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Eligible activities for a work pass exemption

You can work in Singapore for a short time without a work pass. However, you can only do so for certain activities, and you must notify MOM when you arrive.

Requirements for a work pass exemption

You must:

  • Be engaged to perform the Work Pass Exempt activity before you enter Singapore.
    Note: This does not guarantee your entry into Singapore. Your eligibility to enter will be assessed at our immigration checkpoints, like with all visitors.
  • Have a valid Short-Term Visit Pass (STVP) issued by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore that allows you to stay during the activity.
  • Notify MOM of your intention to work in an exempted activity after you enter Singapore, and before starting the activity. It is an offence to start work without letting us know.
  • Comply with other specific legal requirements in Singapore (e.g. registration requirements to practise in Singapore for selected professions).

How long are you allowed to work

You are allowed to perform a Work Pass Exempt (WPE) activity for any number of visits, but up to a 90 days in a calendar year (e.g. 3 stints of 30 days under Work Pass Exempt activities).

The duration you can perform a WPE activity during each visit to Singapore depends on the Short Term Visit Pass (STVP) issued at the point of entry at the checkpoints. Requests to extend the STVP for the purpose of performing a WPE activity will not be considered.

If you wish to work beyond the STVP duration, you should apply for a work pass from MOM to ensure you have valid work and stay privileges.

When you do not need to notify MOM

You do not need to notify MOM to participate in the following activities for the duration of your Short Term Visit Pass in Singapore:

  • Attend company meetings, corporate retreats or meetings with business partners.
  • Attend study tours or visits, training courses, workshops, seminars and conferences as a participant.
  • Attend exhibitions as a trade visitor.

The above activities should not involve a contract of service or a contract for service with an employer in Singapore.

Note:

  • If you are a trainer or speaker at a training course or workshop, you will need to either notify MOM for a Work Pass exemption or get a Miscellaneous Work Pass.
  • If you take up any on-the-job training, you require a work pass.

Work Pass Exempt activities

Take note of all the requirements to get a work pass exemption for these activities:

Arbitration or mediation servicesShow

Providing arbitration or mediation services relating to any case or matter which:

  • Does not relate directly or indirectly to any religious belief or to religion generally.
  • Does not relate directly or indirectly to any race or community generally.
  • Is not cause-related or directed towards a political end.

ExhibitionsShow

Participation in any exhibition as an exhibitor.

You must be registered with the organiser of the exhibition to:

  • Provide information on, or put up a performance, or give a demonstration of anything related to the subject of the exhibition.
  • Display or sell goods or services that are the subject of the exhibition.

These activities can only take place at the exhibition during the exhibition's official opening hours.

This exemption does not apply to the following, for which a work pass is needed:

  • Temporary fairs (such as a 'pasar malam'), stage shows or any other functions or activities that require a permit under section 35 of the Environment Public Health Act (Cap. 95)
  • Providing peripheral services for the event (e.g. cleaning and catering services); or setting up, maintaining, repairing and dismantling the exhibition sites or booths.

JournalismShow

Journalism activities (including media coverage for events or media tours) supported by the Government, or any statutory board.

Junket activitiesShow

Activities relating directly to the organisation, promotion or conduct of a junket in a casino and performed by:

  • Junket representatives employed by a junket promoter who is based overseas.
  • Self-employed junket promoters who are based overseas.

Note: Junket representatives and junket promoters are required to hold a valid junket representative licence issued by the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA).

Location filming and fashion showsShow

Involvement as an actor, model, director, member of the film crew or technical crew, or photographer for:

  • Location filming leading to TV or movie production. Excludes business-to-individual services such as videography or photography for weddings.
  • Fashion shows.

Note: If you are a foreigner performing at a venue with a Public Entertainment Licence, you will need a Work Permit for performing artiste. Such venues include bars, discotheques, lounges and night clubs.

PerformancesShow

  • Performing as an actor, singer, dancer or musician, or involvement as a key support staff in an event supported by the Government or any statutory board.
  • Performing as an actor, singer, dancer or musician, or involvement as a key support staff in an event held at a public performance venue. (This includes any theatre or concert hall to which access can be paid or unpaid).

Note: If you are a foreigner performing at a venue with a Public Entertainment Licence, you will need a Work Permit for performing artiste. Such venues include bars, discotheques, lounges and night clubs.

Providing expertise relating to:

  • Commissioning or audit of any new plant and equipment.
  • Installing, dismantling, transfer, repair, or maintenance of any machine or equipment.
  • Transfer of knowledge on process of new operations in Singapore.

The exemption does not apply to the following, for which a work pass is needed:

  • Conducting activities that involve the sale of products or services to the public.
  • Manufacturing any products to be sold.
  • Providing renovation or carpentry services.

Seminars and conferencesShow

Carrying out activities directly related to organising or conducting a seminar, conference, workshop, gathering or talk (e.g. speaker, moderator, facilitator or trainer).

The event must not:

  • Have sale or promotion of goods or services as its main purpose.
  • Relate to any religious belief or to religion generally.
  • Relate to race or community generally.
  • Be cause-related or directed towards a political end.

The exemption does not apply to the following, for which a work pass is needed:

  • Providing peripheral services for the event (e.g. cleaning and catering services).
  • Setting up, maintaining, repairing and dismantling the exhibition sites or booths.
  • Doing administration work, such as invigilation, marking and setting exam papers.

SportsShow

Persons involved in a sports competition, event or training supported by the Government or any statutory board (e.g. sportsman, coach, umpire, referee or key support staff).

Note: If you are hired as a sportsman under a contract of services with a Singapore sports organisation, you are not eligible for the work pass exemption.

Tour facilitationShow

Tour facilitation refers to the provision of logistical support for the visiting tour groups (such as handling hotel arrangements and border crossings). It is usually carried out by tour leaders or tour facilitators employed by a foreign company.

Tour facilitation does not include tour-guide activities, which are not work pass-exempt. To provide tour-guiding services in Singapore, you will need:

Note: “Foreign company” whose main business is located and operates outside Singapore.