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FAQs on sending your foreign workers home safely

Employers can find more info about sending your foreign workers home safely.

Read the details on what employers must do to send your foreign workers home safely.

Pre-departure testing requirements for repatriation of PRC workers

Why do my workers need to take pre-departure polymerase chain reaction tests when they're returning to China?Show

The requirement to take pre-departure Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests before departure is imposed by China. All passengers arriving in China from Singapore, or transiting through Singapore, must take 2 PCR tests.

Refer to the latest announcement on Chinese Embassy website.

Contact the Chinese Embassy to obtain an approved departure date before booking a flight ticket for your worker.

How do I schedule my worker to take polymerase chain reaction tests within 2 days before their flight to China?Show

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test

You can make an appointment with any of the approved clinics.

You should:

  • Cater enough time to arrange for test appointments.
  • Ensure test results are issued before the flight.
  • Inform the clinic about your workers' flight dates so that they can provide the test results on time.

What do I need to do after my worker receives the test result memos?Show

Ensure that your worker is not on Quarantine Order or Stay-Home-Notice on departure day.

If your worker' test results are inconclusive or positive, they will not be allowed to board. You should work with the airlines to re-schedule your worker's flight accordingly.

Your worker needs to submit the test result memos to the Chinese Embassy, and obtain the green health code with the "HS" mark via the WeChat epidemic prevention health code.

You should upload the information to the WeChat app once the test result memos are sent to you by the clinics.

Passengers will only be allowed to board upon inspection of the "HS" mark by airline staff.

Refer to the Chinese Embassy website for more information and updates on the application process.

Do I need to pay for my worker's pre-departure polymerase chain reaction tests?Show

You should:

  • Pay for the pre-departure PCR tests.
  • Pay at the GP clinic directly.

The GP clinic will issue the result memos.

What should I do if my worker hasn't receive their tests results by their flight date?Show

You should contact the GP clinic where your worker took their PCR tests.

My worker wasn't allowed to board their flight to China as they didn't have negative pre-departure polymerase chain reaction tests results. What should I do?Show

For workers who tested positive on a PCR or ART, they would be required to recover at the Centralised Recovery Facilities if vaccinated, or an appropriate healthcare facility, such as Community Isolation Facilities, if they are unvaccinated.

From 4 April 2022, unvaccinated ART-positive workers should proceed to the Medical Centre for a healthcare-administered ART test for admission to Tuas South Community Isolation Facility.

They will receive appropriate medical care and treatment. You or your worker will be informed on the procedures by the medical professionals.

You should work with the airline to:

  • Request refunds or re-schedule the flight.
  • Arrange re-tests before the next flight.
If your COVID-recovered worker has tested You should
PCR-positive / PCR-inconclusive at GP clinic before original flight
  • Work with airlines to schedule next available flight.
  • Register for re-test at the medical centre in the sector where your worker stays or has a Primary Care Plan with.
PCR-positive / PCR-inconclusive at GP clinic before original flight
  • Work with airlines to schedule next flight at least 2 weeks after original flight.
  • Register for re-test at the medical centre in the sector where your worker stays or has a Primary Care Plan with.

To register for a re-test appointment before rescheduled flight, contact the medical centre 2 days before the new flight date to schedule a same-day appointment.

Before confirming appointment, check with the medical centre:

  • Whether they can support PCR tests.
  • Cost of the PCR test.

The cost of the PCR re-swab will be waived only if your worker had previously tested PCR-positive or PCR-inconclusive before original flight date.

Your worker should bring along all the following documents (hardcopy or softcopy) to the medical centre:

  • Discharge memo from MOH to prove that they are a COVID-recovered worker, if applicable.
  • The previous PCR test result memos issued by the GP clinic.
  • Proof of your worker's rescheduled flight.

My worker has a history of Covid-19 infection while working in Singapore, but has since recovered. What is the pre-departure testing requirement if he wishes to return?Show

Recovered workers with a history of COVID-19 infection are advised to report to the Chinese Embassy before making plans to return.

They must complete procedures required by the Chinese Embassy, and obtain a green health code, before they are allowed to return

The typical procedures include:

  • 2 separate PCR tests
  • 2 weeks of health monitoring

The worker can submit their PCR tests results to the Chinese Embassy to obtain their health codes.

Additional procedures may be requested depending on each person's case history, for example, length of time since they recovered from COVID-19.

Refer to the Chinese Embassy website for the latest updates.

Repatriation requirements

Can my worker work when holding a Special Pass or Short-Term Visit Pass?Show

No. They may be barred from future employment in Singapore if caught working without a valid work pass.

I want to repatriate my workers but the air fare is very expensive now. Can I wait for the fares to be cheaper?Show

No, you should repatriate your workers as soon as possible.

If your workers are already holding Special Passes, they must be repatriated before the expiry of their Special Passes. Otherwise, MOM may forfeit your security bond to send the workers back.

If your workers are still holding live work passes, you must get flights for them before you can cancel their work passes. You remain responsible for their levies and salaries until their work passes are cancelled, and are also responsible for their upkeep and maintenance as long as they are in Singapore.

Earlier on this year, as many countries / regions were instituting various measures and these were unsettled and evolving, we had advised employers that they would be responsible for every part of the cost of repatriation.

Since then, procedures and arrangements for entering various countries / regions are clearer. We have also checked and found that many workers do not require employers to arrange for the home country / region public health related costs.

We have therefore reviewed the position, in consultation with industry, and are updating to more closely reflect the current practice.

Employers are responsible to pay for their migrant workers' repatriation costs, such as the flight ticket, pre-departure tests, transport arrangements to the airport and if any, connecting transport costs to the international port of entry in the workers' home country / region nearest to their hometown.

In response to COVID-19, we understand that many countries / regions have introduced different public health protocols, e.g. quarantine and swab tests. There are different practices in different countries / regions, some Governments will bear the costs for their returning citizens, while others require returning citizens to pay for these expenses.

Employers are not required to pay any costs incurred for public health arrangements in the workers' home countries / regions. However, where there are requests from their workers, they should discuss with their workers and come to a mutual agreement on such costs to fulfil their legal obligation in repatriating their workers, and to avoid any delays in workers returning to their home countries / regions. We continue to encourage workers and employers to find ways to discuss and agree on various issues arising from COVID-19.

With the recent COVID-19 outbreak in China, should I not cancel the Work Permits of my PRC workers if they are waiting to get flight tickets to go home?Show

Due to the current COVID-19 situation in China, there are limited flights to China and the waiting time for a flight ticket may take up to 3 months. You may discuss with them on the possible arrangements to continue working for you till 2 weeks before their confirmed flight date. This may help you to minimise manpower disruption and for your workers to be gainfully employed, while waiting for their flight.

Refer to the Chinese Embassy website for the latest updates.

It is the employers' responsibility to provide for the workers' upkeep and maintenance, until they leave Singapore or changed employers. This also applies when their Work Permits are cancelled.

My PRC worker needs to return to China urgently (e.g. Family member has passed away or is critically ill), can MOM help to speed up the repatriation?Show

You may or visit the MOM Services Centre to provide supporting documents (e.g. doctor's memo, death certificate) for our review.