Be careful not to pull a fast one over the MOM! It can put you in JAIL!

Singapore is the perfect place for migrant workers. For many, the Lion City is their dream destination, a ticket to a bright future. The Singapore government don’t really have big restrictions for people coming here to work. But some people, probably in a desperate bid to get a work permit, might have erred. Together with their prospective employers, they will post suspect information to the MOM, for example: under-declaring their monthly income, undercutting CPF…etc.

In recent cases, there have been several cheating cases. One Filipina domestic worker, while applying for a work permit, gave false information to the MOM. She was caught red-handed, and given a jail sentence of 16 months!

This serves as a warning. Do not pull a fast one over the MOM. It can put you in jail – plus a fine!

According to Singapore law, foreigners attempting to cheat here could face a S$3000 to S$10,000 fine, and a possible one-month jail sentence!

MOM has said that they will also be deported and never allowed into Singapore again. And the locals that “co-operated” with the foreigners could also be permanently banned from hiring. Any Singaporean that submit false information in a bid to get work permits for their workers could potentially face fines up to S$20,000 or a jail sentence up to two years, or both.

Up till today – more than 78 people have been charged and arrested.

Here’s a recap of how to legally apply for a work permit in Singapore:

A work permit (WP) is granted to foreign workers who are on the lowest pay scale. There’s no minimum education qualifications, and Malaysians (18 to 58 years old), non-Malaysians (18 to 50 years old) can apply for it.

WP holders in the service industry must not be more than 8 percent of the work force. There’s a ratio, where 12 Singaporeans must be hired to match a WP holder. For specialized industries, the ratio can be 7:1. The company will need to take up an insurance policy worth S$15,000 for their WP holders. In addition, they will need to put up a deposit of S$5,000 too. Unfortunately, WP holders are unable to apply directly for PR status in Singapore.

S Pass is granted to workers who are skilled with mid-level qualifications. Their starting pay is around S$2,200, and only university graduates, and from hi-tech institutions can apply.

There’s no real specification on the work experience required, but of course, it will be a big help in your application. S Pass holders in a service industry cannot be more than 15% of the work force. It is 20% in other industries. They can apply for PR though, and can also apply for their families to come to Singapore.

The Employment Pass is granted to high salaried workers, mainly the PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians).

Those on a salary of S$4,000 or higher can only apply to bring their family members over to Singapore. As of 1st March, 2014, there aren’t any restrictions on educational qualifications, but younger applicants need to have an exemplary graduation certificate before they can fulfil the S$3,300 salary quoted by their prospective employers. For the older applicants, they will need to have a higher salary, and some relevant work experience to go along with it. There is no work quota limit to meet, and they can apply directly for PR, and also apply for their families to come to Singapore.

So, do exercise discretion when applying for your working permit. Remember, every detail counts. Just don’t attempt to cheat the MOM!

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