Guide to Singapore Employment Pass : 2024-2025 Edition

14 min read|Last Updated: April 17, 2024|

Singapore Employment Pass (EP) is a work pass that allows foreign professionals, managers, executives, and specialists to work in Singapore. It is issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to attract foreign talent and promote economic development.

Employment Pass Eligibility Criteria

You are eligible to apply for EP if you:-

  1. Have Job Offer from Singapore Company in managerial, executive, and specialized job
  2. Have at least a fixed minimum salary of S$5,000 per month
  3. Have recognized diploma or degree from a reputable university
  4. Have professional qualifications, specialist skills, and work-related experience
  5. Meet the required minimum of 40 points under the new points-based COMPASS to be eligible for this pass.

From 1 September 2023, new Employment Pass (EP) candidates need to pass the points-based COMPASS in addition to meeting the EP qualifying salary.

To qualify for EP applications, candidates will need to pass a 2-stage eligibility framework

Stage 1 : EP Qualifying Salary

From 1 September 2023, the following EP qualifying salary requirements apply to new applications and renewals:

  • Minimum $5,000 for all sectors except financial services (increases progressively with age up to $10,500)
  • Minimum $5,500 for the financial services sector (increases progressively with age up to $11,500)

New EP Qualifying Salary – 2025

From 1 Jan 2025, there will be an increase in the EP qualifying salary. The following EP qualifying salary requirements apply to new applications and renewals in 2025:

  • Minimum $5,600 for all sectors except financial services (increases progressively with age up to $10,700)
  • Minimum $6,200 for the financial services sector (increases progressively with age up to $11,800)

Stage 2 : COMPASS

COMPASS is a transparent points-based system that gives businesses greater clarity and certainty for manpower planning. It enables employers to select high-quality foreign professionals, while improving workforce diversity and building a strong local core. In order to pass COMPASS your application needs to earn 40 Points.

There are 2 types of criterias to earn 40 points and pass COMPASS. They are Foundation Criteria and Bonus Criteria.

Foundation Criteria includes:

  1. Salary (relative to local PMET salary norms)
  2. Qualifications (based on candidate qualifications)
  3. Diversity (whether candidate improves the nationality diversity in firm)
  4. Support for Local Employment (based on local PMET share relative to industry peers)

Bonus Criteria includes:

  1. Skills bonus Strategic (for candidates in job where skills shortages exist)
  2. Economic Priorities bonus (for partnership with government on investment, innovation, transformation activities)

Exemptions from COMPASS

Candidates are exempted from COMPASS if they meet any of these conditions:

  • Have a fixed monthly salary of at least $22,500 (similar to the prevailing Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) job advertising exemption from 1 September 2023)
  • Are applying as an overseas intra-corporate transferee
  • Are filling the role for 1 month or less

Key notes for application for Employment Pass

  • An EPass application can only be submitted by the employer or a designated employment agency in the MOM Portal. So if your company is based overseas and lacks a registered office in Singapore, you will have to seek assistance from a local sponsor.
  • In fact, if you can meet the qualifying salary and COMPASS framework, there is no doubt that EPass is better than all the other work visas. This is because unlike SPass, there is no foreign worker levy or quota for Epass.
  • Employers can also choose to provide medical insurance for EP holders

Job Posting

Under Fair Consideration Framework (FCF), employers must first advertise the job on MyCareersFuture to prove that they promote fair employment practices and have labor market transparency. Duration of advertisement should be at least 14 days before proceeding for an EP application for foreigners.

Checklist for job posting

  • Your candidate must be performing the key job duties listed for the specific shortage occupation. If not, the candidate’s role is not covered under the shortage occupation.
  • You should select one of the eligible job titles in the EP application form. This must be the same as the occupation for the job advertisement in MyCareersFuture (MCF), unless you are exempted from the FCF job advertising requirement.
  • Your application must meet the additional requirements specific to the shortage occupation. This can include:
    • Relevant qualifications, to be uploaded under the qualifications section of the EP application form.
    • Work experience in relevant job titles, to be selected under the work experience section in the EP application form.
    • Registration proof, to be uploaded in the agency support question in the EP application form

For more information on the details of the shortage occupation, feel free to download our Shortage Occupation List (SOL) Employer Guide here!

