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Industry Insights

Additional requirements and responsibilities to bring pass holders (work pass holders and their dependants) into Singapore

Posted on 18/12/2020 by Paula Formantes

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Requirements for pass holders entering Singapore 

Pass holders who spent the last 14 consecutive days in:

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Mainland China 
  • New Zealand
  • Taiwan (for arrivals in Singapore from 18th December 2020)
  • Vietnam

Pass holders who spent the last 14 consecutive days in any of the above places before entering Singapore, and did not transit through other countries/regions, must take a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport. Children who are 6 years old and below this year are exempted from the test. 

Employers must book and make payment for the pass holders' tests ($196 per person including GST) before they arrive in Singapore. Otherwise, the company’s subsequent entry approval requests may be rejected.

After the test, the pass holders must proceed directly to and remain isolated in their place of residence or a hotel until they have obtained a negative test result. If tested negative, they are not required to serve Stay-Home Notice (SHN).

Pass holders who spent the last 14 consecutive days in:

  • Macao
  • Taiwan (for arrivals in Singapore before 18th December 2020)

Pass holders who spent the last 14 consecutive days in any of the above places before entering Singapore, and did not transit through other countries/regions, must comply with the following upon arrival:

  1. Serve a 7-day SHN at a:
    • Suitable place of residence that is occupied only by them or their family
    • Hotel

Pass holders are not allowed to serve SHN in dormitories or premises that are occupied by non-family members. Their SHN accommodation must also fulfill the prevailing SHN advisory and guidelines. Check MOH’s website for the latest updates.

  1. Take a COVID-19 test before their SHN is over. Children who are 6 years old and below this year are exempted from the test.
  • Pass holders will get an SMS to inform them when to take the test.
  • Employers must pay for the test (up to $200 per person including GST). 

All other pass holders

This includes pass holders who departed from, transited through, or visited Hong Kong within the last 14 days before their arrival. For such pass holders, they must comply with the pre-departure COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test requirements stated below if they are entering Singapore from 18th December 2020, 23:59 hours.

These pass holders must comply with the following:

  1. Take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure. Children who are 6 years old and below this year are exempted from the PCR test.  

    Pass holders need to present a valid negative test result, in English and from laboratories that are internationally accredited or recognized by the respective countries’/regions’ Government, to enter Singapore. The test memo must also state these details:
  • Test result
  • The date PCR test was taken
  • Pass holder's name and either date of birth or passport number, as stated in their passport. If the particulars on the memo are not in the passport (e.g. memo states identification number, instead of passport number), the pass holder must produce the relevant identification documents for verification. 
  1. Serve a 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities upon arrival in Singapore.
  • Once they arrive, they will be informed of the location and sent directly to the facilities.
  • For pass holders who meet certain conditions, you can request for them to serve their 14-day SHN at a place of residence during the entry approval application, instead of the dedicated SHN facilities.
  1. Take a COVID-19 test before their SHN is over. Children who are 6 years old and below this year are exempted from the test.
  • Pass holders will get an SMS to inform them when to take the test.
  • Employers must pay for the following:
    • Stay at the dedicated SHN facility ($2,000 per person including GST)
    • Test (up to $200 per person including GST) 

Criteria for pass holders to serve 14-day SHN at a place of residence

During the entry approval application, for pass holders who meet all of these conditions, you can request for them to serve their 14-day SHN at a place of residence, instead of the dedicated SHN facilities:

  • Occupy the place of residence alone or only with household members, including any foreign domestic workers, with the same travel history, arrival date, and SHN duration. Pass holders are not allowed to serve the 14-day SHN in hotels. 
  • Spent the last 14 consecutive days in any of these places before entering Singapore, and did not travel to other countries/regions:
    • Fiji
    • Hong Kong
    • South Korea
    • Sri Lanka
    • Thailand

For more details on the SHN requirements, please refer to MOH’s FAQs or contact the SHN helpline at 6812 5555.

