6 things you should know before renewing your Foreign Domestic Helper’s work permit

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Approximately five weeks before your domestic helper’s work permit is due for renewal, you will receive a letter from the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) Work Permit Department. The process for renewing your domestic helper’s work permit should take around one to two weeks.


To ensure that you are able to avoid any unforeseen issues with the work permit renewal, we would recommend that you target to complete the whole process at least two to three weeks before the work permit itself expires. This will help you avoid any potential issues that could arise with the immigration department from your helper overstaying a work permit’s validity!




What do you need to renew your work permit?


To renew your domestic helper’s work permit, there are a few things you need to have ready before heading to MOM’s online “Keep My Helper” portal to renew the work permit. This will ensure that the work permit process is smooth and fuss free.


Documents needed before you renew your domestic helper’s work permit


Before renewing your helper’s work permit, you need to have these documents and information ready:


- Helper’s latest passport


- New insurance policy that meet the MOM minimum requirements of:


- Personal accident insurance: at least S$60,000

- Medical expense insurance: at least S$15,000

- MOM Security bond from the Insurance Company: S$5,000

Learn more about the MOM Security Bond here.


- Valid credit card in order to make the online payment fee of $30 for the work permit renewal



The renewal of the work permit on the MOM website should not take you more than 10 minutes to complete and you will need to be able to log in with your SingPass account. The new work permit will be delivered to your address within five working days. Do ensure that either the employer or your helper is at home to receive and sign for the new work permit. You may also appoint other to sign for the new work permit and this can be done directly on the MOM Keep My Helper portal when renewing the work permit.


1. The work permit renewal process and purchasing a new domestic helper insurance


The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will send you a work permit renewal letter approximately five weeks before the expiry of your domestic helper’s work permit. When you have received the letter, you can proceed to renew the permit online so long you have already purchased a new domestic helper insurance for the new period of employment.


The start date of the new domestic helper insurance will have to coincide with the start date of the new work permit. This will be the day after the old work permit expires. When purchasing the insurance, in order to ensure smooth issuance and transmission of the necessary security bond information to the MOM, it is important that accurate names, dates and numbers are submitted.


The Security Bond Transmission Number itself, or the “SB Transmission No”, is particularly important as this piece of information is what the insurance company will send to the MOM to indicate that they will undertake the guarantee of your Security Bond. Without successful transmission of this information to the MOM, you will not be able to renew your work permit.



2. The earlier you renew, the better


It is recommended that you renew your helper’s work permit well ahead of its expiry. This is especially so if your helper is planning to return to her country on home leave before her work permit expires this will ensure that there will be no issues with re-entry when your helper returns to Singapore.


The outcomes of late permit renewal are levy penalties or an overstaying fine, both of which are problems you would want to avoid.



3. A new employment contract


When you first employed your domestic helper, you had to create an employment contract that set out the rights and obligations of your domestic helper and yourself, as an employer. While it is not considered compulsory for the renewal of the work permit, it is good practice to refresh the contract between the domestic helper and the employer with updated details that have been agreed between both yourself and your domestic helper.


Having an employment contract is recommended to ensure clear communication and the setting of expectations between the employer and the helper to ensure that there are no misunderstandings between both parties.



4. Important documents like the Passport needs to be valid


Before renewing your helper’s work permit, you need to make sure that all of her documents are in place. If her passport is expiring in the next 6 months, your helper will need to visit the embassy to renew her passport. Do start the process of renewing her passport with the embassy early.



5. Ensure you have purchased the Embassy Bond if your helper needs to renew her passport or if she is going back on home leave


If your helper is Indonesian or Filipino, you will also need to purchase an Embassy Bond (also known as the Performance Bond) before the Embassy will carry out the paperwork required to renew the passport.


You can purchase the Indonesian Embassy Bond here for S$74.90, or the Philippines Embassy Bond here for $67. You can also learn more about the list of documents needed (e.g. what is needed to obtain your helper’s Authenticated Employment Contract and the OEC issuance requirements) when your helper goes on home leave here.



6. Other documents required for Indonesian domestic helpers - The Work Agreement and the Kartu Pekerja Indonesia Singapura (KPIS) card


One of the requirements of renewing your helper’s work permit is an interview set up by the Indonesian Embassy before the renewal of your helper’s permit. You can set up this interview when you arrive at the Indonesian Embassy by visiting the Consular Department.


You will be asked questions regarding your helper’s employment arrangement with you including details on her revised salary, her days off, leave and others.


It is best that you discuss these matters with your helper before the interview to make the process easier with the officer. After the interview session, you and your helper will be asked to sign the Work Agreement. Do ensure that you received the documents both stamped and certified by the Embassy before you leave.


If your helper does not already have one, you will also need to apply for your helper’s Kartu Pekerja Indonesia Singapura (KPIS) card while you are at the Embassy. This KPIS card is a compulsory card launched by the Indonesian Embassy in 2017 for all Indonesian Domestic Helpers working in Singapore.


On InsureDIY, you can apply for the required insurance coverage in order to help renew your domestic helper’s work permit. All of the plans on InsureDIY include the minimum MOM requirements and our experienced professionals will be able to guide you through a fuss-free renewal experience here and save on your domestic helper insurance!