steps to getting an employment pass in singapore
A Singapore Employment Pass is a Singapore working visa issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to foreign professional employees, managers, executives and owners or directors of Singapore companies.
Unlike Singapore’s S Pass, the Ministry of Manpower has no explicit quota restrictions on issuing Employment Passes (MOM). As a result, EP applications are rather quick to complete.
Step 1 – EBOS will provide you with a complimentary in-depth analysis of your probability to obtain approval in Employment Pass Application.
Step 2 – EBOS will obtain the supporting documents for submission to MOM.
Step 3 – EBOS obtain In-Principle Approval (IPA) before you arrive in Singapore.
( It takes about 3 weeks or more to process and EP application)
Step 4 – You arrive in Singapore.
Step 5 – EBOS assist to arrange for Employment Pass to be issued.
Step 6 – You register your fingerprints and photos with MOM.
Finally – Employment Pass will be send to your Registered Office by courier
WHO CAN APPLY for an EMPLOYMENT PASS?
- Have a job offer in Singapore.
- Work in a managerial, executive or specialized job.
- Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $4,500 for fresh graduates, or at least $5,000 for those in the Financial services sector ( older, more experienced candidates need higher salaries).
- Have acceptable qualifications, usually a good university degree, professional qualifications or specialized skills.
What Are The Documents That I Need To prepare?
- A duly filled Employment Pass Application Form 8 endorsed by the employer
- A personal page of the applicant’s passport
- Applicant’s resume detailing his work experience
- Testimonial or References by previous companies
- Latest business profile (ACRA)
- A detailed description of the services/products and its business plan of the employing company.
- Applicant’s detailed job description
- Applicant’s educational certificates.
Additional documents are required if the applicant is from:
- India – transcripts and marksheets
- China – verification proof for diploma and above qualifications (Education certificates certified by a notary public are not accepted as a form of verification proof)
All documents submitted must be in English. If any documents are not in English, it must be translated into English and attached with the original documents. The translation must be done by a professional translator firm, embassy or notary public.
Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) in Singapore
Effective on 1st September 2023 onwards
The Singapore Employment Pass (EP) complementarity assessment framework (COMPASS) has been introduced by the Ministry of Manpower to evaluate the eligibility of overseas applicants.
Employers will be able to choose top-notch international professionals to work in Singapore due to the framework, which will also increase worker diversity while creating a solid Singaporean base.
New EP applications will be evaluated under the new framework starting on September 1, 2023. Starting September 1, 2024, renewal applications will be evaluated using the same approach.
According to the framework, four main criteria—salary, credentials, diversity, and support for local employment—will be used to evaluate the EP application. In addition to the four fundamental criteria, there are two additional bonus criteria that recognize applications that bring in capabilities that are not easily accessible in Singapore and support key economic priorities that lead to the creation of jobs for Singaporeans.
Points will be given if the application fulfills or surpasses expectations in accordance with the fundamental criteria.
Points for each fundamental criterion
|Does not meet expectations
The candidate must obtain 40 points from the four fundamental criteria or points under the bonus criteria in order to be eligible for EP.
Fixed monthly salary compared to local PMET salaries in the sector by age
Share of candidate’s nationality among the firm’s PMETs.*
|≥ 90th percentile
|65th to 90th percentile
|5 to 25%
|< 65th percentile
Based on the candidate’s qualifications
|C4. Support for Local Employment Firm’s share of local PMETs within its subsector*
|≥ 50th percentile
|20th to 50th percentile
|No degree-equivalent qualification
|< 20th percentile
|C5. Skills Bonus
|C6. Strategic Economic Priorities Bonus
|Job on the Shortage Occupation List
|The firm meets specific assessment criteria for innovation or internationalisation activities
*If at least one-third of the PMETs at the company are from the candidate’s country of origin, the skills bonus is decreased to +10.
*Small businesses that have fewer than 25 PMET employees automatically receive 10 points on C3 and C4. Employees making at least SG$ 3,000 per month serve as PMET proxies.
All applicants must earn the minimum wage required by EP. Sectoral variations in wage standards are taken into consideration by the COMPASS framework. When local PMET salaries meet sector-specific requirements that are also age-adjusted, points will be given out.
Employers are in charge of making sure that applicants’ credentials are real and come from recognized institutions.
