FAQs: Everything about Singapore Employment Pass

  • Ace Global
  • December 29, 2021

Singapore has become one of the most popular foreign destinations in the world, especially for employees from different countries who are finding more career opportunities. For this reason, more and more people are looking for pieces of information about applying for a Singapore Employment Pass to work in this nation. This article provides what it takes to become a Singapore EP visa holder.

1. What is the definition of Singapore Employment Pass?

Singapore Employment Pass (EP) is a work visa that allows foreigners to hold specialist, managerial or executive positions while doing business in Singapore. Applications for the Singapore Employment Pass must be approved by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) before officially moving to Singapore to start working for the Singapore company.

2. What is the benefit of holding a Singapore EP holder?

As a Singapore EP holder, you are allowed to open a current or savings account, rent properties and purchase local health insurance. You will not need to cancel your current Pass to register a new application. The original pass is valid for 1 or 2 years and is extended for 3 years.

With this visa, you can travel outside Singapore without re-applying for a visa. You are also eligible to apply for Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) after working for one year in Singapore.

3. What are the factors that affect the approval of Singapore Employment Pass?

In Singapore, there are many job opportunities for Singaporeans to pursue but not all jobs created can be filled with local candidates. Local people also realize that many of these job opportunities are not opened to them. Because of this, the more difficult criteria for eligibility for companies applying for Singapore Employment Pass for their foreign candidates have been given by MOM. Here are some factors to consider when you apply for Singapore EP for your foreign employees:

The professional and educational experience of the candidate

One of the criteria that can be achieved through employment is to have acceptable qualifications, such as good educational qualifications and professional information. It is better if a candidate has a degree but someone who does not have enough experience can still be persuasive. A university degree in Singapore has a lot of weight.


A candidate who deserves a higher salary means that he has significant value to the employer and may have a higher chance of being accepted. But a job in Singapore can be handled solely on pay. An app that has a high salary but lacks commendable experience and education is more likely to be rejected.

The unique value of the candidate

You must be willing to demonstrate to the MOM the unique value that the company will be able to get from the candidate and why it cannot find it from the local talent team.


Singapore welcomes all candidates, especially in the fields of sunrise that the government is trying to develop now or in industries where there are not many trained candidates. You can find a list of required strategies and skills on the Ministry of Manpower website. Similarly, it is difficult to get a job for any foreign candidate in an industry where you can find a large group of local talent.


Most nationalities of the candidate have a role. It is very easy to get jobs for highly qualified candidates from other countries with strong bilateral and economic ties with Singapore.

Company business plan

The company needs to demonstrate that it is capable of generating enough revenue for its future salaries and expenses, including support for hiring foreign staff.

4. What are the difficulties and challenges when applying for Singapore Employment Pass?

In general, Singapore EP is one of the three types of professional work that employers are not required to hire any local staff before the Singapore EP visa can be approved.

Due to this concession, the MOM has instead imposed strict but subjective criteria on the quality of candidates and the background of employers hired them.

The other two passes are the Personalized Employment Pass (PEP) and Entrepreneurial Pass (EntrePass) which are even more stringent than the Singapore Employment Pass.

Recently introduced criteria for Singapore EP

In recent years, the Singapore job application process has been implemented more strictly by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). However, a foreigner with a good education level with specialized skills and experience may still be eligible for a Singapore work visa (EP). The monthly eligible minimum wage for Singapore EP applications has been raised from SGD 3,300 to SGD 3,600 for university graduates. In the past, candidates were judged only based on their education, professional and technical skills and salary. However, foreigners who want to apply for a Singapore job are now also assessed based on the economic and social impact they will have on Singapore and its citizens.

It is not just candidates that are judged. Recruitment companies are also assessed on the number of local employees and the nature of their businesses. The Singaporean government will scrutinize whether the company hires any Singaporean citizens or plans to hire Singaporeans in their businesses. Companies with large disproportionately large numbers of foreigners may cause their EP applications to be rejected or delayed as this could be considered as failing to demonstrate a commitment to hiring or giving opportunities to locals.

Companies can also be assessed on the capital structure and the ability of EP holders to pay salaries. Documentary evidence such as payslips and income tax statements may be required for verification during the approval process. In case of doubt, the pass if approved may be for a shorter time then applied for.

