On 5 September 2017, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced that it has introduced a free mobile application called the SGWorkPass and also a new Work Pass (New Pass) card with a Quick Response (QR) code printed on it.
The SGWorkPass application allows employers, work pass holders, authorised agents / service providers and any other stakeholders to verify if the current work pass issued by the MOM is valid.
The MOM will issue the New Pass card in three phases based on the types of passes and sectors which the work pass holders are working in:
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Downloading the Application
The SGWorkPass mobile application is currently available on the Apple App Store (iOS) and the Google Play Store (Android). Users to the application will be asked to perform a one-time registration using their mobile number after they download the application. They will be required to enter the One-Time Password (OTP) into the application for verification and grant permission for the application to access the various facilities in their mobile devices (ie, camera, phone, gallery and notifications).
Using the Application
Currently employers rely on the date of expiry printed on the card as proof of the work pass holder’s status before entering into a employment contract or allowing entry into their office premises. However the date of expiry printed on the existing work pass may not reflect the updated status of employment for the work pass holder due to various reasons such as, but not limited to, early resignation or corporate restructuring.
By scanning the QR code on the new work pass with the SGWorkPass mobile application, it provides employers with the latest pass status and employment information of the work pass holder. Accordingly this is a more reliable and convenient way for employers to verify the current status of the work pass holder and other information such as the date of expiry and occupation of the work pass holder.
Even if no OTP registration was performed on the application, users can still select the “Use Card Serial Number” option to verify basic pass information such as pass expiry date and pass cancellation date. The card serial number is printed on the front of each respective pass (eg, Lxxxxxx).
Renewal of Pass
The MOM will discontinue printing variable information such as the date of issue and date of expiry on the New Pass card. However, employers are still required to renew the work (and its related) pass if they wish for the existing work pass holder to continue employment following the date of expiry.
Based on the above phased implementation, existing pass holders will receive their New Passes when they renew their respective passes. For new applications, the pass applicants will receive the physical New Passes following the online issuance of the pass and completing the card registration with the MOM.
Employers, work pass holders and/ or authorised agents / service providers will be notified of any updated process during the renewal and issuance of the passes online. More information will also be provided in the Notification Letter (ie. the work / stay authorisation letter prior to receiving the physical pass) at such time with respect to returning of the old passes to the MOM.
Moving forward, pass holders issued with the New Pass cards can continue to use the same cards following the renewal and issuance of their passes online ie. they will not receive a new card each time they renew their passes, unless they are required to re-register their fingerprints or photo-images with the MOM. The latest pass information will be updated automatically to the SGWorkPass mobile application.
While the SGWorkPass mobile application can only be used in Singapore, the ease of accessing the application 24/7 will provide employers with a more convenient way to verify the latest pass status of the work and related pass holders and whether he or she can remain legally in Singapore.
We anticipate a slight change with respect to the pass issuance process following the introduction of issuing the New Pass. As always, we encourage employers to apply or renew the respective passes early to avoid any delay due to the upcoming changes to the application and renewal process.