Work Permit: hiring an existing process worker

From 1 June 2017, you will be able to hire existing workers, without them having to leave Singapore first. Find out the requirements and how to apply.

At a glance

Workers eligible for transfer Existing process workers from non-traditional source (NTS), North Asian sources or People’s Republic of China (PRC).
When you can start applying

Only from 1 June 2017 onwards.

  • With the current employer’s agreement: any time while the current Work Permit is valid.
  • Otherwise: from 40 days before the current Work Permit expires.
Last day to apply

21 days before the current Work Permit expires.

Note: If the current employer agrees, you can also take over the remaining Work Permit duration by applying at least 2 months before it expires. This allows you to hire the worker without using your prior approval.

How long it takes Within 1 week, unless more information is required.

Why hire an existing worker

You can consider hiring existing workers as you can:

  • Benefit from experienced workers and a faster deployment time.
  • Save on the cost of bringing in new workers from source countries.

Transferring existing workers with agreement

With the current employer’s agreement, you can hire existing workers while their Work Permits are valid.

The requirements below apply to workers from non-traditional sources or the People’s Republic of China, depending on whether you are:

Transferring existing workers without getting agreement

You can also hire existing workers without getting the current employer’s agreement.

The requirements below apply to workers from non-traditional sources or the People’s Republic of China, depending on whether you are:

When you can apply

This is only allowed from 1 June 2017 onwards.

If the current employer has not renewed the Work Permit, you can apply for transfer 40 to 21 days before the current Work Permit expires.

How to apply for a transfer worker

To apply for the transfer:

  1. Follow the general Work Permit application process.
  2. Use the Application for Transfer Worker module on WP Online to monitor the status of workers you are transferring in and those you are transferring out.
  3. Upon approval, you need to get the Work Permit issued.

Issuing the Work Permit

You can only request for the Work Permit to be issued after the current permit has been cancelled or expires.

Once the current Work Permit is no longer valid, we will SMS or email you. You will then have 14 days to get the new Work Permit issued. Otherwise, the transfer approval will be revoked and overstaying fines may be incurred.

To get the Work Permit issued:

  1. Log in to WP Online.
  2. You will be asked to upload these documents:

We will deliver the new Work Permit card 4 working days after the documents have been verified.

Note:

  • If you need the transfer earlier, have a discussion with the worker and existing employer to come to an agreement on the cancellation of the existing Work Permit.
  • Once the new Work Permit is issued, you are responsible for the workers’ upkeep and maintenance. Make sure you arrange for an acceptable accommodation for the worker before you take over the employment.

If you don’t want to transfer

If you change your mind about the transfer after the new Work Permit application has been approved, you may need to send the worker home.

Use the Application for Transfer Worker module on WP Online to find out what you need to do.