Your Ultimate Guide to the Dependent Pass in Singapore

Your Ultimate Guide to the Dependent Pass in Singapore | Xignam

For expats moving to Singapore, the Dependent Pass (DP) is vital for smooth moving for their families. It lets the family members of a work pass holder with a valid employment pass or S Pass live in Singapore. This way, families can stay together in a new country. The DP is important because it is a residency permit and helps dependents access education, healthcare, and job opportunities.

This blog presents a comprehensive guide on the DP for expats and their families moving to Singapore. We’ll cover who can apply, how to do it, and what benefits the DP offers. We’ll also look at how having a DP affects expat families’ day-to-day life and their settling into the Singaporean community, giving you a clear view of its significance.

By the end of this post, you’ll have the critical information on the Dependent Pass, from how to apply it to its impact on family life in Singapore. Whether you’re just planning your move or already settling in, this guide aims to cover the DP’s main points and practical aspects, helping expats and their families move more smoothly.

Key Facts about the Dependent Pass

Relocating to a new country involves navigating through a myriad of legal requirements, and for expatriates moving to Singapore with their families, understanding the DP is paramount. Below are the essential facts about the DP, outlining its definition, duration, and critical sponsorship requirements.

What is a Dependent Pass? 

The Dependent Pass is a legal document issued by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM). It is designed to allow spouses and children of foreign employees with a valid Employment Pass or S Pass to join them in Singapore. The primary purpose of the DP is to facilitate family reunification, ensuring that foreign workers can bring their immediate family members to live, study, and sometimes work in Singapore. This provision underscores Singapore’s commitment to supporting expatriates in maintaining a stable family life, which is crucial for their overall well-being and productivity.

Dependant’s Pass for Work Pass Holders

This section provides a consolidated table and eligibility criteria for Dependant’s Pass (DP) for various Work Pass holders, including Employment Pass (EP), S Pass, Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), EntrePass, and ONE Pass holders.

Work Pass TypeFamily MemberEligibility Criteria
Employment Pass (EP)Spouse, Unmarried children under 21 years (including legally adopted)Main pass holder must earn a minimum fixed monthly salary of SGD 6,000
S PassSpouse, Unmarried children under 21 years (including legally adopted)Main pass holder must earn a minimum fixed monthly salary of SGD 6,000
Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)Spouse, Unmarried children under 21 years (including legally adopted)Same as EP requirements
EntrePassSpouse (common-law or legally married), ChildrenAnnual Total Business Spending (TBS) of SGD 100,000 and 1 Local Workforce (LWF)
ParentsAnnual Total Business Spending (TBS) of SGD 200,000 and 2 Local Workforce (LWF)
ONE PassSpouse (common-law or legally married), Unmarried children under 21 years (including legally adopted), Unmarried handicapped children above 21 years, Unmarried step-children under 21 years, ParentsVarious family members can be sponsored; refer to the specific ONE Pass criteria

For more details on the eligibility criteria for Dependant’s Pass for EP and S Pass holders, please visit: MOM Dependant’s Pass Eligibility.

Dependant’s Pass Types for EntrePass Holders:

Family MemberPass Type
Spouse (legally married), Unmarried children under 21 years (including legally adopted)Dependant’s Pass
Common-law spouse, Unmarried handicapped children above 21 years, Unmarried step-children under 21 yearsDependant’s Pass
ParentsLong-Term Visit Pass

Dependant’s Pass for EntrePass and ONE Pass Holders

EntrePass and ONE Pass holders can apply for a Dependant’s Pass to bring certain family members to Singapore. This pass allows spouses and children to join the primary visa holder in Singapore.

Eligibility Criteria for EntrePass Holders:

Family MemberEligibility Criteria
Spouse (common-law or legally married)Annual Total Business Spending (TBS) of SGD 100,000 and 1 Local Workforce (LWF); Founded and sold 2 or more venture-backed companies or owned innovative technologies; Raised more than SGD 2 million for a past or current business; Possess 2 or more deep tech Intellectual Properties (IPs), providing a significant competitive advantage to the business.
ChildrenSame as spouse requirements
ParentsAnnual Total Business Spending (TBS) of SGD 200,000 and 2 Local Workforce (LWF)

Eligibility for Dependant’s Pass for ONE Pass holders:

Legally married spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old (including legally adopted children) are eligible for the Dependent’s Pass for ONE Pass holders.

