For foreigners working in Singapore, it can be lonely sometimes, especially when they have just arrived and have yet to make any friends. Therefore, having the option to bring their family along with them is an excellent opportunity for some, and especially so for young parents who do not want to be separated from their children for extended periods of time.
What is a Dependant’s Pass?
A Dependant’s Pass (DP) is a pass that allows Employment Pass (EP) and S Pass holders (in this case, the sponsor) to bring their immediate family members (in this case, the applicants) into Singapore during their period of stay in Singapore. The validity of the DP strictly depends on the validity of the sponsor’s EP or S Pass. A valid DP can last up to 2 years, similar to the sponsor’s EP or S Pass. Similarly, the applicant’s DP can be renewed together with the sponsor’s EP or S Pass once it is near the expiry date. Thus, EP and S Pass holders can apply for DP for their immediate family members, when applying or after applying for their EP and S Pass. However, there are criteria and requirements which need to be met before the DP can be considered and approved.
Who can I apply DP for?
Although the DP is targeted at the family members of EP and S Pass holders, not all family members are eligible for the DP. The first criteria for a DP application requires the EP and S Pass holders (the sponsors) to individually earn at least SGD 6000 monthly. DP applications will also have to be approved and sponsored by the employer or an appointed employment agency (EA). Furthermore, EP and S Pass holders can only apply for a DP for their legally married spouse or/and their unmarried children under 21 years old (including legally adopted children). Those interested in applying for DP for their parents are unfortunately unable to do so. Instead, EP holders earning a fixed salary of at least SGD 12 000 can choose to help their parents apply for a Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) should they be interested to bring their parents into Singapore.
How to apply?
Applicants can submit their applications through 2 means – with the help of their employer or an appointed employment agency (EA). The main document that is required for submission includes a copy of the personal particulars page of the applicant’s passport. For children who share a passport with their parent, the parent’s personal particulars page can be submitted instead. Other additional documents that may be required include a copy of the marriage certificate (for legally married spouse), a copy of the official birth certificate stating the parent’s names (for unmarried children under 21 years), or a copy of the adoption order or other relevant documents (for unmarried, legally adopted children under 21 years).
Upon successful application, an In-Principle Approval (IPA) will be issued. This is a temporary pass which allows successful DP applicants to enjoy the benefits of the DP before officially receiving their card. There is also a difference in the period of validity of the IPA depending on the pass the sponsor is holding. For dependents of EP holders, their IPA will be valid for 3 months while dependents of S Pass holders will only have an IPA valid for 2 months. At the time of writing, each pass costs SGD 225 and an additional SGD 30 for a Multiple Journey visa.
DP holders who are looking to renew the pass can do so up to 6 months before the pass expires, and must ensure that the pass is renewed before the expiry date. Although the renewal process using EP Online is generally completed within 3 weeks, it is suggested to start earlier rather than later, as the renewal time may be extended due to unexpected circumstances, such as an overwhelming number of applications and renewals. MOM encourages applicants to renew early, as an early renewal will not result in the validity of the current pass to shorten. Regardless of when the pass is renewed before the expiry, the new pass will start only when the old one expires. There are no guarantees that renewals will be approved and the success of renewals is based on whether the applicant meets the current eligibility criteria. However, should the DP holder miss the renewal deadline, a new application will need to be made. Depending on the notification letter, DP pass holders may or may not be able to continue using their existing DP cards. It should be noted that there will be a penalty of SGD 60 should the card be unnecessarily returned.
The DP renewal for those whose sponsors are either Employment Pass (via sponsorship) or EntrePass holders are slightly different, compared to the DP renewal whose sponsors are regular EP and S Pass holders. The dependant for the former two passes can apply for their DP renewal 3 months before expiry when they receive a renewal form by post. Renewals must be submitted within 1 month of receiving the renewal letter as renewal applications have to reach the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) 2 months before the existing pass expires.
Can a DP holder work/school in Singapore?
One of the biggest concerns interested applicants may have is regarding the ability of their children and spouse to study and work in Singapore should they move to Singapore with DPs. DP holders can study in majority of the schools (government, government aided, independent etc.), without needing to apply for an additional Student’s Pass. However, they will be required to apply for a Student’s Pass should they want to study in the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Private Institutions for full-time courses or Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) which includes local universities, polytechnics and offshore institutes with local campuses.
Spouses with a DP can apply for a Work Permit, EP or S Pass if they are interested in working in Singapore. DP holders who successfully applied for a Work Permit must continue holding onto their DPs, while successful EP and S Pass will no longer need a DP and their DP will have to be cancelled before their EP or S Pass is issued. Additionally, DP holders who wishes to run a business in Singapore will need to apply for a Letter of Consent first.
Do visit our website at www.xignam.com and contact us if you are interested to find out more information about the Dependant Pass, and it’s application processes.
– Written by: Fang Wenting, Cayman Management Consultants
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