The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has introduced a new work pass, the Pre-Approved Letter of Consent (PLOC), that permits eligible Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP/LTVP+) holders to work in Singapore.
A closer look
- Eligibility. Spouses and unmarried children (under 21 years old) of Singaporean citizens and permanent residents who are eligible for a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP/LTVP+) and who seek to work in Singapore.
- Validity. The PLOC is renewable and will be valid for the duration of the LTVP/LTVP+ and expires once the LTVP/LTVP+ expires or is cancelled.
- Comparison to Letter of Consent. A Letter of Consent (LOC) is also available to eligible Dependant’s Pass holders and LTVP holders. The following sets out the difference between the two:
- Limited coverage. The LOC is available both to eligible LTVP/LTVP+ and Dependant’s Pass holders while the PLOC is available only to LTVP/LTVP+ holders.
- No sponsorship required. To obtain an LOC, an applicant must first have a job offer from a prospective employer while there is no such requirement for the PLOC.
- Who can apply? The employer applies for the LOC with the MOM while the PLOC is available to eligible dependents who are applying for or renewing their LTVP/LTVP+.
- Change of employers. LOC holders must apply for a new LOC if they change employers while PLOC holders do not need to re-apply for a new one when they change employers.
- No foreign worker levy or quota. In both cases, the employer is not required to meet a foreign worker levy or quota.
- Obligation of prospective employers. Employers of PLOC holders should notify MOM before the employee starts working and within seven days from their last day of employment. They should also remind their employee to renew their LTVP/LTVP+ three months prior to expiry.
- Restricted occupations. PLOC holders are not allowed to work in certain restricted occupations such as a journalist, editor, producer, or any religion-related occupation. The full list of restricted occupations may be found on the MOM website. Prospective employers of LTVP/LTVP+ holders applying for any of these occupations should apply for an LOC instead.
The PLOC facilitates the integration of eligible LTVP/LTVP+ holders in Singapore by pre-approving their right to work without the need to first secure sponsorship or an offer of employment. It makes it easier for qualified LTVP/LTVP+ holders to look for and find a job, and reduces the cost of employing these dependents since companies do not need to file an LOC or work pass application.
- Previous limitations for dependents. Prior to the introduction of the PLOC, only the LOC has been available for employers who sought to employ eligible Dependant’s Pass holders and LTVP/LTVP+ holders.
- LTVP+ description. The LTVP+ has been available since 2012 to foreign spouses of Singaporean nationals and offers a longer validity (three years initially and up to five years for subsequent renewals), and other benefits such as government subsidies for some treatment at public hospitals.
- Work rights for dependents internationally. Work rights granted to eligible dependents have been a feature of immigration systems in countries around the world. For Asia Pacific in particular, work rights are automatically granted to eligible dependents in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand based on their dependent or derivative status.