Singapore: Employment Pass Holders Transferring to Related Employer Now Require New Application

Employers can no longer transfer an Employment Pass (EP) holder to a related company in the case of a merger or acquisition without the new employer submitting a new EP application, according to a policy change announced by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Once the new EP is approved, the previous employer can cancel the old EP, without re-advertising the role in the job bank.

Previously, employers could transfer an EP holder to a new company without a new EP application.

Singapore: Written consent from foreign national required for Work Pass applications

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) now requires companies to obtain a written consent from foreign national candidates sponsored for work passes. This applies to all new and renewal work pass applications. Verbal consent will not be accepted.

The written consent is not required to be submitted with work pass applications as one of the supporting documents, but the MOM will ask to see this in the event of a dispute between the employer and the employee.

Singapore: New requirement for Employment Pass holders seeking appointment as Director of related company

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) now requires that an employer seeking to appoint an Employment Pass (EP) holder currently sponsored by a company in the same corporate group to their board of directors obtain a Letter of Consent (LOC) before the appointment. The LOC must be renewed with each EP renewal.

To qualify for the LOC, the company seeking to appoint the EP holder to its board must prove the following:

  • That the company is a parent, subsidiary, shareholder, or otherwise related to the EP holder’s current employer; and

Singapore: Employment Pass minimum salary to increase in January

On or after January 1, 2017, the minimum salary for Employment Pass (EP) applicants will increase from SGD 3,300 (approximately USD 2,427.90) to SGD 3,600 (approximately USD 2,648.62), according to an announcement by the Ministry of Manpower.

The new salary threshold is essentially for young graduates. EP holders with more years of experience will have to earn higher salaries commensurate with their work experience and skill sets, as per current practice.

United States: Global entry opens to all eligible citizens of singapore

The Global Entry Trusted Traveller Program has been extended to qualifying citizens of Singapore, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced. Singapore becomes the second country in Asia and seventh country overall whose citizens are eligible to enrol in Global Entry.

Singapore: New fingerprint clearance system introduced at immigration checkpoints

Immigration authorities in Singapore will start using BioScreen – a new clearance system that verifies the thumb prints of arriving and departing travellers ages six and above – at select immigration checkpoints in Singapore. This enhanced clearance system is intended to improve border security and is similar to the biometric checking systems in place in Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States.

Singapore: Stricter Employment Pass criteria introduced for non-compliant employers

In order to preserve Singaporean employees in the workforce, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has started considering a company’s foreign-to-local worker ratio in the review of Employment Pass applications. Employers who have a disproportionate number of foreign employees in their workforce compared to industry standards, and who have not shown a commitment to hire and promote local workers, may find it harder to obtain Employment Passes for their foreign employees.

Singapore: S Pass and work permit levy to increase

Effective July 1, 2016, S Pass holders across all industries and Work Permit holders (R2 category) in the services and construction industries will be subject to higher levy.

UK: Registered Traveller service expanded

The Home Office has announced the expansion of the Registered Traveller service to eligible foreign nationals from Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. Additionally, Registered Traveller members will be able to use ePassport Gates and EU/UK lanes at Bristol and Cardiff Airports in the coming months.  


The Registered Traveller service was introduced in April 2015 to travellers from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States who hold a UK visa or have visited the United Kingdom at least four times in the previous two years.

Applications are submitted online and once accepted, travellers with biometric passports can use ePassport Gates and EU/UK lanes at Eurostar terminals at Paris, Brussels and Lille and the following airports

Singapore: Travel update

It’s illegal to drink alcohol in public places (eg beyond the premises of bars and restaurants) from 10.30pm to 7am and all day at weekends in certain areas. Offenders will be fined. 

Don’t become involved with drugs of any kind. Possession of even very small quantities can lead to imprisonment, corporal punishment or the death penalty.

The offence of ‘outrage of modesty’ (molestation) can result in a fine, jail or corporal punishment. Scams involving false claims of molest are thought to exist.

Singapore: Work Pass Exempt category activities restricted

The Ministry of Manpower has narrowed the scope of the allowable specialized skills that foreign nationals under the Work Pass Exempt (WPE) category can perform, and has removed software installation from the allowable activities list. The activities that are now eligible for a Work Pass exemption are providing expertise related to commissioning or audit of a new plant and equipment, and installing, dismantling, transferring, repairing or maintaining machines or equipment.