Warning, long and possibly irrelevant post ahead!!
This post is going to be of no relevance to anyone except for someone from Singapore and who employs a foreign domestic worker. I am writing this one so that it serves as a guide for me for the future and if, in the process, it helps anyone else, it’s even better!
In November, I got a letter from the Ministry of Manpower letting me know that her two year contract with me was coming to an end around the end of the year. I had to renew her contract or send her back home. Both my V and me were keen to renew the contract, but I did not want to involve the agent who had initially placed her with me as I was not happy with the after sales service that was given to me when V and me had differences over the last two years. Ironically at this same time the agent did get in touch with me to check if I was going to renew the contract. Then she went behind my back and spoke to V directly asking her to renew the contract using her services. When V checked with me, I was ambivalent about it but let V know that if she did use the agent, she will have to bear any extra costs herself as I was not interested in paying her any commission. Later V also realized that using the agent would probably mean that she may have to hand over one or more months salary as commission. So we decided to do it on our own.
I checked an online forum I visit and found out the process. It’s fairly simple actually.
You need to get the insurance and bond first before you do anything else. I used NTUC Income, package MI3E which cost me S$ 256.80 for a 26 months insurance. The insurance cannot be done online, so give them a call with the MOM letter in hand. They take your credit card number and process the payment immediately. You can then do the renewal the next day at the MOM website.
Actual Renewal Process
At the MOM website, the renewal process is very simple. Using your SingPass, you log in and do the renewal. A form letter is generated which you have to print to bring with you to the Work Pass Services Office to process the new work permit. This letter will give you the date when you need to be there. Along with the form letter, you also need to print out and fill up a kind of guarantee letter, which basically tells MOM that you, as the employer are guaranteeing the cost of the stay of the FDW.
Work Pass Services Centre
On the date mentioned in your form letter, make your way to the Work Pass Service Centre at Tajong Pagar. This was very close to my office and so took me less than 10 minutes to reach by taxi. The WPSC is located very close to the Keppel Shipyard. There, make your way to the room indicated in the letter and take a queue number. When I went there, it was very quiet, maybe because it was around 3 on a Friday afternoon, but the queue number that I got was called within five minutes. They check the FDW’s passport, old work permit, documents and your identity card. Then you can asked to take the form and go to another room where you can pick up the new work permit. There, the wait was around 10 minutes and I got the new work permit for my helper and that was it! I was in and out of the place in less than 20 minutes.
Wonder why I was so scared of the process. But this bodes well for any future renewals.