Table 4: Eligibility Schemes and Conditions for Work-Permit, S-Pass, and Employment-Pass Holders
Type of Pass Pass Eligibility Eligible for Dependent's pass?6 Eligible for Long-Term Social Visit pass?7 Subject to Dependency Ceiling?8 Subject to Foreign Levy?9
P1 P1 Foreigners whose basic monthly salary is more than S$8,000. YES YES NO NO
P2 Foreigners whose basic monthly salary is more than S$4,500 and up to S$8,000. YES YES NO NO
Q2 Q1 Foreigners whose basic monthly salary is at least more than S$3,000 and who possess recognized degrees, professional qualifications, or specialist skills. YES NO NO NO
S3 A category of work pass for mid-level skilled foreigners earning a minimum monthly salary of S$2,000 introduced in 2004. YES (if monthly basic salary is equal or more than S$2,800). NO YES (subject to a sub-quota of up to 25%) YES (ranges from S$160/US$123 to S$250/US$192 per month)
(Work Permit)
Work pass issued to a skills qualified5 or unqualified foreigner below 50 (non-Malaysian) or 58 (Malaysian) years of age, who earns a monthly basic salary of not more than S$2,000. NO NO YES (subject to quotas of up to 87.5%) YES (ranges from S$160/US$123 to S$470/US$362 per month)
Source: Adapted from materials from the Ministry of Manpower.
1P passes are for foreigners who hold acceptable degrees, professional qualifications, or specialist skills and are seeking professional, administrative, executive, or managerial jobs. Minimum eligible salary for the P2 pass was raised from S$4,000 to S$4,500 in January 2012. There was no change of eligibility criteria for P1-pass applicants.
2Q-pass holders earn smaller salaries than P-pass holders and are usually required to show evidence of "acceptable" degrees, professional qualifications, or specialist skills. Minimum eligible salary for this pass was raised from S$2,500 to S$2,800 in July 2011, and again from S$2,800 to S$3,000 in January 2012. Older applicants may need to command monthly salaries higher than S$3,000.
3S-pass holders are mid-level applicants on a points system that takes into account multiple criteria including salary, education qualifications, skills, job type, and work experience. Employers are required to take out medical insurance coverage of at least S$15,000 (US$11,450) for applicants. Minimum eligible salary for this pass was raised from S$1,800 to S$2,000 in July 2011. The dependency ceiling sub-quota will also be reduced to 20% from July 2012, while the levy rate will steadily rise to between S$300 ($231) and S$450 (US$346) by July 2013.
4R-pass holders' recruitment is subject to foreign-worker levies, dependency ceilings, and a security bond. A medical examination as well as medical insurance coverage (since January 2010) are additional requirements for their employment. Foreigners earning between S$1,800 and S$2,000 and who were previously eligible for the S pass now have to apply for this pass effetive from July 2011. The dependency ceiling quota will also be reduced for manufacturing and services employees from July 2012, while levy rates will generally rise for most sectors to up to S$750 (US$577) by July 2013.
5A skills-qualified work-permit holder is one who possesses at least an SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, or the Malaysian Certificate of Education) qualification or its equivalent, an NTC-3 (Practical) (National Technical Certificate Grade 3) trade certificate, also known as ITEs or Institute of Technical Education Skills Evaluation certificate (Level 1), or other recognized trade certifications that is relevant to his/her occupation.
6Dependent's passes are issued to the children (under age 21) and spouses of S-Pass and Employment-Pass holders, entitling them to come to live in Singapore with the pass holder.
7The Long-Term Social Visit pass accords long-term visit entitlements to parents, parents-in-law, step-children, spouses (common law), handicapped children, and unmarried daughters over age 21.
8The Dependency Ceiling is expressed as the maximum percentage of foreign workers a company is allowed to employ as part of its total workforce. It varies according to sector and type of permit.
9The Foreign Levy is a pricing mechanism to control the number of foreign workers in Singapore. It is paid monthly by the employer of the worker to the government.

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