What is the change? Singapore has changed its requirements on how long foreign nationals may remain in the country to conduct work pass exempt activities.

What does the change mean? Effective immediately, foreign nationals may perform work pass exempt activities for no more than 90 days in a calendar year. The Ministry of Manpower’s website has removed language that restricted work pass exempt activities to a maximum of 60 days in any one visit, but makes it clear that foreign nationals conducting work pass exempt activities are limited by the duration of stay provided on the short term visit pass issued upon entering Singapore.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals in Singapore to conduct work pass exempt activities.
  • Impact on processing times: No significant impact.

Background: Foreign nationals are not required to obtain a work pass for a number of activities in Singapore, including (but not limited to) organizing seminars, participating in exhibitions, providing certain specialized services related to the opening of a new plant or operations, and providing arbitration or mediation services. The change described above does not affect which activities are exempt from work pass requirements, but only the time a foreign national can remain in Singapore to conduct such activities. A full description of the requirements for a work pass exemption is available on the Ministry of Manpower’s website.

BAL Analysis: Business travelers should take note of the change and make sure they adhere to the limit of 90 days in a calendar year for performing work pass exempt activities in Singapore.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Singapore. For additional information, please contact

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