3 Ways to Combine Work and Study in Singapore As a Foreigner

One way to finance your stay and study in Singapore is by combining study with work. As a foreigner, you need to obtain permission to be allowed to work in Singapore. Here are 3 ways to combine work and study in Singapore.

Option 1: Singapore’s work holiday program

If your main interest is to study short-term, the work holiday program offers the most flexibility. The program allows you to apply for a 6-month pass with which you can freely apply for jobs in Singapore. There is no minimum earning requirement, so you can opt to work full- or part-time, and combine your work with study or sightseeing.

This program is administered by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower. You can apply for the work holiday program if you are:

  • A full-time registered student in an approved institution, and resident in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, the UK or UK, and between 17 and 30 years old

Option 2: Work as a Singapore-registered student

If you do not qualify for the work holiday program, or want to stay in Singapore for longer than 6 months, you can opt to register as a full-time student in an approved Singapore learning institutes. You will be allowed to work part-time during term time and full-time during school holidays.

Beware that the list of exempted institutions currently only consists of Singapore’s top tier Universities. Make sure to verify whether you are allowed to work before you enroll in a course – the requirements do change from time to time. Generally only graduating students are allowed to work.

Option 3: Find a job in Singapore and let your company apply for you

If you are not planning to study full-time, there is one option: find full-time employment in Singapore. Singaporean companies can apply for permission to employ foreigners. Employment passes are subject to approval by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), who will look at your credentials. The most important requirement is the salary that you are going to earn. At the time of writing, the minimum salary to qualify for an S-Pass (the lowest tier) is S$ 1800 per month.

You will hear many discouraging comments about applying for a job in Singapore as a foreigner, but I know numerous people who have done it successfully, including myself.

Like in any country, you do have a certain disadvantage as a foreigner. If a company has several applicants for a job, and all except you are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents, why do you think they will hire you? They will only do so if you are clearly better qualified than the local applicants. So this route is relatively easier to follow if you already have a few years of work experience, good qualifications and a clear profile.

Employment passes are typically issued for 2 years and they are tied to one employer, and once you are issued a pass, you can live in Singapore long term. And take up whatever course you would like.

Conclusion

If you plan to combine work and study in Singapore, there are several options to do so:

  1. The working holiday program
  2. Enroll as a student at a qualified institution and work part-time
  3. Find a job in Singapore and study part-time
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