On the other hand, companies with a healthy percentage of Singapore employees will find their application process smoother. The goal of recent policy changes is to encourage companies to hire more local people, to provide opportunities for training and developing them for roles within companies.

There is no nationality limit for those who apply for the Singapore EP because Singapore is open to accepting top talent from anywhere in the world. The key factor is whether such talent is locally available or not and the justification is provided when registering a foreigner for a specific role.

5. What are the eligibility requirements for a valid Singapore Employment Pass?

Before you apply for EP, you will need to consider the conditions and requirements. Verify whether the documents are needed to apply the appropriate eligibility criteria.

Recently, the MOM has become stricter about the requirements for Employment visa applicants due to public opposition showing bias in the hiring process. To address this crisis, it has introduced new policies to ensure that only qualified candidates can work and live in Singapore.

  • People from all ethnic groups can apply for EP. There is no limit on the citizenship of candidates for visas because it easily recognizes new and competent talent anywhere in the globe.
  • Foreign applicants must receive a job offer before you can apply for EP.
  • Applicants must demonstrate that they are eligible to assume managerial, executive or specialist positions.
  • International professionals with university testimonials must show proof of monthly income of not less than $3,900 per month (Minimum wage threshold depends on candidate certificate). Many experienced candidates should prove that they earn higher salaries than their partners.
  • Applicants must demonstrate their competency through satisfactory results from a prestigious diploma or university institution.
  • You may also be required to present appropriate qualifications, professional skills, and relevant experience.
  • Parents of eligible candidates may also apply for a Long Term Access Card as long as the EP holder withdraws no less than S$12,000 from their paychecks.

Meeting all of the above qualifications does not guarantee a work pass. MOM reserves the right to review and approve or reject your application based on your skills, work experience, job market, company contribution to the Singapore economy and its reputation.

6. When did new rules apply?

Back on July 1, 2018, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) instructed all companies with more than ten employees to create vacancies for locals in the official government portal www.mycareersfuture.sg. If they do not receive qualified local candidates after two weeks, they may allow foreign candidates to apply to pass their jobs.

7. How many are alternative work passes to Singapore Employment Pass?

In case the foreign applicant is not eligible for a Singapore Employment Pass work visa, he or she can explore other forms of work pass to work in Singapore.

For example, foreigners may be eligible for S-Pass work visas that require lower wages, education and skill criteria.

The S-Pass working visa is for intermediate level foreign employees from any country. Applicants need to earn at least SGD 2,400 a month and meet the evaluation criteria. Employment companies are subject to a quota on the number of S-Pass work visas they can apply depending on the number of their local employees.

A monthly tax from SGD 330 is also required. The salary offered must reflect the working time and education level, higher salary requirements for candidates with more years of work experience than fresh graduates or junior staff. Other than qualifications, technical certifications, such as courses for qualified technicians or professionals can be considered in the assessment for the eligibility process.

The best qualifications should include at least 1 year of full-time study. The suitability of the candidate’s work experience is also taken into account in the assessment process as this is a skilled job.

Work Permits

Work Permits (WP) are work permits for foreign workers from approved source countries working in the fields of construction, manufacturing, maritime, processes or services. A Work Permit visa usually means low-skilled or unskilled workers but can also be used for professionals as a form of work visa to work in Singapore. However, work permits available for each employer are subject to quotas and payment of monthly taxes (approximately SGD 300 to SGD 800 per month) may be prohibited.

Another form of work pass for foreigners is a Letter of Consent to work. This is a special job available to dependents and long-term visitors. Dependent pass holders are residents of Singapore based on the status of their spouse as the holder of an Employment Pass. Those who pass the long-term visit are Singaporean residents based on their marital status as married to Singaporean citizens.

8. How many tips to secure an Employment Pass In Singapore?

Many multinational corporations (MNCs) and foreigners alike are often drawn to start businesses in Singapore because of world-class infrastructure and business support policies. As recruitment of foreign talent is more difficult with the recent increase in minimum wage requirements and stricter regulations implemented by the MOM, here are some tips to increase the chances of securing an EP:

Correct designation

Choosing the right designation for your candidate may increase your chances of approval when your application is being reviewed by MOM. It is important to accurately reflect the candidate’s seniority and not sell him his lack of value to the company. For example, the ‘manager’ indicates a higher level of experience than the ‘executive’.


