The Ministry of Manpower announced on October 3, 2011, that charges will be increased for the application and issuing of Work Permits. The changes will effect from December 1, 2011.
The new charges will be
- $20 to apply for a Work Permit, and
- $20 for the issuing of a Work Permit
Currently, the fee for application is $10, and the $20 fee for issuing or renewing a Work Permit, if done online, is waived altogether.
In its press release, the ministry said that the changes were a move towards “full cost recovery” and “in line with the Government’s financial principle that the full cost of providing a public service should be borne by users of the service rather than taxpayers in general.”
Charges for Employment Passes, S-Passes and other permits are also being raised.
While the current charge for renewing a Work Permit online is waived, and the new charge only $20, TWC2 has received frequent reports that employers deduct $1,500 to $2,000 from employees’ salaries as “administrative cost” for renewing their work permits. When brought to the ministry’s attention via workers’ complaints, the ministry considers such deductions to be illegal. However, the practice is still widespread. Workers, in fear of losing their jobs altogether, often do not contest such deductions.