Studying abroad was one of the best decisions I ever made, but I wish someone gave me a heads up on how much immigration paperwork is involved. The same applies for Singapore. Applying for a Singapore Student Pass (SP) can be quite confusing and getting rejected will hinder your timeline; the academic year in Singapore runs on a pretty tight timeline, with limited intakes throughout the year.
To simplify your research about the SP, here are the top 4 things you need to know about the SP before you apply.
You need to be admitted into one of the approved schools FIRST
Trying to navigate SOLAR+ (Student’s Pass Online Application & Registration +), but have no idea what they are talking about? That’s because you need to first gain admission into one of the approved schools listed on Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) website.
Once you get accepted, your institution will provide you with the necessary details you need to proceed with your application on SOLAR+. You will not get a Student Pass if you are accepted into schools that are not on ICA’s list.
Dependent Pass (DP) holder? You might not need an SP
Are you applying for a SP for your child who is already a Dependent Pass holder in Singapore? Hold your horses because your child might not need one, yet.
For dependent pass holders, SP is only needed if you wish to study in Singapore at any Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), including Polytechnics and Universities.
However, if you currently hold an Immigration Exemption Order (IEO), you do not need a SP even for IHLs!
An IEO is a short-term foreign resident scheme for military personnel, diplomats and their family members. With it comes a FIN (Foreign Identification Number) which is a unique 9-digit code issued to foreigners on either immigration or work passes.
Your rights are similar to those who hold an Employment Pass (EP), however, you have special privileges like not having to buy a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) when you purchase a car in Singapore! On the flip side, it is relatively more challenging for you to find an occupation because not many are familiar with an IEO.
Working Restrictions for Student Pass holders
Thinking about earning some extra cash while in school? Well think again, because there are quite a few working restrictions for Student Pass holders.
Firstly, if you’re an exchange student, you cannot work while studying in Singapore.
Next, as foreign students, you are only allowed to work a maximum of 16 hours a week during the school term.
During vacation, you can work without a work pass so long as you are above 14 years old, holding a student pass and a fully matriculated student at any of the approved schools.
Simply put, you are only allowed to work if you fulfil the criteria set out by the Ministry of Manpower.
*NOTE: If you are entering Singapore NOT to study, but to do an internship, what you need is a Training Work Permit/ Training Employment Pass or the Work Holiday Programme and NOT a student pass.
Have all your documents ready
Finally proceeding with the application for your student pass?
In order to maximise the chances of your approval ensure that you have all required documents ready and translated into English if necessary. All translated documents need to be notarised and certified.
This is crucial as your application will be rejected if any document is missing or fails to meet the requirements set out by ICA.
Another point to note is the timeframe. According to ICA, you should apply at least a month prior to commencing your education but nothing earlier than two months.
Whether you are an international student applying individually, or a HR executive in one of the approved schools having to process loads of applications prior to the new academic year, the last thing you want is to get rejected by the ICA. Reach out to us for a personal step-by-step guide from document preparation until you collect your student pass in Singapore; or for outsourcing matters and potential partnerships.