Legal Alert | Work Permit Applications Go Online

The Ministry of Labour and Employment is now only accepting online applications for work permits. The Online Work Permits System (OWPS) allows applicants to apply, make payments and submit supporting documentation easily and ensures faster turnaround of applications.

Access to OWPS is available through the web address where first-time applicants will be presented with an online application form that mirrors details of the standard (handwritten) application form. Applicants who had already applied for work permits manually and would like to review or print out their applications can simply enter the reference number that was issued after successfully completing their initial application.

Upon completion of the application, one can proceed to submit it by clicking the request bill button. The applicant will then be issued with an electronic bill including a control number from the Government Electronic Payment Gateway – generated by the online system.

It should be pointed out that without the control number, an applicant cannot proceed to make payments for the work permit. One will also not be able to edit their details or request for a second bill after a bill request is made. To find out more about how to apply for work permits using OWPS, a user guide is available on the website.

It is important to note that the Ministry’s practice, which is not contained in any law, requires applicants to show a 1:10 ratio of foreigners to locals. A written succession plan is now also required as part of the application process.

Amongst our clients, we are seeing an increase of incidents where applications for permit renewals are either being granted as “final grants” or being rejected altogether. Actual succession planning, therefore, is critical due to a tighter controlled renewal process for work permits.

If you have any questions regarding this legal alert, please contact Shamiza Ratansi or Sonal Sejpal

Shamiza Ratansi
Managing Partner
Sonal Sejpal


The content of this alert is intended to be of general use only and should not be relied upon without seeking specific legal advice on any matter.