If you are planning to take a leave and go back to your homeland for the holidays, know that there are certain rules you need to comply with to be allowed to re-enter Singapore. Immigration requirements vary though – depending on factors such as your nationality and on how long you have been working with your current employer.
What’s the process like for Indonesian nationals?
It is relatively easy. As an Indonesian FDW you do not need to register with your Embassy. Just make sure that your passport has at least 6 months’ validity and that your KTKLN card is still valid to be able to return to Singapore. These documents along with your Work Permit need to be presented to the immigration officer before boarding your return flight.
What’s the process like for Filipino nationals?
For Filipino FDWs, the process is a bit more tedious as strict home leave procedures must be followed. You are required to register with your Embassy and then apply for a temporary exit document. As a result of registration, you will obtain what is referred to as an authenticated contract.
The registration process will differ depending on how long you have been working for your current employer. If you have been with them for less than 2 years, your employer and you will have to go through an agency. If it’s been more than 2 years, you will be able to process the registration yourself together with your employer. In the latter case, you can just walk in anytime during the Embassy’s opening hours (along with all the required documents).
Now that I am registered, can I book a ticket to the Philippines?
Not yet! Registering is only the first step. The next step is buying an Overseas Exit Certificate (OEC) or Home Leave– a document that will enable you to clear immigration back to the Philippines and return to Singapore. You will be required to present it to the immigration officer before boarding. Shouldn’t you be able to produce such document, you will be denied boarding (even if you have a valid Work Permit). An appointment (you can book one online) is needed to purchase the OEC – you will be asked to present your authenticated contract as well as your valid Work Permit.
As long as your authenticated contract is valid you won’t need to go through the registration phase all over again but you will need to apply for a new OEC every time you leave Singapore to visit your home country (but not when you visit another country for tourism purposes).
For more information about home leave procedures, please refer to the Philippines Embassy’s FAQ.