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Non-Traditional Sources (NTS) Occupation List

Firms in Manufacturing and Services sectors can hire Work Permit holders from NTS for a restricted set of occupations in the NTS Occupation List.

What is the NTS Occupation List

Firms in the Manufacturing and Services sectors can hire Work Permit holders from the following countries or regions:

  • Malaysia
  • People’s Republic of China (PRC)
  • North Asian sources (NAS):
    • Hong Kong (HKSAR passport)
    • Macau
    • South Korea
    • Taiwan

Under the NTS Occupation List, firms will be allowed to hire Work Permit holders from the following countries or regions for a restricted set of occupations:

  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand


Firms must meet all of the following requirements:

NTS Occupation List

The NTS Occupation List comprises:

  • Cooks in Indian restaurants. This will better support our multi-ethnic food culture.
    Restaurants (Services sector) can already hire Work Permit holders from Malaysia, PRC and North Asian countries or regions.

MOM has put together a panel comprising industry and government stakeholders in Indian cuisine to assess firms’ eligibility. To be eligible for the Non-Traditional Source Occupation List (NTS-OL) for cooks in Indian Restaurants, restaurants must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a valid SFA food licence with a Business Trade Description as 'Restaurant', 'Restaurant with catering', 'Small Restaurant' or 'Coffeeshop/eating house'.
  • Serve primarily Indian cuisine, such as biryani, prata, or Indian snacks e.g. vadai, paniyaram.

To see if your firm is eligible, please apply online
Upon approval, you can apply to hire cooks from NTS using WP Online.

Indian restaurants will be able to hire cooks from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at the Work Permit level under the NTS Occupation List.

You can apply for a work permit for the other NTS occupations listed below using WP Online.

  • Housekeeping workers and porters in licensed hotels
  • Food processing workers
    • Food processing supervisors and general foremen.
    • Other food and beverage jobs like tasters, graders, bakers, pastry-cooks and confectionery makers.
  • Workers in manufacturing firms such as general manufacturers, precision engineering, transport engineering, automotive firms, working as:
    • Sheet metal workers
    • Welders and flame cutters
    • Metal moulders and coremakers
    • Riggers and cable splicers
    • Structural metal preparers and erectors

MOM will review the NTS Occupation List from time to time.

For more information