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Visa & Administration

Passes and Permits for Expat Families in Singapore

Chances are that if you come to Singapore on a longer expat assignment, you will not want to leave your family behind in your home country. Luckily, the Singaporean government offers expats and foreigners coming to Singapore on a valid work pass several options for bringing their family with them.

These options are generally rather similar, but apply to different groups of people. Below, we look at two of the most frequent options for bringing your family to Singapore with you.

Long-Term Visit Pass

The Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP) pretty much has all the info you need right in its name. It allows the holder of a P1 or P2 Employment Pass to apply for a pass allowing their common-law spouse to join them in Singapore for a duration of up to five years (a long-term visit, as it were), depending on the application. Requirements for the LTVP for your spouse include:

The Long-Term Visit Pass is also a feasible option if you want to bring your stepchildren or children with physical disabilities with you during your expat assignment to Singapore, as long as they are below 21 years of age. P1 holders may also apply for a LTVP for their parents.

In fact, there are a great number of categories of people who may also apply for a LTVP for a variety of reasons that go beyond joining their spouse. An overview is available on the website of the company registration service Rikvin.

Unfortunately, a Long-Term Visit Pass does not make the holder eligible to take up employment in Singapore – they have to apply for a separate work permit. We have collected all the relevant information on this matter in our article on work permits in Singapore. Additionally, the Ministry of Manpower has an overview page on the topic on their website.

Dependant’s Pass

As we stated earlier, Dependant’s Passes are fairly similar to Long-Term Visit Passes, but are limited in their audience. The Dependant’s Pass was introduced first and foremost to cater to the immediate family – i.e. legally married spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age – of Employment Pass and S Pass holders with a minimum monthly salary of SGD 4,000.

The requirements for the application for a Dependant’s Pass are very much the same as for the LTVP above, with the obvious exception of a different application form. Furthermore, you are required to supply a copy of your marriage certificate and, if you are applying for your children, a copy of their birth certificate. The administrative fee for the Dependant’s Pass is SGD 60, with another SGD 150 for each pass issued.

Dependants of Employment Pass holders may work in Singapore without having to apply for a work permit. However, their future employer has to apply for a Letter of Consent from the Ministry of Manpower. They can take up employment with the company only after the letter has arrived. Unfortunately, this does not apply to dependents of S Pass holders, who have to apply for their own work permit.

Permanent Residents

If you choose to stay in Singapore making use of the popular option of permanent residency (PR), you can include your spouse and children below the age of 21 in your own application. Of course, this is not the only benefit you get to enjoy as a permanent resident - we have devoted a separate article on the matter of permanent residency in Singapore. There is a catch, though: Your son(s) will be required to enlist in the Singaporean National Service. 

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