Training Work Permit

What is a Singapore training work permit?

A Singapore training work permit is a temporary employment work visa that allows workers to work in Singapore for a period of up to six months. The most common type of visas is work permits or tourist visas. Singapore training work permits allow people from countries with low labour costs to come into Singapore, a nation with plenty of employment opportunities. Singapore training work permit can be used by anyone who needs to travel and work in Singapore. 

There are two types of Singapore work permits.

One training work permit is the Permanent Resident permit (PR). The other Singapore S pass is an Overseas Worker (OW) permit. Both have different conditions attached to them. For example, if you are looking to stay in Singapore in the long-term (i.e. 10 years or more) and plan on working with your company for that duration of time, you might want to consider to apply for an OW permit.

You need a visa for the duration of your stay in Singapore. If you do not get a visa you will have to leave Singapore and cannot stay in the country beyond a fixed duration. This varies depending on your passport and your country’s relationship with Singapore. The first step to get, a training work permit Singapore is to apply through the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website. The MOM website has the training work permit Singapore application form and important details such as the training work permit application fee.


You need to apply online for your training work visa Singapore. If you are applying for the visa outside of Singapore, note that will need to provide a softcopy of your passport or a photocopy for the visa application form.

If you are a student, you can get a temporary Singapore training work permit visa to work in the country for up to 6 months. The training work permits issued by the Ministry of Education and Manpower (MOEM), another Singapore government agency, gives students the opportunity to obtain an official work permit. A trainee can then apply for a Singapore temporary work permit to stay in Singapore for the duration of your training. This is a visa that allows you to enter Singapore on a tourist visa but the right to work and get employed in this city.


How to get a Training work permit Singapore without having to obtain an entry visa 

There are many training work permits in Singapore that are available. The best choice depends on the type of training that you want. The (general) temporary work permit is one of the options that you will have to choose from: 

Temporary Work Permit (TWP). This Singapore training work visa permits you to enter or leave Singapore, but only temporarily. A Singapore temporary work permit is issued by the Ministry of Manpower and Social Security. The purpose of this type of training work permit is to train people who have been unemployed for more than 12 months with specific skills that employers need. 

When you apply for a work visa, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will ask you to provide evidence that you have the required skills. For example, a software engineer will be asked for proof that he or she is able to program. This may be in the form of a computer science or math degree, as well as any industry-recognised certifications. 

You will also need to prove that your skills are under the training work permit guidelines. Afterwards, the DHA will then decide whether you should be allowed to stay. If your work is not in a specific field, your application will get reject and you may have to apply again.


How can I convert my Singapore Training Work Permit to a (Full-Time) Work Permit?

It may take up to two years before you are able to get an employment permit. The training period starts when you start working and ends after six months or three years. There is no limit on the number of renewals that you can make on your Singapore training work permit. You can work for more than one employer in one year. 

If your work is not related to your studies, it is possible to apply for a work permit to work full time after your studies. If you are a student, you can stay for up to 6 months in the country.

Training employment pass

Students interested in applying for a training work permit can do so through the online application form. As mentioned previously, the application form is published on the MOM’s website. Employers in Singapore can make a request to the MOM and ask for a training work permit to be provided to an individual. Employers will have to fill up several forms and ensure that their business meets the requirements from MOM. The (employer) application will take about 3 weeks to get processed by the government.


5 Things The Ministry of Manpower Looks For in Training Work Permit Applicants in Singapore

Singapore is one of the leading countries in Asia in terms of stability, economic strength and job prospect. It’s no surprise that foreign students and foreign trainees are fighting for the opportunity to fly themselves to our little red dot. With so many applicants and a limited amount of capacity, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has no choice but to put down some regulations to filter and carefully select the right people.

Before we go on, what defines ‘foreign students and foreign trainees’? Foreign students can be identified as students are currently enrolled in a higher institute of learning outside of Singapore. 

As for foreign trainees, they can be a semi-skilled or unskilled employee that is sent by an overseas company to Singapore to undergo training in a related company/sector. And in order to do so, they need to have an employment work visa. Now that we have cleared that up, let’s take a look at some of the critical factors that MOM looks for when they are choosing the right work visa Singapore applicants.


1. Applicant’s Education

Before anything else, education level will definitely play a big part when MOM considers someone applying for a training work permit in Singapore, or an employee renewing work permit in Singapore. As simple and straightforward as it sounds, many applicants might be rejected just from this round of filtering.