Documents Required for Epass Application

  1. Candidate’s Passport
  2. Company’s latest BizFile issued by ACRA
  3. Education Certificates and qualifications
  4. Education Certificate Verification by Background Screening Agency (MUST)
  5. Candidate’s CV/ Resume
  6. Additional documents (if any, subject to change based on different candidates)
  7. Any currently held work pass
Documents Required for Singapore Employment Pass (EP) - Paul Hype Page.jpg

Employment Pass Application Process

These are the basic steps expected from submitting an application all the way to receiving the card.

Step 1: Submit an Application

Upon receipt of EP details, employers or employment agents (EAs) aim to submit within 1 working week if all information is complete. The estimated time for MOM to assess the initial application is 3 working weeks.

The estimated timeline for the Singapore EP application is between 2-4 months, depending on the case. In some instances, it could extend to 6 months if multiple rounds of appeals are requested.

Please note that any delays in reverting documents may extend the timeline, and MOM reserves the right to request additional time for review.

Step 2: Prepare for arrival in Singapore

After EP approval, the candidate can come to Singapore with the IPA Letter.

Step 3: Get the pass issued

The employer or EA must apply for this, and the process can be completed within a day once the candidate meets all requirements.

Step 4: Register fingerprints and photo

It depends on whether the candidate is required to do so. Usually a new work pass holders will have to do this.

Step 5: Receive the card

Once the documents are verified, your card will be delivered to the provided address within 5 working days after your fingerprint and photo registration.

Migrating to Singapore with Epass

As an Employment Pass holder, you can get certain family members to join you in Singapore if you meet the eligibility requirements. To be eligible, you need to:

  • Earn at least $6,000 a month.
  • Hold an Employment Pass.

These are the family members you can bring in and the type of pass they need:

  1. Legally married spouse – Dependant’sPass
  2. Unmarried children under 21 years old, including those legally adopted – Dependant’s Pass
  3. Common-law spouse – Long-Term Visit Pass
  4. Unmarried disabled children aged 21 and above – Long-Term Visit Pass
  5. Unmarried step-children under 21 years old – Long-Term Visit Pass
  6. Parents (Only for EP holders earning at least $12,000) – Long-Term Visit Pass

Singapore Permanent Resident (PR)

If you wish to become a Singapore permanent resident, you can apply online through the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) portal. The processing time will take around 6 months and can check the status online through the ICA portal.

You are eligible to apply for PR if you are:

  • Spouse of a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Unmarried legal child below 21 years of age
  • Aged parent of a Singapore Citizen
  • Employment Pass or S Pass holder
  • Student who studies in Singapore
  • Foreigner interested in investing in Singapore

ICA also considers other factors such as:

  • Individual’s family ties to Singaporeans
  • Economic contributions
  • Qualifications
  • Age
  • Family profile
  • Length of residency
  • Ability to contribute to Singapore and integrate into SG society
  • Commitment to sinking roots in Singapore.

If you are aged 15 years above and granted as Permanent Resident, you will be issued with the Singapore blue Identity Card (IC). However, you will still be required to have a valid Re-Entry Permit if you wish to travel out and return to Singapore as a PR.

You can find out more in this link on the document list for Epass holder who was to apply for PR in Singapore.

Government Fees

There will be a S$100 non-refundable processing fee at the point of submission of the PR application.

If your application is successful, you will need to complete PR formalities personally in ICA office. The following fees are applicable for each applicant:

  • S$20 for Entry Permit
  • S$50 for a 5-year Re-Entry Permit
  • S$50 for Identity Card
  • S$30 per Entry Visa (foreigners requiring a visa).

National Service Liability

Under the Enlistment Act, all male Singapore citizens and permanent residents, unless exempted, are required to serve National Service (NS).

Male applicants who are granted PR status as a Foreign Student or under their parents’ sponsorship are required to register for NS upon reaching 16 1⁄2 years old and will be scheduled for enlistment at the earliest opportunity upon reaching 18 years old.

