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Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

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progressiveguy
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Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

Postby progressiveguy » Thu, 22 Jan 2015 11:24 pm

May a foreign national/citizen without work-authorized visa status (like LTVP) to work remotely from a home located in Singapore for an employer located abroad?
MOM or ICA websites do not provide a clear answer on this question.

Does anyone have further details on this?
If some work permit is required - which one?

Thanks for your help!

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Re: Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 23 Jan 2015 8:22 am

This will answer you question.

viewtopic.php?t=56544

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Re: Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

Postby Akimbo » Fri, 23 Jan 2015 9:21 am

So SMS, if I get this right...if I have a DP, I can do freelance work for a company outside of Singapore, and won't be taxed on my income by IRAS, if the income is sent to a foreign home account (in this case, Indonesia) and will instead be taxed by the home government instead.

Bonus question. And what if I have an SPass instead?
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Re: Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

Postby x9200 » Fri, 23 Jan 2015 9:28 am

I think it does not matter on what kind of long stay pass you are. It does not matter from the MOM's perspective. This is because you do not interfere any way with the local job market (it's not a local employer and you are not competing with local market employees.

It's a different thing from the IRAS'es perspective though because you use the Singapore infrastructure to do the job and have some profit.

It is not exactly a very clear cut but there is some logic in it.

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Re: Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

Postby progressiveguy » Fri, 23 Jan 2015 2:20 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:This will answer you question.

viewtopic.php?t=56544


Hello SMS ;-)

Thanks for the link.
Ok. if i'm getting it right (still early)...?!
Yes, i can do that on DP (like LTVP) from the perspective of MOM.
Yes, i can do, but have to consider the taxation (IRAS).

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Re: Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 23 Jan 2015 3:09 pm

Correct. The whole area is rather grey and try as we may, it's difficult to get any commitment from either ministry with any degree of accuracy. The the problem with civil servants. But as far as we've been able to ascertain over the years, this is the general thought processes of the two government agencies.

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Re: Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

Postby PNGMK » Fri, 23 Jan 2015 5:17 pm

progressiveguy wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:This will answer you question.

viewtopic.php?t=56544


Hello SMS ;-)

Thanks for the link.
Ok. if i'm getting it right (still early)...?!
Yes, i can do that on DP (like LTVP) from the perspective of MOM.
Yes, i can do, but have to consider the taxation (IRAS).



LTVP or LTVP+? If the latter ok, if the former not ok as I understand.
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Re: Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 23 Jan 2015 7:59 pm

Might be, pngmk, but can you show me something to cling to? At least I managed to get email from the relevant ministry to support my claim. Of course, a lot has changed since that email, but I don't think the thought processes behind their answers to my question has changed. The LTVP+ is designed for the LoC and the LoC is designed for people who want to work for a company registered in and performing work in Singapore.

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Re: Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

Postby progressiveguy » Fri, 23 Jan 2015 8:17 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Might be, pngmk, but can you show me something to cling to? At least I managed to get email from the relevant ministry to support my claim. Of course, a lot has changed since that email, but I don't think the thought processes behind their answers to my question has changed. The LTVP+ is designed for the LoC and the LoC is designed for people who want to work for a company registered in and performing work in Singapore.


....and this will change from the 1st of Feb. ;-)
http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/ ... lders.aspx

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Re: Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:18 pm

progressiveguy wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:Might be, pngmk, but can you show me something to cling to? At least I managed to get email from the relevant ministry to support my claim. Of course, a lot has changed since that email, but I don't think the thought processes behind their answers to my question has changed. The LTVP+ is designed for the LoC and the LoC is designed for people who want to work for a company registered in and performing work in Singapore.


....and this will change from the 1st of Feb. ;-)
http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/ ... lders.aspx


Sadly, you are incorrect. The only persons who can get LTVPs are "dependents" of either PRs or Citizens. Up to 1 February is was only available to "dependents" of citizens. The rules were modified because of the discrepancy between EP -> PR -> Citizens. Spouse of EP holder ("dependent" pass) could get a LoC. LTVP holder (foreign spouse) of citizen could get LTVP+ and then LoC. But a PR's foreign spouse on LTVP could not. This meant if it was the spouse of an EP holder and currently on a DP and LoC, they would lose the LoC if the EP holder got PR. This was deemed unfair so the rules were changed w.e.f. 1 February. I am currently in the processes of shifting my accounts exec from her S pass to an LoC for that very reason (husband is a PR lecturer at one of the universities here).
"However, in answer to your statement, it has no bearing on the problem at hand. The LoC in either case still must be applied for by the "Singapore Registered" company. Full Stop. A foreign company with no presence in Singapore cannot apply for ANY KIND OF VISA unless they have a minimum of a "representative" office here. This is not what the OP is looking at.

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Re: Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

Postby progressiveguy » Fri, 23 Jan 2015 11:51 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
progressiveguy wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:Might be, pngmk, but can you show me something to cling to? At least I managed to get email from the relevant ministry to support my claim. Of course, a lot has changed since that email, but I don't think the thought processes behind their answers to my question has changed. The LTVP+ is designed for the LoC and the LoC is designed for people who want to work for a company registered in and performing work in Singapore.


