Work Permit – Conditions & Requirements forManufacturing Sector

The employer is responsible for applying on behalf of the foreigner to obtain a Work Permit. Work Permit is issued to those who are able to meet specific conditions and requirements as applicable to their sector. Employers are also required to meet certain sector-specific conditions before a Work Permit is issued to the person on whose behalf they apply.

Approved Source Countries/Territories

Foreigners from the following countries are approved for issue of Work Pass in the construction sector – Malaysia, People’s Republic of China (PRC), India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, The Republic of the Union of Myanmar and Philippines (NTC countries – Non Traditional Countries) and North Asian Sources (NAS): Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and Taiwan.

Quota Restrictions on Employing Foreigners (Dependency Ceiling /Quota)

Employers in the manufacturing-sector who wish to employ foreigners must restrict it to a maximum of 60% of their workforce.

Activities Covered Under Manufacturing Sector

Types of activities for which an employer can apply for Work Permit under Manufacturing Sector include – (typical examples, not an exhaustive list)

  • Manufacturing of electronic components
  • Manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and biological products
  • Manufacturing of basic industrial acids and alkalis
  • Mechanical engineering works
  • Manufacturing of waxes, polishes and deodorants
  • Manufacturing of oil/gas field machinery
  • Electroplating, hot-dip galvanizing, die-casting and heat treatment
  • Semiconductor wafer fabrication plants
  • Food processing
    Note: Some activities though they may be operating in an industrial setting are not considered as manufacturing activity for the purpose of issuing Work Permit. Examples – laundry, packing of goods, dishwashing services in factories, bakeries operating out of housing estates etc.

Conditions applicable to issue of Work Permit in the Manufacturing sector:

  • In case of food processing industries, the employer must have an AVA licence
  • Work Permit and S Pass holders should not be deployed in retail outlets
  • The manufacturing company must have a valid factory notification/license

Foreign Worker Levy

In addition to restricting the number of foreigners manufacturing companies can employ, they are also required to pay Foreign Worker Levy (Levy) on each worker they employ. The amount of Levy payable is arrived at after taking into consideration the worker’s qualification and ceiling/quota as applicable to the manufacturing sector.

In some situations employers are required to provide a Levy Bond as provided by the Ministry of Manpower.

  • Employers whose workers’ Work Permits are cancelled for non-payment of levy;
  • Employers who have been late in paying levies payments for at least three times within a 12-month period;
  • Change of ownership in an existing Sole-Proprietorship

Steps to be taken before Applying for Work Permit

Before employers who apply for Work Permits on behalf of foreigners from People’s Republic of China and North Asian Sources (NAS): Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and Taiwan must make the following applications and get approval before the actual submission of applications for Work Permit:

  • Man-Year Entitlement (MYE) to establish eligibility
  • Prior Approval (PA) as required
  • In-Principle Approval (IPA) for each Work Permit
  • Purchase Security Bonds

MYE and PA are not required if the Work Permit is applied on behalf of foreigners from – Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and Taiwan. An In-Principle Approval is sufficient for these nationals.

Important note for employers: Employers are not allowed to bring non-Malaysian foreigners into Singapore before they apply for the Work Permit

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