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Epica Guide Series

A Complete Guide to Singapore Employment Pass

Refer to this guide if you have any questions about Singapore Employment Pass. We have explained all relevant details here.

Watch the video or read below

Singapore Employment Pass Guide

Singapore is not just a world-class destination; it is also one of the most lucrative places in the world to live, set up a business, and advance in the career. Many people from Apac countries as well as from far off destinations, aspire to work in Singapore. Also many world-class companies are planning their expansion in Singapore and at times they have lot of questions about Employment Pass and how they can bring in key staff in Singapore. This article has been developed as a comprehensive guide to explain to you everything about Singapore employment pass.

For your convenience, we have divided this guide into multiple logical sections.

What is a Singapore Employment Pass?

Singapore Employment Pass is a Singapore work visa issued by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower to the foreign employees, professionals, managers, and owners or directors of Singaporean companies. This is a work visa that allows you to live and work in Singapore, as well as travel in and out of the country without having to apply for entry visas. In a sense, Singapore Employment pass is similar to US H1B, Australia’s visa 457 or the UK tier 2 visa, which is used for skilled employees.

As of 2019, there are 184,000 people in Singapore on Employment pass. This is one of the most important skilled Visa in Singapore to bring in the talent in various disciplines that may not be available from the resident population.

As you can see, Singapore is a small nation with close to 4 million resident population. But at the same time, it is a large economy, with trade throughout Asia. So filling the shortage of people in-demand professions become quite important.

The majority of these employment pass holders work in multinationals, medium-sized enterprises and SMEs in Managerial and specialist occupations.

Who can apply for Employment Pass (EP), What are the privileges?

Employment Pass (EP) is the most commonly granted work visa by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to foreign professionals.

However, the application for the employment pass must be made by a Singapore Registered Company for a specific employee they want to bring into Singapore. For this the company must have interviewed the candidate, has given a job offer and the job offer is accepted by the candidate. Once these basic prerequisites are completed, then the company can proceed to lodge the application for employment pass with the Ministry of Manpower.

So the key thing to note here is having a confirmed job offer is important. If an individual thinks that he will apply for employment pass on his own, then that’s not going to happen. If such a person is high earner, then he can consider applying for a personalized Employment Pass.

who can apply for employment pass

Some other Key points to note here are :

  • It is granted to the foreign managers, directors, business owners, executives, or other professionals who are doing or are offered a job in Singapore.
  • Employment Pass has a validity of one to two years and can be renewed up to three years.
  • Employment Pass offers a multiple journey entry visa, which enables you to travel outside the country without any requirement of applying for an entry visa to Singapore every time you leave Singapore.
  • With Employment Pass, it becomes easier to apply for Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR).

Who is eligible for the Employment Pass?

According to the criteria given by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower, to be eligible to get an employment pass you must:

Eligibility for applying for Employment pass
  • Be newly hired or employed by a well-settled business which is registered in Singapore, and this company intends to bring you in Singapore for the job.
  • Have a minimum salary of S$3,600 per month. Individuals with more work experience are required to earn a higher salary.
  • Be educated with a valid higher education degree(s) or possess an excellent work background and salary. For the individuals who do not have a bachelor's degree, you have to justify that you possess enough work-related experience that can compensate for the lack of education.

You should also be aware that meeting these requirements does not guarantee that you will receive the Employment Pass (EP), the MOM will consider the entire application when reviewing a candidate’s record.


What if you don’t meet this criteria for Employment pass (EP)

Personalised employment pass and entrepass are other options if you don’t qualify for employment pass
  • If you do not have a sponsor company but you are a high-income earner, then a Personalized Employment pass would be the most suitable option for you. However, you will have to fulfill other stringent requirements.
  • The Entrepreneur Visa, also known as EntrePass, is more suitable for you in case you are an entrepreneur and are seeking to invest and set up a new startup business in Singapore.

