Singapore has been gradually tightening the requirements for granting an Employment Pass (EP) to foreigners over years. It’s probable that an application now goes through many hoops before a decision is made and each application is now scrutinised more than ever before. So, the timeline could depend on many factors, provided if you meet the criteria of Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
In most cases, the time duration from the application to the pass approval can be in between 2 weeks to 3 months.
It used to be less than a month, a couple of years ago but nowadays MOM’s stringent rule means they require proper justification from employer on why they hired a foreigner, and they also demand for proof of documentations that they had interviewed Singaporeans.
The Employment Pass application must be submitted by the employer and there are 2 ways for submission. It can be either submitted manually or online.
In most cases, applications are usually submitted online via the MOM’s secure web portal by the employer or a government-licensed immigration agency such as Paul Hype Page. At Paul Hype Page, we deal with numerous Employment Pass application daily and we are accustomed to all of MOM’s processes.
Application Process to get Employment Pass in Singapore
Below is a brief timeline of the application process.
If it is a new incorporated company, it will take 2 days for us to update MOM.
Next, the Employment Pass form is filled by applicants.
The application form as well as all supporting documents are examined by us and we will submit them via EPOL (Employment Pass Online) which takes around 2 days.
Upon submission of the Employment Pass application, it takes about 2 weeks to a month for MOM to reply if application is approved or require additional document. However, it might take longer for certain cases as MOM consider each case on its merit.
If any additional documents are needed, MOM may take another 3 weeks to 2 months to process and verify the information.
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Application Status for your Employment Pass
You may check the status of application online, and there are few possible statuses for your Employment Pass application:
Pending inputs from vetting agencies. Expected outcome is 2 months from the Date of Application.
We need inputs from other agencies to process this application. In most instances, the outcome will be available in 4 weeks’ time. Some cases may take longer.
After the application is submitted, you will be able to monitor your status and once it changes to ‘Pending approval from vetting agencies’, means your initial assessment was fine and next MOM will just need to verify your documents and high chances that it will be approved.
Once your application is approved, you will receive the In-Principal Approval letter electronically. The validity of the letter is 6 months from the time it was written. Do note that all Employment Pass applications are not considered final until you have received an In-Principle-Approval of your application. Remember, do not make any prior relocation plans.
All in all, the overall process time frame is as below:
Please note that the above-mentioned timeline is a standard time frame and varies by cases. Generally, the exact timeline will not be exhaustively disclosed to the applicants so the only thing you could is just wait for the outcome.
If your application is stuck at the initial process and if it is more than a month, your only alternatives are: