Working And Getting A Job In Singapore As A Foreigner

Jobs in Singapore one of Asia’s four most developed economies, dubbed the “Asian Tigers,” the Singapore job market is thriving. Expats are drawn to the country because of its low unemployment rate and thriving digital innovation and e-commerce sectors, making it a vital global business hub. Despite long working days, the country ranked eighth in the world for job security and was a top 30 country for working abroad in the Expat Insider Survey 2023.

A Job In Singapore

It can be difficult to find your ideal career in Singapore’s competitive work market. Despite the fact that the economy is anticipated to expand as a result of the rising dissatisfaction in Hong Kong, foreigners need to be extremely talented in order to earn the average pay required for visas. Additionally, it might be challenging for foreign nationals who work for themselves to even be granted a visa.

This article  examines how to apply for social security as a foreigner and get a job in Singapore if you wish to move to the Lion City but are unsure of where to begin.

Jobs in Singapore For Foreigners

Singapore is a small country that welcomes foreign labor. This is especially true for highly skilled positions that can offer generous pay packages. However, with these fantastic opportunities comes a competitive job market. Expats must distinguish themselves from the crowd in order to land their dream job.

In order to ensure that locals are treated more equitably when recruiting foreign workers, it is crucial to keep in mind that Singapore has tightened its hiring standards for foreign workers during the past few years.  Since July 2018, positions with a fixed monthly salary of less than 15,000 SGD (10,800 USD) must be advertised for two weeks on a national job portal before being open to foreigners.

Foreigners who want to work in Singapore should be prepared to wait for the appropriate opportunity. Make sure to apply for many of job opportunities and show up to as many interviews as you can.

Jobs in Singapore

Singapore has a prosperous free-market economy and consistently ranks highly on lists of the world’s least corrupt countries. At 2.6%, unemployment is low. The port of the nation is among the busiest in the world, and exports are crucial to the economy.

The nation’s transportation, commercial, and financial services industries, as well as exports of electronics, chemicals, scientific equipment, pharmaceuticals, and processed food and beverages, all play a significant role in its economy.

Chinese, Malay, and Indian employees are among the highly diverse group of expats who make up Singapore’s labor force, which also includes workers from other countries.

Singapore continues to be an open and varied society that draws many despite the government’s efforts to lessen the country’s reliance on foreign labor, particularly in unskilled positions.

International companies with operations in Singapore include:

  • Accenture
  • AXA
  • BNP Paribas
  • Citibank
  • Deloitte
  • Deutsche Bank
  • EY
  • ExxonMobil
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • HSBC
  • IBM
  • InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • KPMG
  • Novartis
  • PwC
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Shell
  • Siemens.

Requirements and  Eligibility  for Working in Singapore

Expats seeking employment in Singapore must first obtain a work visa. This means that it is preferable if you have a job before relocating to the country. Use this Ministry of Manpower tool to see if you are eligible for an employment visa.

To obtain a work permit, you must provide proof of your qualifications.

Interview Advice for Jobs in Singapore

It is crucial that you thoroughly prepare for interviews as an expat living in Singapore. You must stand out among a bunch of people with excellent skills. Make sure you do your research on the organization and the position you are applying for. Adapt your responses to the job description while demonstrating your excitement.

It’s crucial to project an air of readiness for the position. Make sure to be on time for the interview and to bring a current copy of your resume as well as perhaps a notebook and pen.

Additional Important Considerations:

  • In Singapore, body language is very important.
  • Keep your eyes open and make frequent eye contact.
  • Avoid crossing your arms or placing your hands on your hips.
  • First impressions are crucial.
  • Choose your outfit carefully, with the goal of appearing smart and professional.
    Consider the long term.
  • Make it clear to the interviewer that you want to stay in Singapore and become a part of the culture.
  • Consider your responses carefully.
  • It will come across better if you take a few seconds to think before responding.
  • Even if you are nervous, remain polite.
  • You should make a good first impression by greeting everyone when you walk in and thanking the interviewer and shaking their hand at the end.

Benefits of Working In Singapore

  • Minimum wage and average salary

The average pay for foreign workers in Singapore is very high. This is partially due to the absence of a national minimum wage and the fact that salaries are mostly determined by supply and demand. The earnings of highly skilled expats are competitive and enable them to maintain a good quality of living.