As the global situation evolves, Singapore will continue to adjust its border measures to limit the risk of importation and transmission to the community. Employers and pass holders planning to enter Singapore must comply with the prevailing entry approval requirements, including serving SHN at the dedicated SHN facilities and paying for it, where applicable. 

Additional responsibilities

For Employers

Employers are responsible for all new and existing foreign employees (including those they employ with a Letter of Consent).

 

Before your foreign employees leave for Singapore, you must:

  • Ensure they have a Singapore mobile number for MOM to contact them.
  • Ensure a suitable accommodation has been secured for them to serve SHN unless they are required to serve SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.
  • Ensure they fully understand and agree to comply with the additional conditions imposed for the SHN period.

 

After your foreign employees enter Singapore, you must:

  • Ensure they comply with the SHN upon arrival, unless they are not required to serve SHN.  
  • Arrange for them to travel from the airport (or any other place of disembarkation) directly to their SHN accommodation upon arrival using the designated transport unless they are serving SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.
  • Pay for their COVID-19 tests and stay at the dedicated SHN facilities, if applicable.
  • Ensure they download WhatsApp on their mobile phones and respond to MOM’s phone calls, WhatsApp video calls, or SMSes within 1 hour during their SHN. This includes ensuring their prepaid cards have sufficient value and they can make video calls using WhatsApp.
  • (Only for foreign employees who are issued an electronic monitoring device at the checkpoint) Ensure they wear the device and charge it throughout their SHN.  
  • (Only for foreign employees who are not issued an electronic monitoring device) Ensure they follow the instructions in our SMS to download the Homer mobile app and have a thermometer to record their temperatures using the app.
  • Provide them with food and other daily essentials during their SHN unless they are serving SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.
  • Reschedule non-emergency medical needs (e.g. follow-up visits for chronic conditions or refilling of a prescription).
  • Ensure they go for the COVID-19 test during their assigned slot.
  • Arrange for them to travel between their SHN accommodation and the testing facility using the designated transport unless they are serving SHN at dedicated SHN facilities. They must return to their SHN accommodation after the test.

 

If you are unable to fulfill the responsibilities above, you should not bring your foreign employees into Singapore.

For work pass holders towards their defendants who are not employed

As a work pass holder, you are responsible for your dependants if they are not employed (i.e. not issued a work pass, including Letter of Consent).

If you wish to bring them in, please request for MOM’s entry approval using the respective links below:

 

For

Who must submit the request

Dependants of Employment Pass (EP), S Pass, or Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holders (who have an employer)

Employer

Dependants of PEP holders (who do not have an employer) or EntrePass holders

PEP or EntrePass holder

 

Before your dependants leave for Singapore, you must:

  • Ensure they have a Singapore mobile number for MOM to contact them. If not practicable, you should be contactable through a local mobile number and answer on their behalf.
  • Ensure a suitable accommodation has been secured for them to serve SHN unless they are required to serve SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.
  • Ensure they fully understand and agree to comply with the additional conditions imposed for the SHN period.

 

After your dependants enter Singapore, you must:

  • Ensure they comply with the SHN upon arrival, unless they are not required to serve SHN.  
  • Arrange for them to travel from the airport (or any other place of disembarkation) directly to their SHN accommodation upon arrival using the designated transport unless they are serving SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.
  • Inform or help them to download WhatsApp on their mobile phones. If not practicable, you can do so on their behalf.
  • (Only for dependants who are issued an electronic monitoring device at the checkpoint) Ensure they wear the device and charge it throughout their SHN. 
  • (Only for dependants who are not issued an electronic monitoring device) Ensure they follow the instructions in our SMS to download the Homer mobile app and have a thermometer to record their temperatures using the app.
  • Provide them with food and other daily essentials during their SHN unless they are serving SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.
  • Reschedule non-emergency medical needs (e.g. follow-up visits for chronic conditions or refilling of a prescription).
  • Ensure they go for the COVID-19 test during their assigned slot. Children who are 12 years old and below do not need to take the COVID-19 test.
  • Arrange for them to travel between their SHN accommodation and the testing facility using the designated transport unless they are serving SHN at dedicated SHN facilities. They must return to their SHN accommodation immediately after the test.

