How to Work in Singapore as an OFW

Singapore is one of the Philippines’ closest neighbors. It is also among the most popular destinations for Filipinos — tourists, job seekers, students, and business investors alike. Today, many Pinoys are living and working in Singapore, along with other foreign nationals.

In terms of land area, Singapore may be small, but it has a thriving economy, especially in the fields of business, healthcare, education, tourism, and other industries. It is also known for its modern infrastructure, efficient public transport, cleanliness, and diverse culture.

In this article, we will discuss how you can apply as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Singapore. We will cover the qualifications, requirements, and procedures, along with the most popular jobs in the country, and other topics.

How to Work in Singapore as an OFW

Types of Work Passes or Permits

To be able to work in Singapore, foreigners need to have a “work pass” or “work permit.” There are several different types of work passes or permits, as follows:

1. For Professionals

  • Employment Pass. This work pass is issued to foreign professionals, managers, and executives who are earning at least SGD 3,600 a month.
  • Personalized Employment Pass. A work pass assigned to high-income foreign nationals. It offers more flexibility than other types of work passes.
  • EntrePass. This pass is given to entrepreneurs or investors who are planning to start a business in Singapore.

2. For Skilled and Semi-Skilled Workers

  • S Pass. A work pass issued to skilled, mid-level workers who are earning at least SGD 2,300 per month.
  • Work Permit for Migrant Workers. This permit is given to foreign workers from certain countries. It allows them to work in specific industries (i.e. construction, manufacturing, services, or shipyards) only.
  • Work Permit for Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs). A permit issued to workers from certain countries (i.e. Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, etc.) only. They must be between 23 and 50 years old.
  • Work Permit for Confinement Nannies. This permit is given to Malaysian nannies who will be working in Singapore for 16 weeks, starting from the birth of the employer’s baby.
  • Work Permit for Performing Artists. A permit issued to performers who will be working in eligible public entertainment venues (e.g. bars, hotels, and nightclubs).

3. For Interns and Students

  • Training Employment Pass. This pass is given to foreign nationals who would like to undergo training or education in Singapore. The program should not exceed 3 months.
  • Training Work Permit. A permit issued to unskilled or semi-skilled foreign students/trainees who will undergo practical training in Singapore. The program should not exceed 6 months.
  • Work Holiday Pass. This pass is assigned to foreigners who are part of the Working Holiday program with Singapore (i.e. foreign nationals from Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States). They must be between 18 and 25 years old (or 18 to 30 for Australians). The pass is not renewable; owners can only get it once.

4. Other Passes

  • Miscellaneous Work Pass. A pass issued to foreigners who will be taking up a short-term work assignment (up to 60 days) in Singapore.
  • Dependent’s Pass. This pass is given to spouses and children of eligible Employment Pass or S Pass holders.
  • Long-Term Visit Pass. A pass issued to parents, common-law spouses, stepchildren, or handicapped children of eligible Employment Pass or S Pass holders.


The qualifications to work in Singapore would depend on the specific job and work pass involved. That being said, generally speaking, the applicant must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age;
  • Hold a valid passport; and
  • Be able to work only within the scope of the work pass or work permit issued by the authorities.


Your employer is the one who will apply for your Singapore work pass or work permit on your behalf. For your part, you need to prepare several documents, including:

  • Photocopy of your passport; and
  • Photocopy of your educational certificate.

If it is your employer’s first time to hire foreign workers, he/she needs to submit the following as well:

  • Photocopy of business profile from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA);
  • Photocopy of the business’ 3 latest monthly CPF contribution statements; and
  • Photocopy of Food Establishment License (if the business is a food establishment).

NOTE: Additional documents may be required by Singapore authorities, depending on your application.

Most Popular Jobs in Singapore for Overseas Filipino Workers

As mentioned earlier, Singapore has a thriving business, healthcare, education, and tourism industries. In addition, the following sectors are also active: information technology (IT), manufacturing, construction, and domestic services.

Here is a list of the most in-demand jobs in the country, grouped according to industry:

  • Healthcare – doctors, nurses, caregivers, etc.;
  • Information Technology (IT) – cloud system engineers, database administrators, data scientists, IT technicians, network engineers, software developers, systems analysts, etc.;
  • Banking and Finance – accountants, auditors, financial analysts, financial managers, management consultants, mortgage advisers, stockbrokers, traders, etc.;
  • Business and Management – advertising executives, business consultants, business developers, human resource managers, office administrators, market research analysts, operations managers, etc.;
  • Customer Service and Tech Support – customer service representatives, customer service supervisors, call center agents, client relations associates, etc.;
  • Education – subject teachers, language teachers, teaching assistants, etc.;
  • Hospitality and Tourism – hotel managers, receptionists, housekeepers, etc.;
  • Food and Beverage – restaurant managers, chefs, wine servers, kitchen helpers, waiters, waitresses, catering managers, etc.;
  • Construction and Engineering – civil engineers, carpenters, construction workers, etc.;
  • Design and Architecture – landscape architects, graphic designers, industrial designers, urban planners, etc.; and
  • Domestic Services – domestic helpers, drivers, cooks, etc.