  • Average Annual Salary

The average gross monthly salary in Singapore in 2019 was 4,560 SGD (3,300 USD), according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Singapore’s government body for workers. In the social security and benefits section below, you can learn more about the CPF.

The table below compares several jobs and their typical pay:

  • Accountant 75,000
  • Architect 53,600
  • Manager of Marketing 71,000 50,800
  • Nurse 38,000 27,200
  • Manager of Products 90 000 64 400
  • Engineer in software 57,000 40,800
  • High school teacher 60,000 43,000 4,22,000
  • Web Developer, 30,000
  • Designer of UX 50,000 36,000
  • Maternity leave

Expat working mothers in Singapore are eligible for Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) if they meet certain criteria.

The following are the eligibility requirements:

  • Giving birth to a Singapore citizen despite the fact that your husband is not a Singapore citizen
  • Being legally married to the father of the child;
  • Working for an employer or being self-employed for at least three months prior to the child’s birth.
Maternity Benefits in Singapore

Singaporean new mothers who qualify for GPML are also qualified for government-paid maternity benefits (GPMB). For your first two children, up to 20,000 SGD (14,500 USD) will be paid out, and for your third and any additional children, up to 40,000 SGD (29,000 USD).

Even if a mother does not meet the requirements for GPML but has worked for at least 90 days in the year before to the birth of their child, she may still be eligible for GPMB. Their child must already be a Singaporean citizen or will become one within a year of birth.

Up to 15 months following the birth of your kid, you may file claims. The webpage for Government-Paid Leave has details on how to figure out, support, and submit your claim.

  • Paternity Leave and Benefits in Singapore

If their child is a Singapore citizen, expat working fathers, including self-employed individuals, are entitled to two weeks of Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL). You are not entitled to paternity leave if your child is not a Singapore citizen. Payments, including CPF contributions, are capped at 2,500 SGD (1,800 USD) per week.

 Jobs in Singapore most in Demand

Singaporean businesses are beginning to invest in two seemingly opposing business areas: cybersecurity and marketing. This is common in the technology, media, and telecommunications industries, as well as in fintech and healthcare companies. The number of new businesses in the country is also rapidly increasing.

  • AI Specialist. Other titles: AI Developer, AI Engineer, AI Scientist.
  • Digital Marketer.
  • Robotics Engineer.
  • Full Stack Engineer.
  • Backend Developer.
  • Data Scientist.
  • DevOps Engineer.
  • Data Engineer.

Singaporean visas

All foreigners who want to work in Singapore must have a valid pass or work visa.

There are a variety of passes, which one you need depends on your circumstances and level of skill. Types of pass include:

  • Employment Pass – for foreign professionals, managers and executives. You’ll need to earn at least 4,500 Singaporean dollars (£2,469) a month and have acceptable qualifications.
  • EntrePass – for foreign entrepreneurs wanting to start a business in the country.
  • Personalised Employment Pass – for high earners.
  • Work Permit for Migrant Worker – for semi-skilled international workers. For example, those in the construction or manufacturing industries.
  • Work Permit for Foreign Domestic Workers
  • Work Permit for a Performing Artiste
  • S Pass – for mid-level skilled workers. You’ll need to earn at least 2,500 Singaporean dollars (£1,371) a month and meet the assessment criteria.
  • Training Employment Pass – for foreign professionals undergoing practical training.
  • Work Holiday Pass – for students and graduates aged between 18-25 who want to work and holiday in Singapore for six months.
  • Miscellaneous Work Pass – for those taking on a short-term work assignment of up to 60 days.


Self-employment in Singapore is becoming more popular.  Around  9% of the  resident  workforce  is considered self-employed, operating a business without any employees or conducting services such as driving a taxi under a licensed operator.

As an expat, being your own boss can be incredibly freeing. But if your work permit is dependent on finding employment, how do you navigate moving to Singapore to start your own business?

How to be Self-Employed in Singapore

If you perform work for others under a contract of service, you are considered self-employed in Singapore.

This broad definition covers  a number of  ways to conduct business. For instance, you can be a sole-proprietor or operate in a business partnership to be considered self-employed. You can also be an employee and self-employed at the same time if you work multiple jobs.

Information for Freelancers in Singapore

To legally freelance in Singapore, you must be a permanent resident. This is due to the fact that in order to work in the country, you must have an employment pass, S pass, or work permit.

