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Epica Guide Series

Guide to Singapore Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)

Refer to this guide if you have any questions about Singapore Personalized Employment Pass (PEP). PEP enable people with high salaries to get Singapore EP without a sponsor.

Watch the video or read below

A complete guide to Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) in Singapore

One of the many types of work visa that is offered by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Singapore is the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP). This visa pass is offered to professionals with certain specific eligibility. The other options of work pass for the professional applicants are Employment Pass (EP) and the Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass).

This guide is set to lay out detailed information regarding the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP). Please read through the article to get a complete grasp/understanding of all aspects related to the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP).

What is a Singapore Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?

It is a particular type of work pass which is not linked to any specific employer. Therefore, it allows its holder to switch employment in Singapore without reapplying for the entry visa. Thus, Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is defined as a type of work visa that is offered to the top tier foreign professionals and highly skilled individuals based on strict criteria of individual merits that include their education, prior salary, and experience. To be eligible for his you must be earning at least 12,000 SGD per month in Singapore or SGD 18,000 per month if applying from overseas.

Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) Vs. Standard Employment Pass (EP)

PEP and EP may appear similar in many ways, but they are two different kinds of work passes that are offered by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Singapore. Let's discuss their similarities and difference in detail:

Similarities

Personalised Employment Pass
  • Both Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) and Employment Pass (EP) allow their holder to work, live, and reside in Singapore. They also allow the holders to travel in and out of Singapore without any legal necessity of entry visas.
  • Family members of both Employment Pass (EP) and Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holders can come to Singapore under Dependant’s Pass and LTVP as applicable.
  • Both Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) and Employment Pass (EP) entitle their holders to stay in Singapore for a period as approved on the respective pass.

Differences

Employment Pass (EP)

Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)

Requires a sponsor company or employer in Singapore to secure the approval It does not require a sponsor company or employer in Singapore to secure the approval. Only local contact is needed.
Employment Pass (EP) is offered to the professionals working in managerial/executive positions and people with specific skills Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is offered to the high-end professionals based on individual merits
Securing a job prior to filing an application is a must Securing a job prior to the filing of application is not mandatory
Applicant is required to earn at least S$3,600 a month to be eligible to apply for Employment Pass (EP)
  • Applicant must earn a fixed salary of S$12,000 a month throughout the duration of the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) (If already working in Singapore)
  • Applicant last drawn monthly pay should be S$18,000 (for overseas applicants)
Employment Pass (EP) is issued for a period of two years Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is issued for a period of three years
Employment Pass (EP) can be renewed Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is issued as a one-time pass and can not be renewed
Employment Pass (EP) holders can start a company and get his employment pass sponsored under the same company Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holders are not entitled to start a business in Singapore (they may apply for EntrePass or employment pass if they want to do so)
Application for Employment Pass (EP) is filed only by the Sponsor Company or a licensed employment agent Application of Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) can be filed by the applicant himself or by the employment agency
Employment Pass (EP) approval is granted on the basis of the individual's personal and educational qualifications, specialized skills and relevant work experiences and salary + The sponsor Company background. Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) approval is granted on the strength of an individual’s merits

What are the Benefits of Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?

Where getting a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is a tall task, it has its corresponding benefits, which are mentioned below:

Personalised Employment Pass
  • Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) entitles its holder the freedom to explore and pursue employment opportunities, unlike other work passes where the holder is bound to the Sponsor employer.
  • Since Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holders are not bound to a sponsor employer, they can switch jobs at will without any need to apply for a new work pass, as long as they are fulfilling the minimum salary requirement. They are only required to notify the authorities by submitting a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) notification form regarding the change in the job.
  • Unlike other work passes, Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holders are not required to have a confirmed job offer to apply for the pass.
  • Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holders can stay unemployed in Singapore for a period of up to six months continuously while they are searching for a potential job opportunity.
  • Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) allows its holder to take a job in any sector as long as it is a professional job. There are few exceptions to this, such as media, security officers, health where special permission is required prior to application.
  • Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holders enjoy the dependant’s pass privilege. They can bring their legal spouses, unmarried children under 21 and parents to Singapore. However, for the parents, they are required to apply LTVP.
  • Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is a gateway to Singapore Permanent Residence. It opens pathways to residency if you wish to continue working and living there.

What are the Limitations of the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?

Personalised Employment Pass
  • Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) comes with a lot of privileges however, there are few limitations and downsides of it as well. These are mentioned below:
  • If you are an Employment Pass (EP) holder under sponsorship scheme, freelancer or foreigner who is working on a freelancing basis, you are not entitled to apply for a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP). In other words, being in a job with a Singapore based company is a must.
  • Individuals who serve as a sole proprietor, director or partner who has shares in a company registered in Singapore under ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) are not entitled to apply for Personalised Employment Pass (PEP). This is so because Personalised employment pass holders are not allowed to start any entrepreneurial activity.
  • Editors, sub-editors, journalists, and media producers are not qualified to apply for Personalised Employment Pass.
  • Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is issued once and is non-renewable. The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is issued for three years, after which you are supposed to be applying for Employment Pass (EP) or Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR) status. This means after this period your Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) expires, and if you want to continue to live and work in Singapore, you are left with only two options, apply for Employment Pass (EP) or Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR). The point of concern here is that you have to make sure that you fulfill the eligibility criteria for either of these two options. Therefore, if you are not able to secure a job within the given six months, your Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) will be canceled and you will be given a 30-day short term visa pass instead, during which you must make arrangements to leave Singapore.
  • After getting Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), you have a maximum unemployment period of six months. Within this time, you are required to seek a really high paid job that fulfills the criteria of Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) failing which your Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is rescinded.
  • You have to earn at least S$144,000 per year as salary being a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holder. You are required to submit your account statement within 30 days of the end of the calendar year, failing which will lead to several complications and your pass can also be cancelled for this reason.
  • You are required to inform the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) through notification about your employment status. This includes your job switching, change in title of the job, travel documents or any cessation of employment.

What is the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) Eligibility Criteria?

The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is meant for top-notch professionals and management and the eligibility depends upon the salary that you have drawn in previous months.

Personalised Employment Pass

To be entitled to apply for Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), you are required to be either:

  • A current Employment Pass (EP) holder who earns a fixed salary of at least S$12,000 a month in Singapore
  • An overseas foreign professional with a last drawn monthly salary of S$18,000. This salary should be within the last six months in order to apply for the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP).

Personalised Employment Pass

Other criteria include:

  • You should not be a freelancer who plans to work without a Singapore employer
  • In case of an Employment Pass (EP) holder, your Employment Pass (EP) should not have been issued by a Sponsorship scheme
  • You should not be a sole shareholding partner, proprietor, or director in any Singapore registered company with ACRA
  • You should not be a journalist, editor, sub-editor or producer

Which documents are required to apply a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?

For Employment Pass (EP) Holders

In case you are an existing Employment Pass (EP) holder, you are not required to provide any additional documents. However, you are required to fill in the following details on your Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) application form:

Personalised Employment Pass
  • Passport details of the applicant
  • Employer’s name and address, If applicable
  • Details of job and salary, if applicable
  • Details of a local contact (for overseas professionals these details can be furnished upon approval)
  • DP holder details, if applicable
  • Details of the LTVP holders, if applicable

For Overseas Based Applicants

If you are not an Employment Pass (EP) holder, you will be required to submit following additional documents for Personalised Employment Pass (PEP):

Personalised Employment Pass

A verified copy of the personal particulars page of the applicant’s Passport

  • Employment Contract – New and / or previous, if there is any
  • Salary slips – Last three months
  • Bank account statement
  • Latest tax statement
  • Copies of resume and relevant educational certificates

Note:

All documents must be in the English language. In case of documents being in any language other than English, you are required to get the document translated into English by a certified translator and deposit the translated copy along with the original document.

In addition to this you are also required to provide a local contact person to apply the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP). If you do not have a person to act as your local contact, then you can contact us. We can help you to lodge your personalised employment pass application and provide a local contact.

How to apply for Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM)has outlined the application process for the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP). Following are the steps involved in the application process of Personalised Employment Pass (PEP):

Personalised Employment Pass
  • The applicant can submit the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) application form either electronically using EP online system or duly completed in all respects at any SingPost branch. (If using EP online system, you must use an authorized employment agency).
  • Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will issue an In-Principle letter in the name of the applicant after the approval of the application.
  • After the issuance of the In-Principle letter, you have six months to get the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) issued.
  • The applicant is required to register the fingerprints and get himself photographed before the issuance of the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP).
  • The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) card will be delivered by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) at the address mentioned in the application.

What is the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) Processing time?

Personalised Employment Pass
  • The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) applications filed online are normally processed within three weeks.
  • The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) application that has been sent by post takes up to eight weeks for processing.
  • When your application for Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) gets approved, you will receive an IPA (In-Principle Approval) letter, which is valid for six months. The applicant is required to collect the pass within this period from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) office in Singapore. You shall also bring any other documents that have been requested by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in the letter.
  • The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is valid for three years. The dependants who are linked with the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) will be allowed to stay in Singapore for as long as the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is valid. However please note you will need to apply a DP again for them.

What are the conditions that you must satisfy to maintain your Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?

If you are a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holder, it is your responsibility to keep the authorities at the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Singapore informed and updated about your contact and employment details.

Here is how you can do this

Personalised Employment Pass
  • Notification form of the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)
  • Employment Pass (EP) online (EPOL )account

Note: Opening an EPOL account can make things a lot easier and doing it is quite simple. It can be done by logging in with the SingPass. (SingPass is an online gateway different types of transactions that are done with the Singapore Government)


Updates that can be done through EPOL Account

Personalised Employment Pass
  • Renewal and change of the travel documents
  • If the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is lost
  • If the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is damaged (for lost and damaged Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) cards the application for replacement must also be submitted)
  • If there is any change in the residential address
  • Change in the details of local contact
  • Yearly Salary – This has to be declared within 30 days of the last day of each calendar year
  • Change in the status of Employment – It has to be updated within seven days of the change in status. The employer is also required to intimate the authorities about the change in the employment status.

Additionally, it is also required to be gainfully employed with an annual salary of 144,000 SGD to maintain your personalised employment pass (PEP).

Is it difficult to get the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?

Personalised Employment Pass

Applying and getting a Personalised employment pass is not that difficult. So long as you satisfy all the requirements and produce proper proof of your salary and education, it should not be difficult to get it approved.

Complexity arises when the documents are not complete, or there are name changes or some details are not available altogether.

In these cases, it is better to engage an employment agency for processing your Personalised employment pass.

How can you bring your family members to Singapore as dependants of the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holder?

Following family members of the Personalised Employment Pass Holders can come to Singapore with the help of following two passes:

Personalised Employment Pass

Dependant Pass (DP):

  • Spouse – Legally Married
  • Children – Unmarried and under the age of 21 years
  • Legally adopted children below age 21 years

LTVP:

Personalised Employment Pass
  • Spouse by common law
  • Handicapped Unmarried children above 21 years
  • Stepchildren – Unmarried and under 21 years
  • Parents

Note: A common-law spouse of a Singapore work pass holder is not eligible to get a Dependant Pass (DP). However, they are eligible to get a Long Term Social Visit Pass (LTSVP), subject to certain terms and conditions.

Can Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) be Renewed?

Personalised Employment Pass

The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is a one-time issue work pass. These can not be renewed once they expire.

When the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) expires, you have the option to apply for the Employment Pass (EP) or Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR), just in case you want to continue to live and work in Singapore.

However please note that Singapore Permanent Residency has become quite difficult to get in recent times. So the chances of getting it in 3 years of stay on Personalised Employment pass (PEP) are slim. In case your PEP is expiring then get in touch with our team to explore other options.

The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) can be canceled at any point in time. And once they are canceled, you are no longer allowed to apply for the new Personalised Employment Pass (PEP).

How to get Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR) as the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holder?

A Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holder can obtain a permanent residency in Singapore during and after the expiry of the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP). But needless to say, it is a long and challenging process and can take up to 12 months. However, the benefits that you get with Singapore Permanent Residence are worth giving it a try.

Benefits of Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR)

The benefits of Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR) include:

Personalised Employment Pass
  • You are not required to hold a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), Employment Pass (EP), or any other work visa anymore.
  • Your family dependant can apply for Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR) being linked to you. That means they don’t need any LOC for working in Singapore. They can also take any job, or apply for local schools and universities.
  • You get more employment options and more flexibility.
  • You can start your own business.

How to apply for Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR)

Personalised Employment Pass
  • To get the Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR) status, you are required to submit the salary slips of the past six months along with several other documents.
  • Besides, the authorities in Singapore consider several other factors as well, such as your job credentials, credit history, and how long you have been working in Singapore.
  • In short, you have to convince the Singaporean authorities that you have substantial ties to Singapore in order to get Singapore Permanent Residence.

We have a separate guide on Singapore Permanent Residency. Please refer to the same.

Some FAQs

Are Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holders allowed to start or do business in Singapore?

No, they are not allowed to do so. The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is not a pass for business owners or independent freelancers who wish to work independently of a Singapore employer. This means that Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holders are not entitled to engage in any entrepreneurial activity or start their own business in Singapore. Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holders cannot be employed by their own company as Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is meant only for the foreigners who are employed by the third party.


Who are not eligible to apply for Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?

Following people are not eligible to get a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP):

  • Freelancer who plans to work without a Singapore employer
  • In case of an Employment Pass (EP) holder if your Employment Pass (EP) has been issued under a Sponsorship scheme
  • If you are a sole shareholding partner, proprietor, or director in any Singapore registered company with ACRA
  • If you are an editor, sub-editor, producer or journalist

Is the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holder required to leave Singapore after the expiry of the validity period?

Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is issued once and is non-renewable. The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is issued for three years, after which you are supposed to be applying for Employment Pass (EP) or Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR) status. This means that if your Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) expires, and you want to continue to live and work in Singapore, you are left with only two options. The point of concern is that you have to make sure that you fulfill the eligibility criteria for either of these two options. Therefore, if you are not able to secure a job within the given six months, your Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) will be canceled and you will be given a 30-day short term visa pass instead.


Can a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holder switch jobs without gaining approval from MOM?

Since Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holders are not bound to a sponsor employer, they can switch jobs at will without any need to apply for new work pass from MOM, as long as they are fulfilling the minimum salary requirement. However, they are required to notify the authorities by submitting a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) notification form within seven days of change in employment.


Is a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holder entitled to apply for Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR)?

Yes. A Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holder can apply for Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR) if he/she is employed at the time of filing application for Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR). It is not mandatory to apply for Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR) after the expiration of the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP).


What is the minimum salary criteria to apply for a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?

You have to earn at least S$12,000 per month as salary being a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holder in Singapore or you must earn S$18,000 per month if applying from overseas. You are required to submit your account statement within 30 days of the end of calendar year, failing which will lead to several complications and your pass can also be held for this reason.


What will happen if a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holder does not meet the requirement of the minimum salary?

If a PEP holder does not meet the minimum salary criteria of S$144,000 per year, your Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) would be cancelled and you will be issued with a Short Term Visit Pass for thirty days. If you decide to work in Singapore thereafter, your prospective employer must apply an employment pass (EP) on your behalf. (Please note the difference. Qualifying crieteira is 12,000 / 18,000 SGD salary per month, while maintenance criteria is 144,000 SGD per annum).


Is it possible to get the multiple entry visa for Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?

Yes, it is possible. You will get a multiple entry visa for your Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) when you are applying for it. It allows the holder to freely enter or leave Singapore during the validity period of the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP).


What happens if a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) holder does not find a job for more than six months?

If you are not able to secure a job within the given six months, your Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) will be canceled and you will be given a 30-day short term visa pass instead. In this period you must get either an employment pass or make arrangements to leave Singapore.


Who will sponsor my Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) and the DP of my spouse and children in Singapore?

In the case of Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) and its linked DP, no Singaporean Sponsor is required. You will have to sponsor it yourself. In addition, no banker’s guarantee is required.


Why am I required to give the details of the local contact person for my Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) application?

It is a requirement of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) that you give a local contact person who should be a Citizen of Singapore with at least 21 years of age as an emergency contact number. The local contact person, however, is not liable to the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) application in any way.

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