How to Cancel a Work Permit for Foreign Domestic Workers in Singapore

Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

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An employer-employee relationship between you and your helper is not indefinite, and there may be circumstances in which their work permit may not be eligible anymore such as when their work permit expires or is cancelled due to failure to meet the requirements.

You might be thinking that there’s nothing for you to do anymore after your helper has left the country, but it’s still a good idea to cancel your helper’s work permit within the initial week they have left Singapore to avoid any outstanding employment issues.

How to cancel maid’s work permit online?

Take note that you don’t need to cancel your helper’s work permit if it has already expired. Moreover, you can only cancel the work permit if you are the employer, sponsor, or employment agent of the helper.

Aside from cancelling the work permit, you can also consider transferring your helper to another employer or employment agency.

What do I do before cancelling the permit?

As the employer, there are things you need to do before a work permit cancellation:

  • You must first agree with your helper regarding their last day of work;
  • You must settle all outstanding employment issues that your helper may raise before they leave Singapore;
  • You must ensure that your helper has a valid passport;
  • You must have a discussion and written agreement with your helper before buying a planet ticket such as any connecting flights, layover hours, or allowance throughout the trip;
  • You must buy a plane ticket with check-in luggage and pay for all transport costs until they arrive at the airport. Their departure date must be within 2 weeks from the cancellation of the work permit.

How do I cancel the work permit?

There are two ways to cancel your helper’s work permit depending if they are still in Singapore or not. You can file the request yourself or on behalf of the employer who doesn’t have a SingPass. Depending on the request, you would need to upload a clear copy of certain documents. For example, if your helper is missing, you would need to file a missing person police report or if the employer has passed away, their death certificate.

The foreign domestic worker is still in Singapore

The first step in cancelling your helper’s work permit if they’re still in Singapore is to log in to the Ministry of Manpower’s FDW eService to cancel the work permit. From there, you can search for the “Request to cancel the work permit of a foreign domestic worker”. This form will help you start the process of cancelling your helper’s work permit.

Second, print the special pass and give it to your helper. This will allow them to stay in Singapore before your helper’s departure.

Finally, your helper needs to show their special pass and valid passport to the immigration officer when leaving Singapore.

You must make sure your helper leaves the country before their special pass expires. The security bond is usually discharged a week after their departure if all the conditions are met.

The foreign domestic worker has left Singapore

Like the previous classification, the first step in cancelling your helper’s work permit, if they have left Singapore, is to log in to the Ministry of Manpower’s FDW Service to cancel the work permit.

From there, select from the dropdown list the choice “My helper or I wish to end this employment or she has gone home and will not be returning” from the list of cancellation reasons.

Take note that the security bond will be discharged 2 weeks after it has been verified that your helper has left Singapore and if all the conditions are met.

What happens after I have cancelled the work permit?

After you have cancelled their work permit, your helper is not allowed to work even if they are still waiting to leave Singapore. Their levy will be charged until a day before the cancellation. Take note that once the work permit has been cancelled, cut the card in half and discard it so it won’t be misused.

If your helper has not yet left Singapore, ensure that they have a valid and legal stay or else an overstaying fine may be imposed. It is also considered a criminal offence in Singapore for foreigners to remain beyond their visa’s expiry date, or for employers to employ foreigners without a valid work permit.

When should I cancel the work permit?

Ideally, you must cancel work permit within a week after your helper’s last day of work. However, you can still cancel it a day after the work permit expiry date.

Take note that you won’t need to cancel the pass if it has expired.

Important Reminders on Cancelling Work Permits

Period of notice

In terms of the employment contract, you and your helper can end or cancel employer-employee relationship based on the contract early as long as both of you have agreed to the terms. Make sure to end the contract within the agreed notice period because the party ending the contract may be liable for compensation if they’re unable to rescind within the green notice period.

If you are still uncertain about the steps of cancelling your helper’s work permit, you can also visit this guide.

Drafting a contract

Even if your relationship with your helper is not governed by a contract, the current laws governing work permits govern the rules and regulations for domestic helpers. Although contracts are not obligatory, it is a safe choice to sign a contract with your helper. You can also include any condition that may protect you and your family based on the helper’s history.

Contract termination

If the contract has already ended, you would need to cancel the work permit of your helper. You can cancel the work permit by yourself, or via a representative if the helper was hired through another employer. The Ministry of Manpower details the full steps in work permit cancellation here.


Why do I need to know the work history of my FDW?

A lot of households in Singapore engage the services of domestic helpers or live-in caregivers to ease the burden or to give appropriate care to their elderly loved ones. If you opt to hire an FDW, you must first secure a work permit before they start working for you.

Since the FDW will be taking care of the most important people in your life, you must check their employment history before you hire them. This can help you prevent and avoid any common helper-related issues.

If you don’t want to engage the services of a foreign domestic worker due to their history, you also have the option of hiring part-time caregivers who can take care of your elderly loved ones until you get home.

Can I blacklist an FDW in Singapore?

No, employers don’t have the final say on whether domestic helpers are blacklisted from working in Singapore. Ultimately, the Ministry of Manpower is responsible for implementing the laws and regulations surrounding employment and has the authority to decide whether someone is eligible to work in the country.

However, you can take certain steps to have the effect of blacklisting your domestic helper. You can either provide reference or feedback which can be accessed by the prospective employer. You also have the choice of losing a complaint with the MOM, if it involves a local employee.

What should I do if my FDW misbehaves?

There are different things you can do if your FDW misbehaves:

  • You can write to the MOM for them to take appropriate action based on the facts or circumstances you have provided. Any FDW who has violated the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act or criminal offences are barred permanently from working in Singapore.
  • If you are dissatisfied with the service standard of your employment agency, you can file a complaint with the respective accreditation body.

If hiring a foreign domestic worker is no longer an option for you, Retire Genie offers you another option where your elderly loved ones can live with the support of a community and the comfort of a home.

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