Top-tier institutions include:
- Top 100 universities based on international rankings, and other highly-reputed universities across different regions
- Singapore’s Autonomous Universities
- Vocational institutions that are highly recognised in a particular field
Under COMPASS, qualifications are not a necessity in any way. Candidates who lack degree-equivalent credentials can nonetheless pass COMPASS by scoring well on other factors.
The COMPASS framework promotes companies having a broad mix of nationalities since it enhances companies with fresh ideas and networks and helps to create a workforce more inclusive and resilient.
Applications are given points if the applicant’s nationality makes up a tiny portion of the PMET workers at the company. When determining PMETs, MOM counts all employees who make at least SG$ 3,000 per month for the company.
If your company employs fewer than 25 PMET workers, your application automatically receives a score of 10.
The nationality of your employee is established based on MOM’s records using the nationality shown in their passport.
Support for Local Employment:
Companies that make an effort to provide chances for the local workforce and form complementing teams with both domestic and foreign professionals are recognized by COMPASS.
Points are given to PMET companies with a higher proportion of local employees than other companies operating in the same subsector. The application will receive at least 10 points if the firm’s local PMET share is at least 70% (pegged to the 20th percentile of enterprises across the economy). This holds regardless of the company’s position within its subsector. By doing this, the MOM avoids penalizing businesses in subsectors where local PMET employees compose a sizable portion of the workforce.
Skills Bonus (Shortage Occupation List):
The Shortage Occupation List (SOL) honours EP holders in professions that call for highly specialized abilities and are currently underrepresented in the local labour force.
The SOL is determined by a robust tripartite evaluation process that takes into account industry needs and local workforce development efforts.
Strategic Economic Priorities Bonus:
Companies that engage in ambitious innovation or internationalization initiatives in coordination with the government and in keeping with our economic aims are recognized by COMPASS. These businesses must have the size or capability to offer locals decent employment opportunities.
To be eligible, businesses must either take part in certain programs sponsored by various economic authorities, complete certain evaluation requirements, and demonstrate a commitment to growing the local workforce or ecosystem.
Exemption from COMPASS
A candidate’s EP application is exempted from COMPASS if they fulfil any of these conditions:
- Earning a minimum monthly fixed compensation of S$20,000 (according to the current Fair Consideration Framework job advertising exemption).
- Applying as a recipient of a foreign intra-corporate transfer under the General Agreement on Trade in Services of the World Trade Organization or a relevant Free Trade Agreement to which Singapore is a party.
- Filling a position for a little period of time, i.e., no more than one month.
OUR GUIDELINES FOR EMPLOYMENT PASS
Getting an Employment Pass
Singapore Employment Pass Application is evaluated by MOM on a case-by-case basis. All approvals are based on individual merits and your contribution to Singapore’s economy. The main eligibility criteria are as follows for your perusal:
- Key Management Roles
- Working Experience
- Sponsorship Company Industry and Background
- Company’s Capital Structure
- Fresh graduates from good institutions must earn at least $4,500. (or at least $5,000 for those in the Financial services sector)
- Experienced management staff command a much higher salary than $4,500 will stand a better chance.
- MOM does not have a list of approved qualification for employment pass application. However, the skillset provided by applicant should be unique and important to the growth of the business that is sponsoring him/her to obtain an Employment Pass.
- MOM also looks at the achievement and pass track records of the applicants on a case by case-by-case basis. If the candidate has positive exposures in international news and obtained recognition, MOM would favour such application even when the candidates does not possess qualification.
- Hence, having a degree does not guarantee 100% success rate.
Employment Pass Validity
- First-time applicant is valid for up to two years. Thereafter, EP can be renewed up to three years
Permanent Resident Application
- Employment Pass Holder can apply for PR in Singapore. EBOS will assist to access your suitable when you are ready to talk to us about PR application.
Bring my Family
- Successful applicants with exceptional high salary can bring in their family members.
- Application can be submitted together with the Employment Pass Application. Usually, it is better to submit the application after the Employment Pass is approved.
Do It Yourself Application
If you are a foreign director in Singapore, your local director or your In-House Human Resource Manager can help to apply for an EP. Most directors will find it lengthy and troublesome to go through the details because most firm will outsource their monthly payroll of fewer than 10 employees to an Accounting Services Firm. It is not cost-effective to hire a full-time Human Resource Manager for less than 10 employees.
Self-Assessment Tool (SAT)
- You can use the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) to check if you qualifies for the pass.
