What is an Employment Pass? 

Singapore is one of the world's strongest economies and most important financial centres. However, millions of people wish to work there, so what are your options? One of the ways to work in Singapore is through attaining an employment pass. 

The employment pass enables foreign professionals, managers, and executives to live and work in Singapore.  

In this article, we'll give you a comprehensive guide to the employment pass in Singapore.

What are the requirements to apply? 

  • You must earn over S$4,500 per month and have adequate qualifications, and your salary should reflect your qualifications and work experience (applicants with more experience require higher salaries) 
    • From December 2020, applicants working within the financial services sector must earn a minimum of $5,000 for new applications 
  • You should have a job offer from a company based in Singapore 
  • You should work in a specialised, executive, or managerial job 
  • You should have a degree from a respected university, acceptable qualifications, professional experience, or technical skills 


Having a recognised educational qualification does not mean the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will automatically accept you. They also consider skill shortages in Singapore, relevant industry experience, professional skills, and whether you work in a fast-growing industry. Such industries include fintech, healthcare and manufacturing. 

Additionally, MOM regularly updates these requirements. For the most updated requirements, check out your eligibility here.

Applying for an employment pass might seem like a daunting task, but it can be a straightforward experience with the correct guidance. 

How long does it take for the employment pass to process? 

In most circumstances, it takes around three weeks to process the employment pass. However, sometimes, the application for employment pass can take longer depending on your application. 

What is the duration of the employment pass? 

The duration of the employment pass is up to two years for first-time candidates. Thereafter, you will need to renew it if you wish to continue working in Singapore. The duration of a renewal is up to three years. 

Can you appeal a rejected employment pass? 

If MOM rejects your application, you have three months to appeal your unsuccessful application. However, only apply if you have new information when you submit your application. Otherwise, MOM will reject it again. 

What documents do I need? 

MOM will ask for various documents when you apply for an employment pass, and these may include: 

  • A copy of your passport page
  • A CV or resume with educational qualifications and your work history 
  • Evidence of endorsement from a Singapore-based company 
  • A tenancy agreement of the place of business in Singapore 
  • A photograph of the applicant's face 
  • A thorough outline of the applicant's job duties 
  • Copies of your educational certificates 

 
Applicants should translate any official documents in your native language to English. 

Employment Pass vs Entrepreneur Pass 

The employment pass and entrepreneur pass are both excellent options, but they suit different people. It would help if you considered the following things:

How are the employment pass and entrepreneur pass similar?

  • Both passes are temporary resident schemes and enable you to live and work in Singapore
  • MOM issues the schemes for up to 2 years, and they are both renewable 
  • Both passes expect a company to pay the pass holder a salary 


How are the employment pass and entrepreneur pass different? 

  • If you have a 30 per cent share of the company, you will likely have to apply for the entrepreneur pass
  • Entrepreneur pass holders can only bring in family after one year of doing business in Singapore 
  • If your company is under six months old, you can apply for an entrepreneur pass depending on your position
    • If your company is over six months old, you will need to show evidence of business contracts, business expenditure, and revenue 

Let Sprout guide you through your application 

The employment pass is a fantastic way to enter Singapore. Although there are many requirements, you will also enjoy many perks and benefits of working in Singapore. 

An entrepreneur pass is also a great option, but either way, both passes will give you fantastic opportunities. 

At Sprout, we can help foreigners who are looking to start a business in Singapore apply for an employment pass and be there with you at every step of the process. 

 
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More questions?

Schedule a call with Sprout for a complementary consultation. We can provide insights on how we can add value by providing more insight into your business' financial performance and cash flow, allowing you to make better decisions.

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