The employer is responsible for applying on behalf of the foreigner to obtain a Work Permit. Work Permit is issued to those who are able to meet specific conditions and requirements as applicable to their sector. Employers are also required to meet certain sector-specific conditions before a Work Permit is issued to the person on whose behalf they apply.
Approved Source Countries/Territories
Foreigners from the following countries are approved for issue of Work Pass in the construction sector – Malaysia, People’s Republic of China (PRC), India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, The Republic of the Union of Myanmar and Philippines (NTC countries – Non Traditional Countries) and North Asian Sources (NAS): Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and Taiwan.
Quota Restrictions on Employing Foreigners (Dependency Ceiling /Quota)
Employers in the construction-sector who wish to employ foreigners must restrict it to a maximum of 7 Work Permit holders for every full-time local employee of the company.
Important note for employers:
Local full-time employees are defined as -Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) who earn at least $1,000 per month.
Local part-time employees are defined as Singaporeans and PRs who earn at least $500 per month.
Two part-time employees count as one full-time employee for the purpose of determining the total number of local employees.
Foreign Worker Levy
In addition to restricting the number of foreigners a construction-related company can employ, they are also required to pay Foreign Worker Levy (Levy) on each worker they employ. The amount of Levy payable is arrived at after taking into consideration the worker’s qualification and ceiling/quota as applicable to the construction sector.
In some situations employers are required to provide a Levy Bond in the construction sector.
Employers whose workers’ Work Permits are cancelled for non-payment of levy;
Employers who have been late in paying levies payments for at least three times within a 12-month period;
Change of ownership in an existing Sole-Proprietorship; or
New construction companies starting up as a:
Companies with paid-up capital of under $50,000 and are applying for Prior Approval to recruit Foreign Workers for the first time
The mode for payment is a Banker’s /Insurance Guarantee or Cashier/Money Order made payable to the Controller of Work Passes. Cheque payment is not accepted.
Steps to be taken before Applying for Work Permit
Before employers who apply for Work Permits on behalf of foreigners from India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Philippines and People’s Republic of China, must make the following applications and get approval before the actual submission of applications for Work Permit:
Man-Year Entitlement (MYE) to establish eligibility
Prior Approval (PA) as required
In-Principle Approval (IPA) for each Work Permit
Purchase Security Bonds
MYE and PA are not required if the Work Permit is applied on behalf of foreigners from – Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and Taiwan. An In-Principle Approval is sufficient for these nationals.
Important note for employers:
Employers are not allowed to bring non-Malaysian foreigners into Singapore before they apply for the Work Permit
Employers must have valid Building Construction Authority (BCA)/Singapore List of Trade Subcontractors (SLOT) Registration Certificate when applying for PA and/or IPA.