How to Become an OFW in Singapore

Before anything else, you need to find a job in Singapore first. You can start by searching online or by contacting a recruitment agency. Once you get a job offer, your employer (or employment agency) will be the one to apply for your Singapore work pass or work permit.

The employer or employment agency can apply for your work pass online, through the official website of Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM). In particular, they can access “Employment Pass (EP) eService,” the official portal for applying work pass applications.

Here is an overview of the work pass application process:

  • Your employer or employment agency applies for your work pass through the Ministry of Manpower’s Employment Pass (EP) eService.
  • Once your application is processed and accepted, your employer will receive a letter of In-Principle Approval (IPA).
  • Using your IPA letter, you can travel to Singapore.
  • Upon your arrival in Singapore, your employer or employment agency applies for your work pass through Employment Pass (EP) eService once again.
  • When your work pass is issued, you will receive a notification letter allowing you to start working in Singapore.
  • Within 2 weeks of your work pass being issued, you need to register at the Employment Pass Service Center.
  • After registration, you will receive a Pass Card. That’s it!

Licensed Recruitment Agencies to Singapore

When applying for a job in Singapore — or anywhere else, for that matter — you must ensure that your employment agency is licensed and legitimate. Otherwise, you could end up getting scammed or become a victim of human trafficking.

In the Philippines, licensed agencies are those that are accredited by the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW). Here is an extensive list of DMW-accredited agencies that are licensed to recruit OFWs to Singapore:

  • 1010 Ephesians Human Resources;
  • 1st Dynamic Personnel Resources, Inc.;
  • 2000 Miles Placement Agency, Inc.;
  • 99 (Ninety Nine) Manpower Services Corp.;
  • A-Vantage International Recruitment Corp.;
  • A. Kanan Manpower Corporation;
  • A. C. Sicat International Manpower Services;
  • ABBA Personnel Services Inc.;
  • ABD Overseas Manpower Corp.;
  • Alcare Manpower Services Corporation;
  • Alju International Manpower Services Inc.;
  • Alpha Tomo (P) International Manpower Services Inc.;
  • Altima Manpower Agency Inc.;
  • Angelex Allied Agency;
  • Anifel Management and General Services Corporation;
  • Ankor Management Services and Consultants Inc.;
  • Aqium International Inc.;
  • Aquavir International Inc.;
  • Arandrea Manpower Services Co.;
  • Ardcorp;
  • Ascend International Services Inc.;
  • ATC Human Resources Inc.;
  • Automatechs Manpower Solutions Inc.;
  • Baguio Benguet International Recruitment Agency Inc.;
  • Benchstone Enterprises Inc.;
  • Beracah Human Resource Consultancy;
  • Best Migrant Workers International Manpower Services Inc.;
  • BM Skyway General Services and Trading;
  • Bright International Manpower Services Inc.;
  • Bright Star Placement Corp.;
  • Caraxes International Manpower Agency Corporation;
  • Cleopatra International Placement Agency Inc.;
  • Concorde International Human Resources Corporation;
  • Confederal Project Manpower Services Inc.;
  • Countrybest International Placement Corporation;
  • CSV International Placement Agency Inc.;
  • Destiny Twin Dragon Workforce Co. Ltd.;
  • Dimension – All Manpower Inc.;
  • EMCJ Manpower International Inc.;
  • ERRX Recruitment Consulting;
  • Excel Green Kard International Inc.;
  • Eyequest International Manpower Services Incorporated;
  • Faasi International Corporation;
  • Ferrand Human Resources International;
  • Fil-HR Manpower Development and Services Specialist Corp.;
  • Filipinas-Global Multi-Services Inc.;
  • First Champion and International Entertainment Inc.;
  • Fluor Manpwoer Agency Inc.;
  • FSL International Manpower and Promotion Services Inc.;
  • Gammon International Manpower Agency Inc.;
  • Gatchalian Promotion Talents Pool Inc.;
  • God’s Will International Placement Inc.;
  • Golden Faith International Employment Services Co.;
  • Golden Horizon Placement Agency Inc.; and
  • Jedegal International Manpower Services Inc.

NOTE: To see the full list of all manpower agencies that are accredited to recruit land-based and sea-based OFWs around the world, please visit the official website of the Philippine Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Meanwhile, here are some commonly asked questions and answers on how to become an OFW in Singapore:

1. Who are qualified to work in Singapore?

To qualify for employment in Singapore, an applicant must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid passport. Depending on the specific job you are applying for, additional qualifications may be required. There are different types of work passes or work permits available, including work passes for professionals, skilled workers, semi-skilled workers, interns, and even students.

2. What are the requirements?

The most basic requirements include a passport and educational certificates. Depending on the job, additional documents may be required.

