a fixed monthly salary of at least SGD 3,000.
 
When can the CPF savings be withdrawn?
PRs can partially withdraw their CPF savings at age 55, after a minimum sum has been set aside in their Retirement Account. Members can also withdraw their CPF savings if they are permanently incapacitated or are leaving Singapore and West Malaysia for good. If they do return, they will need to return to CPF the savings they withdrew, with interest. To withdraw your CPF savings, request for the form found at the CPF website.
 
How do I apply for an employment pass or work visa?
You can apply for an Employment Pass (EP) through:
i) EP Online
EP Online is a one-stop portal for companies to conduct EP transactions online. Applicants will receive an instant acknowledgment of their submission. The processing time for EP applications is two weeks. Applicants can also use EP Online to check application status.
i) Application form
Manual applications can be submitted at any SingPost Office. The application outcome will be mailed to the employer about three weeks from the date of the application.
An administrative fee of SGD 10 will be charged for every EP application submitted.
How much do I have to pay for a successful Employment Pass application?
For each successful Employment Pass application, the total fee is as follows:
SGD 10 upon submission of the application;
SGD per year or part thereof for an Employment Pass;
SGD per issue of a Multiple Journey Visa (if applicable); and/or
SGD per issue of a Single Journey Visa (if applicable).
 
I’m looking for a job in a specific industry. Can Contact Singapore help me?
Contact Singapore’s job portal at www.contactsingapore.sg/jobs features career opportunities in a number of Singapore’s key growth industries. You can also sign up for an account with the Contact Singapore job portal to receive job alerts for available positions in your industry of interest.
 
What documents must be submitted for an Employment Pass application?
i) EP Online
For Employment Pass (EP) applications made using EP Online, companies are not required to send any supporting documents to Work Pass Division. Once an application has been approved, the online In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter will specify the supporting document(s) to be submitted at the Work Pass Division counters during the collection of the pass.
 
ii) Application form
For manual EP applications, the following documents are required:
•A copy of the applicant's educational documents and past employment testimonials (not required for those who have held or applied for an Employment/ S Pass in the last two years);
•A passport size photograph of the applicant (taken within the last three months);
•A copy of the personal particulars page of the applicant's travel document; and
•Business Profile/ Instant Information/ Registration papers.
 
How can I check the status of my employment pass?
Applications submitted using EP Online are processed in two weeks and applicants can check the application status using EP Online. For manual applications, the outcome of the application will be mailed to the employer about three weeks from the date of application.
Do note that the processing time may be longer during peak periods or when the case requires inputs from various economic agencies.
The validity period of an EP varies for:
•First-time applicants – up to two years;
•Employment Pass renewals – up to three years.
 
My pass has expired or is about to expire. How do I go about getting an extension?
Typically, the renewal of your employment pass should be done about two months before expiry.
 
Can Employment Pass holders apply to be a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR)?
An Employment Pass holder who wishes to apply for Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) can apply through the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the application will be assessed based on ICA's PR criteria
 
 
Can Employment Pass holders bring in their spouse, children, parents and parents-in-law to Singapore?
CEmployment Pass holders can apply for a Dependant's Pass and/or Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP) for their family members.
Dependant's Pass
Both P and Q Pass holders can apply for a Dependant's Pass for their:
•Spouse; and/or
•Unmarried or legally adopted children under 21 years of age
 
Long-Term Visit Pass
P Pass holders can also apply for a Long-Term Visit Pass for their:
•Common law spouse;
•Unmarried daughters above 21 years of age;
•Handicapped children above 21 years of age;
•Step-children; and
•Parents/parents-in-law
 
How do I upgrade my employment pass status, for example from Q1 to P2?
You may apply for an upgrade of your employment pass status by submitting your letter of request as well as other supporting documents to MOM for consideration. Depending on the complexity of the case, the processing time to review your request may take a longer time. You will be notified of the outcome of your request by writing.
 
What happens if I stop being employed in Singapore?
You should cancel your employment pass if you are no longer employed or no longer a Singapore Permanent Resident.
 
If I were to resign from my current employer, can I continue to use the employment pass issued to me to stay on in Singapore to look for new employers?
When there is a change of employer, you are required to submit a new employment pass application. The new application will be considered based on the merits of the case. Submission of new employment pass applications can be made without cancelling the existing pass.
 
What is the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?
The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is for foreigners who want to work in Singapore without being tied to a specific employer. Unlike the Employment Pass (EP), the PEP is granted on the strength of an EP holder's individual merits. The PEP allows the holder to remain in Singapore for up to six months in between jobs to evaluate new employment opportunities.
The PEP will be issued once, with a validity of five years. It will be non-renewable. Former EP holders will retain the dependant privileges of their original EP type while overseas foreign professionals whose last drawn fixed monthly salary overseas was at least SGD 8,000 will be accorded dependant privileges equivalent to that enjoyed by P1 EP holders. A minimum annual fixed salary requirement of SGD 34,000 will apply.
 
