COVID-19: Ministry of Manpower changes in Work Pass Services in view of Circuit Breaker extension to 1 June 2020

With reference to the announcement made on 21 April 2020 informing that the Circuit Breaker will be further extended to 1 June 2020, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has also aligned the necessary revision to their Work Pass Services:

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

The Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC) will continue to remain close through 1 June 2020, and all appointments that have previously been scheduled 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.

Work Pass Card delivery – Service suspended from 7 April 2020 to 1 June 2020

Similarly, Work Pass Card delivery services will also continue to be suspended through 1 June 2020 and MOM will contact the respective authorised recipients for card deliveries separately.

Also, extension of the Notification Letters will continue to be done automatically by 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.

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

Referring to point 1 above, if the pass holder requires to attend an appointment at the EPSC, schedules will only be re-opened post the Circuit Breaker period.

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

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

In-Principle Approval (IPA) Letters will still 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 May 2020, the IPA letter will automatically be extended to 30 June 2020.

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

Should a pass holder requires 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.

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.

Medical Examination for Pass Holders

Pass holders will be given up to three months to complete the necessary medical examinations. Employers will be able to get the work passes issued without medical results at this time.

MOM will be informing the respective employers with regard to the medical examinations requirements after the Circuit Breaker ends.

Work Passes Expiring between 6 May and 5 June 2020 – Auto-extension till 1 July 2020

Work Passes which are expiring between the period from 6 May 2020 to 5 June 2020 will be automatically extended by MOM to 1 July 2020. However, the following categories of work passes will not be applicable:

• Work Permit for Performing Artiste
• Training Work Permit
• Training Employment Pass (TEP)
• Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) and their dependants
• Work Holiday Pass (WHP)
• Work Permit for Confinement Nannies
• Non-Malaysian Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs) below 50 years old

Employers are still required to comply with the Work Pass conditions of respective Work Passes during this Circuit Breaker period. Failure to comply may result in the suspension of their Work Pass privileges.

Santa Fe Analysis

Due to the above restrictions and suspension of services by MOM, there will be 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.

Employers are also strongly advised to postpone bringing foreign employees into Singapore during this period.

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
Singapore
D: +65 6398 3004
M: +65 8921 8803
E: aileng.chew@santaferelo.com

Robert Day
Group Head of Immigration Operations
Santa Fe Relocation
London, UK
M:+44 7990 021125
E: Robert.Day@santaferelo.com

To read more immigration updates, click here

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