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Apply for licence

From 1 January 2016, operators of dormitories that can house 1,000 or more foreign employees need to obtain a licence from MOM. Under this licence, dormitory operators need to comply with standards on physical and structural safety, land use, hygiene and cleanliness.

At a glance

Who it is for Operators of dormitories that can house 1,000 or more foreign employees
How much it costs Varies according to occupancy load and licence validity period.
How long it takes

2 to 3 months

Processing time may be longer if:

  • There is a high number of applications during peak periods.
  • There is delay in payment of fees or submission of documents.
  • Additional information is required.
  • There are areas that the dormitory operator needs to rectify.
How long it lasts Up to 3 years

Eligibility requirements

You must have a licence if the dormitory you are operating meets any of the following conditions:

  • Houses 1,000 or more foreign employees.
  • Has an approved occupancy load of 1,000 or more in the Written Permission issued by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
  • Has an approved occupancy load of 1,000 or more according to the Fire Safety Code.

You must:

  • Register a business entity in ACRA.

Your business entity must:

  • Not have a sole director who is a foreigner.
  • Not have offence records with Ministry of Manpower or Ministry of Home Affairs.

Directors and key appointment holders must:

  • Be 18 years old or above.
  • Not be an undischarged bankrupt.
  • Not have offence records with Ministry of Manpower or Ministry of Home Affairs.

When to apply

URA Written Permission (WP) and Occupancy Load (OL) Operations start date You must
  • WP for >= 1,000
  • OL issued on or before 1 Jan 2016
On or before 30 Jun 2016
  • Apply for licence on or before 30 Jun 2016.
  • Operations can start or continue unless your application is rejected.
  • No application or licence is required if operations stop on or before 30 Jun 2016.
  • WP for >= 1,000
  • OL issued on or before 1 Jan 2016
After 30 Jun 2016
  • Obtain licence before operations can start.
  • WP for >= 1,000
  • OL issued after 1 Jan 2016, increased from below 1,000 OL
Any date
  • Obtain licence before continuing operations for new >= 1,000 OL.
  • WP for >= 1,000
  • OL issued after 1 Jan 2016
After 1 Jan 2016
  • Obtain licence before operations can start.
Failure to apply or obtain the licence by the appropriate date will result in the operator, proprietor or both being charged for operating an unlicensed foreign employee dormitory. This would result in a fine not exceeding $500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years, or both.

How to apply

Step Who does this Result
Submit an application Director of proprietor or operator Issuance of payment letter for application fee by MOM
Pay application fee Any party Inspection of dormitory by MOM and other Government agencies
Facilitate inspection of dormitory Dormitory operator If all requirements are met, issuance of in-principle approval (IPA) and payment letter for licence fee by MOM
Declare compliance and pay licence fee Director of dormitory operator to declare, any party to pay Issuance of licence by MOM
Receive the licence Dormitory operator Added to list of licensed dormitory operators for dormitories on MOM website

Submit an applicationShow

Processing time: 2 to 3 months

Processing time may be longer if:

  • There is a high number of applications during peak periods.
  • There is delay in payment of fees or submission of documents.
  • Additional information is required.
  • There are areas that the dormitory operator needs to rectify.

To submit an application:

  1. Download and complete the foreign employee dormitory licence application form.
  2. Email the application form to mom_feda@mom.gov.sg and attach supporting documents. List of supporting documents are within the form.

Pay application feeShow

If the application is accepted by MOM, you will receive a payment letter for payment of application fee by email from MOM. The payment letter will indicate the amount payable.

To make payment before the deadline stated in the payment letter:

  1. Write a cheque, payable to “Ministry of Manpower”.
  2. Mail the cheque and payment letter to:

    Foreign Manpower Management Division
    Ministry of Manpower
    1500 Bendemeer Road
    Singapore 339946

Facilitate inspection of dormitoryShow

After receiving the application fee, MOM and other Government agencies will contact your dormitory by email to arrange for an inspection of your dormitory.

Declare compliance and pay licence feeShow

If all requirements are met, you will receive the following by email:

  • In-principle approval (IPA) letter with licence conditions attached.
  • Payment letter for payment of licence fee which will indicate the amount payable.

To declare agreement to comply with the licence conditions and pay the licence fee:

  1. Dormitory operator must print and sign on a hardcopy of the IPA with the attached licence conditions. Email a scanned copy, including the licence conditions, to mom_feda@mom.gov.sg.
  2. Write a cheque, payable to “Ministry of Manpower”.
  3. Mail the cheque and payment letter to:

    Foreign Manpower Management Division
    Ministry of Manpower
    1500 Bendemeer Road
    Singapore 339946

Receive the licenceShow

After MOM receives the declaration and licence fee, you will:

  • Receive the licence by email.
  • Be listed on MOM website as a licensed dormitory operator for the dormitory.
Last Updated: 18 March 2016