From 1st May 2021, family members of foreigners working in Singapore who hold dependant’s passes (DP) will need to have a valid work pass to work in Singapore. Previously, they only needed to apply to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for a Letter of Consent (LOC). The LOC expiry date would typically match the expiry date of the work pass which the dependent pass is tagged to.
Current holders of LOC will be able to continue with their current work arrangement up to the expiry of their LOC. After which, if they intend to work in Singapore, they will have to apply for a valid work pass. LOC holders are not subject to minimum income requirements and there is no dependency ration ceiling set on the number of LOC holders a company can hire.
Current applications for LOC for dependent pass holders will still be accepted. Their expiry date will be subject to approval. DP holders are not allowed to work in Singapore. The LOC allowed them to work in Singapore. After 1st May 2021, they will be subject to the prevailing work pass framework.
This new ruling may affect some businesses that rely on LOC holders. The government will allow these businesses to continue to employ LOC holders up to the expiry of their LOC. This new ruling is intended to align the requirements for DP holders with all other foreigners working in Singapore. This will bring consistency to recent updates to the work pass framework.
There is an exception for DP holders who own businesses. These LOC holders can continue running their businesses if their businesses create local employment.
They will have to follow the following criteria:
1) The DP holder is a sole proprietor, partner, or company director with at least 30 per cent shareholding in the business
2) The business hires at least one Singaporean or permanent resident who earns at least the prevailing Local Qualifying Salary (LQS) (currently S$1,400)
If the business does not meet the criteria, they will be allowed to operate until the expiry of the LOC. They may apply for a one off extension of their LOC until 30th April 2022, after which they will have to adhere to the criteria or apply for a valid work pass.
If you would like to apply for an LOC or seek more information about work passes, do visit https://singaporeemploymentagency.com/
When in doubt, seek legal advice or consult an experienced ACRA Filing Agent.
The editorial team at Singapore Secretary Services
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