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Singapore’s Employment Pass (EP) is a work visa which lets foreign professionals, managers, executives, and specialists live and work in Singapore. Acquiring an EP involves a careful approach with regard to the strict EP requirements and the Ministry of Manpower’s latest regulations.

This overview will give you a brief idea of the article:

What is an Employment pass?

  • The EP is normally issued for 1-2 years at a time and is renewable.
  • An EP visa enables one to work and live in Singapore and travel in and out of the country freely without having to apply for Singapore entry visas.
  • Holding an EP allow the ease of conducting business activities and makes it easier to apply for Permanent Resident (PR) status in Singapore.
  • As per the Singapore Companies Act, if a foreigner is to be a director of a Singapore company, the foreigner must be a valid pass holder. The most commonly selected pass for such purposes is the EP.

Singapore employment pass

Basic Employment Pass Information

  • Employment Pass applicants must earn at least S$4,500 a month and have requisite qualifications. Your salary should reflect your work experience and qualifications
  • Employers or employment agents (recommended for higher approval rates) should apply for the pass before an applicant comes to Singapore.
  • Foreign entrepreneurs ought to note that the Employment Pass application can only be made after their company has been incorporated. It is not necessary to be physically present in Singapore while the application is being processed.

Employment Pass in Singapore

How long will the Employment Pass application take to process?

  • It takes Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) around three weeks or longer to process an EP application. Upon receiving the In-principle Approval (IPA) notification, we at Paul Hype Page & Co will make arrangements for the collection of your EP if you have applied for one.

Employment Pass Procedures and Timeline

All EP applications can be submitted electronically to the Ministry of Manpower.

If you choose to work with us at Paul Hype Page & Co, the entire process will consist of the following steps:

  1. Update the Ministry of Manpower regarding the newly incorporated company. (2 days)
  2. Fill up EP form (to be done by client)
  3. Check and submit Employment Pass (to be done by authorized Paul Hype Page & Co Employment Pass agent) (2 days)
  4. Approval application (within 7 days) – In-Principle Approval (IPA) / Medical check-up (if required)
  5. Card issuance (at Paul Hype Page & Co office)
  6. Card registration at the Ministry of Manpower’s office (for new EP applicants)
  7. Card collection (at Paul Hype Page & Co office)

The total duration of the application procedure may vary; the Ministry of Manpower might require additional documents or verification of documents.

Once the EP has been approved, the MOM will issue an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter. An IPA letter is valid for six months from the date of notification of approval.


After receiving the IPA letter, we will make arrangements for your EP card issuance.

You will be required to present:

  • A copy of the IPA letter
  • Recently-taken passport-sized photograph
  • Original passport with the entry embarkation cards
  • Medical exam report (if the IPA letter states that one is required)
  • Any other documents requested in the approval letter

The medical examination can be conducted in the applicant’s home country through an established clinic or hospital or in Singapore. Most clinics in Singapore can provide a medical examination and report within one or two working days.

Should you need to proceed to the MOM for card registration (for thumbprint and photography), we will help you book an appointment with the MOM.

The EP will be ready to be collected at our office after four working days.

Thinking of incorporating in Singapore? Let’s get started.

E A S I E R • F A S T E R • B E T T E R

Employment Pass Eligibility Criteria

  • The foreign professional must have a fixed monthly salary of at least S$4,500.
  • Generally, a recognized diploma or degree from a reputed university is expected.
  • Professional qualifications, specialist skills, and work-related experience are also taken into account.

Even if the applicant has a recognized educational qualification, this does not guarantee a successful application as the applicant is also required to satisfy other criteria such as relevant work experience and or professional skills. Similarly, an applicant who does not possess a recognized educational qualification may not necessarily be rejected for the Employment Pass if the applicant possesses other compensating factors.

The eligibility criteria for the Employment Pass as imposed by the Ministry of Manpower are intended to ensure that EP holders’ salaries are similar to those of their local counterparts, raise the standards of Singapore’s foreign workforce, and discourage employers from hiring foreigners instead of locals due to a lower cost involved. Furthermore, there are possibilities that some foreigners could have plans to enter Singapore for the purposes of money laundering or any other illicit activities. Therefore, it is extremely important that the Ministry enforces these criteria as strictly and authoritatively as possible in order for Singapore and its economy to benefit through the contributions of local workers and eligible, legitimate foreign workers alike.

Understanding the strict eligibility criteria can be a daunting task as the Ministry of Manpower’s reasoning can be difficult to understand. Thus, we have prepared a detailed guide on the Employment Pass Requirements in Singapore.

Documents Required for Submission of an Employment Pass Application

All you need for Employment Pass

The following documents are required to submit an Employment Pass visa application in Singapore:

  • EP application form which is to be endorsed by the Singapore-based company which is hiring or will hire the applicant
  • Resume or CV stating educational and employment history
  • Copies of educational certificates and past employment testimonials
  • A copy of the personal details page on the applicant’s passport
  • Photograph of the applicant
  • A copy of the business profile of the company hiring the applicant
  • Detailed description of the applicant’s job duties
  • Detailed description of the products, services, and/or business activities of the company hiring the applicant
  • Tenancy agreement of the place of business operations in Singapore
  • Any documents in a language other than English must be translated into English by an official translation service.

Employment Pass in Singapore FAQs

Where can i get the Employment Pass Application Form?2021-03-30T18:33:18+08:00

If you are ready to start your Employment Pass application, click here to fill up the Employment Pass Questionnaire. Our in-house agent will help you with this process.

You may also use the Self Assessment Tool (SAT) to check the Employment Pass or S Pass eligibility of your candidacy before you apply or appeal.

