Can a Foreigner do an Internship in Singapore?

Singapore is teaming with many internship opportunities, thanks to diverse industries, high number of universities and a growing economy. The positive environment has seen a number of job listing portals established in the country to help students, graduates and expats get internships, part-time work and graduate jobs. The work opportunities being offered can help students and non-permanent employees gain much needed work experience and industry exposure.

People looking to re-enter the workforce and those who want to change careers can also take advantage of the growing internship opportunities to improve their employment prospects. Away from the traditional internships, semi-skilled foreign trainees and young graduates are increasingly looking at Singapore as the ideal place to pursue work holidays. According to the Ministry of Manpower the work related permits and passes offered in the country include:

  • Professionals category
  • Skilled and Semi-skilled Workers pass
  • Trainees and Students pass
  • Family Members pass
  • Exemptions and Work program

Under the Trainees and Student pass, Singapore offers three different passes, the Training Employment Pass, Training Work Permit and Work Holiday Pass that covers Work and Work and Holiday. The permits issued under the Professionals category, includes the Employment Pass, EntrePass and Personalized Employment Pass. The Employment Pass is available to foreign professionals, business executives and managers earning a monthly wage of $3,600 and above.

The applicants must also have the requisite academic qualifications. EntrePass is offered to eligible foreign entrepreneurs who have shown interest in either establishing or operating a new business in the country. Employment Pass holders earning higher monthly wages and foreign professionals in the qualified fields can apply for Personalized Employment Pass, which offers more flexibility and benefits compared to the constrained Employment Pass.


Can a Foreigner do an Internship in Singapore?

If you have the right skills, Singapore has many fields offering internship opportunities for both locals and international students. In terms of outlook, the most popular fields include: engineering, finance, biomedical sciences, electronics, business development and hospitality and tourism. According to Gooverseas, Singapore’s banking and financing sector has become a lucrative place for students and financing expats seeking internship and work opportunities as there are many international banks and wealth management firms operating in Singapore.

In the electronic sector, Singapore is renowned for the manufacture of quality and reliable products. The electronics conglomerates based here include Murata Manufacturing Company and ST Microelectronics, which are involved in production, distribution and Research and Development (R&D) across the world. In the tourism sector, students and foreign expats can take up jobs in the fast growing retail, business and medical tourism sub-sectors. Singapore’s highly innovative biomedical Sciences sector continues to post impressive growth year-on-year.

Professionals working in the biomedical sciences sector provide various services, including research, product development and clinical development. Some of the largest biomedical science entities that have invested heavily in the country include Pfizer, Aventis and GlaxoSmithKline.

Singapore’s media sector is expected to grow at a rate more than 9% annually in the coming 3 years. The positive growth prospects have seen leading media houses set up shop here. The entities include CNBC, Walt Disney, the Discovery Studios and BBC, among others.


Singapore Internship and Work Visa Information

Eligible young graduates and students can apply for Work Holiday Visa, which is a comprehensive work program that allows qualified applicants to work and holiday in Singapore for duration not exceeding 6 months. According to Internasia, here are the required qualifications:

  • Applicants must be 18 to 25 years old.
  • You can qualify as a graduate, if you were a resident and student pursuing full-time study at the university level.
  • You can qualify as an undergraduate, if you are a resident undertaking full-time undergraduate studies at the university for the last 3 months before submitting your application.
  • Be an undergraduate or graduate from a university in the following countries (United States, Hong Kong, Austria, New Zealand, Switzerland, France, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom and Australia)

Note: The university you are studying must be recognized by the respective governments.

The Work Holiday Program allows a maximum of 2,000 participants at any given time. Foreign trainees and students looking for further training can also apply for the Training Employment Pass. The foreign students must meet the following qualifications to obtain a pass:

  • Get a training attachment that matches the course of study
  • Receive sponsorship by an established company registered in Singapore
  • Pursue study at an approved institution and earn a fixed salary cap of $3000 a month or higher.

Note: The trainees seconded by the foreign office or subsidiary must earn a fixed salary of at least $3,000 a month. Applicants must also have sponsorship from a Singapore based company.

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What to Expect When You Apply for Internship or Work in Singapore

Singapore internships broadly cover summer internship programs, 6-month internship programs and part-time internship programs. The companies that hire interns in Singapore follow a strict guiding principle that defines how the hiring should be undertaken and how much money the interns should be offered. When called to an interview, candidates should be aptly prepared for screening. For instance, a recruiter may ask impactful questions to gauge the applicant’s honesty.

Job prospects who’ve received employment offers will be asked to sign employment contracts detailing job outline, working hours, perks and even rules of termination. It is important to know that Singapore doesn’t have a stipulated minimum wage. However, employees are required to pay employee salaries and remunerations on time. According Gooverseas (2), employees who earn less that $2000 a month are required to work less than 8 hours a day.

Interns working in the country can expect a salary range of between $600 and $1000 a month. Singapore offers a wide array of housing options to accommodate interns and expats working in the country. The condominium-styled housing offers an array of amenities, including security, social centers and pools. However, condominiums styled housing are generally more expensive compared to other housing units such as rented rooms and private apartments.

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A large number of applicants looking for internship opportunities often do so through recruitment agencies, companies, university career portals and polytechnic career offices. Most institutions of higher learning have career service centers that offer important career advice and internship information designed to help students and graduates find better internships and job placements.

Companies usually go further by helping applicant obtain Work Permit or the relevant Holiday Work Pass. For Singaporean students, the opportunity to pursue internship makes it possible to work part-time while studying. The job platforms are also highly ideal as they provide an up to date list of internships and employment opportunities coming from various industries.

Job Seekers - Submit Your CV Here

Before applying for an internship in Singapore, applicants are strongly advised to identify their goals and interests and prepare a solid resume. Students, graduates and expats looking for internships and employment opportunities can boost their chances of getting the desired placement by uploading their CV’ here.

Browse our exciting job listings here.

Can a Foreigner do an Internship in Singapore?