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Singapore: Visa Guides - Must read

Post-study visa options in Singapore

Learn all about your post-study visa options as an international graduate in Singapore...

Singapore office

Fresh from exams and armed with your new qualification, you’re ready to take on graduate life: only, will you have to go back to your home country to do so? After being exposed to the charm and charisma of Singapore during your studies, it makes perfect sense that you’d want to stay on to kick-start your career. Luckily, there are plenty of ways for international students to stay on and secure employment after their student visa expires. Let our overview of your post-study visa options help you plan your graduate life in Singapore.


Long term social visit pass

If you’d like to work in Singapore then you will need a work permit, but you’ll need to first have a job offer in order to get one. But not to worry: if you’re yet to secure a job before you graduate, you can apply for a long term social visit pass which will enable you to remain in the country for up to twelve months to search for a job.

You will need to be a graduate of an accredited Singapore Institute of Higher Learning to be eligible, and will need to apply for this pass via the electronic service e-VP.

To apply, you’ll need:

  • A completed immigration form Form 14
  • Your qualification, i.e. your Bachelors degree
  • Your passport (must be valid for at least six more months)
  • Your disembarkation/embarkation card (you will get this when you enter Singapore)
  • Your existing student’s pass
  • A recent passport-sized photograph (to be pasted in the top right-hand corner of Form 14)


You’ll also need to pay a SG$30 (US$24) fee at the time of application, and additional fees depending on your circumstances. Average processing times are around 6 weeks. You cannot apply for a long term social visit pass if you have ten or less days left on your student’s pass.

If you’re successful, you’ll need to make an appointment with the ICA office via the e-Appointment service and collect your pass. You’ll also need to download, print and sign a Terms and Conditions form that you’ll need to hand in when you do so.


Work Permit

Once you’ve been offered a job, your employer will put you forward for a work permit. Which permit you have will depend on your salary, and in most cases as a fresh graduate you’ll need what is called an ‘S Pass.’ If you secure a high-paying job then you might be eligible for an Employment Pass.

Employers in Singapore are only allowed to take on a set quota of foreign employees, and so will need to appeal to relevant authorities before they’re given clearance to take you on.


S Pass

Unfortunately, you’ll be unable to apply for an S Pass yourself. Your employer will need to apply to the Controller of Work Passes before they’re able to take on a foreign worker, and then you’ll be assessed against a points system that takes into account your salary, educational qualifications, relevant work experience and any technical certificates (if relevant) that you might hold. To qualify, you’ll need to be earning a fixed monthly salary of at least SG$2,200 (US$1,755) and hold relevant qualifications.

You can check if you’re eligible for an S pass using the Singapore Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) S-Pass Self-Assessment Tool. 


Employment Pass

If you’ve been offered a job with a monthly salary of over SG$3,300 (US$ 2,633) then you will be eligible for an Employment Pass. As with as S pass, you’ll be judged against a set of criteria that considers your salary, qualifications and work experience. You can check your eligibility for an Employment Pass using MOM’s EP Self-Assessment Tool.


Bond Agreements

Many companies in Singapore offer scholarship and funding programmes that have what is called a ‘bond agreement,’ which means that you’ll be obliged to work for them for a set amount of time after you graduate.

If you’re on one of these schemes, then your work permit will be taken care of before you graduate. Depending on how long the bond agreement is and whether you’d like to immigrate permanently to Singapore or not, you’ll have a set of different visa options when it finishes.You will still however need to pay relevant fees and provide required supporting documents.


Ready to take on post-study life in Singapore? Browse courses in Singapore now and start planning your study abroad adventure!


Useful Links

'Finding a graduate career in Singapore'

'3 Fields to study in Singapore'

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About Author

Singapore office

Monica Karpinski received her BA (Media and Communications) and Diploma in Modern Languages (French) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. An art and culture aficionado, in her spare time Monica enjoys film, reading and writing about art.