 

If you are unable to fulfill the responsibilities above, you should not bring your dependants into Singapore.

For Personalised Employment Pass (who do not have an employer), EntrePass, and Work Holiday Pass holders

Once you arrive in Singapore, you must serve SHN, where you are not allowed to leave the premises, unless you are not required to serve SHN.  

 

Before you leave for Singapore, you must:

  • Secure suitable accommodation to serve SHN unless you are required to serve SHN at a dedicated SHN facility. 
  • Arrange for food and daily essentials to be delivered to your accommodation throughout your SHN unless you are required to serve SHN at a dedicated SHN facility.
  • Reschedule non-essential medical needs (e.g. follow-up visits for chronic conditions or refilling of a prescription).

 

After you enter Singapore, you must:

  • Comply with the additional conditions imposed for the SHN period, unless you are not required to serve SHN.  
  • Arrange to travel from the airport (or any other place of disembarkation) directly to your SHN accommodation upon arrival using the designated transport unless you are serving SHN at a dedicated SHN facility. Do not visit any other places.
  • Pay for your COVID-19 test and stay at the dedicated SHN facility, if applicable.
  • Get a Singapore mobile number and update your number for MOM to contact you. For prepaid cards, please also ensure your cards have sufficient value.
  • Download WhatsApp on your mobile phone.
  • (Only for pass holders who are issued an electronic monitoring device at the checkpoint) Wear the device and charge it throughout your SHN. 
  • (Only for pass holders who are not issued an electronic monitoring device) Follow the instructions in our SMS to download the Homer mobile app and prepare a thermometer to record your temperature using the app.
  • Go for your COVID-19 test during the assigned slot.
  • Arrange to travel between your SHN accommodation and the testing facility using the designated transport unless you are serving SHN at a dedicated SHN facility. You must return to your SHN accommodation immediately after the test.

 

If you are unable to fulfill the responsibilities above, you should not enter Singapore.

 

What pass holders (work pass holders and their dependants) must do during their SHN

Pass holders must:

  • Always remain in their SHN premises.
  • Carry their mobile phones with an internet connection at all times. They must respond to MOM’s phone calls, WhatsApp video calls or SMSes within 1 hour.
  • (Only for pass holders who are issued an electronic monitoring device at the checkpoint) Wear the device and charge it throughout the SHN. 
  • (Only for pass holders who are not issued an electronic monitoring device) Record their temperatures 3 times a day using the Homer mobile app.
  • Not have any visitors and minimize contact with others.
  • Maintain a record of persons they come into close contact with.
  • Act responsibly based on advisories issued by the Singapore Government.
  • Take a COVID-19 test before their SHN is over, except for those who are 12 years old and below.

 

Penalties for non-compliance

Employers, work pass holders and their dependants have a collective duty to ensure the entry approval and SHN requirements are complied with.

MOM will not hesitate to take enforcement measures against any parties who do not comply with the requirements or make false declarations. Measures include criminal proceedings, work pass revocations, and withdrawal of work pass privileges.

 

FAQs on entry approvals for foreign employees and SHN requirements

More info on what employers need to do before bringing in foreign employees into Singapore, including costs for SHN and COVID-19 tests.

  1. Can employers still bring in pass holders (work pass holders and their dependants) from overseas into Singapore?
    Yes.

All pass holders (work pass holders and dependants) must obtain entry approvals from the relevant government agencies to enter Singapore.

However, those conveying essential services or supplies (e.g. lorry drivers or vegetable supply truckers) coming from Malaysia by land or sea crossing are exempted from the entry approval and Stay-Home Notice (SHN) requirements. 

For:

  • Existing work pass holders who are Malaysians or Malaysian permanent residents and entering Singapore by land, you can bring them in under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) scheme.
  • All other pass holders, including those on in-principle approval (IPA), Dependant’s Pass, Long Term Visit Pass, and Letter of Consent (LOC), must continue to obtain MOM’s entry approval to enter Singapore, except for those who have an approval under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL)

To request MOM’s entry approval, you must:

  1. Ensure you and your pass holders can fulfill the additional requirements and responsibilities to bring the pass holders into Singapore. This includes paying for their COVID-19 tests and stay at the dedicated SHN facilities, if applicable.

    If your work pass holders have dependants who are not employed (i.e. not issued a work pass, including LOC), they must fulfil their responsibilities towards their dependants.

 

  1. Use our entry approval calculator to plan when to request for MOM’s entry approval.

If you submit the entry approval

Get Outcome

From Monday to Friday, by 12 pm

Same day

From Monday to Friday, after 12 pm

Next working day

On weekends or public holidays

Next working day

 

  1. Ensure there are available flights/transport, and the pass holders can travel to Singapore on their planned arrival date before requesting MOM’s entry approval.

If the request is approved, please note that you must pay for the pass holders’ COVID-19 tests and stay at the dedicated SHN facilities, if applicable, even if they do not enter Singapore as planned.

 

  1. Request for MOM’s entry approval.

For new or existing

Who should submit the entry approval request

Work pass holders, including those with LOC*

Employer

DP or LTVP* holders who are not employed

Sponsor (i.e. Employer of EP / S Pass holder)


* Foreigners with LTVPs issued by ICA need to request for ICA’s entry approval, even if they have LOCs issued by MOM.

 

  1. Wait for MOM's approval. Once you have obtained our approval, please confirm the flight/transport immediately and arrange for the pass holders to enter Singapore.

 

  1. What are the current requirements for pass holders entering Singapore?

Pass holders who spent the last 14 consecutive days in:

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Mainland China
  • New Zealand
  • Taiwan (for arrivals in Singapore from 18 December 2020)
  • Vietnam

Pass holders who spent the last 14 consecutive days in any of the above places before entering Singapore, and did not transit through other countries/regions, must take a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport. Children who are 6 years old and below this year are exempted from the test.

Employers must book and make payment for the pass holders' tests ($196 per person including GST) before they arrive in Singapore. Otherwise, the company’s subsequent entry approval requests may be rejected.

After the test, the pass holders must proceed directly to and remain isolated in their place of residence or a hotel until they have obtained a negative test result. If tested negative, they are not required to serve Stay-Home Notice (SHN).

Pass holders who spent the last 14 consecutive days in:

  • Macao
  • Taiwan (for arrivals in Singapore before 18th December 2020)

Pass holders who spent the last 14 consecutive days in any of the above places before entering Singapore, and did not transit through other countries/regions, must comply with the following upon arrival: 

  1. Serve a 7-day SHN at a:
    • Suitable place of residence that is occupied only by them or their family
    • Hotel

Pass holders are not allowed to serve SHN in dormitories or in premises that are occupied by non-family members. Their SHN accommodation must also fulfill the prevailing SHN advisory and guidelines.

  1. Take a COVID-19 test before their SHN is over. Children who are 6 years old and below this year are exempted from the test.
  • Pass holders will get an SMS to inform them when to take the test.
  • Employers must pay for the test (up to $200 per person including GST).

All other pass holders

This includes pass holders who departed from, transited through, or visited Hong Kong within the last 14 days before their arrival. For such pass holders, they must comply with the pre-departure COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test requirements stated below if they are entering Singapore from 18th December 2020, 23:59 hours.

These pass holders must comply with the following:

  1. Take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure. Children who are 6 years old and below this year are exempted from the PCR test.  

