What is the change? Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower has said that work pass applicants who had not yet found housing can use their office address when submitting an application.

What does the change mean? The change amends rules that were put in place last year that required work pass applicants to include their residential address when issuing a work pass. Applicants can use their office address temporarily, however, they should update their address with the MOM once they find long-term housing.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work passes, especially Employment Passes and S Passes.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals applying for work passes.

Background: Last year, the MOM instituted new rules aimed at ensuring that work pass applicants were meeting Singapore’s housing requirements for foreign employees. One of these rules required applicants to include their residential address as part of the formalities to issue the work pass after receiving the approval to the application. Applicants who did not yet have long-term housing were supposed to provide the address of their hotel or service apartment. This has now changed, and applicants without long-term housing can provide their office address during the application process.

Analysis & Comments: Employers are encouraged to work with employees and work pass applicants to make sure their housing meets housing requirements for foreign employees. Failure to meet Singapore’s housing standards could lead to delays in processing. Employers are reminded that work pass holders who did not include their residential address on their initial application should update their address with the MOM once they move into long-term housing such as HDB flats or private residential premises (e.g., condos, landed residential properties, terrace houses, semi-detached houses or bungalows).

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