Pleasing the demands of Ministry of Manpower isn't an easy task if you decide to apply for an employment pass in Singapore. It requires an elaborate approach to understanding the strict criteria and paying attention to every detail.

Is there any quota for Employment Pass in Singapore

Quota for Employment Pass in Singapore

No, there is no foreign worker levy or quota associated with the Employment Pass (EP) in Singapore. The quota system and foreign worker levy is only applicable to the S Pass and Work Permit (WP).

Quota system is a restriction for employers to hire no more than the permitted number of foreign workers. This quota varies depending on the industry. This restriction is intended to control the inflow of overseas workers.

As for Employment Pass, any Singapore-based companies are theoretically able to hire unlimited number of foreign professionals. Although there is no quota for Employment Pass, it still has strict restrictions as the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will review each application based on the applicant’s and company’s merit.

The below are important aspects for employment pass application

For professionals:

If you cannot find a job or a company to sponsor for your Employment pass application , you can always do it on your own – Incorporation with Employment Pass

Other Requirements for Employment Pass in Singapore

In general, a few factors may determine the success rate of Employment Pass application or renewal including salary level, academic qualification, years of experience in that industry. Even getting a job in certain industries in Singapore is quite tough due to the current state of the employment market. Depending on your industry, you must take into account all the essential factors.

  • You would not be able to get an Employment Pass for a job that pays less than $4,500, which in Singapore can be quite high for certain industries. As a foreigner, you will need to be paid off the bat and corresponds to your work experiences as well. If you are relatively junior, then you will be competing with the other local candidates without much experience. On the other hand, if you possess extensive experience, you are required to draw a higher salary.


  • Qualification pedigree can also play a significant role in the decision making. Some universities or institutions from certain countries might be looked down which will affect in getting a job itself. Top-tier universities from western countries are generally considered to be equal or better than the local universities and all others are viewed with scrutiny. But do note that this is not a deal breaker though, especially if you have experience in your field.
  • Apart from that, now, foreigners who apply for Employment Pass will also be assessed on the basis of social and economic impact they will have on Singapore and its citizens as MOM has tightened the criteria.
  • It is not only the candidate who is assessed. The hiring companies are also evaluated in terms of their local headcount and nature of business activities. MOM will review whether the company have tried hiring any locals in their business operations before deciding to hire foreign workers.
  • Companies are also evaluated in terms of their capital structure and if they are able to pay out the employees’ salaries. MOM usually insist on providing documentary evidence which will required for verification during the approval process.

There are no restrictions on the nationality of applicants as the government is open to accepting high level talents from anywhere around the world, but the critical deciding factor is whether such talents is scarce and not available locally. All in all, it comes down to MOM whether or not you are a suitable fit to contribute to the republic.