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Apply for a Work Permit for migrant domestic worker (MDW)

You can apply for a Work Permit for an MDW either on your own or through an employment agency. You also need to take certain steps to prepare for your MDW's arrival.

Already know the process? Log in to apply online.

At a glance

Who can apply Employer, sponsor or authorised employment agent (EA).
How much it costs

When you submit the application:

  • $35 for each pass

When you get the pass issued:

  • $35 for each pass
How long it takes
  • FDW eService: within 1 week, unless more information is required.
  • Application form: within 3 weeks for most cases.
Related eServices

more eServices and forms


  • Check with the helper's embassy on whether there are additional requirements for her to leave her country/region (e.g. visa or overseas government letter).
  • If you are hiring a second helper, you need to meet the criteria.
  • If you are hiring a transfer helper, find out what you need to do.
  • If you are married, you and your spouse can combine your incomes when applying for a Work Permit.
  • Low-income employers or senior citizens living alone may be able to apply under a special scheme.
  • You can consider part-time help with household chores as an alternative to hiring a helper. 
  • Additional step for employment agencies: Please get the employer’s authorisation using our FDW eService before you can perform any transactions for them. For more details, you can refer to our FAQs and infographic.

How to apply

Step Who does this Result
Submit an application Employer or EA In-principle approval or rejection letter
Prepare for MDW's arrival Employer or EA Security bond, insurance, etc.
Get the permit issued Employer or EA Temporary Work Permit
(If required) Register fingerprints and photo Candidate Acknowledgment of card delivery
Receive the card Employer or EA Work Permit card

Submit an applicationShow

Employers with Singpass and employment agencies can apply using the FDW eService for a faster outcome.

Otherwise, you can submit an application form online.

Submit using the FDW eService

Processing time: within 1 week. Some cases will take more time.

You will need this information for applying:

  • Helper’s passport details
  • Your and your family members’ personal particulars
  • Your income information

To submit an application:

  1. Get a written consent from the helper to apply for a Work Permit.
  2. Log in to fill up the application.
  3. Pay $35 for each application. You can pay by VISA, MasterCard or eNets Debit.
  4. Log in to check the status of your application after 1 week.

It takes about 1 week to process the application. It may take longer if additional information is required. We will email you the application outcome.

Submit application form online

This option is only for employers who cannot log in to our FDW eService to submit a Work Permit application as they do not have a Singpass.

Employment agents are not allowed to use this option and must use our FDW eService to submit all applications.

Processing time: within 3 weeks. Some cases will take more time.

To submit:

  1. Get a written consent from the helper to apply for a Work Permit.
  2. Download the Work Permit application form (for online submission).
  3. Complete the application form as a softcopy to get the bill reference number. Do not print the form out.
  4. Pay the $35 fee for each application by PayNow or FAST (Fast and Secure Transfers).
  5. Submit your application online and upload the following:
    • Completed application form
    • Screenshot of banking page confirming your payment
    • Supporting documents listed in the application form

It takes around 3 weeks to process the application. It may take longer if additional information is required. We will email you the application outcome.

If your application is approved

We will email the in-principle approval (IPA) letter and declaration forms for you and your helper to sign.

Send your helper her copy of the IPA. She needs it to enter Singapore. If she needs more time to arrive, use our FDW eService to extend her IPA validity. 

Make sure the helper's IPA particulars match her passport details. If you made an error (e.g. helper's name is incorrect), you need to correct the error. Otherwise, the helper will be denied entry into Singapore.

Prepare for MDW's arrivalShow

You need to complete these steps to prepare for your helper’s arrival in Singapore. 

Before your helper arrives

Role Responsibilities
  1. Buy a security bond for a non-Malaysian helper:
    • Please ensure your insurer sends us the security bond details. It takes up to 3 working days.
      If your insurer asks for your helper’s FIN, you can find it on her in-principle approval letter.
    • The security bond must also take effect when she arrives. Otherwise, the immigration officer will not allow her to enter. We are unable to change the security bond effective date to allow her to enter Singapore, and you will have to send her home immediately.
  2. Buy medical and personal accident insurance for her.
  3. (Only for first-time helpers) Register her for the Settling-In Programme (SIP).
  1. Print the in-principle approval (IPA) letter. She will need to show the IPA letter to the immigration officer upon arrival.
  2. Ensure that she complies with the latest travel requirements.

After your helper arrives

You need to:

  1. (Only for first-time helpers) Send her for the SIP within 7 days, excluding Sunday and public holidays.
  2. (For all helpers) Send her for a medical examination within 14 days

Get the permit issuedShow

When: Within 2 weeks from helper's arrival

Processing time: Immediate

To get the Work Permit issued:

  1. Log in to make the request.
  2. Provide a home or office address where the card will be delivered.
  3. Nominate up to 3 authorised recipients to receive the card, and provide their NRIC, FIN or passport number, mobile numbers and email address.
  4. Pay $35 by VISA, Master Card or eNets for each Work Permit issued.
  5. After the Work Permit is issued, print the Temporary Work Permit.
During issuance, you can apply for your helper to get a POSB account to receive salary.

The Temporary Work Permit:

  • Is valid for 1 month from the date of issue. Request to extend the validity if you have a change of travel plans.
  • Must be given to your helper. It allows her to work, stay, and travel in and out of Singapore while waiting for the Work Permit card.
  • States if your helper needs to register her fingerprints and photo at MOM Services Centre.

(If required) Register fingerprints and photoShow

When: Within 1 week after pass is issued (if required)

Check the Temporary Work Permit for whether your helper needs to register her fingerprints and photo at MOM Services Centre – Hall C. If it is required, your helper needs to register within 1 week of issuing the Work Permit.

You must make an appointment for your helper to register. It is optional for you to accompany your helper for the appointment.

For the appointment, your helper should bring:

  • Original passport
  • Appointment letter
  • Temporary Work Permit

Receive the cardShow

When: Within 5 working days after registration or document verification

We will deliver the Work Permit card to the given address within 5 working days after your helper registers and has her documents verified.

If your helper does not need to register, we will deliver the card within 5 working days after verifying her documents.

The authorised recipients will get an SMS or email with the delivery details at least 1 working day before delivery.

You can also check your card delivery status using WP Online.

Newly issued Work Permit cards for helpers will no longer state the name and address of the employer.

You can download SGWorkPass to scan QR code on the new card to check the employer's name, address and other details.

If card delivery fails

After two unsuccessful card delivery attempts, you’ll have to collect the card at the service desk of MOM Services Centre – Hall C.

You can collect it 3 working days after the second attempted delivery. You don't need an appointment for collection. You can also authorise a representative or employment agent to collect the card on your behalf.

Bring along these documents for card collection:

  • Helper's original passport
  • Temporary Work Permit

If you authorise someone to collect it on your behalf, make sure they bring these along:

  • An authorisation letter from the employer
  • NRIC or passport for verification