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Work Permit: hiring an existing process worker

From 1 June 2017, you will be able to hire existing workers, without them having to leave Singapore first. Find out the requirements and how to apply.

At a glance

Workers eligible for transfer Existing process workers from non-traditional sources (NTS), North Asian sources (NAS), or People’s Republic of China (PRC).
When you can start applying

Only from 1 June 2017 onwards.

  • With the current employer’s agreement: any time while the current Work Permit is valid.
  • Otherwise: starting from 40 days before the current Work Permit expires.
Last day to apply

21 days before the current Work Permit expires.

Note: If the current employer agrees to let you take over the remaining Work Permit duration, then you need to apply at least 2 months before it expires.

How long it takes Within 1 week, unless more information is required.

Why hire an existing worker

You may consider hiring workers who are already in Singapore to:

  • Benefit from experienced workers and a faster deployment time.
  • Save on the cost of bringing in new workers.

Transferring existing workers with current employer's agreement

If the current employer agrees, you can apply for existing workers while their Work Permits are valid.

The following requirements apply to workers from non-traditional sources or the People’s Republic of China, depending on whether you are:

Taking over the remaining Work Permit termShow

Requirements The existing Work Permit must have:
  • Been approved under a prior approval (PA) or in-principle support (IPS)
  • A remaining validity of at least 2 months when you apply.
Validity of new Work Permit Remaining duration of the existing Work Permit.
Monthly levy rate
  • Higher-skilled: $300
  • Basic-skilled: $450

Getting a new term using prior approval or in-principle supportShow

Requirements
  • You must have a valid prior approval (PA) or in-principle support (IPS).
  • The worker’s Work Permit must have a remaining validity of at least 21 days when you apply.
Validity of new Work Permit Based on the duration of the PA or IPS, but subject to the validity of the passport and security bond.
Monthly levy rate
  • Higher-skilled: $300
  • Basic-skilled: $450

Getting a 2-year term using man-year entitlement (MYE) waiverShow

Requirements
  • The worker must have at least 2 years of process experience in Singapore.
  • The Work Permit must have a remaining validity of at least 21 days when you apply.
Validity of new Work Permit 2 years, but subject to the validity of the passport and security bond.
Monthly levy rate
  • Higher-skilled: $600
  • Basic-skilled: $750

Transferring existing workers without getting agreement

You can also hire existing workers without getting the current employer’s agreement.

The following requirements apply to workers from non-traditional sources or the People’s Republic of China, depending on whether you are:

Getting a new term using prior approval or in-principle supportShow

Requirements
  • You must have a valid prior approval (PA) or in-principle support (IPS).
  • The worker’s Work Permit must have a remaining validity of at least 21 days when you apply.
Validity of new Work Permit Based on the duration of the PA or IPS, but subject to the validty of the passport and security bond.
Monthly levy rate
  • Higher-skilled: $300
  • Basic-skilled: $450

Getting a 2-year term using man-year entitlement (MYE) waiverShow

Requirements
  • The worker must have at least 2 years of process experience in Singapore.
  • The worker’s Work Permit must have a remaining validity of at least 21 days when you apply.
Validity of new Work Permit 2 years, but subject to the validity of the passport and security bond.
Monthly levy rate
  • Higher-skilled: $600
  • Basic-skilled: $750

When you can apply

This is only allowed from 1 June 2017 onwards.

You can apply for transfer 40 to 21 days before the current Work Permit expires.

However, if the current employer has already renewed the Work Permit by this time, you will not be able to apply for the worker.

Timeline for applyingShow

The timeline for you to submit the Work Permit application is as follows:

Timeline for applying

MOM processes renewals and applications on a first come, first served basis. This means that:

  • If the existing employer has already renewed the Work Permit, you will not be allowed to submit the Work Permit application.
  • If you submitted the Work Permit application before the existing employer renews the permit, the renewal will not be allowed.

As an existing employer, what could I do to keep my workersShow

Existing employers are given priority to renew their workers’ permits 60 to 41 days before the permits expire.

If you want to keep your workers, you should renew their Work Permits early, upon receiving the renewal notice.

We will SMS or email your WP Online administrator if another employer submits an application for your worker. Your administrator will receive another notification after the application has been processed.

If the new employer’s application is approved:

  • You can continue to employ the worker, as long as the existing Work Permit is valid. This ensures that you do not lose out on the man- year entitlement (MYE) or in-principle support (IPS).
  • You will remain responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the workers until the new Work Permit is issued under the new employer.
  • You are responsible for settling any outstanding salary while the worker was under your employment.

How to apply for a transfer worker

To apply for a new Work Permit for the transfer:

  1. Follow the general Work Permit application process.
  2. Use the Application for Transfer Worker module in WP Online to monitor the status of workers you are planning to transfer in as well as your workers who are transferring out.
  3. Upon approval, you need to get the Work Permit issued.

Issuing the Work Permit

You can only request for the Work Permit to be issued when the current permit has been cancelled or expires.

Once the current Work Permit is no longer valid, we will SMS or email you. You will then have 14 days to get the new Work Permit issued. Otherwise, the transfer approval will be revoked and overstaying fines may be incurred.

To get the Work Permit issued:

  1. Log in to WP Online.
  2. You will be asked to upload these documents:

We will deliver the new Work Permit card 4 working days after the documents have been verified.

Note:

  • If you need an earlier transfer, have a discussion with the worker and existing employer to come to an agreement on when to cancel the existing Work Permit.
  • Once the new Work Permit is issued, you are responsible for the workers’ upkeep and maintenance. Make sure you arrange acceptable accommodation for the worker before you take over the employment.

If you don't want to transfer

If you change your mind about the transfer after the new Work Permit application has been approved, you may need to send the worker home.

Use the Application for Transfer Worker module in WP Online to find out what you need to do.