None of the current work permits are suitable for applying to work as a freelancer in Singapore

Permanent residents can  become freelancers relatively easily, however. To operate as a freelancer, you should:

  • determine whether you need a business license to operate;
  • determine whether you wish to form a corporation (not required, but does provide security over billing and other matters);
  • network to establish contacts and yourself.
  • In general, you can work without registering your services with the government.

Top Self-Employed Jobs in Singapore

Some of the most popular self-employment roles in Singapore include:

  • private tutor.
  • Independent consultant.
  • virtual assistant.
  • Accountant.
  • Operator of  a home-based small-scale business.

Business culture

If there is one thing to remember about  Singapore business culture, it is to always be polite. Singapore is an incredibly diverse nation with many people from different cultural backgrounds.  Learning who you will be working with,  and  their cultural norms and taboos,  will help you forge good working relationships.

Singapore Workplace Culture

In Singaporean businesses, the Chinese concepts of guan xi () or networking and miàn zi () or “saving face” are very common.

  • Guan xi: is associated with the development of beneficial working relationships for your company. This is frequently demonstrated by slow-paced negotiations following a series of business dinners.
  • Miàn zi: means to keep your social standing by demonstrating dignity, honor, and respect. When meeting a new person, begin by shaking hands with a slight bow. If a woman wants to shake hands with a man, she will extend her hand first.
    Say “No” Politely
    These ideas also imply that people do not always say “no” directly. Misunderstandings can occur when foreigners fail to recognize that Singaporeans are only agreeing with you to be polite.

How to Apply for a Jobs in Singapore

The easiest strategy for a foreigner to find employment in Singapore is to apply for positions that match your skills profile and expertise due to the competitive nature of the job market and the requirement to have a valid work permit. Apply for employment that are tailored to your skill set if your objective is to relocate to Singapore as soon as possible as opposed to moving for a promotion or a particular position.

Below are the steps to Get and apply for a job in Singapore as a Foreigner:

  •  Network and Search

It is critical to build a network of contacts and set up alerts for the roles you want. This will also give you an idea of the prospects for your job and the potential for a career in the country.
Building a network of connections and putting up notifications for the positions you want is crucial. You will also gain insight into the possibilities for a career in the nation and the prospects for your employment by doing this.

  • Create a  Singapore Style CV

First impressions matter a lot in Singapore, especially since resume scanners would automatically screen out applications for jobs at bigger organizations. It’s crucial to update your CV or resume into a format that’s common in Singapore.

All Singaporean CVs should be tailored to the role and company, and should include key words and phrases from the job advertisement. If at all possible, keep them to one page in length.

More Advice:
Include your name, address, phone number, date of birth, nationality, gender, and language proficiency at the top of the page. Use short, clear sentences. Include a section for your “Hobbies and Interests,” two to three references, a career objective, and links to your portfolio and LinkedIn profile.
Since Singapore is a technologically advanced nation, it is preferable to leave off any expertise with computers or basic IT abilities from more than five years ago. This will demonstrate your interest in the position more so than merely the location.

  • Create a Customized Cover Letter

In Singapore, simply submitting a CV will not get you an interview. With each application, include a customized cover letter that connects your work experience to the key skills listed in the job advertisement. You should also explain why you are applying for the position. Rather than discussing the appeal of Singapore in general, this should concentrate on the company and the job itself.


The job market in Singapore, one of Asia’s four most developed countries and one of the “Asian Tigers,” is booming. According to the 2019 Expat Insider Survey, the nation was among the top 30 for working abroad and placed seventh in the world for job stability. This article looks at how to get employment in Singapore and apply for social security as a foreigner if you want to relocate to the Lion City. Despite the government’s efforts to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign labor, Singapore continues to be an open and diverse culture that attracts many. Singapore’s labor force is made up of an extremely diversified population of foreigners, including Chinese, Malay, and Indian workers.

In order to work in Singapore, foreign nationals must first have a work visa. Jobs in Singapore  the simplest way for a foreigner to find a job in Singapore is to apply for a position that matches your skill set and expertise. Because of the competitive nature of the job market as well as the requirement of a valid work permit, applying for a job there is an appealing option. If your goal is to relocate to Singapore as soon as possible rather than for a promotion or a specific position, apply for jobs that are tailored to your skill set. The following are the steps to obtaining and applying for a job in Singapore as a foreigner: Networking and Search It is critical to establish a network of contacts and set up alerts for the roles you desire.

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