The Singapore Advantage


Non-residents entering Singapore must fulfil the visa requirements set out by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). Please check ICA’s website to ascertain whether you require a visa to enter Singapore.


For enquiries and further information about visas, please contact the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority.

Work Pass Exemption

Non-residents are generally required to hold a valid work pass before they can work in Singapore. However, the provision of arbitration and mediation services in Singapore is categorised as a Work Pass Exempt Activity. This means that non-residents can provide arbitration or mediation services in Singapore for the duration of their Short Term Visit Passes subject to a maximum of 60 days, in relation to any case or matter which:


  • does not relate directly or indirectly to any religious belief or to religion generally;
  • does not relate directly or indirectly to any race or community generally; and
  • is not cause-related or directed towards a political end.


For enquiries and further information about the work pass exemption, please contact the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).


Online Notification of Work Pass Exempt Activity


Non-residents performing any Work Pass Exempt Activity are required to submit an online notification after they have arrived in Singapore and obtained a Short Term Visit Pass which will be granted on entry at the immigration checkpoint. MOM must be notified before the non-resident starts performing the Work Pass Exempt Activity. Please note that carrying out Work Pass Exempt Activities without notifying MOM is an offence under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.


Extension of Duration of Work Pass Exempt Activity


Non-residents who need to extend the period of stay beyond the original time period must resubmit the online notification, and update their travel document number and the travel document expiry date online. Please note that:


  • The extension must be done before the end date of the activity indicated in the first online notification.
  • The applicant must have a valid Short Term Visit Pass to cover the new period. If the new period of activity extends beyond the validity of your Short Term Visit Pass, you must extend your Short Term Visit Pass with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority before filing the extension.
  • The total period of the activity must not exceed 60 days.

Tax Exemption for Arbitrators and Mediators

Income derived by a non-resident arbitrator for arbitration work or a non-resident mediator for mediation work carried out in Singapore is exempt from tax.  The tax exemption is applicable to all non-resident arbitrators and mediators who are appointed for any arbitration or mediation which is governed by the Arbitration Act or the International Arbitration Act or would have been governed by either of those Acts had the place of arbitration / mediation been in Singapore.


For the purposes of this tax exemption, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) will assist in determining whether a non-resident individual is an arbitrator engaged in arbitration work in Singapore.


For enquiries and further information regarding the tax exemption for arbitrators and mediators, please contact the Inland Revenue Authority Singapore (IRAS).