Employment Pass Singapore: How to Apply

From navigating complex documents to meeting firm government requirements, applying for an Employment Pass in Singapore can be difficult and stressful. This guide overviews the requirements and procedures you’ll need to know to get started. We can also help guide you through the entire process as part of our incorporation services for businesses.
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An Employment Pass (EP) is a work visa designed for foreign professionals with specialized skills, managers, and company directors who want to work and live in Singapore. This guide provides detailed information on the Employment Pass in Singapore that includes:

Employment Pass Quick Facts

  • An Employment Pass in Singapore allows the holder to live and work in Singapore as an employee of the sponsoring Singapore company.
  • An Employment Pass application must be filed by the sponsoring company or the authorized corporate service provider that holds the  Employment Agency (EA) license, which is required for employment agencies to operate in Singapore.
  • The candidate must earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$4,500 per month (which will be increased in September 2022). In some cases, Singapore requires more experienced candidates to earn a higher salary.
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Do I Need an Employment Pass or Entrepreneur Pass?

If you’re listed as a shareholder of a newly incorporated company, Singapore authorities will consider you an entrepreneur.  You should therefore apply for an Entrepreneur Pass instead of an Employment Pass. For companies that have been incorporated in Singapore for longer than six months, the shareholding issue does not apply. You are free to apply for an Employment Pass in Singapore.

Singapore Employment Pass Eligibility and Salary Requirements

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has tightened its requirements for Employment Pass applicants. To be approved by MOM, candidates must meet the following qualifications:
Persons of any nationality can apply for an Employment Pass.
The foreign professional must have a job offer in Singapore.
The position must be for a managerial, executive, or specialist role.

The candidate must earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$4,500 for graduates of reputable universities. This applies to candidates who are new graduates of reputable universities.

  • More experienced candidates are required to have commensurately higher salaries.
  • As of September 2022, applicants will be required to earn even higher salaries. Read more updates to EP qualifying salary.
Candidates must have acceptable qualifications, usually including a university degree, professional qualifications, and/or specialized skills.
As of February 1, 2022, candidates must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to be aprroved for an Employment Pass.

Important Note:

From September 2023, Employment Pass candidates should also meet the required minimum of 40 points under the new points-based Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) to be eligible for the pass. The new COMPASS system will evaluate applications based on the individual’s set of qualifications and company attributes and be scored on several criteria: salary, qualification, diversity, support for local employment, skills bonus, and strategic economic priority bonus. The program also considers certain cases when applicants are exempted from COMPASS.

If you’d like to screen for your eligibility for an Employment Pass in Singapore, explore the Ministry of Manpower’s Self Assessment Tool. This tool can help you learn if you’re eligible to apply. However, be aware that the tool is not a guarantee for approval. Exceptions exist, especially for senior managers and employees with specialized skills.
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Company Requirement to Advertise the Position

As a part of the Fair Consideration Framework in Singapore, companies must first advertise the vacant position on the MyCareersFuture for at least 28 days before applying for an Employment Pass in Singapore.
Singapore companies are not required to post on the job board if they meet the following conditions:
  • The company has 10 or fewer employees
  • The position pays a fixed monthly salary of S$20,000 per month or more
  • The job must be filled by an intra-corporate transferee (i.e., those holding senior positions in the company or have an advanced level of expertise)
  • The job is necessary for no longer than one month

Documents Required for Singapore Employment Pass

To apply for an Employment Pass in Singapore, MOM requires clear copies of each of the following documents:

  • The personal particulars page of the candidate’s passport
  • The company’s latest business profile or instant information registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
  • The candidate’s educational certificates (e.g., degree certification)
  • Written consent from the candidate allowing the company or employment agent to apply on his or her behalf
  • Any additional documents that MOM may request

Note that all documents must be in English or translated into English.

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How to Get an Employment Pass for Singapore

To apply for an Employment Pass in Singapore, a company or a registered employment agent must complete the following six steps:

Singapore Employment Pass Appeal

If an Employment Pass application is rejected, the company or employment agent can appeal within three months. Note that a company should appeal only if it can present new information to address the issues in the rejection advisory.

Appeals can be submitted online and take a minimum of three weeks for MOM to process.

Renewing an Employment Pass

An Employment Pass in Singapore will expire after two years and can be renewed for a period of up to three years.

All renewal requests must be submitted through myMOM by the company or employment agent. A request to renew can be submitted up to six months before the pass expires.

Furthermore, MOM must receive the application to renew at least two weeks before the Employment Pass expires. If the pass is not renewed before it expires, the candidate must apply for a new pass.

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get help registering company in singapore

Canceling an Employment Pass

If the Employment Pass holder ceases employment or the Employment Pass expires, the company or employment agent must cancel the pass within one week.

Prior to canceling the Employment Pass, the company must receive tax clearance from IRAS to ensure the Employment Pass holder has paid his or her taxes. Furthermore, the company must buy the Employment Pass holder’s airfare to return home.

An Employment Pass pass can be canceled through myMOM. Once canceled, the Employment Pass holder will be issued a cancellation ...

Replacing an Employment Pass Card

If an Employment Pass card is stolen, lost, or damaged, the company or employment agent must apply for a replacement card within one week. If the card was stolen, the card holder must include a police report (in English or translated into English) with the application.

If the Employment Pass holder is overseas, the company should notify MOM immediately. Once notified, MOM will issue the Employment Pass holder a letter that will allow him or her to enter Singapore.

Requirement to Notify MOM of Any Changes

If any of the following changes occur, the company must notify MOM as soon as possible:
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1
Decrease in the Employment Pass holder’s salary
2
EP holder moves to a new address
3
EP holder has changed his or her particulars
4
Employment Pass holder is transferred to a related subsidiary or parent company
5
Company name change
6
New company address
7
EP holder takes a new position with the company
8
EP holder is missing

Passes for Family Members

Employment Pass holders are allowed to bring certain family members to Singapore if they earn at least S$6,000 per month.

Family members may enter Singapore under a Dependent Pass or a Long-Term Visit Pass. The following family members may enter with a Dependent Pass:

  • A legally married spouse
  • Unmarried children under the age of 21, including those legally adopted

Before May 1, 2021, a family member who held a Dependent Pass could work in Singapore as long as he or she received a Letter of Consent (LOC).

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get help registering company in singapore

What If My Employer Changes?

If an Employment Pass holder decides to change jobs, the new employer must apply for a new Employment Pass. This also applies if an Employment Pass holder is moving positions from a subsidiary to the parent company or vice versa.

Like any new application, MOM will evaluate the candidate’s eligibility and qualifications before approving or denying the new Employment Pass.

The Employment Pass holder does not need to cancel his or her existing Employment Pass before applying for the new Employment Pass.

What’s the Simplest Way to Apply for an Employment Pass?

With tighter controls and important documents to keep track of, the easiest way to obtain an Employment Pass is to work with a corporate services provider. CorporateServices.com offers expert guidance throughout the entire application process. Contact us now if you need help filing for an Employment Pass for yourself or your company staff.
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