Who is eligible for Dependant’s Pass for ONE Pass:

  • Legally married spouse
  • Unmarried children under 21 years old, including legally adopted children

Duration and Validity Period of the Dependent Pass

The validity period of a DP usually aligns with that of the main pass holder’s Employment Pass or S Pass. If an expatriate’s work pass is issued for two years, the accompanying DP is valid for the same duration, up to a maximum period. It is important to note that the DP’s validity is contingent on the primary pass holder’s employment status; should the main pass be cancelled or expire, the DP would likewise be affected. Renewal of the DP is possible and follows a similar process to the initial application, subject to the renewal of the main work pass.

Sponsorship Requirement

The sponsorship requirement is a pivotal aspect of obtaining a DP. The DP application must be sponsored by the primary pass holder’s Singapore-based employer. This means the employer is responsible for ensuring the expatriate’s dependents comply with Singaporean laws during their stay. The sponsorship model underscores the shared responsibility between the employer and the employee in managing the welfare of the dependents, aligning with Singapore’s rigorous approach to immigration and integrating foreign talent into its workforce.

Eligibility for the Dependent Pass

The Singapore Ministry of Manpower has set specific guidelines to determine who qualifies for this pass. These guidelines focus primarily on the spouses and children of Employment Pass or S Pass holders. Let’s investigate these criteria and understand the eligibility requirements for securing a DP.

Eligibility Criteria for Spouses and Children

Spouses and Children of Employment Pass or S Pass Holders: To qualify for a DP, the applicant must be a legally married spouse or a child under 21 (including legally adopted children) of a current Employment Pass or S Pass holder. The main pass holder must have a minimum fixed monthly salary, which the MOM adjusts periodically, to sponsor their dependents. This requirement ensures that the primary pass holder can financially support their family members in Singapore. It is also imperative that the marriage is recognised under Singapore law for spouses and children; birth or adoption documents must be provided as proof of the relationship.

Eligibility for Other Family Members

Parents: To cater to the holistic needs of expatriates, Singapore also allows the parents of Employment Pass or S Pass holders to join them under certain conditions. However, this eligibility is more restrictive and usually requires the primary pass holder to earn a higher minimum salary than that needed for sponsoring spouses and children. Parents of pass holders can apply for a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP) instead of the DP, which is subject to approval by MOM and contingent on the sponsor’s financial ability to support them during their stay.

Conditions for Eligibility: Age and Relationship Status

Age Limit and Relationship Status: Children must be under 21 to qualify for a DP. This is a strict criterion, with exceptions only for those unable to work due to disabilities. Spouses’ relationship status must be legally recognised marriages. Unfortunately, common-law relationships do not qualify under the current eligibility criteria for a DP. The emphasis on legal documentation and recognised status aligns with Singapore’s rigorous approach to maintaining structured and verifiable family ties within its expatriate community.

Conditions for Eligibility: Age and Relationship Status | Xignam

Working in Singapore with a Dependent Pass

For many expatriates relocating to Singapore, the ability of their dependents to work is a significant consideration. Fortunately, Singapore offers DP holders the opportunity to work under specific conditions, aligning with its vision of attracting and retaining global talent. This section explores the employment opportunities for DP holders, the types of employment they can pursue, and the guidelines and restrictions that govern their work in Singapore.

Opportunities for DP Holders to Work in Singapore

DP holders can seek employment in Singapore but must secure a Letter of Consent (LOC) from the MOM before commencing any work. This provision is designed to seamlessly integrate dependents into the workforce, contributing to the economy and allowing them to pursue their professional aspirations. The process is relatively straightforward, provided the employing company fulfils the eligibility criteria for hiring a DP holder.

Types of Employment Allowed Under the DP Scheme

DP holders are not restricted to specific sectors; they can explore employment across various industries. This flexibility encourages a dynamic integration of skills and experiences within the Singaporean job market. Whether part-time, full-time, contract, or freelance work, DP holders can contribute to sectors as varied as finance, education, healthcare, and the creative industries. However, the employment must refrain from contravening any local laws, and DP holders are expected to work in legitimate and MOM-approved job roles.

