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Work pass exemption for foreign students

If you are holding a Student Pass in Singapore, you are only allowed to work if you meet specific requirements. Find out if you are eligible.

Not allowed to work

You are not allowed to work if:

  • You are not studying in any of the approved institutions listed below.
  • You are an exchange student doing study modules in Singapore.

Working during vacation

You can work during your vacation without a work pass if you are:

  • A full-time matriculated or registered student in one of the approved institutions.
  • Holding a Student Pass issued by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
  • Aged 14 years and above.

The approved institutions are:

  • Anglo-Chinese School (International) Singapore
  • Australian International School
  • Canadian International School
  • Chatsworth International School
  • Digipen
  • EDHEC Risk Institute-Asia
  • ESSEC Business School (Singapore)
  • German European School Singapore
  • GIST-TUM Asia
  • Government Junior Colleges
  • Government secondary schools
  • Government-aided Junior Colleges
  • Government-aided secondary schools
  • Hwa Chong International School
  • Hollandse school
  • INSEAD, Singapore
  • Institute of Technical Education, Singapore
  • International Community School
  • ISS International School
  • Japanese School (secondary school)
  • LaSalle College of the Arts
  • Lycee Francais De Singapour
  • Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
  • Nanyang Polytechnic
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • National University of Singapore
  • New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Asia
  • Nexus International School
  • Ngee Ann Polytechnic
  • Overseas Family School
  • Republic Polytechnic
  • S P Jain School of Global Management Singapore
  • Saint Joseph’s Institution International School
  • Sekolah Indonesia
  • SIM University
  • Singapore American School
  • Singapore Institute of Technology
  • Singapore Management University
  • Singapore Polytechnic
  • Singapore University of Technology and Design
  • Sorbonne-Assas International Law School
  • Swiss School
  • Tanglin Trust School
  • Temasek Polytechnic
  • United World College of South East Asia
  • The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Singapore)
  • Waseda Shibuya Senior High School
If your institution is not on the list, you are not allowed to work in Singapore during vacation while holding a Student Pass.

If you are waiting for your results

If you are from an approved institution and are waiting for your final examination results or convocation, you can also work without a work pass if the waiting period falls within your vacation.

Once you have completed your studies and your Student Pass expires, you will need to get a work pass to work in Singapore. Your employer will need to apply for your work pass.

Working during school term

You can work during the school term without a work pass if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • You are a full-time matriculated or registered student in one of the approved institutions.
  • You hold a Student Pass issued by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

Additionally, your work needs to meet one of these requirements:

  • It is for a maximum of 16 hours a week.
  • It is under an industrial attachment programme conducted by your university or educational institution. The industrial attachment can be either compulsory or elective but it must contribute towards your graduation requirements.

The approved institutions are:

  • Digipen
  • EDHEC Risk Institute-Asia
  • ESSEC Business School (Singapore)
  • GIST-TUM Asia
  • INSEAD, Singapore
  • Institute of Technical Education, Singapore
  • LaSalle College of the Arts
  • Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
  • Nanyang Polytechnic
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • National University of Singapore
  • New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Asia
  • Ngee Ann Polytechnic
  • Republic Polytechnic
  • S P Jain School of Global Management Singapore
  • SIM University
  • Singapore Institute of Technology
  • Singapore Management University
  • Singapore Polytechnic
  • Singapore University of Technology and Design
  • Sorbonne-Assas International Law School
  • Temasek Polytechnic
  • The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Singapore)
If your institution is not on the list, you are not allowed to work during the school term while holding a Student Pass in Singapore.

You must apply for a work pass if you want to take a leave of absence during your school term to do additional industrial attachments that do not contribute towards your graduation.

If you are a foreign student or trainee coming to Singapore under a training attachment programme, you should be holding a Training Work Permit, a Training Employment Pass, or be in the Work Holiday Programme. It is an offence for a foreign student to work in Singapore without a valid work pass.

Last Updated: 17 August 2016