WHAT TO DO ONCE MY EMPLOYMENT PASS APplication is approved
Once you’ve submitted all the required documents to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), an agent will update the status of your application via EP Online. If approved, MOM will send an in-principle acceptance (IPA) to you. With the IPA, you can enter into Singapore anytime between six months to collect your Employment Pass (EP).
Additionally, you will receive a notification letter stating the requirement of the candidate’s fingerprints and photos. For those who aren’t registered, you will need to schedule an appointment with MOM to register for your fingerprints including an ID photo once you receive the EP.
During the appointment, please bring along the following documents:
- Original passport
- Appointment letter
- Notification letter
- IPA letter and other documents mentioned in the IPA letter
You will have 2 weeks to register your fingerprints and ID photo after receiving the Employment Pass. In 4 business days, you should receive your EP card.
What Documents are Needed to Apply for Employment Pass?
If you want to work and live in Singapore, you will need to apply for an Employment Pass (EP). To apply, you will need to be in Singapore. You can use the Visitor Pass to enter Singapore while you submit the relevant documents to MOM.
Occasionally, companies and employment agencies will help you prepare the documents and submit them until your status is approved via EP online.
Here are the required documents that you will need to send to MOM when applying for EP:
(i) Candidate’s passport details
(ii) Proof of candidate’s entry into Singapore such as Short-Term Visit Pass or Immigration Pass information
(iii) Candidate’s residence address in Singapore
(iv) The house/apartment address for delivering the EP card to you
(v) One authorized recipient’s contact information to receive SMS or email alert about delivery information
(vi) Candidate’s original educational certificates
(vii) The company’s latest business profile with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
(viii) Other additional documents if MOM requests
(ix) Payment of SGD$225 for pass application
Note: All documents are to be submitted in English or translated into English only.
Eligibility Requirements When Applying for an Employment Pass
To successfully obtain an Employment Pass (EP) in Singapore, you must meet the following qualifications and requirements listed by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
- Any nationalities can apply for an EP in Singapore.
- An acceptance letter to work in Singapore (i.e. job offer)
- The candidate’s position should be of managerial, executive, or specialist role.
- The candidate’s monthly fixed salary should at least be SGD$4,500. This applies to new graduate students from reputable universities as well.
- Must have acceptable qualifications such as university degree, professional qualifications or specialized skill.
How will I know if I’m eligible to work in Singapore?
Provided by the Ministry of Manpower, the Self Assessment Tool is an online tool that helps determine if you are qualified for an Employment Pass. The results will be based on the information you have provided such as monthly salary, educational qualification, and work experience.
If the online tool says that you’re not eligible, sometimes there are exceptions that may allow a candidate to work in Singapore, especially for senior management and people with specialized skills.
Upon submission, MOM will review and evaluate the candidate’s application based on their track record and special skills that he/she brings to the Singapore economy.
Candidates With Qualifications
MOM is more likely to approve candidates with qualifications, however, this doesn’t mean that the candidates are automatically eligible for an EP.
Candidates Without Qualifications
Even without qualifications, candidates can still try to apply for an employment pass and get approved by the MOM. Again, they will reflect their decision based on your application.
Company Evaluation from MOM
On top of the candidate’s portfolio, MOM will also evaluate the company applying for the EP. In such cases, they will review the company’s contribution towards Singapore such as:
- The average number of Singaporean staffs in the company,
- Hiring of Singaporean talent compared to the industry average and
- The value contributed towards the economy and society.
If the company checklists the above points, the candidate’s chances of receiving an EP are much greater.
Facts You Should Know About Employment Pass
- First-time candidates will receive an EP that will last up to 2 years while renewed EP can be valid up to 3 years.
- The Employment Pass allows a person to stay and work in Singapore until it expires.
- The employee must have a minimum salary of SGD$4,500 per month to obtain an EP. Candidates with more experience will require a higher salary.
- Candidates under the Employment Pass will be subject to personal tax depending on their salary.
- EP holders can bring their family into Singapore but they will be under the Dependent Pass or Long-Term Visit Pass.
Note: All visa applications including EP applications are either delayed or processed much longer due to the COVID-19 circumstances. For more information, you can contact us.
EMPLOYMENT PASS Application processing timeframe
Employment Pass applications usually take at least a week to be issued after they are submitted, based on our own experience. Depending on a variety of factors, the processing time may be much longer in some cases. Factors such as the company’s operating history and size do make a difference, for obvious reasons. It is best to engage with our EP Success team today for a free consultation