Reasons why your EP Application is rejected2021-03-30T18:31:54+08:00
  • Job scope and qualifications do not match. Educational profile and experience should be aligned with the job requirements.
  • The applicant’s previous employer did not hire locals or had an imbalanced ratio of locals to foreign employees in the company. This shows a lack of contribution to Singapore and a lack of trust in the local economy. It also casts a poor light on the company with regard to its global standing.
  • A local can easily take the job which the applicant is pursuing. In such a case, there is no need for a foreign talent as there are enough locals that can already do the same job.
  • Criteria such as academic and salary qualifications are not fulfilled to an appropriate level.
  • The duration of the applicant’s previous job is less than two years and the applicant changed job without any acceptable reason. The Ministry of Manpower takes a dim view of job-hoppers and applicants with questionable work records.
How to Check Employment Pass Application Status?2021-03-30T18:38:53+08:00

After applying for an EP online, the following image can be seen:

Applicants’ EP status can be divided into three categories. An applicant’s EP application status can be pending, rejected, or approved.

If the applicant’s EP status is “approved”, the MOM has already approved the application. The applicant may now proceed to make an appointment with the MOM to receive the EP and activate it.

What are some Employment Pass Advantages compared to other Work Visas?2021-03-30T18:29:30+08:00

There are several advantages which are provided to applicants for as well as holders of an Employment Pass which do not exist for those of other Singapore work visas.

  • S Pass holders are not permitted to either own or be the director of a company. They are also barred from entering certain lines of work.
  • Personalized Employment Pass holders have a much higher salary requirement than do Employment Pass holders. They too are not permitted to enter specific lines of work.
  • EntrePass holders are required to fulfil specific criteria related to their status as an entrepreneur, innovator, or investor. None of these additional requirements are applicable with regard to the EP. Thus, it is only to be expected that the EP is the Singapore work visa most commonly selected by foreigners.
What are some Jobs Bank Requirements of Companies Applying for an Employment Pass?2021-03-30T18:28:34+08:00

Since August 2014, the Ministry of Manpower has required companies that intend to hire EP holders to first advertise the relevant position in the Singapore Workforce Development Agency’s Jobs Bank. However, certain exceptions apply.

The following positions are exempted:

  • Jobs in firms with fewer than 25 employees
  • Jobs that pay more than S$12,000 per month
  • Intra-corporate transferees (i.e. candidates holding senior positions / professionals with advanced levels of expertise)
  • Short-term positions (less than one month)
What happens when your Employment Pass application is rejected?2021-03-30T18:27:33+08:00

Sometimes, an Employment Pass application is rejected by the authorities. If such has happened to you, we will investigate why the outcome was so. We will consider the Ministry of Manpower’s reasons, establish a firm appeal in your defence, address the issues raised, and provide any needed documents on request.

  • Appeals take at least three weeks to be completed, though this duration may sometimes be longer.
  • Any appeal must be submitted within three months of the official rejection. After this time period, a new application must be submitted.
What is the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT)2021-03-30T18:16:31+08:00

According to our Singapore Employment Pass Guide, it is wise to make use of the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT), an online tool offered by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM). In the guide, we have listed important factors to consider when applying for a Singapore Employment Pass.

The SAT serves as a gauge of one’s chances of receiving an Employment Pass; it is not an exact means of determining either approval or rejection of such an application.. Applicants and employers can check whether they meet the specific requirements to obtain the proper work passes. The SAT is reliable and has as a high level of accuracy. The SAT will aid in checking one’s eligibility based on nationality, education profile, working background or experience, and salary profile.

Should the SAT results indicate that an applicant is not eligible, the applicant is advised to abandon the application because the application may be outright rejected. However, the SAT is merely a reference and does not depict actual results; the application will nevertheless be thoroughly reviewed by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) authorities. The Self-Assessment Tool exists on the MOM’s website.

2021-04-06T09:04:02+08:00December 22, 2014|484 Comments


  1. Bhupender Singh February 22, 2021 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Hi Dear,

    Can you please let me know procedure to get EP/ WP for same organization transfer from one place to another, like I am residing in India and working in a MNC whose offices are across the globe. I wanted to take a open position internally in my organization in Singapore. How should I proceed and what are chances to get pass approval.

  2. benirene November 10, 2020 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    hi. 3rd time to renew an EP, but first time to see this status: “we need inputs from other agencies to process this application”. any idea why MOM is doing this process? Is there any chance that the application will be rejected?

    • Tiwi November 13, 2020 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      Hi Benirene, thanks for turning to us for advice. We can’t speak on behalf of MOM and we are unsure about the details of your application and thus cant advise you correctly.
      We have situations where MOM requests for statements or testimonies of a candidates performance. In such cases, we do our best to oblige as MOM is a reasonable body.

      Please contact us via Paul Hype Page to discuss further.

      Thank you for your question.
      Warm regards

  3. Finns September 8, 2020 at 2:10 am - Reply

    Need your help. I am currently working here in sg holding wp. But then I didnt renew my contract and it eill expire on sept 17. 2020
    My problem is:
    I get a,new employer working on my transfer for wp. And the hr said my wp transfer process is already okied.
    And today I just received a message that another company already applied for me for Epass, and as I check my status its on Pending.
    Can my transfer process can affect the result of my pending status
    Does MOm already have record for transfer of my work permit to possibly reject my epass application ?

    • Tiwi September 18, 2020 at 2:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Fina,
      Please be informed that it won’t be affecting the process of the employment pass application.
      Please contact us via Paul Hype Page to discuss further.

      Thank you for your question.
      Warm regards

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