References from past employers or clients can be extremely helpful in cases where candidates cannot provide relevant qualifications or certifications. The more prominent the company, the more authentic the candidate experience is. This is especially applicable to candidates who want to pursue a career in areas such as digital marketing and social media.

Niche industry

It is easier to hire foreign talents in the appropriate industries since fewer people in the local workforce possess the required experience and qualifications. Examples of local industries lacking local expertise include analytics programmers, security consultants, and software engineers, so it’s no surprise that tech-related startups tend to see faster approvals of EP.

Right work pass

Although the Employment Pass and Personalised Employment Pass are one of the two most common types of jobs for foreign professionals, a Letter of Consent or a Business Visa may be more sufficient and easier to apply. Employers here must carefully consider which ones are suitable for their candidates because the MOM evaluation criteria are different for different jobs.

9. What other details is the MOM looking for in my EP?

MOM plays an instrumental role in making sure all of your candidates are assessed on their merits. They may also consider the applicant’s salary and age. Your duties and responsibilities within the company will also be considered. The company will also be judged based on its financial stands and credibility.

10. What is the EP visa application process?

Before applying for an EP visa, you must verify if you meet the application requirements. You can then submit your application to MOM online or manually. Make sure you have uploaded all your testimonials along with the application letter. Online platforms may take more than three weeks to respond.

Manual applications are suitable for candidates whose future companies require additional testimonials. Once they have been submitted, it will take at least five weeks to review them. You may have to wait longer during the peak season or when you need to contribute from a third party.

11. Are there any shortcomings with EP?

EP not only binds you to an employer but also requires employers to submit a post on Jobs Bank 14 days before they can treat you as an applicant. In other cases, the government may rate the application based on your nationality. If you are planning to switch companies, you must reapply.

12. Which other work passes can I apply for besides EP?

If you are not eligible for a Singapore EP work visa, you do not need to worry. You can still explore other forms of work pass. One of these includes a quota-based Pass, which allows foreign experts to join the workforce after a specific number of locals have been absorbed into the system.

One of the most popular alternative work permits is S Pass Work. To qualify for it, you will need to work for a lower salary. Your education and years of experience have won. It is designed for foreigners who want to expand their skills in related fields.

If you take part in practical training, then you can go to the Training Employment Pass (TEP). In this category, you must earn no less than S$3,000 per month. Personalized Employment Pass (PEP) requirements are not strict concerning the minimum wage that one must make. This explains why it is designed for EP owners or foreign experts.

13. What is the connection between EP and Long Term Pass and Dependant’s Pass?

For a long time, EP has been used along with the Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) and Dependant’s Pass (DP). Once you are eligible for the EP visa, you can apply for these two trips to allow your loved ones to visit you in Singapore.

14. How do I qualify for LTVP?

You may be eligible for LTVP if you are an EP or S Pass holder. You must also earn a monthly income of not less than S$6,000 and work under a company licensed by the Singapore government.

You may only apply for a Pass on behalf of the following family members; spouses, unmarried disabled children 21 years of age or older, or unmarried step-children 21 years old or younger. If your income is S$12,000 or more, you can still use it to invite one or both of your parents to come to this country.

If you have children age 12 and under, you will need Verification of Vaccination.

15. How do I qualify for a DP?

To be eligible for the Singapore DP, you must be an EP, S Pass, Personalised Employment Pass or a valid EntrePass holder. It also requires you to earn no less than S$6,000 per month. Dependents may include; your spouse, unmarried child (biological or step) under 21 years old.

Verification of Vaccination requirements is required for children under 12 years of age or younger.

If your work permit expires, the DP will automatically be revoked.

16. How can I obtain Employment Pass in Singapore?

EP is one of the most popular work passes which most of the foreign specialists and managers intend to apply when they wish to work in Singapore. You must check whether you are qualified and get well-prepared before applying for the Pass. To find out 7 steps to apply for Employment Pass in Singapore with MOM who issues work passes and permits in Singapore, read here.

17. What is the difference between Singapore Employment Pass vs EntrePass?

Foreigners who intend to work in Singapore will need to apply for work passes and permits. There are many types of work passes but EntrePass (Entrepreneur Pass) and Employment Pass are two popular ones, and they will be discussed as follows. For some similarities and differences between the two types of work passes, find out more here.

If you have any inquires about applying for Employment Pass in Singapore, contact us for a quote.

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