For example, student A is a master’s undergraduate versus student B, a bachelor’s undergraduate. Naturally, MOM will lean towards student A, but there are other factors to consider. 

Another factor that will be important is the degree, and if MOM recognises the university. Currently, Singapore requires workers in the Infocomm sector, so if the student is in a course related to it, he/she will have a more significant advantage over students in the other industries. Also, it will be tough for the applicant to attain an employment work visa if the university is not in the list of recognised schools.


2. Applicant’s Background

Another major factor that MOM will look into is the background of the work visa Singapore applicants. As a country accepting foreign talents, MOM will not approve or look into renewing work permits in Singapore for someone with a suspicious background, questionable personality and attitude.

Renowned for its low crime rate and strict laws, Singapore will definitely deny someone with a criminal record to work in its land. To a certain extent, a background check might be the essential factor as Singapore won’t want to give terrorists and criminals an employment work visa to sneak onto our shores to do their funny business. 


3. Age & Potential

Age and potential of the applicant are equally important when MOM considers the application.  A Training Work Permit in Singapore and employment work visa are meant for students and inexperienced trainees to learn and train themselves as a working individual, so it will be a disadvantage if the trainee is older in terms of age as the potential for growth is smaller than younger trainees. 

Imagine a twenty-year-old trainee and a thirty-year-old trainee vying for the same spot. MOM will most probably pick the twenty-year-old as the work visa Singapore applicant will have more significant potential in the future. For those that are renewing work permits in Singapore, this factor will be even more important.

work permit Singapore


4. The Job Importance 

Due to the limited amount of spots allocated under the ‘Training Work Permit’ category in MOM, there is a high possibility that MOM focuses on the sector that is the most needed in the country at the time. Under the ‘Training Work Permit’ category, there are five sectors in total, construction, manufacturing, marine shipyard, process and services. 

Before the COVID-19 situation Singapore might have put a bigger percentage into marine shipyard as a vast bulk of our economy comes from that sector, but ever since the outbreak of the pandemic, Singapore might have allocated that amount into a different industry. 

To summarise, companies need to know when is a good time to apply for their applicants if they want a higher chance for their application to be approved. Even if an applicant has applied successfully before, they might not be approved now when renewing a work permit in Singapore.


5. Company Reputation

To some, it might sound superficial, but the hard truth is that company reputation matters. MOM will have to put in more consideration if they want to reject applicants from big companies, e.g. Google, Apple, Amazon, etc., compared to smaller and unknown companies. Many will find this reason unfair or even controversial, at the end of the day, the Training Work Permit in Singapore is just another plan to boost the economy and entices foreign talents back to Singapore to work full-time jobs here.


Important Points To Take Note Before Applying for a Training Work Permit in Singapore

While the Training Work Permit in Singapore sounds good for our foreign friends to put into their resume, there are a few things to consider before applying. We won’t want to have people regretting their decisions one day into the job, right? After all, one regretful applicant means one hopeful individual missing out on a great opportunity!

Foreign students have to make sure that they are keen for the job in Singapore because once their work visa Singapore application is approved, they won’t be able to apply for a training work permit in Singapore as a student again. This applies for those renewing work permits in Singapore as well.

Another point to take note is that this permit lasts for six months, so be prepared to stay on Singapore’s tropical shores for half a year. The Training Work Permit in Singapore doesn’t come with passes for the families of the applicant so it might be half a year before you can see your loved ones again. 

If companies feel their applicant can’t endure being separated from their loved ones for a long time, it is recommended to ask them not to apply as companies won’t want to see their applicants requesting to quit halfway through the job. If work visa Singapore applicants leave halfway, the company that is responsible for him/her will have to answer to MOM, and if it happens often, MOM might blacklist the company.

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower might be making it tough for our foreign friends with its employment work visa criteria, but it is with reasons. To put it bluntly, it is a competitive era where the strong survives in the harsh jungle. 

The many factors that the Ministry of Manpower is considering are just making sure that we are bringing in the right people to solve the right problem. If the government does not control the number of permits available at one time, we might really see ten million people in our little red dot one day. 

A training work permit is a type of employment work visa. If you are an employer who needs help attaining a training work permit in Singapore or any HR matters, contact us today for professional support.