If you are seeking employment in Singapore as a foreign domestic worker, you need a migrant domestic worker permit. This permit allows you to work for a specific employer and ensures that you are protected under Singapore’s labor laws. Applying for this permit is simple if you meet the requirements and have all the necessary documents.
In this guide, we will outline what you need to apply for a migrant domestic worker permit in Singapore. Let’s get started.
- Eligibility and Requirements
- Employer Requirements
- Security Bond Requirements for MDWs
- Insurance Requirements for MDWs
- Pre-Employment Medical Exam for MDWs
- Step-by-Step Application Guide for a Migrant Domestic Worker Permit in Singapore
The migrant domestic worker permit in Singapore is for foreigners who are employed as domestic helpers in Singapore. Both employers and helpers must meet the eligibility criteria.
The employer, sponsor, or authorized employment agent handles the work permit application. There is no minimum required salary for this permit, and it can be valid for up to two years, depending on the validity of the security bond.
The permit is renewable, and employers must pay a monthly tax.
Employers must also provide medical and personal accident insurance for their domestic workers.
Relevant legislation for this permit includes the Conditions of Work Pass and the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
There are various eServices and forms available online for helpers to access.
As an OFW, knowing about the migrant domestic worker permit application in Singapore is crucial for work.
A valid work permit ensures that you are legally allowed to work in Singapore and are protected under the country’s labor laws.
Without a work permit, you may face legal consequences and risk losing your job and income.
Knowing how to apply for the permit will help you understand the following: eligibility requirements, necessary documents, fees, and processing time.
This information can help you avoid scams, which are common in the domestic helper industry.
Knowing the application process and requirements enables you to know how to protect your rights and ensure that you are being fairly compensated and treated by your employer.
Eligibility and Requirements
To be eligible for a Work Permit, MDWs must meet the following criteria:
- Be between the ages of 23 to below 50 years old during the Work Permit application
- Be from an approved source country or region, including:
- Hong Kong,
- South Korea,
- Sri Lanka,
- Taiwan, and
- Have a minimum of 8 years of formal education with a recognized certificate
- Work at employers’ NRIC-registered addresses
- Attend the Settling-in Programme (SIP) if they are first-time helpers
- Not be related to their employers
- Not be in Singapore during the Work Permit application. Employers can only bring helpers into Singapore after they have received an IPA letter and bought a $5,000 security bond.
Additionally, first-time helpers who have never worked in Singapore before must meet specific criteria. This includes attending the Settling-in Programme (SIP) and not having a previous employment record as a helper with the Ministry of Manpower’s Work Pass Division.
By knowing these eligibility requirements, MDWs can determine if they are qualified to obtain a Work Permit in Singapore and ensure a smoother application process.
Of course, the Singapore government also regulates who can hire foreign domestic helpers in the country. Before hiring a migrant domestic worker (MDW), employers in Singapore must meet certain eligibility criteria.
To be eligible, employers must be:
- 21 years old or above,
- not an undischarged bankrupt, and
- have the mental capacity to fully understand and discharge their responsibility as an employer.
Employers’ caregiving needs and financial ability to hire, maintain and upkeep the helper in an acceptable accommodation will also be considered.
If you are a first-time employer of a helper, you must attend an Employer Orientation Programme (EOP) before you can apply for a Work Permit.
Additionally, employers should not have any medical conditions that would impair their ability to exercise supervision and control over the well-being of the helper, such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and schizophrenia.
Security Bond Requirements for MDWs
- Hiring a migrant domestic worker (MDW) in Singapore requires employers to purchase a $5,000 security bond for each, except for Malaysian helpers.
- The bond is a guarantee that employers will pay the government if they or their helper violate any Work Permit conditions or laws.
- The bond can be purchased at any bank or insurance company and must be in effect before the helper arrives in Singapore.
- Employers must also provide medical and personal accident insurance for their helper.
The bond will be discharged if employers meet all the conditions, including cancelling the Work Permit and ensuring that the helper returns home, and the employer did not violate any bond conditions.
However, the bond may be forfeited if you or your helper violate any Work Permit or security bond conditions or fail to pay your helper’s salary on time.
Insurance Requirements for MDWs
Migrant domestic workers (MDWs) applying for work in Singapore should know the insurance requirements to fulfill the medical obligations of employers towards them.
Medical insurance: As per the latest requirements, you need to buy medical insurance with a coverage of at least $15,000 per year for inpatient care and day surgery during your helper’s stay in Singapore. You should engage your insurer early to ensure that their product meets the MOM’s new requirements. Otherwise, you may need to look for another insurer.
Personal accident insurance: The personal accident insurance that you purchase for your helper must have a sum assured of at least $60,000 per year. It should cover sudden, unforeseen, and unexpected incidents resulting in permanent disability or death. There should be no extra exclusion clauses that are not in the Employment of Foreign Manpower Regulations.