The documents required for the Employment Pass application

Your employment agent or company sponsor will be required to submit several documents along with the application for the Singapore Employment Pass. These include:

general documents required for employment pass application filing
  • Employment Pass application form 8, duly completed via Employment Pass Online portal (EPOL)
  • Scanned copies of your education documents including all certificates and transcripts
  • CV or resume along with the previous employers' references
  • Your Passport’s personal particulars page
  • Your sponsor/employer Company’s profile and a detailed explanation of the responsibilities of the job

In case you and your employing company are not able to handle the requirement of additional documents, you can ask your reliable licensed immigration consultant to handle it and liaise with MOM on your behalf.

There are certain country-specific requirements of MOM as well. These are mentioned below.


additional documents for candidates from india

Additional documents for candidates from India

Employment Pass (EP) applicants from India are required to submit a full set of transcripts or marksheets, indicating the college the candidate attended, in support of their employment pass application.


Additional documents for candidates from China

additional documents for candidates from china

Employment Pass (EP) applicants who are from China are required to submit proof of a diploma in English from one of the following sources:

  • Higher Education Student Information and Career Center of China.
  • Graduate Education Information and China Academic Degrees.
  • Verification from Dataflow Group. Dataflow group is a third-party service that carries out background checks and verifies credentials of the Employment Pass (EP) candidates.

The procedure for submission of Employment Pass Application

It must be remembered that to get a Singapore Employment pass for you, only your employment agency or employer can apply on your behalf. And they have the following two options for this:

Online Application Via the EPOL System (Mostly used now)

For application through online system following is the stepwise procedure that is required to be adopted:

application for employment pass is filed online via EPOL system
  • You must permit your sponsor to apply on your behalf in the form of written consent.
  • The sponsor carries out the following actions:
    • Completes and lodges the application through Employment Pass (EP) Online
    • Gathers and uploads the supporting documents that are required with the application, and
    • Pays the application fee to MOM

One of the best way is to hire a professional Employment Agency like ours to do this work for you.


Manual Submission of Employment Pass Application (Used in past, now rarely used)

In case you or your agent decides to submit the application manually over the counter at any Singapore branch following procedure is required to be followed:

old method was to submit paper application for employment pass filing but it is not used anymore
  • You have to give permission to your sponsor to apply on your behalf in the form of written consent.
  • The sponsor carries out the following actions:
    • Completes the filling of Employment Pass Forms (for sponsorship cases)
    • Collects the copies of supporting documents that are required with the application and indicated on the form.
    • Submits at a SingPost Branch’s (Singapore Post Office) counter your application form along with the supporting documents
    • Deposit the fee using cash, MasterCard, visa, CashCard, or eNets Debit.

The processing time for paper applications often lasts for several weeks. So generally this procedure is not much used now a days.

Requirement to advertise the job openings at the Jobs Bank

As per the law passed in August 2014, known as fair consideration framework., every company that intends to hire an Employment Pass holder for a job opening is required to first advertise the relevant position in Singapore workforce development agency’s jobs bank for two weeks at the least. Only when there is no suitable local person applying for the job, can a company hire a foreigner for the job. This is a necessity to remain in compliance with the Singaporean fair employment practices. However, certain positions are an exception to this.

You need to advertise in jobs bank before you can file employment pass application

Following positions are exempted from the requirement of prior advertisement at the Jobs Bank:

  • Job openings that has a monthly salary of more than S$12000 per month.
  • Jobs in firms where the number of employees is fewer than 25.
  • Short-term positions (less than one month).
  • Individuals who are intra company transferees which include candidates holding senior positions and professionals with advanced levels of expertise.

