Letter of Consent

A Letter of Consent (LOC) is an authorization certificate issued by Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) that allows eligible LTVP or LTVP+ holders and business owners to work for a Singapore company. This article provides an overview of the requirements and procedure to obtain an LOC in Singapore.

Before May 1, 2021, Dependant Pass holders could work in Singapore with the Letter of Consent (LOC). From May 1, 2021, Dependant Pass holders who wish to be employed need to apply for an applicable work pass, such as Employment Pass, S Pass, or Work Permit, instead of the LOC. However DP holders who wish to operate a business in Singapore can still apply for the LOC. Existing Dependant Pass LOC holders can continue working until expiry of their LOC.

Key facts about Letter of Consent

  • An application for LOC must be applied by the employer or appointed service provider. The applicant can not apply for LOC on his own.
  • LOC is available only to eligible holders of the LTVP, LTVP+ issued by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA), who have a job offer from a Singapore employer, as well as to the Dependant Pass holders who are business owners.
  • The holders of LTVP issued by the Ministry of Manpower, need to apply for an Employment Pass, S Pass, or Work Permit to work in Singapore.
  • Dependents of S Pass holders are not eligible to apply for a LOC. Instead, they should apply for a Work Permit, S Pass, or Employment Pass.
  • The duration of the LOC depends on the expiry date of the associated LTVP, LTVP+, or Dependant Pass and the information that was indicated by the employer in the LOC application. Besides, the LOC is valid only as long as the holder is employed by the company.
  • There is no foreign worker levy or quota for the LOC applications.
  • An LOC can be renewed when the LTVP ,LTVP+, or Dependant Pass is renewed.
  • There is no minimum salary requirement to obtain an LOC.

Eligibility requirements for a Letter of Consent

LTVP or LTVP+ holders

To be eligible for a LOC, the applicant must fall into one of the following categories:

  • An LTVP or LTVP+ holder who is married to a Singaporean or Permanent Resident.
  • An unmarried child (under 21 years old) of a Singaporean or Permanent Resident, who holds an LTVP.

DP holders who are business owners

In order for the DP holder to work for the company while being a business owner, he or she needs to apply for the LOC. who wish to operate a business in Singapore can apply for the LOC as well.

To be eligible, an applicant should belong to one of the following types of business owners:

  • A company director with at least 30% shareholding in that company;
  • The sole proprietor of an ACRA-registered business;
  • A partner of an ACRA-registered business.

Please note that in order to obtain an LOC, the DP, LTVP, or LTVP+ has to be valid for at least 3 months. In the case of the LTVP and LTVP+ the candidate must have a job offer from a Singapore employer as well.

Factors that can affect LOC application outcome

Though there are no specific qualifying criteria for the applicants, not all LOC applications are approved. Every application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and the result is entirely on the discretion of the Ministry of Manpower.

Among the factors that affect the success of the application are the following:

  • Applicant’s age, salary, citizenship, qualification, work experience, and skills. For example, if the applicant has a good university degree, rich professional background, specialised skills or high salary, it may significantly enhance his chances of success.
  • Applicant’s job profile.
  • Availability of local candidates and economic viability of the company in Singapore. If the applicant has a job with a well-known company or has a job in a field where local candidates are not easily available, that increases the chances of a successful outcome.

Required documents

The LOC application should be submitted by the employing company or its appointed corporate service provider through the EP Online portal.

Before submitting the LOC application, employers must get a written consent from the candidate. The document can be in any format as long as it shows the candidate's agreement to be employed.

For certain professions, it is necessary to submit additional documents when applying for a Letter of Consent. These professions include lawyers, employees in food establishments, regional representatives, and healthcare professionals. For more information on the required documents for selected professions, please visit the MOM website.

Note that for non-English documents, it is necessary to submit the original document and the English translation. The translation should be performed by a translation service provider.

Application timeline

Once submitted, the application processing timeline is 1-3 weeks. The status of the LOC application can be checked via EP Online, and once approved, you can print an official document directly from the website.

Renewing or replacing a Letter of Consent

While renewing the LOC, you should know the following:

  • The DP, LTVP or LTVP+ must be valid for at least 3 months before submitting an application for the LOC renewal. In case the DP, LTVP, or LTVP+ expires in less than 3 months, you need to go to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) to renew the pass.
  • The LOC must be renewed up to 6 months before the LOC expires.
  • In case of the DP holder who is the business owner, in order to be eligible for a renewal of the LOC, he or she should hire at least one Singaporean or Permanent Resident who earns at least the prevailing Local Qualifying Salary and receives CPF contributions for at least 3 months.

If the Letter of Consent is lost, you should report the loss and request for a replacement.

Canceling a Letter of Consent

Since the DP, LTVP, or LTVP+ and consequently the LOC are tied to the main work pass, both the DP, LTVP, LTVP+ and the LOC are automatically cancelled with the cancellation of the relevant work pass.

The LOC shall be cancelled within 1 week after the LOC holder's last day of notice. The cancellation should be done by an employer or an appointed Employment Agent (EA) and it has an immediate effect, unless you are submitting an advance request.

Before cancelling, it is necessary to:

  • Seek tax clearance from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).
  • Settle all outstanding employment issues.

Pre-Approved Letter of Consent (PLOC)

The Pre-Approved Letter of Consent (PLOC) allows eligible ICA-issued LTVP or LTVP+ holders to secure and switch jobs more easily. PLOC is granted without having secured employment. In addition, PLOC holders do not need to re-apply for a new one when they change employers.

The PLOC scheme is available to LTVP or LTVP+ holders who are spouses or unmarried children (under 21 years old) of Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents. The validity of the PLOC will follow the applicant’s LTVP or LTVP+, and will no longer be valid once the LTVP or LTVP+ expires or is cancelled.

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