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FAQs on entry approvals for foreign employees and SHN requirements

More info on what employers need to do before bringing in foreign employees into Singapore, including costs for SHN and COVID-19 tests.

Can employers still bring in pass holders (work pass holders and their dependants) from overseas into Singapore?Show

Yes.

All pass holders must obtain entry approvals from the relevant government agencies to enter Singapore. Upon entry, they need to serve Stay-Home Notice (SHN).

However, those conveying essential services or supplies (e.g. lorry drivers or vegetable supply truckers) coming from Malaysia by land or sea crossing are exempted from the entry approval and SHN requirements.

For:

  • Existing work pass holders who are Malaysians or Malaysia permanent residents and entering Singapore by land, you can bring them in under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) scheme.
  • All other pass holders, including those on in-principle approval (IPA), Dependant’s Pass, Long Term Visit Pass and Letter of Consent (LOC), must continue to obtain MOM’s entry approval to enter Singapore.

To request for MOM’s entry approval, you must:

  1. Ensure you and your pass holders can fulfil the additional requirements and responsibilities to bring the pass holders into Singapore. This includes paying for their COVID-19 test and stay at the dedicated SHN facility, if applicable.

    If your work pass holders have dependants who are not employed (i.e. not issued a work pass, including LOC), they must fulfil their responsibilities towards their dependants.
  2. Use our entry approval calculator to plan when to request for MOM’s entry approval. Requests received by 12pm are for arrivals within the next 30 days.
  3. Ensure there are available flights/transport and the pass holders can travel to Singapore on their planned arrival date before requesting for MOM’s entry approval.

    If the request is approved, please note that you must pay for the pass holders’ COVID-19 test and stay at the dedicated SHN facility, if applicable, even if they do not enter Singapore as planned.
  4. Request for MOM’s entry approval.

    For new or existing Who needs to request for MOM's entry approval
    Work pass holders, including those with LOC* Employer
    DP or LTVP* holders who are not employed Local sponsor
    i.e. employer of EP / S Pass holder
    * Those with LTVPs issued by ICA need to request for ICA’s entry approval, even if they have LOCs issued by MOM.

    If you submit the request Get outcome
    From Monday to Friday, by 12pm Same day
    From Monday to Friday, after 12pm Next working day
    On weekends or public holidays Next working day
  5. Wait for MOM's approval. Once you have obtained our approval, you should confirm the flight / transport immediately.

What are the current requirements for pass holders entering Singapore?Show

Pass holders who spent the last 14 consecutive days in:

  • Brunei
  • New Zealand

For pass holders who spent the last 14 consecutive days in Brunei or New Zealand before entering Singapore, they must take a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport ($300 including GST). To reduce the waiting time at the airport, employers are strongly encouraged to register and make payment for the test before the pass holders leave for Singapore. 

The pass holders are not required to serve Stay-Home Notice (SHN). 

Pass holders who spent the last 14 consecutive days in certain countries / regions:

  • Australia, excludes the state of Victoria
  • Macao
  • Mainland China
  • Malaysia
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam

For pass holders who spent the last 14 consecutive days in any of the above countries / regions before entering Singapore, they must comply with the following upon arrival:

  1. Serve a 7-day SHN at a:
    • Suitable place of residence that is occupied only by them or their family members
    • Hotel
    Pass holders are not allowed to serve SHN in dormitories or in premises that are occupied by non-family members. Their SHN accommodation must also fulfil the prevailing SHN advisory and guidelines. Check MOH’s website for the latest updates.
  2. Take a swab test before their SHN is over.
    • They will get an SMS to inform them when to take the test.
    • Children who are 12 years old and below do not need to take the test.
    • Employers must pay for the test (up to $200 including GST).

All other pass holders

  • This includes pass holders who departed from, visited or transited through Victoria (Australia) within the last 14 days before entering Singapore.
  • Pass holders who departed from or visited India within the last 14 days before entering Singapore must take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours before departure. They need to present a valid negative test result, in English and from recognised laboratories in India, to enter Singapore. Children who are 12 years old and below do not need to take the COVID-19 PCR test.

The pass holders must comply with the following upon arrival:

  1. Serve a 14-day SHN at a dedicated SHN facility.
    • Once they arrive, they will be informed of the location and sent directly to the facility.
  2. Take a swab test before their SHN is over.
  • They will get an SMS to inform them when to take the test.
  • Pass holders who departed from or visited India within the last 14 days before entering Singapore must take a serology test (i.e. non-fasting blood test) during their SHN.
  • Children who are 12 years old and below do not need to take the serology and swab tests.
  • Employers must pay for the following:
  • 14-day stay at the dedicated SHN facility ($2,000 including GST)
  • All COVID-19 tests (up to $200 including GST)

For more details on the SHN requirements, please refer to MOH’s FAQs or contact the SHN helpline at 6812 5555.

Use our SHN calculator to check when your SHN ends.

As the global situation evolves, Singapore will continue to adjust its border measures to manage the risk of importation and transmission to the community. Employers and pass holders planning to enter Singapore must comply with the prevailing entry approval requirements, including paying for the stay at the dedicated SHN facility and COVID-19 test, where applicable.

For the latest updates, please check out our latest advisories and MOH’s website regularly.

Why are pass holders being charged for their stay at dedicated SHN facility and COVID-19 test in order to enter into Singapore?Show

Since 9 April 2020, the Government has borne the costs of stay at dedicated SHN facilities for travellers entering Singapore, except for those who left Singapore from 27 March 2020 in disregard of the prevailing travel advisory. The Government has also borne the costs of the large majority of COVID-19 tests.

