HR and tax alert | December 2018

Singapore announces Pre-approved Letter of Consent option

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Executive summary

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced that foreign spouses or unmarried children of a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident will now be given the option to apply for a Pre-approved Letter of Consent (PLOC) when they apply for, or renew their Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) or LTVP+, with immediate effect.  The PLOC will be granted without the holder having to secure employment first.

Pre-approved Letter of Consent (PLOC)

The MOM previously required prospective employers of LTVP/LTVP+ holders to apply for a Letter of Consent (LOC) before the pass holder may commence employment in Singapore.

Eligibility

With the recent announcement, foreign spouses or unmarried children (below 21 years of age) of a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident will be given the option to apply for a PLOC when they apply or renew their LTVP/LTVP+ with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).  Once granted, the validity of the PLOC will follow the applicant’s LTVP/LTVP+, and will no longer be valid once the LTVP/LTVP+ expires or is cancelled.

Taking up Singapore employment

Prospective employers of PLOC holders will now be required to notify the MOM by submitting an e-Notification before the start of employment and when the employment ends.

The e-Notification to hire PLOC holders can be done by logging in to e-Service using the employer’s CorpPass. Submitting the e-Notification can be completed in one working day. An acknowledgement letter must be printed online upon successful submission of the e-Notification.

Similarly, an e-Notification is to be submitted by the employer when the employment of the PLOC holder ends. Cancellation of the PLOC is not required. 

Restricted Occupations

While PLOC holders can undertake most employment, there are restrictions imposed by the MOM on certain occupations. Examples include the following:

  • Journalist
  • Editor
  • Producer
  • Any religion-related occupations

The full list of restricted occupations can be found on the MOM website, under “Restricted occupations for Pre-approved Letter of Consent”.

Employers will be required to apply for a separate LOC for PLOC holders who will be undertaking the occupations under the restricted list. Registration requirements to practise selected professions still applies.

Impact to employers

The key impact to employers as a result of the announced change include the following:

  • As only a notification to the MOM is required to hire PLOC holders, PLOC candidates are able to commence work with prospective employers promptly. Moreover, PLOC holders do not count towards foreign worker quota and are not subject to the monthly levy payable, or the Fair Consideration Framework legislation. This makes them an attractive population to employ and puts them on par with the hiring of Singaporeans/Permanent Residents.
  • Employers are advised to obtain a copy of the PLOC together with the prospective candidate’s LTVP/LTVP+ and ensure that the MOM is notified before the PLOC holder commences employment, and within seven days after the employment ends.
  • Employers may wish to take note of the validity of the employees’ LTVP/LTVP+ and remind employees to renew their LTVP/LTVP+ with
  • the ICA three months before expiry.

If you have any questions regarding the changes, please do not hesitate to contact your local EY advisor or one of the EY contacts below.

EYG no. 012790-18Gbl

For additional information with respect to this alert, please contact the following: