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Singapore Employment Pass Timeline 2022

8 min read|Last Updated: July 20, 2022|
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An employment pass is one of the many preferred work visas in Singapore. The Singapore employment pass allows foreign expatriates to live and work in Singapore with a starting salary of S$4,500*.

Whether you’re applying the to work or to start a business, the Singapore employment pass application timeline is the same.

Angela - Chief Marketing Officer

What is the timeline for an Employment Pass application?

The standard timeline for Singapore employment pass application is 1 to 3 weeks. However, the actual timeline is based on a case-by-case basis.

With the latest news that the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is looking to increase the minimum qualifying salary, we’re seeing an influx of applications and approvals in early-mid 2022. The higher number of employment pass applications means that the timeline is expected to increase – with about 2-3 months for the initial outcome of the application.

The employment pass application timeline can be dragged longer should MOM request for more supporting documents or an appeal is needed after EP rejection.

What is the standard procedure to apply an Employment Pass?

All Employment Pass applications are made electronically to MOM. There are two situations for an Employment Pass application.

Employment Pass applied by Employer: Employment Pass applied by agent – Paul Hype Page
NA This situation is if you wish to incorporate a Company and apply an EP

5 days incorporation

Day 1) Register an account on our patented platform. Fill up our incorporation and/or employment pass form.

Day 5) After compliance team approval, Incorporate the company with our nominee services

Employment Pass application (3 weeks to 3 months)

Day 1 – Retrieve candidate personal information

Day 3 – Compile all documentation, review, and proceed with submission

Week 3 – If additional documents are required, prepare them accordingly and submit

Week 8 – Outcome from MOM

Day 1 – Retrieve candidate personal information

Day 3 – Compile all documents, review, and advise client on potential additional documents that are needed to support the application. Proceed with application once client confirms.

Week 3 – If additional documents are required, advise client on the documents required from their part, compile and assist to prepare them according to MOM guidelines. Proceed with submission once client confirms.

Week 8 – Outcome from MOM

Note: If the application is rejected, we will contact MOM officer to understand the reasoning and prepare the appeal documents accordingly.

Note: If the application is approved, you are considered a local resident director. Hence, no longer needing the nominee director service

In a downturn

The employment pass is valid as long as your contract with the employer exist.

The pass might be revoked, and you will have 30 days to remain in Singapore via Short-Term Visit Pass (STVP) before leaving the country.

The validity of the employment pass remains as long as you continue renewing it. After 3 years, you may also opt for PR application.

Should I engage an MOM-licensed agent to apply for Employment Pass?

Given that are two ways to apply for the employment pass, business owners, entrepreneurs and companies should understand the benefits of engaging an MOM-licensed agent instead of applying it in-house themselves.

The benefits are:

1. Years of insights to what is needed for higher EP application
Agents have exclusive insights and understanding of the relevant and additional supporting documents required to boost chance of success. This will also reduce the timeline for the Singapore employment pass application as there is no need for appeal.

2. Decrypting the reasons for rejection
Most of the EP application rejection outcomes are very short and vague replies from MOM. As agents, we will call MOM directly to speak to the officer to understand in detail the reasons of rejection and prepare the appeal accordingly.

Most of the officers prefer to speak to agents rather than businessowners or companies as agents have a better understanding of the process.

3. Closeness of relationship with MOM
Given that we spent a lot of time conversing with the MOM officers, the relationship is established. This means that when they see that the application is under the agent’s name, they are more likely to approve.

Application Status for your Employment Pass

You may check the status of application online via this link with log in required. The status might vary depending on the stage of the EP application.

Here are the common statuses during the entire timeline of the employment pass application:

  • Pending
  • Pending inputs from vetting agencies. Expected outcome is 2 months from the Date of Application.

  • We need inputs from other agencies to process this application. In most instances, the outcome will be available in 4 weeks’ time. Some cases may take longer.

  • Approved/Rejected

Once MOM has received the input they required from other agencies or from vetting agencies, they will then need to verify the documents further before concluding the outcome.

When the application is approved, an In-Principal Approval (IPA) letter will be issued with a validity of 6 months. You can use the time given to plan your journey to relocate to Singapore.

Angela - Chief Marketing Officer

What if my Employment Pass application is rejected?

In the case that your application is rejected, you may submit an appeal within the next 3 months from the rejection date.

Once an appeal is submitted, MOM usually requires 3 to 6 weeks to assess the supporting documents submitted.

Angela - Chief Marketing Officer

If your application is stuck at the initial process and if it is more than a month, your only alternatives are: 

  • Hold on
  • Terminate/Cancel the EP application

Our team of Singapore employment pass specialists will analyse the rejection and reach out to MOM directly to understand the reasons for rejection.

Our thoughts

An employment pass application can be a lengthy procedure, especially with the higher number of applications.

However, as an agent who deals with an Employment Pass application on a daily basis, we can communicate directly with the MOM officer and put in a chaser if the application prolonged after the cut-off date of 3 weeks.

This chaser will put the application as a priority for MOM officer to conclude and give an outcome. Although the timeline of the employment pass cannot be guaranteed, we are confident in securing your Singapore employment pass given our highly successful track record of 93%.

We have a stringent assessment for each candidate to ensure that the candidate has a strong chance of getting the employment pass.


Come down to our office or get in touch virtually for a work visa assessment to determine your best chance to move to Singapore today.

Contact us now >


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.

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.

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Join the discussions

  1. Hazel October 28, 2021 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    How long does it take for an isssued employment pass card to reach foreign talent from the day it is ussued?

    • Paul Hype Page October 29, 2021 at 2:52 pm - Reply

      Hi Hazel,

      It will take approximately 7 working days to reach the address provided after card issuance procedure at MOM office.

      If you require employment pass application or renewal, feel free to reach out to us on WhatsApp and we’ll be happy to discuss further.

      Best Regards,

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