It is important to note that employers cannot pass on the cost of purchasing insurance to the helper. The insurance is the responsibility of the employer, and it is meant to protect the helper and her family by providing compensation in case of any unfortunate incident.
Pre-Employment Medical Exam for MDWs
Applying as a migrant domestic worker (MDW) in Singapore requires you to undergo a medical examination by a Singapore-registered doctor within 2 weeks from your arrival in Singapore. This is a mandatory requirement before you can get your Work Permit issued.
- Find out the medical examination requirements: Before sending your MDW for a medical examination, you should find out the medical examination requirements. The examination screens the helper for 4 types of infectious diseases (tuberculosis, HIV, syphilis and malaria) and checks if she is fit to work. You can send her for more tests if you have specific concerns about her health.
- Schedule the medical examination: Once you know the requirements, you should schedule the medical examination for your MDW within 2 weeks from her arrival in Singapore. Make sure she brings along the medical examination form for the tests.
- Pass the medical examination: If your MDW passes the medical examination, you can get her Work Permit issued. Otherwise, she will have to be sent home.
- Vaccination records: If your MDW is vaccinated overseas, she needs to visit a local clinic to get her overseas vaccination records updated in the National Immunisation Registry (NIR). You can arrange for her to do this when she is taking her pre-employment medical examination. However, please call the clinic first to check if it offers this service.
- Accessing medical examination results: If you want to know your MDW’s medical examination results, you can ask the doctor for a copy of the report.
- Six-monthly medical examination: If you wish to transfer your MDW, you still need to send her for the six-monthly medical examination if it is due.
Six-Monthly Medical Examination (6ME) for MDWs
As a migrant domestic worker (MDW) in Singapore, you are required to undergo a medical screening every six months to check for pregnancy and infectious diseases such as syphilis, HIV, and tuberculosis.
- The 6ME test results must be certified by a Singapore-registered doctor.
- Your employer must pay for the 6ME and any medical expenses arising from it.
- Tests conducted during 6ME include pregnancy and VDRL (every 6 months), HIV (every 2 years), TB (once upon 2 years of stay in Singapore), and checks on body mass index (BMI) and visible signs of abuse.
- All 6ME results must be submitted to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), regardless of the tests you need to take.
- Only clinics can submit 6ME results. Your employer can use the FDW eService to check if clinics have submitted your results and view the results.
- 6MEs must be conducted in clinics. Your employer or their representatives should not be present during the examination.
When to go for 6ME:
- You will receive a notification letter and 6ME form by post when your 6ME is due.
- You must complete your 6ME by the due date.
- You may log in to the FDW eService portal to check your last 6ME schedule. Doing this will let you know when to return for the next one and also print the 6ME form.
- If you are over 50 years, you are not required to undergo the 6ME. You only need to undergo a medical examination upon renewal of your work permit.
- If you’re on overseas leave, you may request to postpone the appointment at a latter time until you return.
- If your contract is about to expire soon, you don’t need to undergo the 6ME anymore.
- You may need to request a waiver from your employer if they intend to keep you for more than 1 month from your 6ME due date.
- If you do not pass the 6ME, your Work Permit will be cancelled and you will be sent home immediately.
Step-by-Step Application Guide for a Migrant Domestic Worker Permit in Singapore
After you have hired a foreign domestic helper in Singapore, you need to obtain a work permit for them within 2 weeks of their arrival, follow these steps:
Step 1: Log in to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website using your SingPass or CorpPass account to make the request for the Work Permit. If you do not have an account, you can create one online.
Step 2: Provide a home or office address where the Work Permit card will be delivered. You can also choose to collect it in person at the MOM Services Centre.
Step 3: Nominate up to three authorized recipients to receive the Work Permit card on your behalf. For each recipient, you will need to provide their NRIC, FIN or passport number, mobile numbers and email address.
Step 4: Pay the fee of $35 for each Work Permit issued. Payment can be made by VISA, Master Card, or eNets.
Step 5: Once the Work Permit is issued, print out the Temporary Work Permit. This document is valid for one month from the date of issue and allows your helper to work, stay, and travel in and out of Singapore while waiting for the Work Permit card.
Step 6: During issuance, you can also apply for your helper to get a POSB account to receive their salary and a free Centre for Domestic Employees membership.
Step 7: Note that the Temporary Work Permit will state if your helper needs to register their fingerprints and photo at the MOM Services Centre.
Remember to request to extend the validity of the Temporary Work Permit if you have a change of travel plans. And always ensure that your helper carries the valid work permit with them at all times.
Obtaining a migrant domestic worker permit is crucial if you are seeking employment as a domestic helper in Singapore. The permit not only allows you to legally work for a specific employer but also ensures that you are protected under Singapore’s labor laws. By following the requirements and gathering all the necessary documents, the application process can be straightforward and hassle-free. With this guide, you can confidently apply for a migrant domestic worker permit in Singapore and start your employment journey.