Don’t say never share hor – Here’s the main difference between WP and SP

Firstly, work permit and S-Pass are issued by the MOM, and they are exclusively for foreign workers in Singapore.

  1. Work Permit (WP) – is for semi-skilled foreign workers, domestic workers. Only valid for 2 years.


  1. Special Pass (SP) – is for more skilled foreign workers, and those with higher education qualifications. Normally their salary range is from S$1800 to S$2500. Valid for usually 1 or 2 years.


In the government’s view, WP holders are the lowest grade. Their salary won’t usually exceed S$2000 (unless they work lots of OT lah!). No need to have what degree or diploma can straightaway get this WP. There are no grounds for renewal after 2 years. The WP holders simply have to reapply for a new one. They are disallowed from leaving Singapore too. Once they break any rules that bind them, their WP could be revoked.

WP is only valid for two years, and the workers need to undergo a medical check every half year. They also can’t anyhow ‘suka suka’ change occupation. Once get WP, very hard to convert to student work pass. And the sad thing is they can’t arrange for their parents to come Singapore. If they want to get married here, they also need to ask for ‘permission’ from the relevant authorities, and it’s a long tough process. But that should be okay as long the other half is a Singaporean or PR. But the worst part? CANNOT GET PREGNANT! If that’s the case, sorry, you have to pack your bags and say byebye!

WP and SP – are they inter-transferable?


Yes. Here are some more information about this.

WP change to WP: A bit confusing yes, but that means a change of job which still falls under the WP category. And that means you have to ‘leave’ Singapore, return and then apply for a new WP. If you leave, it’s best you go back to your country and take a holiday. Don’t go anywhere else lah.

WP change to SP: Wah, congrats lah, that means you get promotion liao. And you no need go back to your country, no need to cut your WP. Just ask your HR department or boss to help you settle the paperwork.

SP change to WP: Wah lau, downgrade ah. So suay meh. Well then, there’s no need to cut your permit, and no need to go home. But when you apply for a job that falls under the WP category, actually no need let the employer know. But you have to do a lot of research and ask around whether it is workable. This case quite rare lah actually!

To sum it up, SP is for mid-skilled workers, and that means it’s for those who have a high school qualification, or university degree. Normally, the salary will be at least S$2200. WP is for the lowly educated workers – such as your humble bangala workers that build your HDB flat, construction workers lah. For SP, the best thing is that they can apply for PR status. But WP, sorry hor, cannot, no chance at all!

To sum it up:

WP apply PR = NO

SP apply PR = YES, and GOT CHANCE AH!

Ok, hope it clarifies the differences between WP & SP! Please kindly share this article after reading!

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