Work Permit Holders’ Bank Accounts Will be Frozen After Their Work Permits Are Cancelled

Did you know that if you’re a work permit holder in Singapore, you need to close your bank account before leaving the country?

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore has introduced a new rule for work permit holders. If you’re leaving Singapore because your employment has ended, you should close your bank account before you go.

This is to prevent your inactive account from being used for illegal activities like money laundering or fraud.

The rule does not apply to those holding S Passes or Employment Passes.

As of December last year, there were about 1.113 million foreign workers with work permits in Singapore, including around 286,300 foreign domestic workers.

Why This Rule?

The main idea is to protect against your account being used for the aforementioned shady activities. There have been cases where people handed over their ATM cards and passwords before leaving, which got misused. Closing your account can prevent this.

If you do not close your account, once your work permit is cancelled or expires, the bank will automatically freeze your account.

Don’t worry though, your money won’t be taken away. If you return to Singapore, you can still get your money back by showing proof of identity. But while your account is frozen, you won’t be able to access it or make any transactions.

You can close your bank account online or by going to the bank in person. Each bank might have slightly different procedures, so it’s a good idea to check with your bank about the exact steps you need to take, MOM advised.

Employers also have a role to play.

When they apply for a work permit for their foreign workers, the MOM website will remind them to tell their workers to close their bank accounts before their contracts end and they return home. 

The MOM sent out reminders through the FWMOMCare app on 14 June 2023. This app was initially launched in May 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic to monitor the health of foreign workers.

Now, it has added features like reporting unsafe work conditions, accessing telemedicine services, and booking facilities at leisure centres; basically a one-stop information platform for work permit holders.

So, if you or someone you know is a work permit holder in Singapore, make sure to close your bank account before leaving the country.

It’s a simple step that can prevent a lot of hassle and potential legal issues down the road. And hey, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!