Get An Employment Pass in Singapore

Without any trace of doubt, Singapore is one of the richest and most well developed countries in the world. In a matter of decades, this place has managed to reach the top when it comes to the attractiveness it shows to entrepreneurs and when it comes to living costs and expectancy. If you want to live and work in Singapore though, you should know that you will need an Employment Pass. However, as you will discover by reading on, obtaining this Employment Pass is much easier than it appears to be.

Getting an Employment Pass in Singapore: From Start to Finish

The first thing you will have to know if you decide to move to Singapore and work there is related to the fact that this pass is only aimed at managerial, executives and specialists. Also, you will have to know that before applying for the actual pass, you will have to prove them that you already have an offer from a Singaporean company for a job. According to this job, the Ministry of Manpower officials will determine exactly on which of the Employment Pass categories you fall: P1 (for those with a fixed monthly salary of $8,000), P2 (for those with a fixed monthly salary of $4,500) or Q1 (for young graduates making $4,500 each month).

Also, you will want to bear in mind that you cannot get hired in the food or beverage industry in Singapore as a foreigner, as the law forbids these employers from hiring anyone who is not from Singapore. This type of businesses is considered to be small enough as to be handled by a small number of people.

Singapore officials are constantly trying to make things easier both for foreign entrepreneurs and for foreign talents that may help their economy grow. This is why they have come up with online tool that can actually help you asses yourself and your chances of getting a job and those of receiving an Employment Pass.


There are two criteria over which the Ministry of Manpower officials will almost never pass easily: your education and your work experience. Most often, they will require you to hold a diploma from a reputable university in the world and, where this is the case (such as when applying for a P1 or for a P2 pass), you will also have to prove that you have excellent and relevant work experience. Furthermore, the reputation and credibility of the company that is to hire you is also taken into consideration and it can make for your success or for your failure in the end.

You can apply for the Employment Pass either online or in person and the entire process can take anything from 1 to 10 days (in the case of the online application) or anything from 3 weeks to 6 weeks in the case of the manual application. The entire duration of the process depends on a lot of things, including on your employer’s credentials (but not only).

If you want to take a spouse or children with you, then you should know that this is possible and that they will receive either a Dependant’s Pass or a Long-Term Visiting Pass. The first one is given for legal spouses and for children under 21 of age. For those applying for a P1 or P2 pass, a Long-Term Visiting Pass can be released for a common-law spouse, for handicapped children which are above 21 of age, for step-children under 21 of age and for parents (but only in the case of those of you who will hold a P1 Pass).

If you will be successful in your attempt of receiving an Employment Pass, then the Ministry of Manpower will send an In-Principle-Approval letter to the company that is hiring you. On the basis of this document, you will be able to collect your Employment Pass within 6 months from the moment the letter reached your employer. Your EP will be issued once you will hand in a copy of the IPA letter, your medical record and all the other necessary paperwork that will be mentioned in the letter.

As you can see, the entire process is easier than it seems at first but what you will have to do is be absolutely certain that you send in the right documents and that you meet all the requirements MOM (the Singapore Ministry of Manpower) expects you to do.