Types of Work Passes in Singapore

1. For Professionals

  1. Employment Pass
    For foreign professionals, managers and executives. Candidates need to earn at least $5,000 a month and pass the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS).
  2. EntrePass
    For foreign entrepreneurs who are keen to start and operate a business in Singapore that is venture-backed or possesses innovative technologies.
  3. Personalized Employment Pass
    For high-earning existing Employment Pass holders or overseas foreign professionals.
    The PEP offers greater flexibility than an Employment Pass.
  4. Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass
    For top talent in business, arts and culture, sports, as well as academia and research.

2. For Skilled and Semi-Skilled workers

  1. Spass
    For skilled workers. Candidates need to earn at least $3,150 a month.
  2. Work Permit for migrant worker
    For skilled and semi-skilled migrant workers in the construction, manufacturing, marine
    shipyard, process or services sector.
  3. Work Permit for migrant domestic worker
    For migrant domestic workers (MDWs) to work in Singapore.
  4. Work Permit for confinement nanny
    For Malaysian confinement nannies to work in Singapore for up to 16 weeks starting
    from the birth of the employer’s child.
  5. Work Permit for performing artiste
    For foreign performers working in public entertainment outlets such as bars, hotels and nightclubs.

3. For Trainees and Students

  1. Training Employment Pass
    For foreign professionals undergoing practical training. Candidates must earn at least $3,000 a month.
  2. Work Holiday Pass (under Work Holiday Programme)
    For students and graduates aged 18 to 25 who want to work and holiday in Singapore for 6 months.
  3. Work Holiday Pass (under Work and Holiday Visa Programme)
    For Australian students and graduates aged 18 to 30 who want to work and holiday in Singapore for 1 year.
  4. Training Work Permit
    For semi-skilled foreign trainees or students undergoing practical training in Singapore for up to 6 months.

4. For Family Members

  1. Dependant’s Pass
    For spouses and children of eligible Employment Pass or S Pass holders.
  2. Long-Term Visit Pass
    For parents, common-law spouses, step-children or disabled children of eligible Employment Pass or S Pass holders.
  3. Pre-approved Letter of Consent
    For eligible spouses or children of Singapore citizens or PRs holding an LTVP/LTVP+ issued by ICA. The holder is pre-approved to work in Singapore. They can only apply for a PLOC when applying for, or renewing the LTVP/LTVP+.
  4. Letter of Consent for ICA-issued LTVP/LTVP+ holders
    For eligible spouses or children of Singapore citizens or PRs holding an LTVP/LTVP+ issued by ICA. The LOC allows the holder to work in Singapore. The employer must apply for the LOC.
  5. Letter of Consent for Dependant’s Pass holders who are business owners
    For eligible Dependant’s Pass holders who wish to operate a business.

5. For Exemptions and working while on a visit pass

  1. Miscellaneous Work Pass
    For foreign speakers, religious workers and journalists taking on a short-term work assignment of up to 60 days in Singapore.
  2. Work Pass Exempt Activities
    For performing eligible short-term activities without a work pass. Candidates must still notify MOM of their activities.
  3. Work pass exemption for foreign students
    For foreign students studying full-time at an approved school or institution in Singapore.
  4. Work passes for holders of Long-Term Visit Passes issued by ICA
    For foreigners married to a Singaporean or permanent resident, or parents accompanying a child who is studying in Singapore.

Tech Pass (5 years duration Epass)

From September 2023, tech professionals with skills in shortage can apply for a longer 5-year duration of EPass.

To apply Tech Pass, candidates may indicate a pass duration of up to 5 years and select the relevant tech occupation when submitting their EP application.

