With effective governance, Singapore has seen no subsequent circuit breakers implemented ever since the first. As businesses systematically resume operations in phases, Singapore is projected for an economic rebound, meaning that job opportunities are progressively made available for those who lost their jobs or are looking for a fresh start. If you are an employer who seeks to bring over new hires from overseas, there are certain regulations you will need to pay heed to.

As Singapore goes by stringent border controls and mandatory testing of visitors, employees have to be aware of the latest happenings and requirements that go into travelling and permit on behalf of their workers. In this article, we will be sharing with you some important information that will be commencing once your pass application is approved and you have received the In-Principle Approval (IPA), which is valid for six months.

During these six months, your employee should be able to travel to Singapore to have their pass activated. If they are not able to, employers can request an extension on the validity period of the IPA. That said, the approval of the request is based on the discretion of the authorities and could be increasingly difficult to obtain due to strict measures. Before we get started, read on the entry approval requirements to bring pass holders (work pass holders and their dependants) into Singapore here.

As the pandemic continues to evolve, nothing can be certain, which makes it important for you to plan ahead for your employees to travel to Singapore and ensure that there are no delays and hiccups on the job starting date.

Employer’s responsibilities

Now, before requesting MOM’s entry approval via SafeTravel Portal, employers must be aware and ready to take on the additional responsibilities for the welfare of new and existing foreign employees before they leave for Singapore and after entering the country.

Before foreign employees leave for Singapore, employers must:

  • Secure suitable accommodation for the employees to serve the Stay Home Notice (SHN), unless they are to serve SHN at selected SHN facilities. Employers are to pay for the employees’ COVID-19 tests and their stay at selected SHN facilities, if applicable.
  • Ensure that the employees fully understand and are willing to comply with additional conditions imposed for the SHN period.
  • Ensure that the employees take the COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours before departure, if required.
  • Ensure that the employees submit their arrival information, including health declaration, using the SG Arrival Card e-Service within 3 days before arrival. IPA holders must submit this information under the ‘Foreign Visitors’ category.

After your foreign employees enter Singapore, employers must:

  • Ensure that the employees comply with the SHN upon arrival, if applicable.
  • Ensure that the employees take all of the required COVID-19 tests.
  • Arrange the necessary transport for travel, unless the employees are to serve SHN at selected SHN facilities.
  • For foreign employees who are not issued an electronic monitoring device, employers should get the employees to download both WhatsApp and FWMOMCare app on their mobile phones. The employees must report their health status using the FWMOMCare app and respond to MOM’s phone calls, WhatsApp video calls or SMSes within 1 hour, and this means the employer should ensure that the employees’ prepaid cards have sufficient value.
  • As for foreign employees who are issued an electronic monitoring device at the checkpoint, employers should ensure that the employees activate the devices within 1 hour of arriving at their SHN accommodation.
  • Ensure proper food provisions and other daily essentials throughout SHN, unless the employees are serving SHN at selected SHN facilities.
  • Reschedule any non-emergency medical needs such as follow-up visits for chronic conditions or refilling of prescription, so that the employees do not need to leave their SHN accommodation.

Only by fulfilling the aforementioned responsibilities are employers allowed to bring foreign employees into Singapore.

Work pass holder’s responsibilities

Not only that, employees themselves, as a work pass holder, are also responsible for themselves and their own dependants if the latter is unemployed when entering the country (i.e. not issued a work pass, including Letter of Consent). All in all, employers and employees must work together throughout the whole procedure to ensure a hassle-free experience for both parties.

Now, If employees plan to bring their dependants in, they need to request for MOM’s entry approval using the respective links below:

ForWho must submit the request
Dependants of Employment Pass (EP), S Pass or
Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holders (who have an employer)
Employer
Dependants of PEP holders (who do not have an employer) or EntrePass holdersPEP or EntrePass holder

Work pass holders’ responsibilities are as followed:

Before your dependants leave for Singapore, you must:

  • Secure suitable accommodation for the dependants to serve out SHN, unless they are to serve SHN at selected SHN facilities. Employers are to pay for the dependents’ COVID-19 tests and their stay at selected SHN facilities, if applicable.
  • Ensure that the dependants fully understand and are willing to comply with additional conditions imposed for the SHN period.
  • Ensure that the dependants take the COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure, if required.

After your dependants enter Singapore, you must:

  • Ensure that the dependants comply with the SHN upon arrival, if applicable.
  • Ensure that the dependants take all required COVID-19 tests.
  • Arrange the necessary transport for travel, unless the dependants are to serve SHN at selected SHN facilities.
  • For dependants who are not issued an electronic monitoring device, work pass holders or employees should get the dependants to download both WhatsApp and FWMOMCare app on their mobile phones. The dependants must report their health status using the FWMOMCare app and respond to MOM’s phone calls, WhatsApp video calls or SMSes within 1 hour, and this means the employee should ensure that the dependants’ prepaid cards have sufficient value.
  • As for dependants who are issued an electronic monitoring device at the checkpoint, employees should ensure that the dependants activate the devices within 1 hour of arriving at their SHN accommodation.
  • Ensure proper food provisions and other daily essentials throughout SHN, unless the dependants are serving SHN at selected SHN facilities.
  • Reschedule any non-emergency medical needs such as follow-up visits for chronic conditions or refilling of prescription so that the dependants do not have to leave their SHN accommodation.

Only by fulfilling the aforementioned responsibilities are employees allowed to bring their dependants into Singapore.

What work pass holders and their dependants must do during their SHN

  • Remain in their SHN premises at all times.
  • For pass holders who are not issued an electronic monitoring device, they need to carry their mobile phones with an internet connection at all times. They must respond to MOM’s phone calls, WhatsApp video calls or SMSes within 1 hour. They must also report their health status using the FWMOMCare app.
  • For pass holders who are issued an electronic monitoring device at the checkpoint, wear the device and charge it throughout the SHN.
  • Take all the required COVID-19 tests.
  • Avoid contact with others and allow no visitors.
  • Maintain a record of persons they come into close contact with.
  • Act responsibly based on advisories issued by the Singapore Government.

All in all, employers, employees or work pass holders, and their dependants share a collective duty to ensure the entry approval and SHN requirements are complied with.

Penalties for non-compliance

Any deviation from the aforementioned guidelines will result in penalties as MOM will take enforcement measures such as criminal proceedings, work pass revocations, and withdrawal of work pass privilege against those who fail to comply or make false declarations.

Hence, employers must get everyone on the same page first and foremost before proceeding any further to ensure a smooth process for everyone on board!

Are you planning to move and work in Singapore for the long haul? Do not hesitate to get in touch with us as your inquiries on any immigration issues will be hastily answered by us! Get in touch with our Lead Immigration Specialist today to learn more!