Factors impacting the outcome of the Employment Pass application

The MOM’s criteria to issue employment pass focusses on many factors, particularly those which are related to the quality of Employment Pass (EP) applicant and his/her’s background and the hiring company's credentials. Some key factors determining the outcome of an application for employment pass are mentioned below:

Which factors influence the outcome of Employment pass application
  • Age, salary, and education of the Candidate, along with his professional background
  • Job responsibilities and Position of the applicant
  • Company Credentials, including its ranking and paid-up capital,
  • The Company's operating sector and its economic viability
  • Ratio of foreign Employees vis a vis the locals in the company

Company sector

the sector in which company operates has bearing on outcome of employment pass application

The application for the employment pass is more likely to be accepted if the hiring company is operating in the priority sectors. These are the sectors that contribute significantly to the growth of Singapore Economy. The Singapore government has recently introduced a program known as [email protected] program. It is aimed at providing lenient and expedited employment pass issuance procedures. If this program turns out to be successful, there is a substantial chance of implementation of more lenient and favorable employment pass regulations for foreigners who are opting for business and employment in Singapore.


How much salary you give to the candidate has a bearing on Employent pass application outcome

Salary

Salary is one of the decisive factors in the issuance of an employment pass. MOM requires that the salary of the applicant should be commensurate with his skills and should be competitive to meet the requirement of manpower in the country. If there is more than one applicant who meets the criteria of qualification and experience. Then the applicant with a higher salary is more likely to get the employment pass. This is an arrangement by the government to ensure that the applicant’s salary does not compete with the local talent.


Qualifications and experiences

Candidate qualification and previous work expereince is considered while approving employment pass application
  • The applicant's qualifications, skills, and experience should be commensurate with the scope of the job he/she is pursuing.
  • Other than resume, MOM closely scrutinize the job description of the applicant to assess the applicant's understanding of the responsibilities he will take on and how he will create the financial advantages. If the position requires special skills or qualification which are not commonly available or are scarce amongst locals, the application will be prioritized.
  • Applicants who provide the testimonials from previous employers are more likely to get their employment pass application approved. Because it validates that applicant's skills are excellent and unique.

paid up caital of the company sponsoring the application has bearing on employment pass application outcome

Paid-up Capital

Employment Pass (EP) applicants who own a company are required to provide proof that their company has a minimum of S$50,000 as paid-up capital. However, as a rule of thumb, the greater the amount of paid-up capital higher are the chances of applicant’s employment pass approval. Generally, the application from a company with low paid-up capital will need more information to be provided in support of the Employment pass application.

Things to do after the approval of the Employment Pass (EP)

The processing of the application usually takes one to two weeks. In some cases it may get extended beyond this. You can check the status of your application during this time by tracking your application number.

Once the employment pass is approved following steps need to be taken.

Steps to be taken after the employment pass is approved
  • In-principal approval (IPA) letter is issued online. In the case of a paper application, it will be sent by post to your authorized agent.
  • Employment pass In-principal approval letter includes a pre-approved single-entry visa for you to enter in Singapore.
  • The letter gives you the information that your employment pass (EP) application has been approved and you can travel now to Singapore to take up the new job. The visa for this entry is also included in the letter. You have a six months time period to enter in Singapore and start your employment and get employment pass issued. The letter will also state if you are required to undergo a medical test. In case the test is required then you can get it done once you arrive in Singapore.

It is important that you must exercise the visa given in IPA when you enter into Singapore. Do not use your previous visa or visa-free status to enter. In that case, issuing Employment pass becomes complicated.

Thumbprinting and the collection of Employment Pass

Technically you are not allowed to start the work unless your Employment pass (EP) is issued. Once you have arrived in Singapore you will normally visit your new employer the next day. Maybe you will meet your boss and new colleagues.

On the same day, the following process will need to be carried out for issuing Employment Pass (EP). This will be done either by your new Employer’s HR department (If they have lodged the application) or by the Employment Agency which was hired by your Employer to do this work. (In that case, you will be required to visit the Employment Agency office).

Medical test

only in some cases the medical test is required after ep approval

Normally, a medical examination is not a mandatory part of the process of obtaining the employment pass. However, in some cases, authorities may ask an applicant to undergo a medical test. Your Employment Pass approval letter will indicate if there is a need to undergo a medical examination or not.

Generally, the medical test includes a physical examination, certain blood tests, and an HIV test. The medical examination can be done in Singapore or the applicant’s home country. In later cases, the applicant is required to choose a reputable hospital and bring the report along. It must be noted that the medical report must be in English.

In case your Employpent Pass approval letter mentions this, then you will need to do this test before issuance of the Employment pass. The scanned copy of the report is required to be uploaded at the time of issuance.


You are required to carry these original documents for employment pass issuence

Documents that you need to carry to the office

  • Your passport
  • Disembarkation Card / Arrival card (Which was filled in at immigration when you arrived)
  • Stamped In-principal approval letter
  • Details of your residential address
  • Medical report if required

Once these documents are provided a lodgement will be made in the EPOL system and your employment pass will be issued. However, at this point in time, it is only a notification letter. With this letter, you can work and travel in- out of Singapore. So if in your new job, if you need to travel immediately, then it's not an issue.


Thumbpriniting and Card processing

When above step is completed, an appointment will be booked for you, to go to the Employment pass processing department for photo, thumbprinting and other document verification. On the time and date decided for the appointment, you are required to carry the following to the Employment Pass processing office:

thumbrinting and preperation of employment pass card is done at EP processing center in Singapore
  • Notification letter (IPA)
  • Passport
  • Disembarkation card / Arrival Card (Which was filled in at immigration when you arrived)
  • Medical report (If required)
  • Education certificates & photocopy
  • Any other documents that have been listed in the notification letter.

At the Employment pass (EP) processing department, the officer will verify all the details. Collect your photo and will finish the thumbprinting process. After this the Employment pass department will take 4-5 days to prepare the Employment pass (EP) card. The card will be sent by registered post to either your company address or to the employment agency hired for this assignment.

Once you receive the card, the process of Employment pass is completed.

Delays in approval / Rejection of your Employment Pass Application

Your application for employment pass can be delayed for two main reasons, each of which necessitates a different set of actions to be taken.

MOM may request additional documents for verification

If so, the requirement of additional document should be fulfilled in a timely manner as under:

ministry of manpower may ask for additional supporting documents for your employment pass application. This may delay the process
  • Get the necessary document scanned copies and provide it for submission
  • Normally you have a period of seven days to provide the documents asked. You can also request an extension of an additional seven days if there is a delay in the provision of required documents.
  • Sometimes you may not be able to provide all the additional documents that have been asked by MOM. For example, if your sponsor company is new and has no financial history or CPF salary records, so obviously you can not submit them, and the same needs to be informed to the authorities in response to their query.
  • Double-check the documents and ensure you are submitting the correct documents.

MOM may have rejected your employment pass application

The Ministry of Manpower can reject your employment pass (EP) application for a number of reasons. These are mentioned below so that you should be careful about them while applying for the employment pass. Common reasons for rejection are as follows:

your employment pass application may get reject. This will again delay the process as you will need to file an appeal.
  • Scope of the job and qualifications of the individual do not match. Make sure that your educational profile and experience align with the scope and requirement of the job.
  • Your employer did not hire locals or has an imbalanced ratio of locals to foreign employees in the company. This may depict a low level of trust in the local economy and also lack of contribution to Singapore.
  • There is no requirement of foreign talent for that particular job opening as there could be enough locals who could be hired for the same job. This means that a local could easily take the job that an applicant is pursuing.

Appeal after Employment Pass Rejection

you can file appeal if the employment pass is rejected. But in appeal provide some additional information for appeal to be effective.

While a rejection of the Employment Pass application can be depressing, there is no need to panic. Here is what you should do if you are facing employment pass application rejection.

  • You have the right to appeal within three months from the date of rejection of the application.
  • The appeal against the rejection can be made only by your employer or an Employment agency hired. The appeal can be lodged only by the one who lodged the original Employment pass (EP) application.
  • The MOM, in most cases, lists the reasons for the rejection of Employment Pass and indicate which additional documents it needs.

It is important that you provide the right information in the right format, for the appeal to be successful. For this, you need to understand the reason for rejection clearly and then work on the documents to be submitted. Quite often we have seen companies providing some irrelevant information to the Ministry in support of the appeal. Needless to say, their appeals also get rejected.

Employment Pass (EP) Renewal

Renewal of the Employment pass (EP) is a relatively straightforward procedure. Usually, three months before the expiry of your Employment pass, your Company will get a letter from the Ministry informing the due expiry of the pass. The letter will also have a pre-printed form that needs to be signed by your employer as well as by the employee and then lodged into the EPOL system.

The key points to note in case of renewal of employment pass are as follows.

Employment pass renewal process. Steps involved in renewing Employment pass
  • Usually, the Employment pass will be renewed for a period of three years.
  • The request for renewal of the employment pass can only be made by your employer or licensed employment agent.
  • The renewal request must be submitted through Employment Pass (EP) online.
  • The renewal request can be submitted up to six months before the expiration of the employment pass.
  • It is important to note that your application for renewal of employment pass must reach MOM at least two weeks before the employment pass is due to expire. If the pass is not renewed before the due expiration date, you will have to apply for a new employment pass.

Employment Pass Cancellation

If the employment cardholder ceases employment or the employment contract expires, the sponsor company or the employment agent must cancel the pass within one week. Key points to note about cancellation are:

Employment pass cancellation Process. What steps to take to cancel EP
  • Before canceling the Employment Pass (EP), it’s the responsibility of the company to get the tax clearance from IRAS to ensure that Employment Pass (EP) holder has paid his/her taxes. In general practice, the company will withhold the last month's salary payable to the employee. Only after producing the tax clearance certificate from IRAS the salary will be released to the employee.
  • The Employment Pass (EP) can be canceled through EP online. On approval of cancellation, the Employment Pass (EP) holder will be issued a letter of acknowledgment regarding the cancellation of Employment Pass (EP) and, along with it, a 30-day short-term visit pass, if he or she is still in Singapore. Furthermore, all the passes of dependents, long term visit passes, letters of consent, long term visit passes and work permits that were granted on the basis of Employment Pass (EP) will be canceled.

Lost or damaged Employment Pass (EP) Card

You may be required to get your Employment Pass replaced under following circumstances:

If you have lost or damaged your employment pass card then you need to notify mom.gov.sg immediately

Notification of Missing / Damaged Card

  • If the employment pass of a person is stolen, lost, or damaged, the sponsor company or the employment agent must apply for the replacement within one week. In the case of stolen cards, the application must include a police report that must be in English or translated in English.
  • If the employment pass holder is overseas, the company must immediately notify the MOM. After receiving the notification, the MOM will issue a letter in the name of the employment pass holder that will allow him / her to enter Singapore.

Issuance of Replacement Card

The Ministry of Manpower can reject your employment pass (EP) application for a number of reasons. These are mentioned below so that you should be careful about them while applying for the employment pass. Common reasons for rejection are as follows:

mom.gov.sg will issue a new employment pass card in place of a lost one.
  • The application for issuance of the replacement card is submitted through Employment Pass (EP) online. After the submission of the request, the applicant is required to pay a non-refundable fee as under:
    • S$60 for the replacement of damaged card
    • S$100 for the replacement of lost card (first time)
    • S$300 for the replacement of lost card (every time after the first replacement)
  • When the replacement application is approved, MOM issues a card replacement letter that gives the instructions to collect the new card.

Notifying MOM regarding any change(s) relating to your Employment Pass (EP)

Notifying any changes in your employment pass circumstances to ministry of manpower Singapore

Ministry of Manpower is required to be notified in case:

  • The company has
    • changed its name
    • has a new address
  • The employment pass holder has
    • A decrease in the salary
    • Been transferred to a parent company or related subsidiary
    • changed her or his particulars
    • a new occupation in the company
    • moved to a new address
    • gone missing

Can you bring in your dependants to Singapore?

bringing in dependants with you into Singapore when you are on employment pass
  • If you are an Employment Pass holder and earning at least S$6,000 per month, you are eligible to bring certain members of your family to Singapore.
  • Family members of the Employment Pass (EP) holder require either long term visit pass or dependent pass to enter Singapore.
  • Following family member of the Employment Pass (EP) holder are covered under dependent pass:
    • Spouse – Legally Married
    • Children – Unmarried and under the age of 21 years
    • Legally adopted children

Processing time of an application for Employment Pass (EP)

Employment Pass (EP) processing time usually takes around one - three weeks. However, if there is a delay due to the requirement of additional documents the processing time may extend by an additional 2 - 3 weeks. For rejected cases, the process is around three to five weeks.

Detailed Breakdown of Processing Time

The process consists of the following steps:

Action

Time (in days)

Remarks

Updating MOM regarding newly incorporated company 2-3 days For existing companies, this step is not required.
Filling up of forms for Employment Pass (EP) Depends on Client To be done by client & the candidate
Checking and Submitting Employment Pass (EP) application 1-2 Day Preferably should be done by a reliable authorized Employment Pass Agent
Employment Pass (EP) Application processing and approval 7-21 Days (Usually 7-10 days) In-Principle Approval (IPA) / Medical check-up (if required)
Employment Pass (EP) Card issuance 1–2 days
Employment Pass (EP) Card registration at the Ministry of Manpower’s office Depends on you for new Employment Pass (EP) applicants
Card collection Within one month of approval

Is it difficult to get the Employment Pass (EP) nowadays?

Employment pass processing is not as easy as it used to be 5-10 years back. However, we will also like to state that for genuine companies, with real need for bringing in specialized talent, this is not a problem. For a company that brings growth to the Singapore economy, approval of an employment pass is normally not an issue.

Is it difficult to get employment pass now a days

Also keep in mind, the Employment Pass application process may look straightforward. As simple as logging in to EPOL, filling the relevant application form and uploading the required documents. However, this is not the case in reality because the public information provided in the form is not the only information that is required to gain approval for the employment pass. You are also required to have good knowledge of the foreign manpower policies and also the understanding of dealing the matters with MOM if there is a complication in your case. Also, if your company is new and lacks local employees or the information that is presented on your company’s profile is not enough or misleading, then MOM may ask for additional documents detailing, such as company activities or a further explanation of why you are the best candidate for the job in question. In some cases, MOM may reject the application without even mentioning the reason to do so. Therefore, seeking professional help saves a lot of time, money and effort.

Applying for Permanent Residence (sPR) as an Employment Pass (EP) holder

If you are tired of renewing the Employment pass and want more stability with fewer restrictions, you should consider becoming Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR). Your chances of becoming the Singapore Permanent Resident are better if you are an Employment Pass (EP) holder. 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.

you can apply for singapore permenant residency when you are on employment pass

Benefits of SPR

These benefits include:

  • You are not required to hold a work visa.
  • Your family can also get a status of Singapore Permanent Resident.
  • You get more employment options and more flexibility. For example, you are not required to get a new work visa if you switch jobs.
  • You can start your business easily.

As a Singapore employment pass holder you can apply for Singapore permenant residency

How to apply for SPR

  • To get the SPR status, you are required to submit the salary slips of the past six months along with several other documents and forms. We have a separate guide on applying for Singapore permanent residency.
  • 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.

Why hire a professional Consultant for Employment Pass (EP) application?

Engage us as professional agent for your EP needs

There used to be a time when it was much easier to get Employment Pass (EP) in Singapore. All you had to do was to meet the basic criteria of salary, education and experience. But things have changed now. With complex manpower policies applying for an Employment pass can be quite challenging now.

With Singapore surfacing at the international podium as one of the most lucrative cities for foreigner’s businesses and employment, Government has placed several restrictions on the number and quality of the foreign professionals to protect the interests of the native Singaporeans at the PMET (Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians) level. In doing so, Singapore Government also wants to increase the quality of incoming foreign workers so as to create a more productive workforce. As a result of this, securing an Employment Pass (EP) and other visas has become much more complex and harder.

