SINGAPORE – Increased Government Fees; Verification of Chinese Educational Certificates; Changes to In-Principle Approval Letters
Government fees for most categories of work pass will increase in Singapore from 1 April 2013. Additionally, there is a new requirement for diplomas and educational certificates obtained in the People’s Republic of China to be verified prior to submission in support of a work pass application.
New Government Fees for Work Passes
The new fees can be accessed here. Application fees for Employment Passes are increasing more than threefold, from $20SGD to $70SGD. Renewal fees for Employment Pass, S Pass and Work Permit will increase from the current $120, $70 and $20 to $150, $80 and $30 respectively.
Fees for dependent passes, Personalised Employment Passes (“PEP”s) and work permits are also increasing significantly.
The Ministry of Manpower has said that the fees are increasing so that most of the cost of the administration is covered by the user rather than by Singaporean taxpayers.
Verification of Chinese Qualifications
From 4 February 2013, applicants submitting educational qualifications obtained in the People’s Republic of China in support of employment pass applications may be asked to submit evidence that these qualifications have been verified by a recognised body.
It is possible to submit the verification application online for qualifications obtained since 2001. For qualifications obtained prior to this date, manual verification may be required, and at least 30 days should be allowed for this process.
More information can be accessed here.
Changes to In Principle Approval Letters
Finally, the Ministry of Manpower has announced changes to the In Principle Approval (IPA) letters issued upon approval of work pass applications. The key changes are as follows:
- The IPA letters will be re-designed, in an effort to be clearer and easier to understand
- Two IPA letters will be issued - one for the employee/assignee and one for the sponsoring entity
- Applications for IPA letters will need to be supported by a declaration (submitted online via EP Online) on the amount of fixed monthly allowance paid to the employee/assignee
- Note the increased application fees from 1 April 2013 and budget accordingly
- Note the requirement for verification of educational certificates from the People’s Republic of China and plan timescales accordingly
- Note that fixed monthly allowance must be declared when submitting applications via the EP Online system, with effect from 4 February 2013.