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Migrant domestic worker eligibility

Migrant domestic workers (MDWs) need to meet the age, nationality/citizenship and education requirements to get a Work Permit.

Who is eligible

Helpers must meet these requirements to be eligible for a Work Permit:

Sex Female
  • From 23 to below 50 years old during the Work Permit application.
  • Helpers aged 50 and above can only renew their Work Permits until they are 60 years old.
Source country or region From an approved source country or region, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand.
Education Minimum 8 years of formal education with a recognised certificate.

In addition, helpers must:

  • Work at employers' NRIC-registered addresses.
  • Attend the Settling-in Programme (SIP) if they are first-time helpers. We will inform employers if their helpers need to attend the SIP in the Work Permit in-principle approval (IPA) letter.
  • Not be related to their employers.
  • Not be in Singapore during the Work Permit application. Employers can only bring helpers into Singapore after they have received an IPA letter and bought a $5,000 security bond.
    Note: This does not apply to Malaysian workers.

Criteria for first-time helpers

A first-time helper is one who has never worked in Singapore as a helper before. This includes a helper who:

  • Doesn’t have an employment record as a helper with MOM’s Work Pass Division.
  • Has an employment record as a helper with MOM but eventually did not work in Singapore.