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Work Permit (Foreign Domestic Worker) - Application Process

Work Permit applications for Foreign Domestic Workers (FDW) can be submitted online, manually or through an Employment Agency.

Important notes before you make an application

The employer must be 21 years old and above, and not an undischarged bankrupt to be able to apply.

In normal circumstances, married couples can combine their incomes when applying for a Foreign Domestic Worker.

However, applications may also be made under the following schemes:

  • Joint Income Scheme
    The employer can combine income with one working family member living in the same address, other than the spouse.
  • Sponsorship Scheme
    An elderly lives alone and has no income.

If you are taking over a Foreign Domestic Worker
There are things you should take note before transferring a Foreign Domestic Worker who is currently working for someone else in Singapore, to your employment. Find out more about what you need to do when there is a change of employer.

If you have an existing Foreign Domestic Worker and are considering a second one
To qualify, you must meet the criteria of having two children below the age of 18 or a parent over 60 living with you.

Online Application

Step 1: Submission of application

  • Work Permit applications for FDW can be made online through WP Online - an online portal for selected work pass transactions. (SingPass is required for login).
  • A $30 administrative fee is payable for each Work Permit application submitted. Payment can be made online using Visa/MasterCard or eNets Debit.

Step 2: Assessment and approval

It takes one working day to process a Work Permit application. For more complex cases such as Sponsorship, Joint Income or applications which we have asked for more documents, processing time may take about seven working days. The outcome can be viewed and printed in WP Online.


Manual Application

Step 1: Submission of application

  • Submit the completed Work Permit application form and supporting documents in person at any SingPost office (MOM-appointed collecting agent).
  • A $30 administrative fee will be charged for each Work Permit application submitted. Payment can be made at SingPost using cash, NETS or CashCard.
  • Download pdfWork Permit Application Form.

Step 2: Assessment and approval

  • It takes seven working days to process a Work Permit application. The outcome will be mailed to the employer.
  • Successful employer will receive an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter or a “Letter of Notification to bring the Foreign Domestic Worker into Singapore” for first-time FDWs.

Applying through an Employment Agency

Employers may approach licensed Employment Agencies to assist in the Work Permit applications. An Employment Agency should be selected carefully based on its track record.

Indicators of Employment Agency’s performance include:

  • Successful retention rate of Employment Agency; and
  • Total number of FDWs placed by the Employment Agency in the previous year
Employment history of prospective hires

Prospective employers can enquire the employment history of prospective FDWs via the WP Online. This allows employers to make informed decisions on whether to employ FDWs who have a record of numerous past employer changes.

Check employment history of Foreign Domestic Workers
(WP Online)
Check online

Prospective employers need to have a SingPass to access the WP Online Service and make an enquiry using the FDW’s Work Permit number. Alternatively, they may make an enquiry through an Employment Agency.


Please email or post information on possible infringements of the Employment Agencies Act to MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division.

  • Download pdfFeedback on Employment Agency Form and send it by post to:

    Foreign Manpower Management Division
    Ministry of Manpower Services Centre
    1500 Bendemeer Road
    Singapore 339946
Last updated on 22 January 2014 05:22:26