What is the change? The Ministry of Manpower is expected to expand its virtual work pass and mobile app program to employment passes, S passes, dependent passes and long-term visit passes this month.

What does the change mean? Newly issued permit cards will contain a code that will allow cardholders or employers to check validity, expiration dates and other details on the web or through the SGWorkPass mobile app.

  • Implementation time frame: An exact date has not been announced, but work pass applicants should anticipate the switch this month.
  • Who is affected: Employees holding employment passes, S Passes, dependent’s passes or long-term visit passes, and their employers.
  • Impact on processing times: Affected employees will need to replace their physical cards when renewing work passes.
  • Business impact: The change will provide convenience and security and will streamline services by moving information contained on the cards to web-based applications.

Background: MOM launched the SGWorkPass mobile app and piloted the virtual work permit program in September. Initially, the new cards were only issued to work permit holders in the marine shipyard and construction sectors, but the program expanded to all work permit holders other than domestic workers in January. At that time, implementation for employment passes, S Passes, dependent’s passes and long-term visit passes was scheduled for March.

BAL Analysis: Plans to expand the issuance of virtual work passes are consistent with MOM’s efforts to digitize and streamline processes to enhance verification, reduce document fraud and provide flexible options for users.

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

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