Singapore: New Work Pass Card Format and Mobile App Introduced
On or after September 15, the Ministry of Manpower will be changing the format of work pass cards by removing variable information, such as expiry dates, and incorporating a Quick Response Code for use with a free mobile application called the SGWorkPass to enable employers and other stakeholders to check the status of work passes with their smartphones.
On or after September 15, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will be changing the format of work pass (WP) cards by removing variable information, such as expiry dates, and incorporating a Quick Response (QR) Code for use with a free mobile application called the SGWorkPass to enable employers and other stakeholders to check the status of work passes with their smartphones.
The new WP cards will be issued in three phases based on the types of pass and sectors where a foreign national works:
1. Phase 1 (September 15): Work Permit holders in the Marine Shipyard and Construction sectors;
2. Phase 2 (January 2018): Work Permit holders in other sectors excluding Domestic sector; and
3. Phase 3 (March 2018): Work Permit holders (Domestic sector), S Pass holders, Employment Pass holders, and Related Dependant's Pass/Long Term Visit Pass holders.
Existing WP cards will remain valid and pass holders will receive their new cards when they renew their work passes based on the above schedule.
SGWorkPass Mobile App
Interested parties can check the status of a foreign worker by scanning the QR code printed on the new card using the SGWorkPass mobile app. The app can be downloaded for free and set up on the user's smartphone.
Users without smartphones can still use existing e-services on MOM's website such as the Work Pass Online, Employment Pass Online or the Check Work Pass Status to check pass status.
Previously, service providers, premise owners and other interested parties would rely on the date of expiry printed on the card as proof of status before entering into a contract with WP holders, or allowing their entry into a premise. However, this practice can sometimes pose security issues since the date of expiry printed on the work pass card may not accurately reflect the holder's current status if employment was cancelled prior to the card's expiry due to resignation or restructuring. The change was made to address these issues.
What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
Employers will be able to check any potential employee's pass status more conveniently.
Foreign nationals issued new WP cards no longer need to replace them when their work passes are renewed since up-to-date work pass information will automatically be updated to the SGWorkPass mobile app. However, they would have to re-register their fingerprints and photos during the renewal of their passes if the last registration was done more than five years ago. For such cases, new WP cards with the updated fingerprint and photo image will be issued to replace the earlier cards.
This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to SGInitiations@fragomen.com.