Plan Your Career

Job Prospects After Studying in Singapore

Universities in Singapore are known all over the world for being an effective mix between the U.S and the U.K education systems. A Bachelors degree from a Singaporean university can massively increase your chances of getting better jobs.

Where you can work after you graduate will depend on whether you accepted the Singapore Government’s ‘Tuition Grant Scheme’ or not. In case you did, then you will have to work for a Singapore based company for a minimum period of 3 years after graduation. Generally, you will have to change your ‘Student Pass’ status as soon as you graduate to avoid legal complications.

Students who did not accept the tuition grant are free to work anywhere in the world upon graduation, including Singapore and India.

Even though Singapore is geographically small, there are a lot of jobs available for international students. As per the Government of Singapore, the following industries are currently booming in the country – Manufacturing, Construction, Tourism and Retail, Healthcare and Finance Information Communications and Digital Media.

Do keep in mind that getting a job will depend heavily on personal initiative and personality traits. A strong Resume that highlights your strengths can be a great help while looking for jobs.

Most Singaporean universities have a separate department called ‘Careers Services’ to help students who are seeking part – time or full – time employment. However, you will also constantly need to be on the lookout for job opportunities during and after graduation through job portal websites, newspapers etc.

As an international student who has completed his/her graduation from a select university in Singapore, you will be allowed to apply for a ‘Long Term Visit Pass’ which will enable you to stay in Singapore for a maximum period of 1 year even if you don’t have a job. This gives students an additional year to seek employment.

Once you find a job, you will need to obtain a ‘Work Pass’ of one form or the other to work in Singapore. As per the current laws, as of the year 2014, the Singapore Government encourages students to work for a Singapore based company upon graduation by offering tuition grants.

However, you should keep in mind that these laws are formulated on the basis of various economic and political policies and can change from time to time. New visa categories keep coming up and old ones keep getting discontinued.

It can be helpful to do some research about what the Government’s proposed future policies regarding international students are. This will help you get an idea of whether the visa laws are going to get stricter or more lenient for international students in the future; which is something that can severely impact your future as an international student graduate in Singapore 4 – 5 years from now.


Can I work during my studies?

As an international student, you can work part – time and full – time in Singapore, subject to restrictions. You will have the option of taking up a job on – campus or even off –campus. However, you must make sure that you always comply with Singapore immigration laws.

Most international students will enter Singapore on a ‘Student’s Pass’. This allows students to pursue Diploma, Bachelor or Master level programs in universities and polytechnics in Singapore which are registered ‘Institutes of Higher Learning’.

To apply for a Student’ Pass, you will need to be accepted in a full – time program of a Singaporean university/polytechnic and receive a written confirmation of the same. Your Student’s Pass will generally be valid for the entire duration of your course.

You must apply for a Student’s Pass at least one month and not more than two months before the start of the course.

If your application is successful, you will receive an IPA (In – Principle Approval) letter from the Singapore immigration authorities. A visa for Indian students will be incorporated within this letter. You will not need to apply for a visa separately to study in Singapore.

Your eligibility to work in Singapore alongside your studies will be subject to the terms, conditions and restrictions mentioned in these documents.

Part – Time Work

International students who are pursuing their full – time undergraduate education from a registered ‘Institution of Higher Learning’ in Singapore are allowed to work part – time alongside their studies, but not for more than 16 hours per week. This limit is only applicable during term – time and not during vacations.

At most universities, there will be no restrictions with regards to working on – campus or off – campus. You will not need a separate ‘Work Pass’ to work part – time as an international student. However, you might need to take the university’s permission before you start working part – time.

Almost all universities in Singapore offer international students to take up part – time jobs on – campus through special ‘Work Study’ programs. These programs help financially needy students take up part – time jobs alongside their studies so as to earn extra money. The average salaries for international students with regards to part – time work in Singapore range around 5 Singapore Dollars per hour.

Full – Time Work

As an international student at a registered IHL (Institute of Higher Learning), you will be allowed to work full – time during vacations and holidays for as many hours as you wish. This is in addition to being able to work for 16 hours a week during semesters.

As an international student at, you will not need a separate ‘Work Pass’ to work full – time during vacations. However, in some cases, you might need to seek permission from your university as well as have a written confirmation from your employer.

Industrial Attachment Program

Some programs that are offered at Singaporean universities include an ‘Industrial Attachment’ or an internship as a mandatory or elective part of the course module. The purpose of such programs is to help students gain practical experience related to their course.

These ‘Industrial Attachments’ or internships are generally of about 5 – 6 months, although there are variations. They are generally paid, but the salaries vary. International students are allowed to work full – time during their semester as a part of an industrial attachment program, provided the internship or industrial attachment contributes towards the progress of their course.

International students do not need a ‘Work Pass’ to work during their industrial attachments, as long as the industrial attachment or internship is a mandatory or elective part of their program and that it contributes towards the progress of the course.


Can I work after my graduation?

Once you graduate, you will not be able to stay or work in Singapore on the basis of your Student’s Pass. You will need to apply for a work – visa (pass) to continue to stay and work in Singapore. The type of work – pass you should apply for depends on whether you have a job offer at the time of your graduation or not.

* If you DO NOT have a Job Offer:

Long Term Visit Pass

International students who are near the end of their program and expiry of their Student’s Pass but do not have a job offer can apply for the ‘1 year Long Term Visit Pass’ (LTVP). This is a non – renewable pass that allows international students who have graduated from a registered Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) to stay in Singapore and look for a job. It is valid for a maximum period of 1 year.

Once you get a job, you will need to get a ‘Work Pass’ for the same and let go of your Long Term Visit Pass. The application for the ‘Work Pass’ will be made by your prospective employer. The different types of Work Passes you can apply for are mentioned below.

* If you HAVE a Job Offer:

Employment Pass

An ‘Employment Pass’ is a type of Work Pass that international students can apply for if they have a job offer from a Singapore based company upon graduation. It is meant for foreigners who have been offered managerial, executive or specialized jobs. In most circumstances, your agent or employer will need to submit the application for your Employment Pass.

To be eligible to apply for this pass, you would need to have a job offer with a minimum offered fixed salary of 3,300 Singapore Dollars a month. You will also need to possess ‘acceptable qualifications’ as per Singapore Government standards.

S – Pass

An ‘S – Pass’ is a type of Work Pass that is meant for mid – level skilled foreigners, such as technicians. International students can apply for an S – Pass if they have a job offer upon graduation from a Singapore based company.

To be eligible to apply for this pass, you would need to have a job offer with a minimum offered fixed salary of 2,200 Singapore Dollars a month. You will be judged on the basis of a points based system in which you will be awarded points for every eligibility criteria you meet. Other eligibility criteria will include educational qualifications and relevant work experience.

Work Permit

A ‘Work Permit’ is for foreigners who wish to work in Singapore and are from an approved source country. Indian students fall into the ‘Non Traditional Sources’ category and are eligible for this Work Permit. You can apply for this Work Permit after you have been offered a job upon graduation from a Singapore based company.

The application for the Work Permit will be submitted by your prospective employer. Keep in mind though that you are not allowed to be in Singapore when this application is submitted.

Study in Singapore