Singapore: Changes for Dependent’s Pass Holders

Singapore: Changes for Dependent’s Pass Holders

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced that from 1 May 2021, Dependent’s Pass (DP) holders will need to obtain work passes if they wish to work in Singapore.

Previously, spouses and family members of a foreigner working in Singapore who hold a Dependent’s Pass (DP) could work if their employer applied for a Letter of Consent (LOC) from the MOM. From May, a LOC will no longer be required and a work pass will instead be needed.

Those who hold a DP and wish to work, should apply for an applicable work pass, such as an Employment Pass, S Pass or Work Permit. Those who currently hold a LOC, can continue working until it expires, thereafter, they will need an applicable work pass.

The new rule means that spouses and family members of work pass holders will be subject to the same requirements as all other foreigners who wish to work in Singapore for the duration of their stay. It is the responsibility of the employer to apply for an applicable work pass should they wish to continue employing an existing DP LOC holder.

The MOM will facilitate the transition to a work pass and the relevant qualifying salary, dependency ratio ceiling, and/or levies for the respective work passes will apply.

If a DP holder is a business owner, the rules are not the same as above and they will be able to continue running their business on a LOC, as long as their business creates local employment. The following criteria also needs to be met:

  1. The DP holder is a sole proprietor, partner or company director with at least 30% shareholding in the business
  2. The business hires at least one Singaporean/Permanent Resident who earns at least the prevailing Local Qualifying Salary (currently $1,400) and receives CPF contributions for at least three months

If a DP business owner does not meet the above criteria, they can run their business until their LOC expires or apply for a one-off extension of their LOC until 30 April 2022. After this time, they will need to make some changes in order to meet the criteria above or obtain an applicable work pass.

For more up to date information on relevant industry news, please visit the activpayroll latest news page.

For more information on tax and social security laws in Singapore, browse activpayroll’s Singapore Global Insight Guide.