How to Renew Maid Work Permit in Singapore

If you are thinking of renewing your maid's work permit, here's how to go about it.

Sometimes, finding the right domestic helper for your family requires a little bit of luck. That's why many Singaporean households prefer to hold on to their maids for as long as possible once they found the perfect match. With the current pandemic, it is also harder to get new foreign domestic workers (FDW) into Singapore to work as maids.

No matter your reason or decision on renewing our maid's contract, as an employer, you should always keep tabs on when your domestic helper's Work Permit (WP) and passport expires to avoid any legal implications. In fact, one of the frequently asked questions regarding Work Permit expiration is, "How long can an FDW stay after their Work Permit expires?" 

As a foreign domestic worker's WP expires every two years, you must promptly renew or cancel the WP. If an agency hired your maid, the administrative process is usually handled by them, which can incur additional charges. That is why several online sources claim that you can save more when you handle your maid's WP renewal process.

To further understand the process of renewing a maid's Work Permit, we've broken down the important details, including the costs below.

How do I renew my maid's Work Permit in Singapore?

An employer needs to renew his/her maid's WP every two years or face levy penalties and overstaying fines. Generally, the employer will receive the renewal letter from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) about eight weeks before the expiry date. Upon receiving the renewal letter, you can renew the Work Permit online. If you are unable to renew the WP on time, you can request an extension from MOM. If your maid is travelling before the expiry date, you must renew the WP before she leaves Singapore.

Before you renew your foreign domestic helper’s Work Permit, there are a few steps to complete, like applying for your maid's insurance package, including Medical Insurance, Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), and security bond.

Steps to renew a Work Permit for an FDW

Listed below are the important documents and information you'll need to prepare before renewing the Work Permit:

  • Medical Insurance with coverage of at least $15,000 a year
  • Personal Accident Insurance with at least $60,000 a year of cover
  • A Security Bond of $5,000 for non-Malaysian helpers
  • A valid VISA, Master Card, or direct debit card for the $35 online renewal fees
  • A valid and updated passport for your helper (Do scan the personal particulars page, including any amendments.) 
  • Details for a secure card delivery, including the names and mobile numbers of up to 3 authorised recipients, if the helper receives a new WP card.

Steps for renewing maid's Work Permit:

Step 1: Renew or acquire new maid insurance. As there are different insurance plans with various coverages, do ensure that the medical and personal accident cover meet MOM's minimum requirements. Do also ensure that the date of issuance of the maid insurance matches the date of the WP. Take note of the details you put in the application to ensure a smooth issuance of the needed security bond information. 

Step 2: Buy a Security Bond of $5,000 for non-Malaysian helpers. This can also be purchased as a package with your maid insurance and get the insurer to send MOM the security bond details. Keep a scanned copy of the Security Bond Transmission Number to guarantee legitimacy before renewing WP. You may check on the status of the Security Bond online or print a copy for your helper. 

Step 3: Issue a new employment contract. This will give you a chance to update your employment contract with your maid if you need to make some changes. The contract should have details that both parties will agree on. It will also serve as clear communication and mutual understanding of the employer and the foreign domestic worker.

Step 4: Check that all necessary documents and information are valid. Before proceeding with the renewal, ensure that all documents, especially her passport, won't expire soon. If it indicates that it will expire after a few months, the employer and helper should head to the embassy to renew the helper's passport. 

Step 5: Submit all the application forms and documents to MOM online and pay the renewal fee of $35 via VISA, Master Card, or debit card.

How much does it cost to renew an FDW Work Permit?

Renewing a maid's Work Permit directly in Singapore might not cost as much as having the maid agency renew it for you. To give you some insights about the necessary expenses, we've prepared a guide below.

Types of fees

Cost of renewing WP through an agency

Cost of renewing WP directly

Maid Agency Fee

$300 to $400

-

Maid Insurance (includes Medical Insurance and Personal Accident Insurance coverage)

$200 to $300

$200 to $300

MOM Work Permit Renewal Fee

$35

$35

Security Bond

$5,000

$5,000

Total

$5,535 or $5,735

$5,235 or $5,335

 

With the little difference between the cost of renewing a work permit directly and an agency, it’s best to have the agency do it for you. Since renewing a work permit has its conditions, the agency will take care of it and save you from the hassle.

What to do after the Work Permit is renewed?

After the Work Permit is renewed, print the Temporary Work Permit (TWP) issued by MOM and check if the TWP indicates "Getting a new card," which means that you must return the old card according to the instructions written in the notification letter. If the TWP indicates that your helper can continue to use the existing card, there is no need to return the card. If you returned the card when you do not need to do so, a $60 fee would be charged to replace the card.

The renewal process of your maid's WP can be time-consuming and confusing. If you would like to save yourself from the trouble, leave the paperwork to an experienced and dependable maid agency. We recommend that you renew your foreign domestic helper's WPweeks before it expires to prevent incurring additional expenses. As your maid is entitled to a month of leave to return home to her country, ensure that her passport is not expiring and renew the maid permit before she leaves Singapore to ensure smooth re-entry.

How to transfer maid to another employer?

Decided not to continue working with your existing maid and found another local employer? This is how to transfer a maid to another employer:

1. You'll need to send your maid for her 6-monthly ME if you haven't done it yet.

2. To confirm the transfer, you'll need to sign the IPA letter, which will be given to you by the employment agency or the new employer.

3. Even after sending your maid back to her agency, you'll still need to pay for her levy until she waits for her transfer.

4. MOM will automatically cancel the maid's current work permit once her new employer issues her new WP.

5. You'll need to return your maids WP card within a week of the transfer. You can find the address to be sent here.

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