Guidelines and Restrictions for DP Holders Seeking Employment

While the opportunities are vast, there are essential guidelines and restrictions that DP holders must adhere to:

  1. Obtaining the Letter of Consent (LOC): The most critical step is receiving the LOC from MOM, contingent upon the DP holder’s employing company applying on their behalf. The LOC effectively grants the DP holder the legal right to work in Singapore.
  1. Compliance with Legal and Regulatory Requirements: DP holders are subject to Singapore’s employment laws and must ensure their employment activities comply with these regulations. This includes adhering to the terms of their employment contract, tax obligations, and any sector-specific legal requirements.

Getting a Pass for a Newborn

The arrival of a newborn is a joyful milestone for expatriate families living in Singapore. However, it also necessitates navigating the administrative process of securing the child’s DP. This ensures the newborn is legally recognised as a resident under the guardianship of their parent’s employment status. This guide outlines the process, requirements, and important considerations for parents applying for a DP for their newborn.

Process for Obtaining a DP for a Newborn Child

Register Birth with ICARegister child’s birth with ICAWithin 14 calendar days after birth
Special Pass IssuanceReceive Special Pass to allow newborn to stay in SingaporeWithin 42 days from birth
Apply for Newborn’s PassportObtain a passport from the embassy or high commissionWithin 6 weeks from birth
Apply for Dependant’s PassEmployer applies for Dependant’s Pass through myMOM PortalAfter obtaining the baby’s passport
xtend Special Pass (if necessary)Request extension if baby’s passport isn’t readyBefore Special Pass expires
If Not Applying for Dependant’s PassApply for visit pass or extend the Special Pass through ICA
If Dependant’s Pass Application is UnsuccessfulEnsure baby leaves Singapore before Special Pass expires or apply for a visit pass from ICA

Requirements and Documents Needed

The application for a DP for a newborn requires several crucial documents:

  • Birth Certificate: A presentable copy of the birth certificate must be officially translated into English if it is in another language.
  • Parent’s Employment Pass: Details of the parent’s Employment Pass or S Pass, including a copy of the pass.
  • Proof of Relationship: Documents proving the relationship between the parent and the newborn, such as marriage or birth certificates showing parentage.

Special Pass Extensions:

  • If the baby’s passport isn’t ready by 6 weeks, request to extend the Special Pass (only if the ICA Advisory Note expires within 7 days).
  • The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will auto-extend the Special Pass for 28 days if the Dependant’s Pass isn’t ready.
  • An SMS notification will be sent one day before the Special Pass expiry date.

These documents are essential to verify the identity, nationality, and familial relationships, thereby streamlining the DP application process.

Important Considerations for Parents

Planning and Timeliness: Applying for a DP for a newborn involves several considerations:

  • Early Application: While there is a six-week window to apply for the DP after the child’s birth, starting the process early can help avoid any last-minute rush and potential issues with documentation.
  • Passport Acquisition: Since a passport is required for the newborn, parents should promptly contact their embassy to understand the procedure and timeline for obtaining a passport for their child.
  • Health Insurance: While not a prerequisite for the DP application, securing health insurance for the newborn is a practical consideration that parents should address early on. Singapore’s healthcare system is robust but can only be costly with adequate coverage.
How to Apply for a Dependent Pass | Xignam

How to Apply for a Dependent Pass

Applying for a DP in Singapore is critical for expatriates wishing to bring their family to live with them. This process involves several steps, from preparing the necessary documents to applying online and collecting the DP card upon approval. Here, we outline the procedure to ensure a smooth application process for you and your loved ones.

Online Application Process

Initiating the Application:

  1. Gather Necessary Documents: Before starting the application, ensure you have all the required documents ready. These typically include the details of the Employment Pass or S Pass holder’s passport, a copy of the latest salary slip, the details of the dependent’s passport, marriage or birth certificates to prove familial ties, and any other documents that the MOM may require based on your specific situation.
  1. Application Submission: The application for a DP is submitted through the MOM’s online portal. This can be done by the Employment Pass or S Pass holder, their employer, or an appointed employment agent. The user-friendly online system guides applicants through the process, ensuring all necessary information is provided.
  1. Payment of Application Fee: The application fee should be paid online upon submission. This fee is non-refundable and subject to change, so it’s advisable to check the latest fee on the MOM website before applying.