....and this will change from the 1st of Feb. ;-)
http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/ ... lders.aspx


Sadly, you are incorrect. The only persons who can get LTVPs are "dependents" of either PRs or Citizens. Up to 1 February is was only available to "dependents" of citizens. The rules were modified because of the discrepancy between EP -> PR -> Citizens. Spouse of EP holder ("dependent" pass) could get a LoC. LTVP holder (foreign spouse) of citizen could get LTVP+ and then LoC. But a PR's foreign spouse on LTVP could not. This meant if it was the spouse of an EP holder and currently on a DP and LoC, they would lose the LoC if the EP holder got PR. This was deemed unfair so the rules were changed w.e.f. 1 February. I am currently in the processes of shifting my accounts exec from her S pass to an LoC for that very reason (husband is a PR lecturer at one of the universities here).
"However, in answer to your statement, it has no bearing on the problem at hand. The LoC in either case still must be applied for by the "Singapore Registered" company. Full Stop. A foreign company with no presence in Singapore cannot apply for ANY KIND OF VISA unless they have a minimum of a "representative" office here. This is not what the OP is looking at.


Well... yes, not related to my initial question "Can i work from home for a foreign employer?".
This questions is answered in a light grey so far. ;-)

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Re: Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

Postby PNGMK » Sat, 24 Jan 2015 8:21 am

....and this will change from the 1st of Feb. ;-)
http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/ ... lders.aspx[/quote]

Sadly, you are incorrect. The only persons who can get LTVPs are "dependents" of either PRs or Citizens. Up to 1 February is was only available to "dependents" of citizens. The rules were modified because of the discrepancy between EP -> PR -> Citizens. Spouse of EP holder ("dependent" pass) could get a LoC. LTVP holder (foreign spouse) of citizen could get LTVP+ and then LoC. But a PR's foreign spouse on LTVP could not. This meant if it was the spouse of an EP holder and currently on a DP and LoC, they would lose the LoC if the EP holder got PR. This was deemed unfair so the rules were changed w.e.f. 1 February. I am currently in the processes of shifting my accounts exec from her S pass to an LoC for that very reason (husband is a PR lecturer at one of the universities here).
"However, in answer to your statement, it has no bearing on the problem at hand. The LoC in either case still must be applied for by the "Singapore Registered" company. Full Stop. A foreign company with no presence in Singapore cannot apply for ANY KIND OF VISA unless they have a minimum of a "representative" office here. This is not what the OP is looking at.[/quote]


About bloody time they recognized the wives of PR's as having a higher value than the wives of EP's. It's annoyed me for a decade now that a PR's wife could not get an LOC whereas a wife of a EP could get a DP/LOC.
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Re: Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

Postby PNGMK » Sat, 24 Jan 2015 8:25 am

progressiveguy wrote:May a foreign national/citizen without work-authorized visa status (like LTVP) to work remotely from a home located in Singapore for an employer located abroad?
MOM or ICA websites do not provide a clear answer on this question.

Does anyone have further details on this?
If some work permit is required - which one?

Thanks for your help!


OK I'll give this a a shot.

For two years I was employed by a UK company while I lived in Singapore (I'm a PR). I was a travelling salesman and did no sales in Singapore but a lot of admin and emails. I registered and paid CPF and taxes on the income as it was my obligation to do so (my pay was deposited into a Singapore bank account). So... as I see it if you work in Singapore and earn and income while resident in Singapore you need to pay taxes... and I think that's where you might come unstuck.

Secondly how are you going to stay in Singapore without some sort of pass? A SVP is only 90 days or so?
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Re: Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

Postby PNGMK » Sat, 24 Jan 2015 8:29 am

x9200 wrote:I think it does not matter on what kind of long stay pass you are. It does not matter from the MOM's perspective. This is because you do not interfere any way with the local job market (it's not a local employer and you are not competing with local market employees.

It's a different thing from the IRAS'es perspective though because you use the Singapore infrastructure to do the job and have some profit.

It is not exactly a very clear cut but there is some logic in it.


IF the job he is doing in Singapore for a foreign employer could also be done by a local for the foreign employer then he is actually interfering in the local job market and taking a job off a sinky. That's why - when I worked for the UK company - I made sure I was legit in every way (CPF/IRAS and fortunately a PR). He can't generate income from employment while living in Singapore no matter the source without having the appropriate pass in my view. Whether he gets caught out is another matter.
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Re: Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 24 Jan 2015 12:00 pm

The thought by MOM is that if the person is here on a dependent's pass and is working for a foreign company who has no registered identity here, (notice I did NOT say PR) sells or markets nothing to local companies or residents here, they do not need an employment visa. In fact, they would not be able to obtain on as employment permits are only issued to employees of Singapore registered companies. PNGMK was a PR - he needed no work permit of any sort.

However, the thought by IRAS is decidedly different. They look at it purely from a tax perspective. If you are generating an income while living on the little red dot, they their viewpoint is that the taxes have to be made on earned income. They are not particular as to where however, If you are paying taxes on your earned income in your home country and have the tax returns to show for it, then Singapore will not tax you on those earnings, however, if you are not filing and paying taxes in you own country, then IRAS requires you to pay the income taxes here. (This would depend on tax treaties between Singapore and your own country or the ability to tax tax credits on one return or the other to offset the other country's taxes.

As far a grey is concerned, I have black and white, from the MOM but it could be considered as grey because it's not published on their website. But it more black than anything else you are likely to find.


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