Aforesaid in view, you need the help of professionals to walk you through the intricacies of getting employment pass. Also, many visas like Employment Pass (EP) requires several actions to be taken by your employer or a licensed consultant on your behalf. On the other hand, Your sponsor company or employer may be new and may not have the experience to navigate through the whole system. Therefore, it is always better to hire professional consultants who specialize in immigration to Singapore along with allied requirements like Employment Pass (EP) and work permits etc.

FAQs

Is an employment pass and work pass the same thing?

No. They are not the same thing. The term Work Pass is used as a general term for a variety of visas and permits that enable a person to work in Singapore. Whereas, Employment Pass is a very specific term that is used for managerial, professional and specialist jobs. It is suitable for people at the level of executives, managers, specialists, and other skilled professionals.

The foreigners who are interested in working in Singapore have to get a suitable type of work pass (aka work visa) as per their requirements to be able to work in Singapore. The range of work passes include Employment Pass, Personalized Employment Pass, S Pass (For Semi-skilled), EntrePass (For Entrepreneurs), and Work Permit (For workers in construction and similar industry).


In how much time should I expect to get an employment pass in Singapore?

The processing time usually depends on whether the application was filed online or manually. For online applications, the process takes approximately 1-3 weeks. Whereas, in the case of manual submission of application, the processing of Employment Pass (EP) may take up to 8 weeks. However, if there is a delay due to the requirement of additional documents, you may expect an additional time period of 2-3 weeks.


What is the minimum salary requirement for obtaining an employment pass in Singapore?

Young graduates from approved institutions need to earn at least S$3,600 to be eligible to get an employment pass. Those applicants who are in managerial positions should earn at least S$6,000+. The minimum limit of salary varies with qualification and experience.


How difficult is it to get an employment pass in Singapore?

With the right credentials of the applicant and employer, the process is not very difficult. However, it has certain intricacies. MOM evaluates each application basing on a wide range of criteria in which both the individual and hiring company are assessed. Following factors play a vital role in influencing the approval of employment pass:

  • Age, salary, and education of the Candidate, along with his professional background
  • Responsibilities and Position of the applicant
  • Company Credentials, including its ranking and paid-up capital
  • The Company's operating sector and its economic viability
  • Ratio of foreigners vis a vis the locals in the company

Can an Employment Pass (EP) holder be registered as a director in another company apart from the one from which his Employment Pass (EP) has been approved?

No its not allowed unless the other company belongs to the same Corporate group.


If I am a listed shareholder, can I apply for Employment Pass (EP) for myself through my company?

Yes. You can apply employment pass for yourself under the company that you have incorporated in Singapore. In this case, the key evaluating factor entirely becomes your educational and work background.

Keep in mind that in all cases, it is necessary to demonstrate that the company can generate sufficient revenue to cover the salaries and expenses. If a company does not have existing clients, it should be able to show sound projections based on its experience in other countries, the track record of the senior management, or the ability of the shareholders to sustain the company through the initial startup phase.


Can I change jobs while I am on Employment Pass (EP)?

Yes, you can. If you want to change your job, you should ask your new employer to apply for a new employment pass for you as per your new job specifications. You may not cancel your existing Employment Pass (EP) before applying for the new one. Your application will be evaluated according to the relevant eligibility requirements.


Is there any quota for employment pass?

No. Employment passes in Singapore are not granted on any kind of quota. The quota system and foreign worker levy apply only to the S Pass and Work Permit (WP). As for the Employment Pass, Singapore-based companies can hire an unlimited number of foreign professionals. Nevertheless, employers should be mindful of the ratio of foreign workers to local employees.


What happens if I lose my job while being an Employment Pass (EP) holder?

If you lose your job, you will have 30 days to stay in Singapore and make arrangements for your departure. However, if you want to continue living and working in Singapore, you can apply for a new job during this period. If you do not secure a new Employment Pass during this period, you must leave Singapore after 30 days and arrive again upon approval of the new Employment Pass (EP). If you have overstayed for more than 30 days, you will be subjected to penalties, and also, you can face problems in getting any work pass in the future.

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