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A Special Pass (SP) card, which legalises a foreigner’s stay in Singapore, is issued for a specific purpose such as assisting in investigation, attending court and for stateless persons residing in Singapore. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) are the only issuing authorities for such SP cards. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers regarding this card.

Q1:     I have never seen this card before. Is it a legal document issued by the authorities?

A1:      This is a Special Pass (SP) card and it is used to regularise a foreigner’s stay in Singapore for specific purposes. MOM and ICA are the issuing authorities of the SP card. The name of the issuing authority is printed at the back of the card. ICA has started issuing SP card with effect from 21 May 2019. The front and back of the SP card are shown below for reference.

SP-front SP-back
Front Back

Q2:     Who will be issued with a SP card?

A2:     The SP card will be issued to foreigners who are required to remain in Singapore for specific purposes such as assisting in investigation, attending court and for stateless persons residing in Singapore. The purpose of the SP Card holder’s stay in Singapore will be stated on the back of the card.

Q3:     Can a SP card holder work in Singapore?

A3:     Foreigners who are issued SPs are not allowed to work in Singapore. If a foreigner wishes to work in Singapore, he/she is required to apply for a work pass from MOM. SP holders who are found working without a valid work pass would have committed an offence and will be dealt with under the relevant laws.

Q4:     Can I rent out my room/flat to a SP card holder?

A4:     Homeowners may rent their room/flat to a SP card holder provided he/she has a legal stay in Singapore. They must also cross check the prospective foreign tenant’s original immigration pass against his/her original passport and verify the validity of the pass with the issuing authority. It will also be prudent to check with the Housing Development Board (HDB) or Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on their guidelines for the eligibility of subtenants to rent and the minimum and maximum rental period before renting out to foreigners.

Q5:     How do I check and verify the validity of the SP card holder’s stay in Singapore?

A5:     The expiry date of a SP card holder’s stay is printed in red on the back of the card. Currently, there is no online system to verify the validity period of a SP card holder’s stay in Singapore. To check the validity of a SP card issued by ICA or to enquire about the card, please call ICA at 6391 6250.

Q6:     Can I continue to rent out my room/flat to a SP card holder whose immigration pass has expired?

A6:     If the SP card has expired and the holder has not left Singapore, he/she will be deemed an overstayer. It is an offence under the Immigration Act to offer food or shelter to an immigration offender (overstayer or illegal immigrant). If you have any information on immigration offenders, please write in or call ICA at 1800-3916150. All calls will be kept confidential.