Expat Working in Singapore

Singapore is a thriving metropolis and a popular destination for expats from all over the world. The city-state offers a high standard of living, a diverse range of job opportunities, and a relatively easy visa process. If you’re thinking about moving to Singapore to work, there are a few things you need to know.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of expat working in Singapore.

Why Singapore is a Popular Destination for Expats

There are many reasons why Singapore is a popular destination for expats. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • High standard of living: Singapore has a high standard of living, with excellent healthcare, education, and infrastructure.
  • Diverse range of job opportunities: Singapore is a global financial and business hub, with a diverse range of job opportunities in a variety of industries.
  • Relatively easy visa process: The visa process for expats in Singapore is relatively easy, compared to other countries in the region.
  • Safe and clean city: Singapore is a safe and clean city, with a low crime rate.
  • Friendly people: Singaporeans are generally friendly and welcoming to expats.

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How to Get a Job in Singapore as an Aussie Expat

Most Aussie expats move to Singapore with a job already in hand. This approach has several advantages, the primary one being the assurance of a stable income source in a foreign land. Companies that hire foreigners typically handle the required paperwork, which can simplify the visa application process.

However, it’s worth noting that moving with a pre-arranged job isn’t the only pathway. You may find yourself in a situation where you’ve relocated and are now hunting for a job or perhaps considering switching jobs. This situation brings its own set of challenges but also opportunities. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Understanding the Job Market

To increase your chances of landing a job, get familiar with Singapore’s job market. Sectors such as IT, finance, digital marketing, healthcare, and education consistently have high demand for skilled professionals.


Networking is key in Singapore, much like anywhere else. Attend events, join professional organisations, and connect with fellow expats. Online platforms like LinkedIn can be highly effective in building your professional network.

Working with Recruitment Agencies

Specialist recruitment agencies can be incredibly helpful. They understand the local market, have established relationships with companies, and can guide you through the process.

Crafting a Strong CV

Employers often spend only a few seconds scanning a CV, so make sure yours stands out. Highlight your skills, experiences, and achievements. If you’re applying for jobs in specific industries, tailor your CV accordingly.

Preparing for Interviews

Singaporean companies often conduct a series of interviews before hiring, which may include phone, video, and in-person rounds. Prepare thoroughly for these interviews, researching the company’s culture and expected etiquette.

The Role of Work Visas

To work in Singapore, you’ll need an Employment Pass, S Pass, or Work Permit, depending on your occupation, salary, and qualifications. Your employer usually applies on your behalf, but it’s important to understand the requirements and processes associated with each pass type.

Employment Pass

For professionals, managers, executives, and those with specialist skills. Applicants need to earn at least SGD $4,500 per month, although higher salaries apply for older and more experienced applicants.

S Pass

For mid-skilled technical staff who earn at least SGD $2,500 per month. The application also considers the applicant’s qualifications, skills, and job type.

Work Permit

For semi-skilled foreign workers in sectors like construction, manufacturing, marine shipyard, process or services sector.

Navigating the Job Switch in Singapore

For those who move to Singapore with a job but later decide to switch, the process can be complex yet manageable. You will need to secure a new job before leaving your current one, as your work visa is tied to your employer. 

Once you’ve received a new job offer, your new employer will need to apply for a new work visa on your behalf. Be aware that there can be a period of transition when switching jobs, where you may need to revert to a tourist visa while waiting for the new work visa to be processed.

How to be Self-Employed in Singapore

Here are the steps on how to be self-employed in Singapore as an Aussie expat:

  • Check eligibility: You must have a valid work visa to be self-employed in Singapore. You may also be restricted from operating certain types of businesses.
  • Choose business structure: There are two main business structures for self-employed individuals in Singapore: sole proprietorship and partnership. A sole proprietorship is a business owned and operated by a single individual. A partnership is a business owned and operated by two or more individuals.
  • Register with ACRA: All businesses in Singapore must be registered with ACRA. The registration process is relatively simple and can be completed online.
  • Obtain business licence (if applicable): Depending on the type of business you operate, you may need to obtain a business licence from the relevant government authority.
  • Open business bank account: You will need to open a business bank account in order to receive payments from your clients. There are several different banks in Singapore that offer business banking accounts.
  • Get insurance: As a self-employed individual, you are responsible for obtaining your own insurance coverage. This may include liability insurance, health insurance, and business interruption insurance.
  • Pay taxes: Self-employed individuals in Singapore are required to pay income tax. The amount of tax you owe will depend on your income and business expenses.

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Odin Mortgage is a mortgage broker that specialises in helping Aussie expats and foreign nationals invest in Australian property. 

We can help you invest in property in any state in Australia. We have a team of experienced mortgage brokers who can help you understand the Australian property market and find the right property for your investment needs.

Contact us today!

Get a free Australian mortgage assessment today.

Apply online to get a free recommendation with real rates and repayments.

Frequently asked questions

A good expat salary in Singapore is one that allows you to comfortably afford your living expenses and save for the future. The median monthly gross income for employed residents in Singapore was \$4,563 in 2022.

You may want to consider jobs in the financial services, technology, oil and gas, or healthcare industries for a good salary.

Singapore is generally considered to be a good place for foreigners to work. The city-state has a strong economy, a low crime rate, and a relatively stable political environment. The government of Singapore offers a number of visa and work permit options for foreigners.

The cost of living in Singapore is also relatively high, but salaries are also typically higher than in other countries in the region.

Singapore is generally considered to be a good place for expats. The city-state is clean, safe, and well-organised. It has a modern infrastructure and a variety of amenities.

Singapore is also a relatively affordable city, especially when compared to other major cities in Asia.

The government of Singapore offers a number of support services for expats.

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