Eligible candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Fill specific tech occupations on the COMPASS Shortage Occupation List (SOL)
  • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $10,500 (for candidates aged 36 and above, the salary required increases with age, up to a maximum of $13,500 at age 45 and beyond)
  • Pass COMPASS and score at least 10 points on Criterion 3 (Diversity)

Employment Pass (EP) vs Other Professional Work Visas

EP vs EntrePass

1. Higher application success rate

A qualified individual for EP should have a tertiary or degree certification, minimum monthly salary of S$5000 a month and also need to pass the COMPASS FRAMEWORK. Thus, the success rate is generally higher than the EntrePass candidates who are serial entrepreneurs, high-calibre innovators or experienced investors

2. EP is family friendly

If you’re bringing a spouse or kids in, they can apply for dependent passes attached to your EP. The qualifying salary for the EP holder is at least S$6,000 if you want to bring your spouse or kids in but it will be S$12,000 if you want to bring your parents in. However, if you’re an EntrePass holder, you need a total annual business spending of S$100,000 and meet local employment requirements.

3. No specific requirement for renewal

Employment Passes typically have longer validity periods and are easier to renew compared to EntrePasses. EPs are usually granted for up to two years initially and can be renewed thereafter, whereas EntrePasses are initially granted for up to one year and have more stringent renewal criteria, especially in terms of business viability and growth.

By the 2nd year of holding EntrePass, you will have to hire at least 3 full-time employees (FTE) or 1 local professional, manager or executive (PME). Your total annual business spending by then must be at least S$100,000. Thus, EP is better than EntrePass.

EP vs Personalized Employment Pass (PEP)

Whether the Employment Pass (EP) or the Personalized Employment Pass (PEP) is better depends on the individual’s salary, specific circumstances, career goals, and preferences. However, you will need to take note that PEP is not renewable and the duration is 3 years.

Let’s say if you have a salary of at least SGD 22,500 and wish to have flexibility in switching employers or industries, you can go for PEP. Otherwise, you can just apply for a simple EP tied with your current company.

EP vs Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass (ONE Pass)

ONE PASS has a validity of 5 years and also can be renewed.You can apply for ONE Pass if you earned a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 or have outstanding achievements in at least one of the areas below:

  • Sports
  • Arts and culture
  • Academia and research

Singapore Budget Plan 2024

For companies hiring foreign workers

LOCAL employees who work at companies that hire foreign workers must soon be paid a minimum full-time wage of S$1,600, up 14 per cent from S$1,400, or a part-time hourly rate of S$10.50 per hour, up from S$9 per hour.

This change is to keep pace with wage growth, said Finance Minister Lawrence Wong in his Budget speech on Friday (Feb 16) and these changes will be implemented from July 1, 2024 onwards in Singapore

MOM Budget Debate

EP Qualifying Monthly Salary to rise from 2025

The EP qualifying salary is reviewed annually against the benchmark, MOM said in a statement on March 4. A raft of changes to the foreign work pass system is set to keep up the skills bar of Singapore’s foreign workforce at all levels, while ensuring Singaporeans can get good jobs and enterprises here pursue innovation.The EP is valid for up to two years for first-time pass holders, and up to three years for those whose passes are renewed. This decision was made in response to concerns from trade associations and chambers on the rising costs of manpower and constraints in hiring.

Thus, the firms with existing EP holders will now have to manage the impact of these changes and prepare their hiring plans, Dr Tan added. However, he added: “Even as we continue to attract top talent to grow our economy, our work pass framework needs to be strengthened to ensure that firms develop their local workforce and treat locals fairly.”


Come down to our office or get in touch virtually for a free work visa assessment (worth $288) to determine your best chance to move to Singapore today.


What are the chances of getting my Employment Pass approved?2024-03-07T16:57:11+08:00

There are various factors that depend such as applicant qualifications, work background and the proposed salary as well as the amount of investment being done in the company.

Sector and field in which the company operates can also be the factor of getting your EP approved.

What is the duration of Employment Pass?2024-03-07T16:56:11+08:00

The duration of the pass is as follows:

  • First-time candidates: up to 2 years
  • Renewals: up to 3 years
  • Experienced tech professionals with skills in shortage may be eligible for a longer 5-year duration pass.
Is Employment Pass renewable?2024-03-07T16:53:00+08:00

Yes, it is renewable. You can reach out to us through our contact form on how to renew your employment pass.

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