Likewise, if it’s the employer’s first time to hire foreign workers, he/she needs to submit several documents. These include a photocopy of the business profile from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), and a photocopy of the business’ 3 latest monthly CPF contribution statements.

3. What are the most in-demand jobs for OFWs?

At present, the most popular industries in Singapore are: healthcare; information technology (IT); banking and finance; business and management; customer service and tech support; education; hospitality and tourism; food and beverage; construction and engineering; design and architecture; and domestic services.

Hence, the most in-demand jobs in the country include: nurses, caregivers, data scientists, software developers, accountants, financial managers, advertising executives, market research analysts, customer services representatives, client relations associates, subject teachers, language teachers, hotel managers, receptionists, restaurant managers, kitchen helpers, civil engineers, construction workers, architects, urban planners, cooks, and domestic helpers.

4. How can I become an OFW in Singapore?

The first step to becoming an OFW in Singapore is to find a job there; you can search online or get in touch with a recruitment agency (i.e. one that is licensed by the Philippine Department of Migrant Workers or DMW).

Next, your employer or employer will be the one to apply for a work pass/permit on your behalf. This includes submitting an application through the Employment Pass (EP) eService portal of Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Once your work pass is issued and you arrive in Singapore, you will need to register at the Employment Pass Service Center to receive your Pass Card.

5. How can I learn more about working in Singapore?

You can learn more about how to become an OFW in Singapore by getting touch with the Singapore Embassy in Manila. Its contact details are provided below.

Contact Information: Singapore Embassy in Manila

For questions about traveling to and working in Singapore, you can contact the Singapore Embassy in Manila through the following details. Its office is located in Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

Address: 505 Rizal Dr, BGC, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila, Philippines
Telephone: +63 2 8856 9922

Google Map:

Video: How to Apply for Work in Singapore

If you are looking for a job in Singapore, check out this video shared by “Rhea & Ronald” channel on YouTube. The video features job portals and sites, as well as some tips on how people can land a job there. It is narrated by Ronald, who creates travel guides and travel updates, mainly for people in the Philippines and Singapore.

Additional Reminders

Aside from looking for a job and preparing your documents, it is also important to get ready for actually living and staying in Singapore. You see, even if it is located near the Philippines, the culture and environment are different. Here are some tips and information to consider before you move to Singapore:

Prepare for the weather. Generally speaking, the climate in Singapore is actually hotter than in the Philippines. It could also rain anytime, even if it is sunny outside. So be sure to bring an umbrella or a light jacket whenever you go out!

Practice your English. The national language of Singapore is Malay, although English is widely used, as well. As long as you can speak and understand English, you shouldn’t have any problems with communication. Interestingly, Singapore also has its own version of “Taglish” (Tagalog + English), and it’s called “Singlish” (Singaporean English), which is like a mix of British English and Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil languages.

Learn about other cultures. Singapore is basically a “melting pot” of different cultures. Singaporeans are comprised mainly of Chinese, Malay, and Indian ethnicities. So don’t be surprised if you encounter different languages, cuisines, and practices. It’s actually a great place to make new friends and discover different cultures!

Explore public transportation. Singapore has an extremely efficient and affordable public transport system, consisting mainly of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains and public buses. There are taxis and “Grab” services as well, although these can be quite costly. If you really want to save, you should become familiar with the MRT and bus routes. You should also be prepared to take long walks between stations!

Practice punctuality. “Filipino time” is unheard of in Singapore. Whether you’re going to school, to the office, or to a meeting — being on time is a must. Arriving late is frowned upon; classes, work, and meetings will start on time… with or without you!

Observe proper etiquette. Aside from being on time, you should observe proper etiquette: giving your seats to the elderly, staying on the right side of the escalator, and so on. Singaporeans are really self-disciplined when it comes to matters like these!

Follow the rules. Speaking of etiquette, you may have heard of the phrase, “Singapore is a fine city,” with emphasis on the word “fine.” There are rules for everyone to follow; otherwise, you might be asked to pay a fine, or worse — get a prison sentence!

Here are some prohibited acts that could cost you a hefty sum if you do them in public: smoking, throwing trash anywhere, public vandalism, same-sex relationships, cuddling in public, and so on.

Connect with fellow Pinoys. Don’t worry about homesickness, because there are more than 150,000 Filipinos who are currently based in Singapore! There are churches that hold masses in Filipino, Pinoy support groups, and other communities were you can connect with fellow kababayans. There are several stores that sell Pinoy products, too, so you don’t have to miss your favorite foods and snacks!


Above average salaries, efficient transportation, high quality healthcare, world-famous attractions — these are just some of the things that attract many OFWs to come and work in Singapore. If you are one of those who are seeking a job in this country, we hope that this article has been truly helpful!

Meanwhile, another neighboring country that many Filipinos like to visit is Taiwan. Check out this article to know more about how you can become an OFW in this country!