Letter of Consent (LOC)

A Letter of Consent (LOC) was the most sought after document for a Dependent pass (DP) holder until April 2021. As this document allowed the DP holder to work in Singapore.

Effective from May 1, 2021, Dependant Pass holders are now treated on the same lines as any other foreigner who wishes to work in Singapore and so now has to join the “Q” by applying for an applicable work pass, such as Employment Pass, S Pass, or Work Permit.

But what about those who don’t wish to become employees but become employers or become self-employed for them is LOC option open? Currently, how important is this LOC? Who, how, & why should it be applied for? This article gives an overview and will try to answer the most important question, “who can benefit in this current scenario?”

Introduction to Letter of Consent

A letter of Consent (LOC) is a legal document issued by the Ministry of Manpower to a dependent pass (DP) holder. This gives the DP holder the right to operate a business in Singapore. In short, consider this to be a type of “Working Visa” for a dependent pass holder.

Background & LOC eligibility

In Singapore, we have many types of working visas. The most sought after is the Employment Pass (EP).

Employment pass (EP) is straightforward, it can only be applied by the employer. If the job offer is confirmed, the next step would be to assist the employer to apply for the EP. One can read up about the requirements on https://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permits, or contact any employment agency or the employer’s HR department for further advice.

But what if you are a trailing spouse? Your partner has an approved EP or a Permanent Residency (PR) in Singapore and you have come along, thus getting yourself a Dependent pass (DP). A DP is allocated to a trailing spouse of an EP card or a PR card holder. It does not matter what card the working spouse holds the legal status for the DP holder remains the same, a DP holder is not allowed to work, one has to stay home even if one wants to operate one’s own business. So what options are available for the DP holder if one wants to start a small business, like:

  1. Beautician.
  2. Trader / seller of garments / clothes.
  3. Yoga / Fitness consultant
  4. Management consultant
  5. And many more such ideas….

3 Important points to remember:

  • Validity of the DP is same as the validity of the EP or PR card holder.
  • There is no minimum salary for obtaining an LOC
  • There is no quota requirement for obtaining an LOC

LOC Application

A dependent pass (DP) holder cannot apply for an LOC on his own. Only a company can apply for an LOC on behalf of the dependant pass holder.

Being a company director does not automatically give you the right to work in Singapore if you are a dependent pass holder.

Reasons affecting the outcome of the LOC application

Fortunately, there are nil qualifying criteria for LOC applicants. However, it does not mean that they approved all LOC applications.

Each of these applications is given due weightage and approved on its own merit. The approval or rejection is entirely at the discretion of the Ministry of Manpower.

But one can say that there is a 95% chance of approval if a qualified corporate secretarial practitioner did correctly the application.

It definitely helps if the applicant:

  • Has a good business idea.
  • Has prior experience.
  • Has an education degree of some sort.
  • Can add to the betterment of the country.
  • Positively impact the economy
  • Positively impact the cultural and social fabric of Singapore

Supporting Documents

The most important document needed is that the DP’s spouse has a valid employment pass (EP). Therefore, the best time to apply for the LOC is immediately on receipt of the DP status.

So this way, one can enjoy the full benefits of the LOC for the same period as the employment pass’ validity.

Second most important document is the written consent from the dependent pass candidate.

Once the above two are established, a corporate service provider can then assist in the LOC application. Sometimes, additional documents such as a resume, or details of the business idea would be asked for. All documents have to be in English, or a valid translated copy in English has to be attached.

Time needed

The actual timing is just under a month. But the corporate service provider requires some prior preparation to ensure the company is ready for the LOC application. That could take an additional month. So, in totality, one can expect the approval to be received in about 60 to 90 days.

Letter of Consent expiry or renewal

The LOC expires along with the expiry of the dependent pass. The dependent pass expires along with the employment pass. This happens only if the employment pass holder resigns from his/her job.

The LOC for the dependent pass holder can be renewed under these conditions:-

  • The employment pass holder’s employment contract is renewed and he/she is allocated with a renewed employment pass.
  • The employment pass holder changes jobs, thus cancelling the previous EP and the new company successfully applying a new EP.
  • The employment pass holder is allocated a permanent resider (PR) card. Under this condition, the trailing spouse then is allocated a new dependent pass but now tagged to the PR holder. Conditions remain the same.

In all the above 3 cases, the LOC has to be renewed. Conditions for renewals are:-

  • In the past the LOC business owner has paid all the government dues.
  • Has declared the relevant tax.
  • Paid Medisave.
  • Has employed at least one Singaporean and paid the CPF contribution for the employee well within time.

If the above literature has answered all your doubts, then the next step is to click the “Meet online” button and start your application journey.

If doubts persist, do still click the “Meet online” button below and give us a chance to help you with the answers. We will also love to learn from you in that process.

FAQ – Letter of consent

All who stay in Singapore and hold a Dependent Pass because their spouse is an employment pass holder or a permanent resident in Singapore are eligible for LOC.

Also, those who are on Long term Visit Pass (LTVP) are also categorized as a dependent and will be eligible.

Only a prospective employer can apply for the LOC. An individual or the sponsoring spouse cannot apply for the LOC.


As long as the visa of the sponsoring spouse is valid.

Yes, if they have been issued the Letter of consent by a prospective employer.

Yes. But one has to be employed by a company. Only a company can apply for LOC for a dependent pass holder.

No. It can only be applied by a prospective employer for the LTVP holder.

No. To work, a LTVP holder needs an LOC and a LOC can only be applied by the prospective employer company. Therefore, one cannot work freelance as a LTVP holder.

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