How to Hire a Filipino Domestic Helper in Singapore

IMG_1416 It is a challenge to have a work and life balance nowadays.

You need to work to save money and meet the needs of the family, at the same time, you want to make sure you have a happy and healthy household to go home to every end of working day.

At some point, you find it inevitable to have some extra loving hands to do some home chores and look after your children while you focus on work.  Hiring a domestic helper in Singapore is something essential yet a very costly workaround in meeting the demands of work-life balance in this city-state.

There are two ways to employ a Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) in Singapore where one is through agency hire and the other is through direct hire.

If you do not have the time and would want to spare yourself from the trouble of processing work permit and other related matters related to hiring and maintaining your FDW, you can get the services of a licensed employment agency for a certain fee. The employment agency normally has a pool of FDW candidates where you can choose from and they will process the work permit of your chosen FDW. Click here to select an employment agency in Singapore.

However, if you have a referral from the Philippines and would want to directly hire the FDW yourself, you can do so by following these steps:

1. Attend a mandatory Employer Orientation Programme (EOP) for first-time employer of FDW. The orientation can be done on a classroom setting  or online, costs are $30 and $40, respectively.

2. Submit a work permit online application and pay the $30 application fee online via Visa, MasterCard or eNets Debit. You can check the status of your application on the next working day.

3. If your application is approved, you will need to print the In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter for your FDW. Keep a copy of the IPA for yourself and send one to your FDW. Receiving the IPA is your queue to prepare for the arrival of your FDW. However, if your application is rejected, you may appeal the decision and send your appeal letter and other supporting documents through iSubmit.

4. Buy the required security bond, medical and personal accident insurance, and an additional performance bond for Filipino Demstic Helpers.  You may buy from any insurance company in Singapore but for convenience, you may inquire online, call or visit any branch of NTUC Income to know the available insurance options. Rates varies depending on the insurance coverage.

5. Register for the Settling-In Programme (SIP) if your FDW is working for the first time in Singapore. You can register, pay and book a slot for your FDW online and the cost is $75.

6. If you have successfully completed steps 1-5, you are now ready to book a flight for your FDW. Remember that she has to have a valid passport and the IPA letter from Ministry of Manpower when entering Singapore.

7. Once your FDW arrives in Singapore, you have to send her to her scheduled SIP. This must be within the first 3 working days of her arrival.

8. Send her next for Medical Examination within 2 weeks of arrival. Bring a blank  Medical Form to any recognized medical doctor in Singapore who can perform the medical examination. The cost is about $75.

9.  After completing SIP and receiving the positive results of the medical examination, return to your work permit online application and apply for the issuance of the Work Permit. The card application cost is $30.

10. You will receive a Notification Letter indicating the instructions on when and how to send your FDW to Ministry of Manpower Services Centre for finger-printing and photo-taking. After this appointment with MOM, the card will be delivered within 4 working days and she may legally start work as FDW.

The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore website has a lot of easy to understand information and easy to follow instructions for would-be employers of Filipino Domestic Helpers. Their contact centre people are also very helpful and can efficiently guide a first-time FDW employer. Inquiries may be sent via email or call MOM through hotline: 6438 5122 (for Singapore callers). 

Remember this! The Philippine Government requires Filipino Domestic Helpers to go through a licensed employment agency in the Philippine to work in Singapore. If you are able to bring in your FDW to Singapore initially as a tourist and obtain work permit afterwards, you will still need to liaise with an employment agency in Singapore for the processing of her Home Leave when she has served less that two years for the same employer and intends to go back to the Philippines for vacation. There are many employment agencies in Lucky Plaza in Orchard Road, Singapore which process FDW home leaves for about $270-300 fee. Find more information on home leaves for FDWs here.

Who is an Eligible Filipino Domestic Helper?

  • Must be female
  • Must be from 23 to 50 years old 
  • Must have 8 years of formal education 
  • Must have nurturing heart, caring hands and someone trustworthy

3 thoughts on “How to Hire a Filipino Domestic Helper in Singapore

  1. Hello! Thank you for sharing! Like to check with you if you have any idea what you shared are still valid? Any change which I need to take note? We are trying to get back our Sister’s helper who has went back to Philippines last year, and every source is claiming that we need an authorised agency to hire her.


  2. Hi Lyn! Correct, you would still need to liaise and pay processing fee with an agency in Singapore to process her home leave when she intend to go back to the Philippines for her vacation.


  3. hi there!
    chanced upon ur blog and i find it really helpful for my direct hire.. there is a helper i wish to hire. She just went back the day before and wishes to return to work under me. the steps seem simple enough but i don’t really understand the last part about requiring a singapore agency for processing home leave .

    Does it mean that to bring her in she just needs my IPA and insurance.. but to go home after 2 year she needs an agency?
    M in a very desperate situation as i need a maid urgently and wish to have her back asap..


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