What are the benefits of a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?
The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) will help Singapore to better attract and retain global talent. It will be granted to selected overseas foreigners, Employment Pass (EP) holders and foreign graduates of our institutions of higher learning. Their contributions will help to grow the overall economic pie in Singapore, creating more jobs and opportunities for Singaporeans.  
There is intensified global competition for talent, and the PEP will strengthen Singapore’s attractiveness to highly skilled foreigners. Other locations such as Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia also have similar schemes which offer them the flexibility to stay or enter the country for a fixed period of time.
Currently, the issue of an EP is tied to a specific employer. Any change of employer requires a fresh application. If the EP holder leaves the company, his EP is cancelled and he must leave Singapore unless he finds a new employer. In contrast, the new PEP is not tied to a specific employer and will be granted on the strength of an EP holder’s individual merits. The PEP allows the holder to remain in Singapore for up to six months in between jobs to evaluate new employment opportunities. This helps to retain selected global talent who would otherwise have to leave Singapore.
The PEP will be issued once, with a validity of five years. It will be non-renewable. Former EP holders will retain the dependant privileges of his original EP type while overseas foreign professionals whose last drawn fixed monthly salary overseas was at least SGD 8,000 will be accorded dependant privileges equivalent to that enjoyed by P1 EP holders.
 
Who will qualify for Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?
The following groups of foreigners will be eligible for a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP):
•Overseas foreign professionals whose last drawn fixed monthly salary overseas was at least SGD 8,000. The last drawn fixed monthly salary overseas should be no more than six months from the time of the application
•Former P1 Pass holders who are residing overseas. They should not be unemployed for longer than a continuous period of six months at the point of application
•P1 Pass holders
•P2 Pass holders with at least two years' working experience on a P Pass. They should earn a fixed salary of at least SGD 34,000 in the preceding year
•Q1 Pass holders with at least five years' working experience on a Q1 pass. They should earn a fixed salary of at least S$34,000 in the preceding year
•Foreign graduates from institutions of higher learning in Singapore with at least two years' working experience on a P or Q1 Pass. They should earn a fixed salary of at least S$34,000 in the preceding year.
 
How can I apply for a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?
You can apply for a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) if you are currently working in Singapore via the following options:
i) PEP Online
PEP Online is a one-stop portal for existing Employment Pass (EP) holders to submit their PEP applications. The processing time for PEP application is two weeks. Applicants can also use PEP Online to check the status of their application. The application outcome will also be mailed to the residential address in Singapore.
ii) PEP Application form
Manual applications can be submitted at any Singpost Office. The application outcome will be mailed to the applicant's residential address in Singapore about two weeks after the application was made.
An administrative fee of SGD 20 will be charged for every PEP application submitted.
Overseas applicants are required to submit their applications manually. You will be required to send the completed original application form to a local contact in Singapore. The local contact can then submit the application form and pay the SGD 20 application fee to SingPost post office on the applicant’s behalf.
If you are currently in Singapore on a Social Visit Pass, you can submit the completed form and make payment of the SGD 20 administrative fee at any SingPost post office. However, you are still required to provide the details of a local contact person in Singapore. You will have to ensure that your Social Visit Pass is valid while waiting in Singapore for the outcome of their PEP application.
 
Must a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) applicant be employed at the time of application for a PEP?
If the applicant is overseas and his/her last drawn fixed overseas salary is SGD 8,000 (no more than six months from the time of application) or if the applicant is a former P1 Pass holder (who had not been unemployed for more than six months continuous at the point of application), he will be eligible for the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP).
If the applicant does not fall into the above category, he should have been on a P or Q1 Pass for two years and five years respectively, and must have earned a fixed salary of at least SGD 34,000 in the preceding year to be eligible for the PEP. Foreign graduates from institutions of higher learning in Singapore with at least two years' working experience on a Employment Pass, earning a fixed salary of at least SGD 34,000 in the preceding year will also be eligible for the PEP
 
Can a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holder apply to be a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR)?
You can apply for Permanent Resident (PR), if you are gainfully employed, at any time. There is no need to wait till the expiry of the Personalised Employment Pass before applying for PR.
Applications for PR can be made through the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA). However, the application will be assessed based on ICA's PR criteria.
 
Do I have to pay income tax?
If you are a Singaporean, or Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) who has established your permanent home in Singapore, or foreigner who has stayed/worked in Singapore for 183 days or more in the previous year, you will need to pay tax. Non-residents are exempted from paying income tax if they have been employed for 60 days or less of a calendar year, unless they are directors, public entertainers or practising a profession in Singapore. Non-residents are taxed only on income earned in Singapore at a flat rate of 15% or the resident rates, whichever is higher. Non-residents may not claim for personal reliefs.
 
Can the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holder choose to stay in Singapore without a job?
Yes. The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) allows a maximum period of six continuous months without a job. Thereafter, the PEP will be cancelled.
 
I am about to graduate and would like to explore working in Singapore. What can I do?
There are several options for you. To begin, check out Contact Singapore's job portal. You can sign up for the Work Holiday Programme (if your university is part of the programme) or an internship, and find out more about working, living and playing in Singapore through this website. Start by clicking on the Students profile on the homepage. To keep updated on employment trends, career updates and upcoming recruitment and familiarisation events in Singapore, sign up for our mailing list and other social media platforms.
 
