Why the Employment Pass is superior to other working visas
There are at least three (3) professional working visas available for foreign expatriate to choose from which are:
The table below will indicate the differences of each pass:
|Pass Type||Employment Pass||EntrePass||Personalised Employment Pass|
|Who is it for?||Foreign professionals, managers, and executives to work in Singapore registered Company||Foreign entrepreneurs to start and operate business that is venture-backed or possesses innovative technologies||High-earning EP holders or overseas foreign professionals that is not tied to an employer|
|Who can apply?||Employer or appointed agent||Candidate may apply directly||Candidate may apply directly|
|Duration of the pass?||1 to 3 years||1 to 2 years||Only up to 3 years|
|Salary range?||SGD$ 4,500 above||No specific salary requirement||SGD$ 18,000 above|
|Can bring in family members?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Foreign worker levy or quota?||None||None||None|
Based on the table above, for starters who wish to start a business with minimum capital injection will definitely opt for Employment Pass. The eligibility criteria are easier to meet compared to the other two options available.
Employment Pass (EP) VS EntrePass
1. EP has easier requirements to relocate family members
EP holders earning at least SGD$ 6,000 can bring in their spouse and children. They can also bring in their parents if they earn a minimum of SGD$ 12,000 per month.
EntrePass holders are not allowed to bring in your family members during the first year the visa was approved. During the second year, there are certain requirements as below:
|To bring your||Your total annual business spending must be at least||You must employ at least|
|Spouse (common-law or legally married)|
(full-time employees, formerly known as FTE)OR1 local PME (professional, manager or executive)
2 local PMEs
2. EP has easier requirements for renewal
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) did not highlight any specific requirements for an Employment Pass holder to meet before proceeding for renewal compared to an EntrePass holder. So long as the EP holder is able to furnish the supporting documents that MOM requested to support its renewal application, it should be a smooth journey from thereon.
However, an Entrepass must meet a specific set of criteria in order for them to opt for renewal.
Employment Pass VS Personalised Employment Pass
1. EP Has lower minimum salary
The qualifying salary to hold an Employment Pass starts from SGD$ 4,500 whereas a Personalised Employment Pass, it starts from at least SGD$ 12,000 for existing EP holder or SGD$ 18,000 for overseas foreign professionals.
2. EP is renewable
An Employment Pass is renewable for at least the next 3 consecutive years whilst a Personalised Employment Pass is only granted for an exact 3 years (non-renewable).
How Employment Pass holders achieve personal and financial freedom
Traditionally, EP’s are presented in a way that foreign professionals should have a job offer in Singapore. Instead, reframe and consider setting up a company. This way, you will be considered as the business owner as well as an employee of your own Company. You may provide your services to more clients and do not need to seek for a new job again.
Your EP is your asset, we illustrate this with two scenarios as below:
|A job seeker vs a business owner at the same starting point||Scenario A: John undergoes a job hunt.|
John is employed by a Singapore company.
|Scenario B: Adam undergoes a job hunt.|
Adam sets up a company and contracts his services to a Singapore company.
|In a downturn||If John is retrenched, his employer cancels his EP and returns to his home country.||If Adam loses a contract, he still owns his EP so he continues looking for other contracts in Singapore with a higher rate of success since he can physically be in Singapore.|
|Growth||For growth, John will look for the next employer to work for.||For growth, Adam expands by working with multiple companies.|
|Achieving financial and personal freedom||If all goes well, John’s employer will pay a high salary for the work he does.|
John can be promoted for as much as his employer can offer.
If all goes well, Adam earns a lot from multiple companies. He can hire employees to help him and has more time on his hands.
Adam can scale his business and there are no limits to his expansion.
What is the Employment Pass procedure?
Read this article for a step-by-step on Employment Pass procedures. By engaging with Paul Hype Page, the workflow will be as below:
|Traditional EP application||Company set up with EP|
|NA||Day 1) Register an account on our patented platform. Fill up our incorporation and/or employment pass form.|
Day 5) After compliance team approval, Incorporate the company with our nominee services
|Growth||For growth, John will look for the next employer to work for.|
2 to 3 months Employment Pass application
Day 1) Review client’s Employment pass application and advise on the additional documents that might be needed such as Business Plan, Tenancy Agreement and etc
Day 3) Submit Application to MOM and open company’s bank account. The company’s bank account should have capital of 12 months of the EP applicant’s declared salary.
Day 20) MOM may approve or request for additional documents
Day 30) Submit document after communication with MOM officer and working with client on the needed documents
Day 35 to 60 days) MOM will approve the application and once client secure employment pass, you are considered a local resident director. Hence, no longer needing the nominee director service
|The company should have a minimum 12 months of the applicant’s salary in the company bank account.|
E.g. 12 months of $6,000 is $72,000 capital required
|If you engage with our incorporation service, we are able to fund the company with up to $300,000 to secure a higher approval rate.|
|In a downturn|
|EP is cancelled and issued 30 days short term visit pass (STVP) to leave the country||EP has 1 year validity and can renew before expiry|
Is it difficult to secure an Employment Pass now?
Based on recent events, it can be said the Covid-19 pandemic did hinder the Employment Pass application process. The Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) first begin tightening the requirement for a candidate to qualify holding an Employment Pass and at the same time, decreasing the quota for foreign expatriates. Recently, they have also made amendments to the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA) which result to foreign expatriate applying for Employment Pass nearly impossible.
The Singapore government goal is to build and retain a core of Singapore employees and to further support employment opportunities of locals in Singapore. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has taken seriously on the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) they set out which require all employers in Singapore to consider local candidates fairly for the job opportunities before hiring foreign expatriates. All employers in Singapore are expected to adhere to the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices. This is to promote fair employment practices and improve labour market transparency.
Without a doubt, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) still allows for employer to apply work visa for the foreign candidates. However, they will strictly filter each application based on their qualifications, salary offered and work experiences.
Is it still possible to get an Employment Pass in the current situation?
Yes, definitely. Ministry of Manpower (MOM) still allows employers to apply Employment Pass. However, compare to how it used to be, each application now goes through many barriers and is scrutinize before an outcome is concluded.
Hence, applying an Employment Pass without engaging an agency without knowledge or experiences will definitely make the application nearly impossible to be approved. By engaging with Paul Hype Page, we will advise you on the best approach to overcome those barriers depending on your situation.
You may go through the in-depth procedure via this link
Applying for Employment Passes used to be just a matter of paperwork and doing the minimum. Things are different now. The government has released official statements declaring the tightening of foreign worker regulations. If your Employment Pass matters to you, you should seek the right advice and experience. It is, of course, timely to mention that Paul Hype Page has been servicing foreigners for 13 years now with our in-house immigration agency.
It is also worthwhile to consider setting up your own company instead of seeking employment for your employment pass. We are avid promoters of financial and personal freedom. It just makes sense that while all the chess pieces are lined up, your next move should be the most strategic one. That would be the move to Singapore, as your own boss.