COVID-19: Summary of Changes in Work Pass Services put in place by the Ministry of Manpower during Circuit Breaker period

The Circuit Breaker will be in effect through 4 May 2020, and in view of this critical period, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has implemented the following changes to their services:

  1. Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC) – To close from 7 April 2020 to 4 May 2020

As such, all appointments that have been booked, will be cancelled. MOM will contact the respective pass holder(s) directly on the appointment matters where necessary based on the contact details provided to MOM at time of pass issuance.

   2. Work Pass Card delivery – Service suspended from 7 April 2020 to 4 May 2020

MOM will contact the respective authorised recipients for card deliveries separately. MOM has also advised that there will be no need to request for an extension of the Notification Letters as the extension will be done automatically by the MOM during this time.

Work pass holders who telecommute or work in essential services can start or continue to work with the issued Notification Letter.

   3. Issuance of Work Pass and related Passes – MOM will still accept online issuance

Referring to point 1 above, if the pass holder requires to an appointment, this can only be booked when the EPSC re-opens after 4 May 2020.

If there is no appointment required, MOM will contact authorised recipients to arrange for work pass card delivery.

   4. In-Principle Approval (IPA) Letter Extension – Auto-extension of IPA letter for a further 2 months

MOM has also confirmed that all IPA letters will be auto extended for a period of two months from time of initial IPA expiry.

Similar to the extension of the Notification Letter, there will be no requirements to submit an extension request.

Citing an example, if an IPA letter should expire on 1 April 2020, the IPA letter will automatically be extended to 31 May 2020.

   5. Cancellation of passes and extension of stay – Extension Request may be submitted to MOM

Should a pass holder require an extension of their Short Term Visit Pass (STVP) issued to them by MOM after their pass has been cancelled, a request may be filed by the employer who cancelled the pass within 7 days before expiry of the STVP.

The outcome will be sent to the employer or the relevant personnel making the submission via email.

   6. Limitations to approvals for new work pass and related passes applications

New applications submitted are subjected to limited approvals. However, applications may continue to be filed for applicants who are already in Singapore. This will include passes which is due for renewal, and those where applicants are physically in Singapore currently.

Santa Fe Analysis

Due to the above restrictions and suspension of services by MOM, there will be definite delays in processing timeline and completion of work pass formalities.

Affected employees should refrain from making travel plans to Singapore as much as possible until further advice is received from the relevant government bodies.

Due to the dynamic environment surrounding the COVID-19 situation, you may also wish to visit the following links for the latest information pertaining to any developments in advisory notices from the relevant government bodies:


Should you have any questions, please contact:

Ai Leng Chew
Immigration Manager – Singapore
Santa Fe Relocation
D: +65 6398 3004
M: +65 8921 8803

Robert Day
Group Head of Immigration Operations
Santa Fe Relocation
London, UK
M:+44 7990 021125

To read more immigration updates, click here

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