What is the change? Singapore has announced that in 2018 it will raise the fixed minimum salary required for work pass holders to be eligible to sponsor dependent relatives.

What does the change mean? Under the new criteria, work pass holders must meet a minimum fixed monthly salary of 6,000 Singapore dollars (about US$4,400) to sponsor spouses and children on Dependant Passes and a monthly minimum of SGD$12,000 to sponsor parents on Long-Term Visit Passes.

  • Implementation time frame: To take effect Jan. 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Dependant’s Pass and Long-Term Visit Pass.
  • Who is affected: Applicants submitting affected applications on or after Jan. 1.
  • Business Impact: Employers must factor in the revised minimum salary requirement when sponsoring work passes of foreign workers with family members accompanying them in Singapore.
  • Next Steps: Employers should update their policies for new Dependant’s Pass applications. Additionally, employees who transferred to a new employer and have upcoming renewal applications for dependents on or after Jan. 1 should be aware of the increased salary requirement in determining whether they are still eligible.

Background: At present, work pass holders must earn a minimum monthly salary of SGD$5,000 to sponsor family members and SGD$10,000 to sponsor parents. The Ministry of Manpower regularly reviews and updates the qualifying salary criteria for work pass holders sponsoring family member to ensure that foreign employees are able to support their dependents while in Singapore.

BAL Analysis: The increased salary requirement will make it more challenging for companies who plan to employ foreign workers with dependents.