I’m thinking of applying for the Work Holiday Programme. What would I need?
The Work Holiday Programme (WHP) is targeted at specific universities. Each installment of the WHP has different eligibility criteria and focuses on different industries.
 
Who can apply for a Dependant's Pass?
Employment Pass holders (P1, P2 and Q1) and S Pass holders (whose fixed monthly salary is more than SGD 2,800) may apply for Dependant's Passes (DPs) for their:
•Spouse; or
•Unmarried/ legally adopted children under 21 years of age.
 
Can a Dependant's Pass holder work in Singapore?
If a Dependant's Pass (DP) holder wishes to work in Singapore, the employer is required to apply for a Letter of Consent (LOC). The DP holder can only begin working after the employer has received the LOC.
 
I am a Dependant Pass holder and would like to work in Singapore. What are the procedures I need to follow to look for a job in Singapore?
If you wish to take up employment in Singapore, your employing company will need to complete the Letter of Consent (LOC) application form and submit it to MOM. There is no salary criterion for the LOC. The processing time for the LOC is about three weeks from the date of the receipt of the application and the outcome will be mailed to the employer. You may begin employment once the employer has received the LOC. Renewal of the LOC is required when the Dependant Pass is renewed. The LOC ceases to be valid when the Dependant Pass is cancelled or when you are no longer employed by the company.
 
As an expatriate, what do I need to know about paying taxes? Do I have to pay taxes?
You will need to pay taxes, and the amount of tax that you pay depends on how much you have earned and on your tax residency in Singapore.
As a resident, you will be taxed on all income earned in Singapore and any overseas income that was brought into Singapore prior to 1 Jan 2004. Your income, after deduction of tax reliefs, will be taxed at progressive resident rates. The foreign-sourced income (with the exception of those received through partnerships in Singapore) brought into Singapore on or after 1 Jan 2004 is tax exempt.
 
What is an EntrePass?
The EntrePass is an Employment Pass for foreign entrepreneurs who would like to start businesses in Singapore.
 
How much tax would I have to pay?
Singapore’s taxation rate is one of the most competitive in the world. After deducting personal reliefs, personal income taxes are levied on a graduated scale which starts at 0% and is capped at a favourable 20%. There is no tax on income derived and received outside of Singapore, and no capital gains or estate taxes to worry about.
 
As a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP) holder, am I allowed to work in Singapore?
Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) holders who wish to work in Singapore should apply for a Work Pass – an Employment Pass (EP), S Pass or Work Permit (WP). Each application would be assessed on its own merits. However, these LTVP holders are not allowed to work in objectionable occupations such as dance hostesses, masseurs, etc.
Applications for an EP or S Pass will be assessed based on prevailing criteria (i.e., educational qualifications, salary, occupation, and experience).
Applications for a WP will depend on the LTVP holder's relationship to their sponsor:
•If they are a parent/parent-in-law of the sponsor, they must be from an approved source country and meet the prospective company's dependency quota. The foreign worker levy will apply.
•If they are a spouse or unmarried child of the sponsor, there is no need for foreign worker levy to be paid. Their employment will not be counted towards the company's dependency quota. They do not need to be from an approved source country.
 
I’m looking for a job. Can Contact Singapore help me?
In addition to the commercial recruitment sites, you may also visit the Contact Singapore job portal at www.contactsingapore.sg/jobs to view the latest opportunities. Contact Singapore also organises career-related events and activities. To receive news and updates, you may request to be added onto our mailing list.
 
What is the starting salary of fresh graduates in Singapore?
The starting salary of fresh graduates depends on the industry and type of position. For more information, please visit the salaries section.
 
Do employers in Singapore offer different remuneration packages based on nationality?
Remuneration packages in Singapore are offered strictly based on merit. Nationality does not come into play.
 
What is the working language in Singapore?
The language used for business and education in Singapore is English.
 
Will I need to know a non-English language to work/live in Singapore?
It is advantageous to know another language apart from English as most Singaporeans are bilingual. However, it is not a necessity unless it is a requirement for your work.
 
Do Singapore-based employers usually require shortlisted candidates to attend an interview in Singapore?
Usually with candidates located overseas, a phone interview is conducted at the initial stage. Companies that have a local office where the candidate is situated might call for an on-site interview. Shortlisted candidates may be asked to attend an interview in Singapore but since this practice varies from company to company, it is best to check with the prospective employer.
 
What is the typical employment period offered by Singapore-based employers?
Employment practices in Singapore vary from company to company. Some companies impose a probation period which can last from three to six months. It is best to check with your prospective employer on the company’s practices.
 
What networking groups can I join?
Professional associations and university alumni events often provide the best opportunities for networking. You may contact them directly to find out about upcoming events. The International Chamber of Commerce also offers professional resources and assistance.
 
How do I apply to do my internship in Singapore?
Finding internship opportunities depends on your skills and field of work, and whether they match the requirements of employers in Singapore at the prevailing time. The employer that hires you as an intern will apply for a Training Employment Pass (TEP) with MOM together with relevant documents such as a letter of sponsorship, applicant's qualifications and a detailed training programme. You may wish to visit MOM’s website for more information.

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