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The Lowdown on Visa & Immigration in Singapore

By Rohini Makwana

Posted: 18th August 2014 14:36

Student Visas

Everyone who wants to study in Singapore is required to apply for a Student's Pass if he/she has been accepted by an educational institution to pursue full-time studies, unless he/she is a:

  • Dependent’s Pass holder studying in a Government/ Government-Aided/ Independent school/ Foreign System School/ Kindergarten registered with MOE or Childcare centre licensed by MSF;
  • Immigration Exemption Order holder; or
  • Visitor who has been granted a short term Visit Pass at the Singapore Checkpoint and wish to attend a short course that can be completed within the validity of the initial Visit Pass granted to him/her at the Singapore Checkpoint or 30 days, whichever is shorter.  The course must:
      • be a complete module and stand-alone module of its own.  Courses with multiple programme modules are excluded from this Student's Pass exemption scheme; and
      • not involve hands-on practical occupational training and/or industrial attachment which have interaction with walk-in customers or be conducted at premises that are also places of business, e.g. hair salons and beauty salons. 

Depending on the type of educational institution that a foreigner is intending to study at, the requirements and procedures for applying for a Student's Pass will differ.

Working Holiday Visas

The Work Holiday Programme is applicable to:

  • University undergraduates and graduates aged 18 to 25 of all nationalities studying in universities in the eight countries/territories: Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States. 

The universities include those ranked among the top 200 for overall academic performance in any of the following international rankings:

Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings

Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities

Times Higher Education World University Rankings

For undergraduates: they must be resident and full-time students of the university for at least three months prior to the submission of the WHP application.

For graduates: they are required to be former resident and full-time students of the university. 

The Work Holiday Programme has a capacity for 2,000 applicants at any one point in time and applicants must not hold a Work Holiday Pass within 12 months from the submission of the application.  Successful applicants who have obtained the Work Holiday Pass are allowed to live and work in Singapore for up to six months and are not restricted to only specific types of work.  However, existing licensing, registration or accreditation requirements (e.g. medicine or law) will apply.  For more information on occupations that require prior approval, please click here.

These documents and information required for the Work Holiday Passare:

  • A letter from the awarding institution (i.e.  University/College) stating the applicant’s matriculation, name, nationality, gender and date of birth
  • A copy of the degree certificate or transcripts (for graduates only)
  • A copy of the student card issued by the awarding institution (for undergraduates only)
  • A copy of the applicant’s passport or travel document
  • A copy of the Student Visa (for international students only).


Applicants who hold non-English degree certificates, transcripts or letters from the University/College are required to submit a copy of the original papers and the official English translation certified by the University/College.

Information courtesy of Visa First

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