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Work Permit (Foreign Worker) - Levy Payments

Foreign Worker Levy

The Foreign Worker levy, commonly known as ‘levy’ is a pricing mechanism to regulate the number of foreign manpower in Singapore.

Who should pay for Foreign Worker levy?

Employers are required to pay Foreign Worker levy for their Work Permit holders. The levy liability will start from the day the Temporary Work Permit or Work Permit is issued, whichever is earlier. And it ends when the permit is cancelled or has expired.

What is the levy rate?

Your sector and the following factors will determine the amount of levy to be paid:

  • Worker's qualification*
  • Dependency Ceiling 
  • Workers on Man–Year Entitlement (MYE) or MYE-waiver scheme

* MOM will consider the worker as skilled if he/she possesses relevant academic or skills-based test qualifications and certificates.

For manufacturing & services sectors:
Workers will be further assigned to different tiers within the company Dependency Ceiling limits. Read up on how this works.

The following illustrates the levy you pay for each foreign worker.


Levy rate ($)

Sector Dependency Ceiling Segmentation Worker category Monthly *Daily
Manufacturing Basic Tier / Tier 1: Up to 25% of the total workforce Skilled 250 8.22
Unskilled 370 12.17
Tier 2: Above 25% to 50% of the total workforce Skilled 350 11.51
Unskilled 470 15.46
Tier 3: Above 50% to 60% of the total workforce Skilled 550 18.09
Unskilled 650 21.37


Levy rate ($)

Sector Dependency Ceiling Segmentation Worker category Monthly *Daily
Services Basic Tier / Tier 1: Up to 10% of the total workforce Skilled 300 9.87
Unskilled 420 13.81
Tier 2: Above 10% to 25% of the total workforce Skilled
400 13.16
Unskilled 550 18.09
Tier 3: Above 25% to 40% of the total workforce Skilled 600 19.73
Unskilled 700 23.02


Work Permit holders in the services sector can qualify as skilled workers under the PDFMarket-Based Skills Recognition Framework (MBF) if they earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $1,600 AND have worked in Singapore for at least four years. Employers can update their worker's salary via WPOL.


Levy rate ($)

Sector Dependency Ceiling (DC) Worker category Monthly *Daily

1 local full-time worker to 7 Foreign Workers Higher Skilled (1)& on MYE 300 9.87
Basic Skilled (2) & on MYE 550 18.09
Higher Skilled & exempted from MYE (3) 700 23.02
Basic Skilled & exempted from MYE (3) 950 31.24
Process 1 local full-time worker to 7 Foreign Workers Skilled & on MYE 300 9.87
Unskilled & on MYE 450 14.80
Skilled & exempted from MYE (3) 600 19.73
Unskilled & exempted from MYE (3) 750 24.66


From 1 August 2014, Work Permit holders in the construction sector who earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $1,600 AND have worked in the construction sector in Singapore for at least six years will be upgraded to Higher-Skilled status. For more information, please refer to these PDFFAQs.


Levy rate ($)

Sector Dependency Ceiling (DC) Worker category Monthly *Daily
Marine 1 local full-time worker to 5 Foreign Workers Skilled 300 9.87
Unskilled 400 13.16

* Daily levy rate only applies to Work Permit holders who did not work for a full calendar month. From 1 January 2011, the daily levy rate is computed based on the following: (Monthly levy rate x 12) / 365 = rounding up to the nearest cent.

(1) Higher skilled workers in the construction sector refer to workers who are:

(2) Basic skilled workers refer to workers who possess SPM and/or Building and Construction Authority’s Skills Evaluation Certificate (SEC) or Skills Evaluation Certificate (Knowledge) i.e. SEC (K).

(3) To be exempted from MYE, the foreign worker must have at least two years of working experience in Singapore. This must be relevant to the sector they are employed under.

Paying for Foreign Worker levy

Employers will need to pay Foreign Worker levy using General Interbank Recurring Order (GIRO) every month. With GIRO, levy will be deducted automatically from the bank account.

The levy is deducted on the 17th of the month or the next working day if it falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday. The employer must ensure that there are sufficient funds in the bank for the deduction.

If GIRO is not available, employer must make payment of levy by the 14th of the month. So long as there is no full payment, interest for non or late payment will be charged. Read up on other penalties for late payment.

How to join GIRO?

You must complete the pdfApplication for Interbank GIRO (Foreign Worker Levy Payment) and send it to Robinson Road P.O. Box 231, Singapore 900431.

Check your levy online

Companies can view their levy bills online using Internet Foreign Worker levy Billing System (iFWLB) system. Please follow these steps to get an iFWLB account:

Step 1:

First, the following conditions must be fulfilled before opening an account:

  1. Have active Work Permit and S Pass holders that have incurred liability in the previous month; and
  2. Registered address with Central Provident Fund Board is a Singapore address.

Step 2:

Appoint a Singaporean Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident to register for the iFWLB account. This person will be appointed a “super user” role.

* Super user refers to one who performs the administrative role for the iFWLB account. Please refer to the pdfuser guide for more information on the roles of a super user.

Step 3:

Upon successful registration, we will send a notification to the email address provided during the registration. The user can log on to iFWLB now using SingPass to carry out levy transactions.

Non-payment of Foreign Worker levy

If full payment of the Foreign Worker levy is not made on time, the following measures may be taken:

  • A late payment penalty will be charged
  • Existing Work Permits will be cancelled
  • Employer will not be allowed to apply for new Work Permits or renew their existing workers' Work Permits
  • Legal proceedings will be taken to recover the unpaid levy liability
  • If you, your partners or directors are sole proprietors, partners or directors of other companies, these companies will not be allowed to apply for Work Permits

It takes up to five working days to update your levy payment. Any application made before that time may be rejected. If you need to update your payment records urgently, send us a clear copy of your payment receipt and contact details using iSubmit. Please select option 9: Levy Matters under the Request Type. You may proceed to apply after two working days.

Waiver of Foreign Worker levy

There have been some changes to the circumstances that employers can apply for waiver of the levy. Refer to the pdfFrequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more information.

Employers may apply for waiver of the levy under these circumstances.

Your foreign worker:

  • is on overseas leave# for at least seven consecutive days
  • fails to return to Singapore after overseas leave
  • is on hospitalisation leave#
  • is under police custody or is housed at the Embassy
  • has been granted Singapore Permanent Residence
  • is in the harbour-craft industry and is on board a vessel leaving Singapore's port for at least three consecutive days
  • is a Malaysian and is serving National Service in his home country for three months.

# Levy waiver is capped at a maximum of 60 calendar days per calendar year.

How to apply

Applications for waiver of Foreign Worker levy can be made:

The application must be submitted within one year from the start month of the waiver period requested. For example, if the waiver period requested is from January 2014 (start month) to February 2014 (end month), the application must be submitted by 31 January 2015.

Last updated on 01 September 2014 11:13:37