Changes in Employment Pass Requirements

What is an Employment Pass?

An Employment Pass is a work visa issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore. It is directed to foreign professionals with a job offer within Singapore who meet the eligibility criteria, it may also allow for the process of applying for Permanent Residence (PR) to be simpler. The Employment Pass possesses a 2 year long duration for first-time candidates but renewals allow for up to 3 years in length.

Applicant Eligibility

In order to be eligible to receive an Employment Pass a foreign professional must possess the following:

  1. An offer within Singapore
  1. Work in a managerial / executive / specialised job
  1. Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$4,500 (In effect since September 1st 2020)
  1. Have acceptable qualifications from a good university degree / professional qualifications / specialised skill-set

Important to note

  • 2021 Update: Eligibility is no longer solely based applicant merit but the employing Company’s Performance is also considered.
  • 2021 Update: Applicants from newly incorporated companies have a lower chance of approval as the company is not as profitable and may not be able to afford the Employment Pass holder.
  • Candidates that are older and therefore more experienced and / or more relevant to the current position will be required to have a higher salary (up to S$9000) in order to qualify for an Employment Pass.
  • In effect from December 1st 2020: The minimum qualifying salary for Employment Pass candidates in the financial services sector will be raised to $5,000 for new applications.
  • The new salary criteria will apply to those renewing their Employment Passes if their passes are expiring from May 1st 2021.
  • As MOM does not accept qualifications from uncredited institutions, you can contact global verification agencies to check your accreditations.  

Applying for an Employment Pass

An Employment Pass can only be applied for by an employer or an authorised third party. For local online applications, an application will take between 4 to 8 weeks to process. It is advised for existing Employment Pass holders to not resign from their previously company until their new Employment Pass is approved. For more information about the documents required to apply for an Employment Pass click here and refer to the appropriate section.  

What Happens if My Application is Rejected?

In the case where an Employment Pass application has been rejected, there is a 3 month long duration in which your employer or authorised third party can send in an appeal, this can only be done after addressing the reasons for rejection. If this 3 month long window has passed before your application is appealed, a new application must be submitted. Commonly, an Employment Pass appeal takes at least 3 weeks to process.

Ask Sprout!

Unsure if you qualify for an Employment Pass? Sprout offers professional consulting services to our clients, we are able to provide an Employment Pass eligibility consultation for S$300 that is inclusive of: An Applicant & Company Operations Questionnaire, Review by our experienced Human Resource Team and a Consultation Call. Browse through our Work Pass Packages for other budget-friendly solutions. Feel free to contact Sprout with any queries you may have, we’ll respond within 24 hours.