Now that the borders are reopening in most countries, many people are rushing to get their passports renewed, and travel plans are back on track. If you’re a student yearning to travel but with a tight budget, a working holiday programme is your best bet. You are able to explore new places and culture while financing your trip by yourself.

In Singapore, there is a Work Holiday Pass offered to foreign students from certain countries to work for up to 6 months under the Work Holiday Programme. With this pass, there are no restrictions of the type of work or minimum wage requirements, and successful applicants may secure employment after arriving in Singapore.

Qualifying countries

The Work Holiday Pass is only available to students from:

  • Australia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Eligibility criteria

To apply for a Work Holiday Pass, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be aged between 18-25 years 
  • You hail from one of the countries listed above
  • You are either a graduate or currently a student of a university that is recognised by your country’s government
  • Current students must be residents and full-time students at the university for at least three months prior to applying
  • Graduates who were a resident and full-time student for the duration of your studies.

Are there any other conditions? 

  • With the Work Holiday Pass, you can only live and work in Singapore for a maximum of 6 months.
  • A total of 2,000 applications are accepted, and if the capacity is capped, your application will likely be rejected, unless there are vacancies.

Applying for Work Holiday Pass

Applicants must declare that they have sufficient funds to travel to and from Singapore and to cover living costs. They must also be in good health and own medical insurance coverage during their stay in Singapore.

Work Holiday Pass applications take approximately 21 days to process and applicants will be notified via email. Therefore, it is also required of applicants to register a valid email address to receive correspondence from the Ministry of Manpower. 

Acceptance

Successful applicants must collect their pass within three months from the date of the In-Principle Approval Letter (IPA) at the Work Pass Division of the Ministry of Manpower.

The following documents must be presented for picking up the pass:

  • a valid IPA
  • the recipient’s valid passport with at least two blank visa pages
  • Declaration Form
  • Work Holiday Programme Employment Survey form
  • a return travel ticket (round trip) with a departure date prior to the expiration date of the Work Holiday Pass

Disclaimer: There is a fee due on collection and an additional fee applies if a single or multiple journey visa is necessary to travel outside of Singapore during the validity period of the Work Holiday Pass. Payment may be made using cash, NETS or a CashCard. 

Validity

The Work Holiday Pass is only valid for 6 months and is not renewable. Applicants must declare they will depart the country before its expiration. 

To continue working in Singapore beyond the 6-month period, a different work pass is required. We have written an article on this, click here to learn more about the various types of visas available in Singapore and their requirements. 

Are you seeking to extend your stay in Singapore and unsure about the next steps? Send us your questions or concerns, and we will give you the best advice on the appropriate visa you need based on your unique circumstances.