The purpose of this article is to ensure reader understands that even though some items are not mandatory in applying an Employment Pass, having an acceptable qualification plays a significant role in obtaining the pass itself.
No, to become an Employment Pass holder, one does not necessarily require IELTS to be eligible.
What is IELTS?
IELTS is an English Language test and abbreviated from International English Language Testing System. It is an exam owned and conducted by The British Council around various parts of the world.
IELTS is recognized by universities and employers in most of the countries mainly Australia, Canada, UK, and USA. It is also recognized by government agencies, professional bodies, and immigration authorities.
Purpose of IELTS
The IELTS exam is taken to gauge our proficiency with all the four language skills such as Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. It has been designed for any candidate applying study purpose, work, or immigration abroad.
You would need to take the IELTS exam if you are a citizen of a country where the native language is not English, to move to a country where the most common language is English. This exam is required so that you do not face any issues in conversation when you are in a foreign country.
As most immigration authorities do recognize IELTS as proof of English language skills of prospective immigrants, it is not a mandatory requirement to obtain employment pass in Singapore.
Acceptable Qualifications to obtain Employment Pass
As IELTS is not a mandatory requirement for a candidate to obtain an Employment Pass, however, one of the criteria for a person to be eligible to hold an Employment Pass is by having an acceptable qualification from accredited institution, professional qualification of specialised skills.
There are several key indicators the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) look into for a candidate to be eligible to hold an Employment Pass. Some of them are:
Date of birth
Fresh graduates are mostly entitled to hold an Employment Pass with the minimum salary of SGD$ 4,500 per month. However, those who are older and more experienced applicants will only be eligible if the salary offered is higher, which is at par with their years of work experiences on the field.
Those who wish to apply an Employment Pass but their qualification is from unaccredited institutions will need to obtain a report from any global verification agencies such as Dataflow or Risk Management Intelligence (RMI).
This report is needed for the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to begin assessing the candidate application. Without it, MOM will not initiate the assessment and leads to an auto rejection.
For those applying the employment pass using their professional certificate will be scrutinize by the Ministry of Manpower. These types of applicants will usually need to compile supporting such as letter of recommendation and past work experience portfolio to boost the approval chance.
Use the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT)
A candidate may attempt in using MOM’s Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) to check what is their qualifying salary before proceeding to apply an EP. The information needed will be:
Fixed monthly salary
Date of birth
Note: A candidate may look into if their institution is listed in MOM’s database by this tool. If the awarding institute is not listed, the candidate will need to get a 3rd party global verification report before pursuing the EP application.
There is a no quota system for Employment Pass and each application is reviewed based on the credentials of applicant and the employing company. MOM closely review other key factor such as proven track records and exceptional skill sets on a case-to-case basis.
Note on salaries: Do note that the minimum fixed monthly salary requirement of S$4,500 is typically applicable to fresh graduates from awarding institute whereas older and more experienced applicants are required to command higher salaries which is proportional to their years of work experiences to qualify.
If the tool indicates you are entitled to a higher salary to qualify holding an Employment Pass, but the employing Company is only able to offer at a much lower salary, then do not bother proceeding to accept the offer as the application will only be auto rejected by MOM.
You may try to negotiate with your potential employer or better yet, set up your own Singapore Company and apply an employment pass from thereon. This way, you will be considered as the business owner as well as an employee of your own Company.
Note: The Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) test only serves to check a candidate eligibility and the minimum salary qualify for one person to hold an Employment Pass. It does not guarantee an approval of the application as MOM assess the application on a case-by-case basis.
Graduating from an accredited institution does have it perks in boosting the chance for a candidate to hold an Employment Pass.
However, do not feel disheartened if you only rely on professional skills and a long work experiences in a particular field to apply for the pass.
The Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will assess each of the application without prejudice and each key factor are equally important. So long as the supporting documents they requested are well prepared to boost the approval chance.