Maid Work Permit: A How-to Guide

Maid Work Permit: A How-to Guide


18-11-2021 | 5 min read

What is the maid work permit for? A maid permit is a unique work pass just for foreign domestic workers in Singapore. It is valid for 2 years and allows your helper to serve at your home, or travel to and from her hometown.

Maids are an important part of many households. They ensure that everything is running smoothly and help you save time on house chores. Before you hire her for your assistance she needs to be provided with a maid permit.

Maid agencies in Singapore can take care of the application, renewal, or cancellation of a maid permit for you. However, it may cost around $400, excluding charges like renewal fees and maid insurance.

Since it’s a simple and effortless procedure that can be done online within minutes, you can do the maid work permit application yourself.

While you still have to pay the applicable fees set by the MOM, handling the application task by yourself will save the money that would have been spent on certain agencies otherwise.

Maid Work Permit Conditions Employers Must Know

Rules to get a work permit for maid in Singapore

There are some terms and conditions which are useful to know before you start the procedure. The major ones are mentioned below:

  1. The hired maid can only perform work in your home, which is the residential address mentioned in the work permit. Your maid is not allowed to work at other households.
  2. Your maid is allowed to help you at a relative’s house in your presence if you notify MOM beforehand. This includes getting your maid’s written agreement and ensuring that she is not overburdened.
  3. Ensure that you can pay the monthly salary and allowances you’ve agreed upon. Reducing the maid’s basic monthly salary or fixed monthly allowances without her written agreement is not allowed.
  4. You must also provide safe and secure working conditions and a comfortable environment for your maid.

How To Apply For A Maid Work Permit?

Here’s an easy guide about how you can apply for a maid work permit:

Step 1: Apply Online

  1. Get the maid’s written consent before applying for the permit.
  2. Use your Singpass to login and fill the form
  3. Submit the form
  4. Pay the application fee of $35 using Visa, MasterCard, or eNets direct debit.

Once the process is complete, wait for the application to be processed, which takes around 1 - 3 weeks.

Step 2: Deliver the Letter of Notification to your maid

If your application is granted, you will acknowledge a Letter of Notification or In-Principal Approval Letter. Send this letter to your maid that she will have to show to enter your country.

You can extend the validity of the IPA if she needs more time to arrive.

Step 3: Get the security bond and maid insurance

You need to buy a security bond unless your helper is from Malaysia along with the medical and personal accident insurance for the maid.

When beginning the work permit application process, you should also check if your helper’s embassy requires any further insurance for her to leave her country.

Step 4: Request for a permanent work permit online

Once your domestic worker arrives, you need to follow these steps in order to request a permanent work permit online:

  1. Log in to the FDW eService to make the request for the permit
  2. Provide the home or office address where the card will be delivered.
  3. You can submit approximately 3 authorized recipients to receive the card; it includes their NRIC, FIN, or passport number, mobile numbers, and email address.
  4. Make the fee payment of $35 through VISA, Mastercard, or eNets.
  5. Take out the print of the Temporary Work Permit.

Hold on to the printout until the card arrives.

If your maid is coming from overseas, she must conclude her SHN before you can begin issuing her work permit. The effectiveness of their Short Term Visit Pass and IPAs will automatically be extended by 2 weeks.

Approved work permit

Step 5: Register her fingerprints

If the Temporary Work Permit indicates that your maid requires to register her fingerprints and photo at MOM Services Centre, make an appointment for her immediately and make some arrangements to send her there within one week of issuance of the pass.

The documents that she should bring along are:

  • Her original passport
  • Appointment Letter
  • The Temporary Work Permit

Step 6: Receive the card

After verifying your maid's documents, you will receive the Work Permit card at the specified address within 4 working days.

You will receive an SMS notifying you of the delivery of the card.

In case your maid did not need any registration, the Work Permit card will be delivered 4 working days after her documents are verified.

How To Renew A Maid Work Permit?

You need to renew your domestic helper’s maid permit every 2 years. You would receive a letter from the ministry about 8 weeks before expiry. Once you receive this, you can begin the renewal procedure.

It’s extremely important to renew the permit on time or else you will still be accountable for the levy penalties and overstaying fines.

The necessary documents for the application:

  1. Scanned copy of the maid’s passport
  2. New security bond
  3. Medical insurance

Once you have gathered all the requirements, log into the FDW eService, fill the form, submit it and wait for the card.

After the new permit is issued, your maid should return her old work pass by delivering it to the Work Pass Division.

Extension of the maid permit

If you need more time before renewing or canceling the maid permit you can as well get an 8-week extension.

You have to submit the extension application 2 months before the permit expires.

How to cancel a maid work permit?

In case your maid wishes to go home and stop working in Singapore, you would have to cancel the maid work permit.

Follow this procedure to cancel the maid work permit:

Step 1: Sort out all the issues

Canceling a maid’s permit goes into effect immediately. You need to think and resolve all the details of her last day and settle your obligations. Talk to your maid, pay her outstanding salary, and ensure her passport’s validity.

Step 2: Resolve the time to cancel the work permit

The maid work permit must be canceled a day before it expires, or within 1 week from her last day at work. Make sure that your maid’s departure date must be within 2 weeks of the work permit cancellation.

Step 3: Cancel the work permit

Use your Singpass to log into the FDW eService, fill up the form, and take out the print of the Special Pass so that your helper is allowed to stay in Singapore before her departure date.

Step 4: After canceling the permit

Once the work permit is abandoned, your helper is no longer allowed to work for you. Ensure that your maid departs Singapore as planned. The security bond will only be issued one week after your maid’s departure.


Emerging fortune and more working couples have made the dependence on maids the new norm in the present situation. Following a proper guide and applying for the maid work permit by yourself saves you hundreds on agency fees.