In the construction sector, it is the responsibility of the employer to submit the application on behalf of the foreigner and see that the Work Permit is obtained. Work Permits are issued only to workers who meet the specific conditions and requirements prescribed for the particular sector. Employers on their part are also expected to meet a few sector-specific conditions before a Work Permit can be issued to the worker on whose behalf the employer is applying.

Approved Source Countries/Territories

Foreigners belonging to the following countries are eligible to apply for Work Pass in the construction sector: India, Malaysia, People's Republic of China, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, NTC countries (Non Traditional Countries) Philippines, North Asian Sources (NAS): Macau, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan.

Quota Restrictions for Employing Foreigners (Dependency Ceiling/Quota)

The construction sector employers who are desirous of employing foreigners are governed by the rule that says that they need to restrict the number of Work Permits to 7 for every full-time local employee of the company.

Note for Employers

  • The term full-time employee denotes all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) whose earnings are not less than $1,000 per month.
  • The term local part-time employee denotes all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) whose earnings is not less than $500 per month.
  • When two part time employees are employed, they count as one full-time employee when the total number of employees needs to be arrived at.

Foreign Worker Levy

The company that is in the construction related business needs to restrict the number of foreigners as employees in the prescribed ratio, and also need to pay a Foreign Worker Levy for every worker in their employment. The amount of Levy is not fixed and will depend on the qualifications of the worker hired and the current ceiling/quota applicable to the construction sector.

Employers may be required to provide a Levy bond when applicable in the construction sector

  • All employers whose workers' permits are cancelled due to non payment of Levy need to execute a Levy bond.
  • Employers who do not pay levy fees on time, or those who default payments at least thrice in a 12 month period.
  • Whenever there is change in ownership of a sole proprietorship concern.
  • Whenever a new construction company starts up as

A sole proprietorship concern

A partnership concern

Companies with paid up capital below $50,000 that are applying for pre approval in order to employ foreign workers in their organization for the first time.

The mode of payment needs to be in the form of a Banker's/Insurance Guarantee or Cashier/Money Order payable to the Controller of Work Passes. However, cheque payments are not accepted.

Important steps to be followed while applying for Work Permit

  • Man Year Entitlement (MYE) to confirm eligibility
  • Prior Approval (PA) as and when required
  • In-Principle Approval (IPA) for each Work Permit
  • Purchase of Security Bonds

As far as MYE and PA are concerned, they won't be required unless the Work Permit is applied on behalf of foreigners from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and Taiwan because an In-Principle Approval is sufficient for workers from these countries.

Note for Employers

  • Employers cannot bring in non-Malaysian foreigners into the country before applying for the Work Permit.
  • Employers need be in possession of valid Building Construction Authority (BCA)/Singapore List of Trade Sub Contractors (SLOT) Registration certificate while applying for PA or IPA.