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Singapore Employment Pass Renewal Guide 2022

8 min read|Last Updated: July 18, 2022|
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One of the most commonly used visa to foreigners who plan to live and work in Singapore is the Singapore Employment Pass (EP). However, before these foreigners are permitted to receive and use the EP, they are to fulfil a specific criteria which have been outlined by the government. The Singapore Employment Pass renewal is typically conducted by the foreign worker’s employer or employment agent.

“ As promised, my expedited employment pass renewal request was handled personally and smoothly by PHP in-house agent. ”

Our thoughts

What we are experiencing now is a tightening in Employment Pass regulations. Singapore EP renewal is no longer just an administrative procedure. If you are considering renewing your EP, you should be prepared with the right documents on hand. If your EP is under your own business, you have control over company level finances and contracts. You would be in an advantage because you decide how much capital you want to inject and how much salary you want to transfer.

If your EP is in the hands of an employer, be sure to discuss with them. Alternatively, you can take your own EP application into your own hands by setting up your own company. Once that is approved, finding a contracting type arrangement with your employer will be next. A lot less HR administrative matters your employer has to navigate, and a lot more flexibility on your part.

Here’s a tip too, you can set up your own company and apply for an EP without having to worry about your existing EP being affected. It is only once your new EP is approved that MOM will ask you to choose which EP you would like to cancel or maintain.

When can I renew my Employment Pass and Dependent Pass?

A Singapore Employment Pass renewal can be done up to 6 months before the pass expiry date. It is advisable to renew the pass within the 6 months as MOM may take longer to assess the renewal application. Do not fret as you will not loose the remaining days in your current pass even though you proceed to renew earlier.

DPs that are linked to the EP can be renewed once the EP renewal is approved. For the cases which EP renewal outcome is still pending, the DP can be renewed at least one (1) month before the expiry date.

MOM will auto approve the application with an extension of extra one (1) month to give more time for MOM officer to conclude the EP renewal outcome. Once EP renewal is approved, the DP renewal will be submitted again so the duration is tied to the main pass holder.

Should I wait for COVID-19 to subside and apply for a new EP instead?

The application will be treated as a fresh application where MOM will consider again all the key factors as well as evaluate them against the current eligibility criteria.

These documents make or break your application

The documents/info needed for the first submission are:

  • Latest passport copy
  • Latest Company ACRA bizfile
  • Candidate latest email address as well as SG mobile number
  • Latest education information (if any)
  • Latest membership information (if any)

Additional/supporting documents

Over the past months, even though a Company has been well established in Singapore for more than 2 years, MOM will still be likely to request supporting documents to ensure the Company is still well equipped to continue hiring a foreign employee via work pass and the candidate of choice is still well deserving of the position offered.

Paul Hype Page has a group of EP experts that can advise you on what are the documents MOM will likely request and guide you on how to well prepare these documents based on MOM guidelines.

Some of the documents include:

1. Candidate latest 3 months payslips and personal bank statements

  • The rationale to request this document is to ensure the Company is paying the foreign worker salary as per what is stated in IPA letter
  • MOM will check if the Company has transferred the EP holder salary from the Company bank account to the EP holder personal bank account monthly
  • Supporting needed are candidate payslips, candidate personal bank account highlighting the salary received, Company bank statement highlighting salary paid to EP holder

2. Candidate latest Notice of Assessment from IRAS

  • The rationale to request this document is to ensure that the EP holder has played her part in declaring her personal income tax with IRAS and pay the tax payable accordingly
  • The amount declared should be the monthly salary stated in IPA for the next 12 months
  • If EP holder were to declare a salary lower than it should be, there should be a justification letter to support the reason

3. Employing Company latest Notice of Assessment from IRAS

  • The rationale to request this document is to ensure that the employing Company has done their part in submitting its annual tax filing to IRAS
  • The Notice of Assessment can be retrieved via MyTax Portal

4. Employing Company photo and tenancy agreement

  • The rationale to request this document is to ensure that the Company have a physical office in Singapore for its to continue operating
  • Even though the current pandemic situation calls for most employers to work remotely, renting a physical office brings confidence to MOM that the Company will continue being in Singapore in the long run
  • Renting an office space is also acceptable

5. Proof of Employing Company ongoing business

  • The rationale to have this document is to justify to MOM the Company’s ability to remain the EP applicant and whether there is a business reason to remain the EP applicant.
  • The supporting needed are corporate bank account, invoices issued as well as proof of payment made within Company bank statement, financial statement, and provision of tax calculated and contracts secured / Letter of Intent (LOI)
  • These documents are crucial as they are one of the key factors for the EP renewal to be approved

Timeline and process for EP renewal

  • Electronic submission
  • Submit while you are overseas and collect in Singapore once approved
  • MOM takes 1 to 3 weeks to assess on case by case basis

Steps to apply Singapore Employment Pass renewal:

Day 1 to 2: Retrieve Singapore Employment Pass renewal application draft and furnish to client for update and confirmation (2 days)

Day 3 to 4: Once amend the information (if any), check & submit Employment Pass renewal (By Authorised Paul Hype Page EP agent) (2 days)

Day 5 to 30:Upon submission of the Singapore Employment Pass renewal application, the standard timeline for MOM to assess the renewal application is 1 to 3 weeks. They will reply with the outcome of the application or if additional supporting documents are needed

Day 31 to 60: If additional documents are requested, MOM will require a further 1 to 3 weeks to assess the additional documents submitted. Some cases might take up to 6 weeks for them to verify the information given.