    Pass holders need to present a valid negative test result, in English and from laboratories that are internationally accredited or recognized by the respective countries’/regions’ Government, to enter Singapore. The test memo must also state these details:
    • Test result
    • The date PCR test was taken
    • Pass holder's name and either date of birth or passport number, as stated in their passport. If the particulars on the memo are not in the passport (e.g. memo states identification number, instead of passport number), the pass holder must produce the relevant identification documents for verification. 
  • Serve a 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities upon arrival in Singapore.
    • Once they arrive, they will be informed of the location and sent directly to the facilities.
    • For pass holders who meet the criteria to serve their 14-day SHN at a place of residence (as stated below), you can request for them to do so during the entry approval application. 
  1. Take a COVID-19 test before their SHN is over. Children who are 6 years old and below this year are exempted from the test.
    • Pass holders will get an SMS to inform them when to take the test.
    • Employers must pay for the following:
      • Stay at the dedicated SHN facility ($2,000 per person including GST)
      • Test (up to $200 per person including GST)

Criteria for pass holders to serve 14-day SHN at a place of residence

During the entry approval application, for pass holders who meet all of these conditions, you can request for them to serve their 14-day SHN at a place of residence, instead of the dedicated SHN facilities:

  • Occupy the place of residence alone or only with household members, including any foreign domestic workers, with the same travel history, arrival date, and SHN duration. Pass holders are not allowed to serve the 14-day SHN in hotels.
  • Spent the last 14 consecutive days in any of these places before entering Singapore, and did not travel to other countries/regions:
    • Fiji
    • Hong Kong
    • South Korea
    • Sri Lanka
    • Thailand

As the global situation evolves, Singapore will continue to adjust its border measures to limit the risk of importation and transmission to the community. Employers and pass holders planning to enter Singapore must comply with the prevailing entry approval requirements, including serving SHN at the dedicated SHN facilities and paying for it, where applicable.

 

  1. Why are pass holders being charged for their stay at a dedicated SHN facility and COVID-19 test to enter Singapore?

Since 9 April 2020, the Government has borne the costs of stay at dedicated SHN facilities for travellers entering Singapore, except for those who left Singapore from 27 March 2020 in disregard of the prevailing travel advisory. The Government has also borne the costs of the large majority of COVID-19 tests.

Going forward, as we re-open our borders to more international travel, those who enter Singapore would have to bear the costs of fulfilling entry requirements, as part of the cost of travel in a COVID-19 world.

 

  1. What are the charges for pass holders serving their 14-day SHN at a dedicated SHN facility and COVID-19 tests?

The charges are as follows:

A 14-day stay at the dedicated SHN facility

$2,000 per person including GST

COVID-19 tests

Up to $200 per person including GST


If the entry approval request is approved, please note that you must pay for the charges above, even if your pass holders do not enter Singapore as planned.

 

  1. When will the charging of the stay at the dedicated SHN facility and COVID-19 test start?

They are in effect for arrivals from 17th June 2020, 2359 hrs.

 

  1. Who is responsible for the costs of the foreign employee’s entry approval requirements, including COVID-19 test, transport, and SHN accommodation, as applicable?

Type of employee

Purpose of Travel

Who is responsible for the costs?

Existing work pass holders returning from overseas

Left Singapore for work

Employers must bear the costs in full and are not allowed to pass on any cost to the employees.

Left Singapore for personal reasons

Employers and employees should come to a mutual agreement on who bears the costs or how to share them. This also applies to employees coming in under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) Scheme.

New work pass holders on in-principle approvals

Plan to enter Singapore for employment

For Work Permit holders, employers must bear the costs in full and are not allowed to pass on any cost to the employees.

 

For other work passes, employers and employees should come to a mutual agreement on who bears the costs or how to share them.

 

  1. When and how do I make payment for my pass holder’s 14-day stay at the dedicated SHN facility and COVID-19 test?

After the pass holder has entered Singapore, you will receive an email with payment instructions and a link for you to make payment using a credit card. You must make payment no later than 7 days after the pass holder’s arrival.

For example, If the pass holder arrived on 1 July 2020, payment must be made by 8 July 2020.

 

  1. Do I need to make an appointment for the COVID-19 test?

The test will be scheduled a few days before the end of the SHN period, at a designated community testing facility. You will receive information on the scheduled appointment slot and venue via an SMS notification.

 

  1. What should I do if my foreign employee falls sick during their SHN?

If your foreign employee is serving SHN at a

You should

Dedicated SHN facility

  • Inform the staff there to assist in making the necessary arrangements.

