Work Permit: hiring an existing process worker (2024)

If you are in the process sector, you can hire existing workers, without them having to leave Singapore first. Find out the requirements and how to apply.

At a glance

Who are eligible Existing process workers from non-traditional sources (NTS), North Asian sources (NAS), or People’s Republic of China (PRC).
When you can apply

With the existing employer’s agreement:

If the Work Permit has a validity of 14 days or more, you can apply using WP Online.

If the worker's Work Permit is expiring in less than 14 days, you first need to apply for pre-approval from MOM. You will need the existing employer to sign the consent form.


During 40-21 day window before the Work Permit expiry.

Why hire an existing worker

You may consider hiring workers who are already in Singapore to:

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

Transferring existing workers with current employer's agreement

If the current employer agrees, you can apply for existing workers while their Work Permits are valid.Their Work Permit must have a remaining validity of at least 21 days.

If you had applied for man-year entitlement (MYE) or in-principle support (IPS) with project contracts that were awarded or had the tender called on or before 18 February 2022, you may use the awarded MYE quotas to hire an existing NTS worker at a lower levy rate till 31 December 2024 or project completion date (whichever is earlier). To do so, you will need a valid prior approval (PA) or IPS.

For all other companies hiring existing workers from PRC and NAS sources, PA is not required.

As an existing employer, what could I do to keep my workers

Existing employers are given priority to renew your workers’ Work Permits.

If you want to keep your workers, you should renew their Work Permits early, upon receiving the renewal notice.

When your workers’ Work Permits arewithin 40 to 21 days from expiry, another employer can apply for new Work Permits for them without your consent.

We will SMS or email your WP Online administrator if another employer submits an application for your worker. You will need to log in to WP Online to agree or reject the transfer.

If the new employer’s application is approved:

  • You can continue to employ the worker, as long as the existing Work Permit is valid. This ensures that you do not lose out on the MYE or IPS.
  • You will remain responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the workers until the new Work Permit is issued under the new employer.
  • You are responsible for settling any outstanding salary while the worker was under your employment.

How to apply for a transfer worker with existing employer's consent

To apply for a new Work Permit for the transfer:

  1. Follow the general Work Permit application process.
  2. An SMS or email will be sent to the existing employer. The existing employer need to log in to WP Online to agree or reject the transfer, within 7 working days. If consent is not given by the existing employer, the Work Permit application submitted will be automatically rejected.
  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 when the current permit has been cancelled or expires.Otherwise, an overstaying fine will be imposed.

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 approvalwill 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:
    • Completed application form
    • Worker’s passport
    • Completed security bond form
    • Completed full medical examination form

We will deliver the new Work Permit card within 5 working days after the documents have been verified.


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

Roles and responsibilities

Please see the table below to find out the current and new employers’ responsibilities during the transfer of a migrant worker within their own business sector:

Work Permit status Who is responsible for worker's upkeep, maintenance and repatriation What you need to do next
Current employer New employer Current employer New employer Current employer New employer
Live Approved Discuss and agree with new employer on the date to get the new Work Permit issued.

Get the pass issued before the IPA expires or earlier if the current employer agrees.

If you are hiring the worker without the current employer’s consent, get the new Work Permit issued within 7 days after the current one expires.
Live IPA expired, withdrawn or cancelled You may renew the Work Permit (if eligible), or send the worker home. No further action needed.
Expired/Cancelled Approved No action needed. Get the Work Permit issued now to avoid any overstaying fine.Submit a requestif you need more time to get the pass issued.
Expired IPA withdrawn or cancelledbeforethe worker’s Work Permit expires. You may renew the Work Permit (if eligible), or send the worker home.
No action needed.
Expired IPA withdrawn or cancelledafterthe worker’s Work Permit expires. No action needed. You need to arrange to send the worker home.

Work Permit: hiring an existing process worker (2024)


Can you hire someone who is not a US citizen? ›

The non-citizen may be hired only if permitted by the appropriations act and the immigration law.

How do I transfer my WP to another company? ›

To apply for a new Work Permit for the transfer:
  1. Follow the general Work Permit application process.
  2. An SMS or email will be sent to the existing employer. The existing employer need to log in to WP Online to agree or reject the transfer, within 7 working days. ...
  3. Upon approval, you need to get the Work Permit issued.

Can I hire someone with a work visa? ›

Employers sometimes need to hire foreign labor when there is a shortage of available U.S. workers to fill certain jobs. Under certain conditions, U.S. immigration law may allow a U.S. employer to file a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with USCIS on behalf of a prospective foreign national employee.

How can an employer sponsor a foreign worker in the US? ›

First, employers must seek certification through the U.S. Department of Labor. Below you will find a link to documents and forms. Once the application is certified/approved, the employer must petition the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services for a visa.

Can I hire someone with an ITIN number? ›

Do not accept an ITIN in place of an SSN for employee identification or for work. An ITIN is only available to resident and nonresident aliens who are not eligible for U.S. employment and need identification for other tax purposes.

Can I hire an employee with an EAD? ›

Employers may accept a combined EAD with Advance Parole endorsem*nt as a List A document for completion of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

What happens if you employ someone without a work visa? ›

Civil fines and Criminal Prosecution:

Employers are given a ten-day window to cure technical and procedural I-9 violations and a five-year statute of limitations period applies to substantive I-9 errors. Fines for knowingly hiring undocumented workers can be up to $11,000 for each worker.

How do I hire a foreign worker in the US? ›

  1. Apply for certification from the United States Department of Labor.
  2. Interview prospective foreign workers.
  3. Apply for a work visa from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  4. Verify the tax laws applicable to your company and the foreign worker.

Can I sponsor someone on work permit? ›

If you are a temporary resident, that is, if you are visiting, studying or working in Canada on a visa or permit, you cannot sponsor your spouse or partner to come to Canada. Only permanent residents and Canadian citizens are eligible to apply under Canada's sponsorship programs.

How much does it cost an employer to sponsor a work visa USA? ›

Companies can expect to pay between $2,000 and $5,000 per petition, depending on the case's complexity. Filing Fees: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) charges filing fees for nonimmigrant visa petitions.

Can an LLC sponsor a work visa? ›

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the H-1B employer is the entity that files the Labor Condition Application (LCA) and the H-1B petition on behalf of the worker. For an LLC owner seeking to sponsor themselves for an H-1B visa, they must prove that their LLC, not the owner personally, is the employer.

Can a US company hire a foreign employee remotely? ›

Can US Companies Hire Remote Workers From a Foreign Country? The answer is yes—US companies can hire international workers legally. However, in most cases, you cannot hire a remote team as direct employees unless you have a legal entity in the workers' country of residence.

Can you get a job in the U.S. if you are not a citizen? ›

Foreign nationals who have permanent resident status in the United States can be employed under the same conditions as United States citizens. All new employees, regardless of citizenship, are required to provide at the time of hiring appropriate documentation establishing identity and employment eligibility.

Can I hire a non US citizen as a contractor? ›

If your company is based in the United States, you will issue a Form W-8BEN for the contractor to complete. This tax form classifies their status as a foreign worker and a non-U.S. citizen, confirms that all work will take place in their country of residence, and determines proper tax reporting and withholdings.

Are non citizens allowed to work for any employer? ›

If you are a noncitizen and do not have work authorization, employers are not legally allowed hire you.

Can you ask a potential employee if they are a US citizen? ›

Most employers should not ask whether or not a job applicant is a United States citizen before making an offer of employment.

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