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Working in Singapore

Singapore offers an ideal work environment as it is a top-class world city to Work, Live and Play.

About Singapore

The people in Singapore are made of Chinese (76%), Malay (14%), Indian (8%) and other races. This diversity also translates into a unique mix of religions, languages, cultural traditions and cuisines. The successful integration of the different segments of population has created a quiet respect for each other.

The standard of living is high in Singapore. Expatriates expressed positive sentiments about living in Singapore, especially with regards to healthcare and educational services. Among its other attractive attributes are safety, cleanliness and efficiency.

Working Conditions

Most companies in Singapore operate on a five-day work week. Vacation leave varies from 7 to 14 days, usually increasing with length of service and seniority. Contracts often include two to three weeks of paid sick leave and hospitalisation leave.

Salaries are very competitive in Singapore and you may enjoy additional perks such as housing, transport and education allowances. A fixed bonus is given at the end of the year, equivalent to one month’s salary. In addition, variable bonuses are sometimes declared, depending on the company and individual’s performance. Some companies provide their employees with other incentives such as recreational facilities and holiday subsidies.

Personal Tax Rate

One of the main attractions for global talent is Singapore’s personal income tax rates, which are among the lowest in the world. If you have been in Singapore for at least 183 days in a calendar year, you are considered a tax resident and will be taxed on all income that is incidental to employment in Singapore. Non-residents, who are in Singapore for less than 183 days a year, will be taxed only on income earned in Singapore. There will be zero tax for annual income less than S$20,000 and the individual rates will increase gradually from 2% over S$20,000 to maximum of 20% for income more than S$320,000 a year. To find out more information and tax , visit the
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore website.

Application For Work Pass

Only holders of a valid Employment Pass may work in Singapore. There are four types of Employment Passes (P1, P2, Q1 and S). For eligibility and details on the different passes, please visit the Ministry of Manpower website.

To apply for an Employment Pass, a local sponsor is required, usually the employer.

Another pass, the Personalised Employment Pass, allows a foreigner to stay on in Singapore for six months, even after he decides to leave his company to seek new employment. The is granted on the strength of an EP holder's individual merits.

For foreigners who have not yet secured a job, they can apply for the one-time only Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate (EPEC), which grants them a Social Visit Pass valid for a year, while they seek employment in Singapore.


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