Paul Hype Page Logo

Is IELTS required for Singapore Employment Pass?

4 min read|Last Updated: November 22, 2022|
Home>Guides / FAQ>Is IELTS required for Singapore Employment Pass?
What’s in this article
Book a consultation for your business expansion today.
Contact Us Now >

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:

  • Nationality/Citizenship
  • Date of birth
  • Work experiences
  • Education background

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:

  • Position details
  • Fixed monthly salary
  • Nationality/Citizenship
  • Date of birth
  • Work experiences
  • Education background

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.

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.

Our thoughts

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.


Does Employment Pass Holder pay CPF?2020-11-16T09:25:37+08:00

No, an Employment Pass Holder does not pay CPF. 

What happens if I forget to renew my Employment Pass (EP)?2020-11-16T09:25:04+08:00

You must apply for a new EP if you forget to renew your EP before the deadline. 

How can I check if my employment pass is valid?2022-05-05T12:18:59+08:00

You can either use the SGWorkPass app or the eServices to check your employment pass validity.

Is there any quota for employment pass?2020-11-16T09:23:36+08:00

No, there is no quota for the employment pass. 

I am an EntrePass holder. Can I register a business?2022-07-18T11:53:26+08:00


If I am holding a valid EntrePass for the company that currently employs me but wish to leave the current post to start my own business venture, must I cancel my existing EP before applying for AIP EP?2022-07-18T11:53:50+08:00

Yes, you will need to cancel your existing EntrePass before applying for AIP EP.

If I am holding a valid EntrePass (EP) for the company that currently employs me and at the same time, wish to start my own business without resigning from my present job, must I cancel my existing EP before applying for AIP EP?2022-07-18T11:53:39+08:00

No, you need not cancel your existing EP. Rather, you should apply for AIP EP along with a letter of no objection from your current employer. Your AIP EP will be treated as an application for an additional EntrePass to work for another company.

Why does the Singaporean government offer various Visa Types?2020-06-23T09:58:23+08:00

People of various educational levels, skill levels, and salaries are interested in moving to, living in, and working in Singapore. These differences prevent the same visa from being used for every foreigner who plans to work in Singapore. Thus, to overcome this potential problem, the Singaporean government must offer different types of visa to cater to the needs of as many foreign workers as possible.

Can anyone from any country receive an Employment Pass?2020-06-23T09:55:25+08:00

The current regulations regarding the Employment Pass do not bar anyone from receiving one on the basis of nationality. Anyone who meets all of the relevant criteria may receive it. Therefore, any eligible person from any country may receive an Employment Pass. 

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

More Business Insights

Undecided or got questions

Got other questions?

Drop us a message on WhatsApp or connect with us through our contact form.


Join the discussions

  1. Jyotistellakullu January 21, 2020 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    For work permit means employment pass IELTS is required and if yes which one IELTS general or academic I have done postBasic Bsc nursing and having five years of hospital work experience is I am eligible to apply for EPASS

    • Kumaran Tiwiyah January 23, 2020 at 9:57 am - Reply

      Hello Jyoti,

      There is no requirement for one to have taken the IELTS exam to receive a Singapore EP.

      If you would like to find out whether you are likely to receive an EP, you may use the Ministry of Manpower’s Self-Assessment Tool to do so.

      Thank you for your questions.