Day 60: Approval application – In-Principle Approval (IPA) /Medical check-up (if required) and Card issuance (at Paul Hype Page & Co office)

What do I do once my Singapore Employment Pass renewal application is approved?

Step 1: The card issuance will be done electronically via our in-house employment agency. We will need to submit the declaration form as well as medical check-up form (if any). To ensure the candidate is physically present in Singapore, proof of picture taken with the local newspaper showing current date is needed.

The IPA letter valid for the next three months from the date of approval.

Step 2: If medical examination is needed, it can be conducted in the applicant’s home country through an established clinic or hospital or in Singapore. Most clinics in Singapore can provide a medical examination and report within one or two working days.

Medical examination must be done before the card issuance is submitted online.

Step 3: Once candidate is in Singapore for card issuance, we will need the documents/info below:

  • Latest passport copy (if changes occur)
  • Candidate latest email address
  • Candidate latest SG mobile number
  • Candidate latest SG residential address

Step 4: Once our agent has submitted the card issuance online, we will then furnish the candidate a notification letter which will grant the candidate to stay and continue working in Singapore. The notification letter will also indicate if candidate may re-use her existing work pass and check the updated information via SGWorkPass app or if they need to re-issue their card. We will assist to book an appointment if candidate needs to re-issue their work pass with Employment Pass centre.

FAQs

Where can i get the Employment Pass Application Form?2022-07-18T11:54:27+08:00

If you are ready to start your Employment Pass application, click here to fill up the Employment Pass Questionnaire. Our in-house agent will help you with this process.

You may also use the Self Assessment Tool (SAT) to check the Employment Pass or S Pass eligibility of your candidacy before you apply or appeal.

Reasons why your EP Application is rejected2022-07-18T11:54:49+08:00
  • Job scope and qualifications do not match. Educational profile and experience should be aligned with the job requirements.
  • The applicant’s previous employer did not hire locals or had an imbalanced ratio of locals to foreign employees in the company. This shows a lack of contribution to Singapore and a lack of trust in the local economy. It also casts a poor light on the company with regard to its global standing.
  • A local can easily take the job which the applicant is pursuing. In such a case, there is no need for a foreign talent as there are enough locals that can already do the same job.
  • Criteria such as academic and salary qualifications are not fulfilled to an appropriate level.
  • The duration of the applicant’s previous job is less than two years and the applicant changed job without any acceptable reason. The Ministry of Manpower takes a dim view of job-hoppers and applicants with questionable work records.
How to Check Employment Pass Application Status?2022-07-18T11:54:50+08:00

After applying for an EP online, the following image can be seen:

Applicants’ EP status can be divided into three categories. An applicant’s EP application status can be pending, rejected, or approved.

If the applicant’s EP status is “approved”, the MOM has already approved the application. The applicant may now proceed to make an appointment with the MOM to receive the EP and activate it.

What are some Employment Pass Advantages compared to other Work Visas?2022-07-18T11:54:58+08:00

There are several advantages which are provided to applicants for as well as holders of an Employment Pass which do not exist for those of other Singapore work visas.

  • S Pass holders are not permitted to either own or be the director of a company. They are also barred from entering certain lines of work.
  • Personalized Employment Pass holders have a much higher salary requirement than do Employment Pass holders. They too are not permitted to enter specific lines of work.
  • EntrePass holders are required to fulfil specific criteria related to their status as an entrepreneur, innovator, or investor. None of these additional requirements are applicable with regard to the EP. Thus, it is only to be expected that the EP is the Singapore work visa most commonly selected by foreigners.
What are some Jobs Bank Requirements of Companies Applying for an Employment Pass?2022-07-18T11:55:05+08:00

Since August 2014, the Ministry of Manpower has required companies that intend to hire EP holders to first advertise the relevant position in the Singapore Workforce Development Agency’s Jobs Bank. However, certain exceptions apply.

The following positions are exempted:

  • Jobs in firms with fewer than 25 employees
  • Jobs that pay more than S$12,000 per month
  • Intra-corporate transferees (i.e. candidates holding senior positions / professionals with advanced levels of expertise)
  • Short-term positions (less than one month)
What happens when your Employment Pass application is rejected?2022-07-18T11:55:07+08:00

Sometimes, an Employment Pass application is rejected by the authorities. If such has happened to you, we will investigate why the outcome was so. We will consider the Ministry of Manpower’s reasons, establish a firm appeal in your defence, address the issues raised, and provide any needed documents on request.

  • Appeals take at least three weeks to be completed, though this duration may sometimes be longer.
  • Any appeal must be submitted within three months of the official rejection. After this time period, a new application must be submitted.
What is the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT)2022-07-18T11:55:30+08:00

According to our Singapore Employment Pass Guide, it is wise to make use of the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT), an online tool offered by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM). In the guide, we have listed important factors to consider when applying for a Singapore Employment Pass.

The SAT serves as a gauge of one’s chances of receiving an Employment Pass; it is not an exact means of determining either approval or rejection of such an application.. Applicants and employers can check whether they meet the specific requirements to obtain the proper work passes. The SAT is reliable and has as a high level of accuracy. The SAT will aid in checking one’s eligibility based on nationality, education profile, working background or experience, and salary profile.

Should the SAT results indicate that an applicant is not eligible, the applicant is advised to abandon the application because the application may be outright rejected. However, the SAT is merely a reference and does not depict actual results; the application will nevertheless be thoroughly reviewed by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) authorities. The Self-Assessment Tool exists on the MOM’s website.

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