01-Aug-2000 filed under Case Detected at Checkpoints
SINGAPORE IMMIGRATION & REGISTRATION AND MINISTRY OF MANPOWER
From 1 Aug 2000, homeowners can verify the status of their prospective foreign tenants via the Internet, in addition to the methods currently available.
2 Homeowners who are in doubt of the status of their prospective foreign tenants will, with effect from 1 Aug 2000, be able to check the validity status of various immigration and work passes as follows:
For immigration passes, i.e. Social Visit Pass (issued by SIR), Student's Pass and Professional Visit Pass
a) Call SIR at Tel: 3916100;
b) Call in person at Public Affairs Section, Level 2, SIR Building (10 Kallang Road, Singapore 208718); or
c) Use SIR's new online verification system (http://www.sir.gov.sg).
For work passes, i.e. Work Permit, Employment Pass, Dependant's Pass and Long Term Social Visit Pass (issued by the Employment Pass Department):
a) Call MOM's Interactive Voice Response System at Tel: 1800-4385122;
b) Call in person at MOM's Work Permit Department, Level 2, MOM Building (18, Havelock Road, #03-01 Singapore 059764) (To check the validity status of a work permit);
c) Call in person at MOM's Employment Pass Department, Level 5, SIR Building (10 Kallang Road, Singapore 208718) (To check the validity status of an Employment Pass, Dependant's Pass, or Long Term Social Visit Pass);
d) Use MOM's information kiosks at MOM (To check the validity status of a Work Permit); or
e) Use MOM's new online verification system (http://www.gov.sg/mom/fta/wp/wpepcheck.htm).
Homeowners who call at SIR/MOM, either in person or through the telephone, will receive an immediate reply on the outcome of their requests while those who use the internet verification system will receive a reply the next working day.
How to use Internet Verification System
3 Homeowners who want to make an enquiry will be guided on how to use the systems. The information needed by both systems are:
a) Name of person making enquiry (as it appears in his NRIC/immigration or work pass); and
b) NRIC/Foreign Identification Number (FIN).
For checking of immigration passes, SIR requires the following additional information:
c) Type of immigration pass he is checking;
d) Name of the foreigner (as it appears in the pass);
e) Foreign Identification Number (FIN) of the foreigner;
f) Date of birth of the foreigner;
g) Expiry date of the pass of the foreigner; and
h) Email address or fax number (this is to enable SIR to send the results of the enquiry to the homeowner).
For checking of work passes, MOM requires:
i) Foreign Identification Number (FIN), or Work Permit number;
j) Date of birth of the foreigner, or Date of application of the work permit.; and
k) Email address (optional).
4 Upon successful submission, an acknowledgment page will be displayed. The enquirer can print a copy of the acknowledgment page as a reference. For verifying the validity of immigration passes, a reference number will be displayed on the acknowledgement page. For checking the validity of a work pass, the enquirer will be informed of the outcome the next working day via Email if he had provided his Email address. Alternatively, he could visit the MOM On-line Verification website to check the outcome of his verification request.
Due Diligence Requirements
5 Under the Immigration Act, homeowners who wish to rent their premises out to foreigners are required to exercise due diligence in checking the status of their prospective tenants to ensure that they are in Singapore legitimately. They need to conduct the following checks:
a) check the original immigration pass or/and work pass of the foreign tenant;
b) cross-check particulars on these passes against particulars on his passport; and
c) verify with the employer if the prospective tenant is working in Singapore.
6 Under the Immigration Act, the homeowner is liable to be charged for harbouring immigration offenders in his house if investigations reveal that he has not exercised due diligence as required by law. If the homeowner is found guilty of the offence, he shall be sentenced to an imprisonment of not less than 6 months and not more than 2 years and shall also be liable to a fine not exceeding S$6,000.
Advice to Employers
7 We would like to urge employers to help their foreign workers who need to rent premises by providing them with an updated reference letter that the worker can produce to his potential landlord. The letter should state clearly the worker's:
b) Work Permit or Foreign Identification Number (FIN);
c) Date of birth;
d) Passport number;
e) Date of expiry of Work Permit or Employment Pass;
f) Date of application of Work Permit (for Work Permit holders only).
The letter should also carry the company's official letterhead and the name and telephone number of an appropriate contact person in the event that potential landlords should wish to contact the company to verify the status of the worker. When contacted by landlords, employers should cooperate by helping to verify the status of their foreign workers so as to facilitate the checking process that landlords are required to do so under the law.
8 The Work Permit Department and the Employment Pass Department will be writing to employers of foreign workers to remind them to issue the reference letter to their foreign workers renting residential premises (Please see Annex on the advice to employers).
END OF NEWS RELEASE
ACCOMMODATION FOR FOREIGN EMPLOYEES
Employers of foreign workers i.e. employment pass holders and work permit holders have a responsibility to ensure that their foreign employees are provided with proper accommodation. While some employers provide direct housing facilities for their foreign workers, others leave it to the workers to look for a suitable accommodation on their own.
2 Under the Immigration Act, Singaporeans who harbour illegal immigrants are subjected to severe penalties. Landlords who intend to rent out their residential premises to foreign tenants are required by law to ensure that the potential tenants have valid stay in Singapore before renting out their premises. These landlords are required to perform basic checks including contacting the employers to verify the status of foreign tenants if they are work pass holders.
3 If you have foreign workers and they need to rent residential premises, I would like to urge you to facilitate the process by providing your workers with an updated reference letter spelling out clearly the Name, Work Permit or Foreign Identification Number (FIN), Passport Number and date of birth of the worker. For a work permit holder, the letter should also show the date of application of the work permit. The letter should carry the company's official letterhead and the name and telephone number of an appropriate contact person in case potential landlords wish to contact your company to verify the status of the worker. When contacted, the person should assist the landlords to verify the worker's employment status. Providing such a reference letter will help to facilitate the checking process that landlords are required to conduct under the law.
4 I would like to remind you that the Ministry takes a serious view of employers who shirk their responsibility of ensuring that their foreign workers are provided with proper accommodation.
Then Yee Thoong
Foreign Management Employment Division