Non-dedicated SHN facility

  • Ask your foreign employee to wear a mask and take them to the nearest Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) or GP clinic.
  • Inform MOM of such cases immediately by sending a WhatsApp message to 8361 8932.

 

  1. Can employers submit multiple requests on the same day for an employee?

Employers should not submit multiple requests for an employee within the same application window (from 12:01 pm today to 12 pm tomorrow) using the same or different arrival dates. We will only process the first request and notify you of the outcome for it and disregard the rest.

 

  1. How will employers be notified of the entry approval outcome?

Employers will receive the outcome by email.

The email approval must be sent to the pass holder. They must show a print-out of this approval to the airline staff upon check-in before boarding the plane and at the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority’s (ICA) checkpoint upon arrival in Singapore.

 

  1. Can MOM extend or renew work passes nearing expiring if the foreign employees cannot return to Singapore because of the travel restrictions?

We advise employers to submit a new work pass application for such workers after the situation stabilizes.

 

  1. Can employers get a levy waiver if their Work Permit or S Pass holder is quarantined?

Employers can get a levy waiver for Work Permit or S Pass holders who are given quarantine orders by MOH, as it is a form of hospitalization leave.

Apply for levy waiver: https://www.cpf.gov.sg/eSvc/Web/Employer/MyRequestEmployer

 

  1. Can employers get a levy waiver for Work Permit or S Pass holders who went on home/ overseas leave?

For employees on home or overseas leave, employers can apply for a levy waiver (for up to 90 days) when the employees return to Singapore.

 

  1. Can employers send their pass holders for any issuance-related procedures (e.g. medical examination, fingerprinting, Settling-In-Programme, or safety courses) during the SHN?
    No, pass holders must complete their SHN before their employers can send them for any of the above-mentioned issuance-related procedures. If their Short-Term Visit Passes (STVP) are expiring soon, for:
  • Employment Pass, S Pass, Dependant’s Pass, or Long Term Visit Pass holders, please request for time to do the issuance while the pass holders serve SHN. Submit your request within 1 week before the STVP expires. 
  • Work Permit holders, we will automatically extend their STVP and in-principle approvals by 2 weeks. Please note that no letters will be issued for this extension.

MOM will not hesitate to take enforcement measures against any parties who do not comply with the SHN requirements. Measures include criminal proceedings, work pass revocations, and withdrawal of work pass privileges.

 

  1. Can MOM extend the Short-Term Visit Pass (STVP) of pass holders who enter Singapore and are required to serve SHN?

For Employment Pass, S Pass, Dependant’s Pass, or Long Term Visit Pass holders, please request for an extension of their STVP within 1 week before it expires.

For Work Permit holders, we will automatically extend their STVP by 2 weeks. Please note that no letters will be issued for this extension.

 

  1. Can MOM allow pass holders to stay longer if employers need more time to send them home (e.g unable to get flights)?

Employers can request to extend their pass holders’ stay in Singapore if they need more time to send them home (e.g. unable to get flights or pass holders are on Stay-Home Notice). Please submit your request within 1 week before the pass holder's Special Pass or Short-Term Visit Pass expires. 

 

  1. My foreign employee intends to travel out of Singapore. What risks should I consider and how should I advise the employee?

Any foreign employee or his/her dependant who leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020, will be deprioritized for entry approval and could see significant delays before they can return to Singapore.

If your foreign employee leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020 and subsequently develops symptoms within 14 days of returning to Singapore, you are responsible for any COVID-19 treatment costs that your foreign employee incurs in Singapore if your foreign employee is a Work Permit or S Pass holder. This is in line with employers’ responsibilities under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

 

For more information on job availabilities, please contact +65 6334 4328 or email at enquiry@primehr.com.sg

References:

  1. https://www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19/additional-responsibilities
  2. https://www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19/frequently-asked-questions/entry-approvals-for-foreign-employees-and-shn-requirements
  3. https://form.gov.sg/#!/5fb5d043d2d6a600111574df