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The basics
Singapore: Visa Guides - Must read

What are my post-study visa options in Singapore?

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

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Fresh from exams and armed with your new qualification, you’re ready to take on graduate life: but 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 hang around 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.



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 Visit Pass which will enable you to remain in the country for up to 12 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 bachelor’s 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 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 fee at the time of application, and additional fees depending on your circumstances. The application process can take up to eight 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. Be aware that you cannot work unless you have a work permit, so the long-term visit pass does not entitle you to work in the country. This simply allows you to search for employment, giving you extra time once you graduate.



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. This pass is generally relevant for mid-level skilled staff. To qualify, you’ll need to be earning a fixed monthly salary of at least SG$ 2,500 and hold relevant qualifications. The S pass lasts up to two years.


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 $4,500 then you will be eligible for an Employment Pass. As with an S pass, you’ll be judged against a set of criteria that considers your salary, qualifications, and work experience. Typical roles include specialist professions, managers, and executives. Anyone earning SG $6,000 per month will be eligible for a dependents pass for their spouse or children.


You can check your eligibility for an Employment Pass using MOM’s EP Self-Assessment Tool. Your first employment pass is valid for up to two years and can be renewed for up to three.


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