Going forward, as we re-open our borders to more international travel, those who enter Singapore would have to bear the costs of fulfilling entry requirements, as part of the cost of travel in a COVID-19 world.

What are the charges for pass holders serving their 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facility and COVID-19 tests?Show

The charges are as follows:

14-day stay at the dedicated SHN facility $2,000 including GST
COVID-19 tests Up to $200 including GST

If the entry approval request is approved, please note that you must pay for the charges above, even if your pass holders do not enter Singapore as planned.

When will the charging of the stay at the dedicated SHN facility and COVID-19 test start?Show

They are in effect for arrivals from 17 June 2020, 2359 hrs.

Who is responsible for the costs of the foreign employee's entry requirements, including COVID-19 test, transport and SHN accommodation, as applicable?Show

Type of employee Purpose of travel Who is responsible for the costs?
Existing work pass holders returning from overseas Left Singapore for work Employers must bear the costs in full and are not allowed to pass on any cost to the employees.
Existing work pass holders returning from overseas Left Singapore for personal reasons Employers and employees should come to a mutual agreement on who bears the costs or how to share them. This also applies to employees coming in under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) scheme.
New work pass holders on in-principle approvals Plan to enter Singapore for employment

For Work Permit holders, employers must bear the costs in full and are not allowed to pass on any cost to the employees.

For other work passes, employers and employees should come to a mutual agreement on who bears the costs or how to share them.

When and how do I make payment for my pass holder's 14-day stay at the dedicated SHN facility and COVID-19 test?Show

After the pass holder has entered Singapore, you will receive an email with payment instructions and a link for you to make payment using credit card. You must make payment no later than 7 days after the pass holder’s arrival.

If the pass holder arrived on 1 July 2020, payment must be made by 8 July 2020.

Do I need to make an appointment for the COVID-19 test?Show

The test will be scheduled a few days before the end of the SHN period, at a designated community testing facility. You will receive information on the scheduled appointment slot and venue via an SMS notification.

What should I do if my foreign employee falls sick during their SHN?Show

 

If your foreign employee is serving SHN at a You should
Dedicated SHN facility
  • Inform the staff there to assist in making the necessary arrangements.
Non-dedicated SHN facility
  • Ask your foreign employee to wear a mask and take them to the nearest Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) or GP clinic.
  • Inform MOM of such cases immediately by sending a WhatsApp message to 8361 8932.

Can employers submit multiple requests on the same day for an employee?Show

Employers should not submit multiple requests for an employee within the same application window (from 12:01pm today to 12pm tomorrow) using the same or different arrival dates. We will only process the first request and notify you on the outcome for it, and disregard the rest.

How will employers be notified of the entry approval outcome?Show

Employers will receive the outcome by email.

The email approval must be sent to the pass holder. They must show a print-out of this approval to the airline staff upon check-in before boarding the plane and at the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority’s (ICA) checkpoint upon arrival in Singapore.

Can MOM extend or renew work passes nearing expiry if the foreign employees cannot return to Singapore because of the travel restrictions?Show

We advise employers to submit a new work pass application for such workers after the situation stabilises.

Can employers get a levy waiver if their Work Permit or S Pass holder is quarantined?Show

Employers can get a levy waiver for Work Permit or S Pass holders who are given quarantine orders by MOH, as it is a form of hospitalisation leave.

Apply for levy waiver

Can employers get a levy waiver for Work Permit or S Pass holders who went on home / overseas leave for more than 60 days, as they are not able to enter Singapore when the travel restrictions are in place?Show

Employers can get a levy waiver for foreign employees on home or overseas leave up to 90-day cap if they are unable to return due to travel restrictions.

You can apply for levy waiver after the worker enters Singapore.

No, pass holders must complete their SHN before their employers can send them for any of the above-mentioned issuance-related procedures. If their Short-Term Visit Passes (STVP) are expiring soon, for:

  • Employment Pass, S Pass, Dependant’s Pass or Long Term Visit Pass holders, please request for time to do the issuance while the pass holders serve SHN. Submit your request within 1 week before the STVP expires. 
  • Work Permit holders, we will automatically extend their STVP and in-principle approvals by 2 weeks. Please note that no letters will be issued for this extension.

MOM will not hesitate to take enforcement measures against any parties who do not comply with the SHN requirements. Measures include criminal proceedings, work pass revocations and withdrawal of work pass privileges.

Use the SHN calculator to check when your SHN ends.

Can MOM extend the Short-Term Visit Pass (STVP) of pass holders who enter Singapore and are required to serve SHN?Show

For Employment Pass, S Pass, Dependant’s Pass or Long Term Visit Pass holders, please request for an extension of their STVP within 1 week before it expires.

For Work Permit holders, we will automatically extend their STVP by 2 weeks. Please note that no letters will be issued for this extension.

Can MOM allow pass holders to stay longer if employers need more time to send them home (e.g. unable to get flights)?Show

Employers can request to extend their pass holders’ stay in Singapore if they need more time to send them home (e.g. unable to get flights or pass holders are on Stay-Home Notice). Please submit your request within 1 week before the pass holder's Special Pass or Short-Term Visit Pass expires. 

My foreign employee intends to travel out of Singapore. What risks should I consider and how should I advise the employee?Show

Any foreign employee or his/her dependant who leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020, will be deprioritised for entry approval, and could see significant delays before they are allowed to return to Singapore.

If your foreign employee leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020 and subsequently develops symptoms within 14 days of returning to Singapore, you are responsible for any COVID-19 treatment costs that your foreign employee incurs in Singapore if your foreign employee is a Work Permit of S Pass holder. This is in line with employers’ responsibilities under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

More on FAQs on COVID-19