Getting an Employment Pass in Singapore: What You Need to Know Skip to main content

Singapore is one of the top economic hubs in Asia, attracting foreign nationals who want to work in this country. Foreign workers can choose between the different work-related visa schemes in Singapore, checking their eligibility and applying for a suitable permit. A Singapore immigration specialist can guide foreign applicants through this process. If you are a foreign national hoping to work in Singapore, an employment pass (EP) may be a good option for you. Let’s discuss everything you need to know about securing an EP and migrating to Singapore.

Work Visas in Singapore: An Overview

Singapore offers different visa schemes like the EP, Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), S-Pass, Miscellaneous Work Pass etc. In recent years, this country has welcomed numerous foreign workers under these work visa schemes. Each visa program has a unique set of eligibility criteria and terms and conditions for approval. In addition, applicants may also need to consider quota requirements while applying for these programs. In this blog, we will focus on the EP and its key requirements to keep in mind.

Foreign Workforce in Singapore Under Various Schemes

(Source: Ministry of Manpower, Singapore, 2023)

Employment Pass: What Is It?

An employment pass (EP) is a visa program for foreign professionals, executives, and managers who want to work in Singapore. The applicants must meet the eligibility criteria specified by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). An EP-holder can live, work, and travel in and out of Singapore while the pass is valid. First-time applicants can get an EP for up to two years. This pass is renewable, and EP holders can eventually apply for Permanent Residence (PR).

Eligibility Criteria to Apply for an EP

Foreign nationals who meet the following criteria can apply for this pass:

  • The applicant must have a job offer to work in Singapore.
  • They must be qualified to work in a specialised, managerial or executive role.
  • They must have an acceptable educational background and relevant professional qualifications.
  • They must earn an amount comparable to the average salary earned by the top-one third of professionals, managers, executives, and technicians (PMETs) in Singapore.

Applicants should note that there may be changes to the eligibility criteria for getting an EP from September 2023. Currently, the minimum qualifying monthly salary for EP applicants is $5000 for people in non-financial services and $5500 for those in financial services. These amounts increase based on the age of the applicant. Your Singapore immigration specialist can help you track the updates to the eligibility criteria and determine if you can apply.

In addition to meeting these criteria, eligible candidates must also pass COMPASS (Complementarity Assessment Framework), a points-based evaluation system for EP applicants.

How to Apply for an EP?

A candidate cannot directly apply for the EP. Their employer or an employment agent appointed by them can apply on the candidate’s behalf. In some cases, a foreign worker may get an offer to work in Singapore, but the employer may not have a registered office in this country. In such a situation, a local sponsor can apply on behalf of the candidate.

A Singapore immigration specialist can help you navigate the EP application process. Reach out to Strategic Migration Services today to check your eligibility and discuss your options!