Required Documents

To ensure a smooth application process, having the following documents ready is crucial:

  • Passport details of the Employment Pass or S Pass holder and the dependents
  • A recent photograph of the dependent meeting MOM’s specifications
  • Marriage certificate or birth certificate, providing proof of the familial relationship
  • Any additional documents that may support your application, such as educational certificates for dependents planning to study in Singapore.

Timeline for Application Approval and Collection

What to Expect After Submission:

  1. Approval Time: The timeline for approving a DP application can vary, but applicants can typically expect a decision within a few weeks. MOM processes most applications efficiently, but delays can occur if additional information is required or during peak application periods.
  1. Notification of Approval: Once the application is approved, you will receive an in-principle approval letter. This letter is essential as it allows your dependent to enter Singapore if they are not currently present.
  1. Collection of the DP Card: After arriving in Singapore, the final step is to make an appointment with MOM to issue the DP card. This appointment must be booked online, and dependents must bring the notification letter, their passport, and any other documents specified by MOM to the appointment. Biometric data will be taken during this visit, and the DP card will be issued.

Advantages and Challenges of the Dependent Pass

The DP offers numerous benefits, facilitating a smoother transition for families. However, like any relocation process, it has challenges and limitations. This discussion aims to provide a balanced view of the advantages and potential obstacles that DP holders might face during their stay in Singapore.

Advantages of Holding a DP

  1. Family Unity: One of the most significant benefits of the DP is the ability it grants expatriates to keep their families together. Living in a new country can be daunting, and having family members close can provide emotional support and stability.
  1. Access to Employment: DP holders can seek employment in Singapore, subject to obtaining either LOC or Work permit to work. This allows them to contribute to the household income and engage professionally and socially within their new community.
  1. Education and Healthcare: Dependents have access to Singapore’s world-class education system and healthcare services. Children can attend international schools, and families benefit from high-quality medical care, contributing to a high standard of living.
  1. Ease of Integration: With the ability to live, work, and study, DP holders can more easily integrate into Singaporean society. This includes participating in community activities, learning about local culture and customs, and building a new social network.

Challenges or Limitations of the DP

  1. Dependence on Main Pass Holder: The validity of the DP is directly linked to the sponsoring family member’s Employment Pass or S Pass. If the primary pass holder loses their job or decides to leave Singapore, the DP holders must either leave the country or find another valid sponsorship.
  1. Employment Restrictions: While DP holders can seek employment, they must obtain an LOC, which adds an extra step to the job search process. Additionally, not all employers may be familiar with or willing to undertake the process of hiring a DP holder.
  1. Limited Long-term Security: The Dependant’s Pass (DP) holder is closely linked to the primary Employment Pass (EP) holder. Therefore, their stability is reliant on the status of their spouse. Additionally, the decision and/or outcome of the PR application is contingent upon the eligibility of the main EP holder.
  1. Emotional and Cultural Adaptation: Despite the opportunities for integration, adapting to a new culture and environment can be challenging for some family members. This includes coping with the absence of a familiar support network and navigating cultural differences in social and professional settings.

In Closing

We’ve examined how to get and use a DP in Singapore, covering everything from applying to the benefits for expats and their families. We’ve also discussed who can apply, how to do it, job options for DP holders, and the pros and cons of living in Singapore with this pass. This information aims to help expats understand what’s involved in moving to Singapore, making it easier for them and their families.

To all expats and their families planning to move to Singapore, we recommend using the tips and advice from this post to handle the DP application smoothly. Knowing what’s needed and the possible challenges ahead can reduce the stress of moving countries. With this information, you can get excited about enjoying Singapore’s lively culture, high living standards, and job opportunities.

Are you ready to look into the Dependent Pass? Get in touch with Xignam for expert help with your application. Our team is prepared to support you at every stage, ensuring you and your family confidently start your new chapter in Singapore. Let Xignam help you with a smooth and rewarding expat journey in Singapore!

Leave a Reply

Xignam Consulting is committed to customer satisfaction and providing our clients with the highest quality services possible.

Why Us

Xignam Consulting Pte. Ltd. © 2024 All rights reserved.