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Singapore: Processing Times for Work Passes and Dependent Passes

Latest on the new processing times for work passes and dependent passes

With immediate effect, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of Singapore has revised the processing times for the following categories:

  • Work Passes
    -Employment Pass (EP)
    -S Pass
    -Personalised Employment Pass (PEP


  • Related Dependent’s Passes
    -Dependent’s Pass (DP)
    -Long Term Visitor Pass (LTVP)

Online applications will now be processed within three weeks and manual submissions will be processed within eight weeks. Previously, MOM processed online applications within one week from the date of submission of application, and manual applications took around five weeks.Longer processing times have been introduced to set a more realistic timeline for companies to plan their hiring process. More time will be required to verify certain documentation for some applications. MOM is also stepping up efforts to ensure companies are adopting fair employment practices and therefore, processing times have been extended.

Those who will be effected include the following

  • Foreign Nationals whose EP/S Pass are to be submitted for either new application or renewal.
  • Accompanying Family Members whose DP and/or LTVP are to be submitted for either new application or renewal.
  • Foreign Nationals who are submitting their application for PEP.

New applications will take longer to process and therefore, this may delay the start date of their work appointment/assignment in Singapore.

In the event that MOM takes longer to process renewal applications that go past the expiry date of the Work Pass, additional steps to extend the current EP/S Pass and related passes for the Foreign Employee and his accompanying family members to stay in Singapore may be required. This may also incur additional expenses. It is also recommended for the EP/S Pass holder not to leave Singapore until the renewed pass is approved and issued.

Due to the new processing timeline, companies are encouraged to plan ahead with their employee’s work appointment/assignment in Singapore and initiate cases to Sterling at least three months ahead of the projected start date of work.

It is also best to continue the practice that the Foreign Employees and their family members relocate in Singapore only once the In-Principle Approval is issued.

It has also been advised to apply for any Dependent’s Passes only once the Employment Pass has been approved. MOM confirmed there will be no refund on Dependent Pass application fees if the Employment Pass application is rejected.

It is also recommended for companies to renew on-going passes three to six months before the expiry date, considering the travel plans of the employee and their family members may have.

More information

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Immigration team at or call +44(0)20 8836 3359.

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