Can I apply for a job in Singapore?

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Working in Singapore - Interview

Singapore attracts a lot of people who want to make a career. If you want to make it in the Southeast Asian country, you have to show commitment and a lot of hard work, says Matthias Rauhut from the Central Foreign and Specialized Mediation (ZAV) of the Federal Employment Agency.

In the "Lion City", professional commitment and hard work count.

Photo: Katrin Hartisch

abi » Mr. Rauhut, what bureaucratic hurdles do you have to overcome if you want to work in Singapore?

Matthias Rauhut: To start work, German citizens need a work visa, which is issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Before applying, a promise from a future employer in Singapore must be available. In turn, the employer must support this application with the competent authorities. Since Singapore, like other countries, also protects its labor market, it is carefully checked beforehand whether a work visa can be issued. Before someone from abroad is hired, the job offer must be advertised for at least two weeks for residents. Foreigners are only considered in the second step. The better qualified you are and the corresponding added value for the Singaporean labor market, the easier it is to obtain a work visa.

abi » How does the insurance system work?

Matthias Rauhut: Medical care in Singapore is of a high level, comparable to that in Europe. However, the costs are comparatively high. Foreign employees who do not have a permanent residence permit are not entitled to state social insurance and have to take out private insurance or find appropriate solutions. Most international employers offer health insurance for their employees. This topic should therefore not be disregarded in possible contract negotiations and discussed with the future employer.

abi » Are there any differences in the application system?

Matthias Rauhut

Photo: private

Matthias Rauhut: Since Singapore, in contrast to other Asian countries, is dominated by foreign companies, the “application guidelines” of the respective country from which the company originates should be adhered to. If you are not sure which documents should be attached, in case of doubt you should inquire with the company offering the position.

abi »Which professional groups or industries are particularly in demand in Singapore?

Matthias Rauhut: The economic situation and the labor market in Singapore are currently very good. There is practically full employment with an unemployment rate of around 2 percent. The most important economic sectors, which are also recording corresponding growth, are the oil processing and chemical industries, the electronics industry, machinery and equipment, as well as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

abi »Which degrees or professions are particularly sought after in Singapore?

Matthias Rauhut: Above all, we are looking for well-trained specialists and academics from the IT, medical and engineering fields. Singapore is also a country of researchers and developers. Therefore, in addition to EDP and IT specialists, engineers from the fields of development, construction, electronics and mechanical engineering have very good prospects for employment. In addition to looking for a job on the well-known job portals, it is always worth taking a look at the website of the Singapore-German Chamber of Commerce.

abi » What are the distinctive features of the Southeast Asian working world and what are the differences to German professional life?

Matthias Rauhut: In Singapore, work comes first, work-life balance is not the focus. Commitment and diligence are important, so that working hours of over 60 hours a week are not uncommon. Foreign workers who have not been posted by their company are paid the usual local salaries, which are usually lower than for posted workers. Annual leave depends on the length of employment: 14 days for employees who have been employed for ten years, significantly less before that. It should not go unmentioned that Singapore has an excellent range of sports and leisure activities that offer people relaxation and a balance from the hard, stressful everyday work. In addition to swimming, which Singaporeans are enthusiastic about because of the constantly hot temperatures, tennis, golf, diving and sailing are very popular ways to relax from the hectic pace of everyday life.

additional Information


The network for professions of the Federal Employment Agency with over 3,000 current job descriptions in text and images

Central foreign and specialist placement (ZAV)

Information about training, studies, internships and working abroad; primarily related to Europe, but also to non-European countries

German Association in Singapore

Interest group for Germans and German-speaking foreigners in Singapore

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On the country pages you will find information on entry regulations, safety instructions, German representations in Singapore and much more.

Singapore-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Singapore Chamber of Commerce advises, supports and represents German companies in Singapore who want to set up or expand their foreign business and offers economic information.

Ministry of Manpower in Singapore

Information on entry requirements and work permits


EURES is an intra-European network to promote professional mobility between Germany and other European countries. A flyer provides information on the EURES network.