2023 Ultimate Guide to Hiring Transfer Maids in Singapore – All You Need to Know

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Are you seeking extra help with home chores or caring for an elderly loved one in Singapore? You have two options: search for transfer maids Singapore or hire a new maid.

The typical waiting time when hiring a foreign domestic worker is approximately ten weeks or more before they can start working. Aside from the lengthy application process, you must pay a hefty sum to their maid agencies.

On the other hand, waiting time is shorter when hiring a transfer helper. This is because the person is already in your home country and was granted permission to look for new employers.

Many households shifted to getting a maid in Singapore when the pandemic struck. Since travel restrictions were enforced worldwide, Singapore didn’t allow new foreign domestic workers to enter the country to work. As a result, MOM or the Ministry of Manpower allowed the processing of a maid’s work permit easier with the assistance of maid agencies.

Whether you’re a new employer or current employer, know other employers looking to hire a transfer maid, or a new helper or maid looking for a new employer, you will learn about the process of hiring transfer maids in Singapore. This article will tackle the step-by-step guide as stipulated by MOM.

How easier is it to hire transfer maids instead of a domestic helper in Singapore? Which maid agencies should you seek assistance from? Or what would you need from MOM in the process? And where do you start searching for a transfer maid as a new employer?

How to Find Transfer Maids in Singapore?

A transfer maid is someone in need of a new employer due to various reasons. It can be because they are no longer amenable to their current employer, so they are looking for employers in a rush need for new helpers. They can also be maids in Singapore whose contracts with their current employers are nearing their end.

The easiest thing to do is to talk to their current employer to find maids who can start working immediately after the interview and hiring process. You must know if everything is ironed out, including written consent, paperwork, consent, contract, declaration form, and approval of all parties involved.

Additionally, you can also check the Cold Storage of NTUC’s notice boards for any advertisement for a transfer maid in need of employers. Some foreign domestic maids post their services on these boards when they have an agreed transfer date with their employer or have already obtained their in-principle approval to transfer.

While you may think that hiring a transfer maid in Singapore can save you money, many employers don’t realize that this process saves the maids money too. You will both save the cost of a placement fee and getting a valid passport for the helper. However, keep in mind that a maid agency won’t help you if anything goes wrong in the process.

Why Hire a Transfer Maid Instead of a New Foreign Domestic Helper?

So what makes a transfer maid a more accessible (or, in some instances, better) choice than new foreign helpers?

  1. Minimal adjustment period

When you hire a transfer maid directly from their employer instead of a maid agency, you are ensured that your next helper has already adjusted to life in Singapore. These maids are ready to work anytime and would no longer deal with homesickness.

The thing about new foreign maids is that most would need an adjustment period to get used to living far from their families. Moreover, a transfer maid knows how to work with most appliances in many Singapore homes.

Another thing is that communication won’t be a problem with a transfer maid. They are already accustomed to the expressions and local terms used since they have been in the country for quite a time already.

  1. Have more experience

It will be best for you to hire a transfer maid if you don’t have time to oversee or train your domestic helper. These maids already have the skills, have handled responsibilities from their previous employers, know the principle followed in transferring and looking for a new work permit and a job, and have completed training from a maid agency.

Additionally, these maids have an idea about a typical Singapore family and household. They know what’s expected from them in terms of work and personal hygiene. Plus, they know their way to the grocery and other stores where you may want them to get something.

All you have to do is follow the agreed transfer date from the former employer and check if you no longer need to do anything about the work permit issued. With the paperwork completed, the maids can begin the job after all the details have been laid out.

  1. More skills

Experience has taught these maids the skills you and your household will benefit from. You can also check the employment history of foreign domestic workers through MOM, so you will gather more ideas on the kind of work they’ve previously dealt with.

If you’re the kind of employer that wants to hire a maid with a specific skill, you can request a face-to-face interview. You can also opt for an online interview if the maid is still unavailable to carry on with the application process.

Request the maid to answer questions about their skills and if they can provide the kind of service you are after. Make sure you know what you are looking for before you proceed with the hiring process.

The Step-by-Step Process of Hiring Maid Without Agency

As a new employer, you will find it easier to hire maid without agency. This is beneficial for a family in need of a rush help to take care of the elderly, children, or sick family members.

Following are the steps to follow hiring a maid without a maid agency and the current employer guide on how to allow their maids to work for other employers:

Guide for the Current Employer

Here are the things you should do to ensure everything is arranged legally and accordingly for you, the maid, and the new employer:

  1. Send the maid to their six-monthly medical exam.
  2. Go over the request of the new employer. Once you agree and are ready to consent, log in to MOM’s FDW eService. You will receive the request of the new employer via email. Log in and approve it so the new employer can proceed with the hiring process.
  3. Pay the required fees in the service and process of transfer. You have to pay the levy until the new employer issues a work permit. Your levy billing will only stop once the current work permit is canceled. This will automatically happen after a new work permit is issued.
  4. To prevent misuse of the work permit card no longer in use, cut it in half before discarding it.
  5. You will be informed when the security bond has been discharged. It typically takes a week after the maid has settled with their new employer.

Guide for the New Employer

Take note of the following, especially the first two steps, which you need to accomplish 30 days before the expiration of the maid’s work permit:

  1. Check and make sure the maid has completed the six-monthly medical exam. You must also ensure with the current employer that the pass has not expired and the work permit will still be valid longer than 30 days. If not, the current employer can process the request to extend the maid’s work permit.
  2. Send a request to get the current employer’s consent for the transfer. It typically takes a week to get a result. Once you have obtained the consent, you can apply for a new work permit for the maid. You will get an email containing the IPA or in-principle approval if the application is approved. You can also download the declaration form and IPA by logging in to MOM’s FDW eService.
  3. Once you have gotten hold of the IPA, print the declaration form, which you and the maid will sign. After signing, purchase your maid’s personal accident and medical insurance and a security bond.
  4. Get in touch with the current employer to settle on an agreed transfer date. Once done, log in to MOM’s FDW eService to process a new work permit. You will be asked to print the temporary work permit and upload the declaration form.

Here are some crucial reminders about the new work permit:

  • Make sure it is issued on or earlier than the expiry date of the current work permit.
  • The new work permit must also be obtained 21 days after its approval.
  • The maid will be fined an overstaying fee if these dates are not met.

What happens if you want to change the transfer date?

You can delay the transfer of the maid if the other employer asks you to or if you have encountered certain problems you need to address. In this case, perform the following actions:

  • Use MOM’s FDW eService to extend the expiry date of IPA.
  • Print another IPA with an updated work permit due date.


As long as you follow the guide on how to hire a transfer maid in Singapore, the process will be easy and hassle-free. If you are loaded with work or can’t find time to learn what needs to be done, you can acquire the live-in caregiver Singapore services of RC Caregivers to assist you in getting reliable transfer maids according to the timetable you have set. Talk to us about your requirements, what you’re looking for, and your expectations, and let us help you sort through the process of hiring and applications.

Joshua is the founder of RC Caregivers. Having been the primary caregiver of his father, he has been undertaking ways to provide affordable and quality care, not just to his father, but to all elderly in Singapore. He has founded multiple care companies, such as Red Crowns Senior Living, and has been featured in Straits Times, Zaobao and Money 93FM. He has also been lauded by DBS, with the company being the recipient of the DBS foundation grant.
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