If you are planning to relocate and incorporate your company in Singapore, you need a good understanding of the employment pass system.

Singapore Employment Pass, often referred to as the ‘EP,’ a work visa is issued to foreign professionals, managers, executives, and experts relocating to work in Singapore.

Employment Pass Eligibility Criteria

You are eligible to apply for EP if you:-

WHAT IS COMPASS?

On September 1, 2023, Singapore introduced the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS). This new point-based system evaluates your EP application.

The same system will also begin to apply to renewal of EPs starting the 1st of September 2024.

The applicant will need to pass a 2-stage eligibility framework.

EP qualifying Salary (Stage 1)

Starting September 1, 2023, only eligible EP applications included criteria with minimum salary requirements based on the applicant’s age.

Sectors excluding financial services

  • At the age of 23 with a qualifying salary of $5,000.
  • Qualifying salary increases by $250 according to each subsequent age.
  • At age 45 and above, the qualifying salary will be up to $10,500.

The financial services sector

  • At the age of 23 with a qualifying salary of $5,500.
  • At age 45 and above, it will be up to $11,500.

Foundational Criteria:

Earn up to 20 points per criterion

  • Salary: Fixed monthly salary compared to local PMET salaries in sector by age
  • Qualifications: Based on candidate’s qualifications
  • Diversity: Share of candidate’s nationality among firms PMETS.
  • Support for Local Employment: Firm’s share of local PMETs within its subsector

Bonus Criteria:

Fail to hit 40 points? Here are bonus points awarded to applications that meet these conditions.

  • Skill Bonus: Specialized skills that are in short supply within the local workforce.
  • Strategic Economic Priorities Bonus: Grants companies for approved strategic initiatives like ambitious investment, internationalization efforts, and innovative endeavors endorsed by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) for workforce transformation.

The COMPASS Score (Stage 2)

COMPASS is a point-based system. EP applicants must score at least 40 points based on individual or firm attributes to qualify.

Here’s a breakdown of the points according to employer’s and applicant’s criteria:

How can I be exempted from COMPASS?

You don’t need to go through COMPASS if you met any of these criteria:

  • A fixed monthly salary at a minimum value of $22500
  • Currently applying as an overseas intra-corporate transferee
  • Will be holding the role for less than 1 month

Reach our Representatives

For personalized consultation, reach out to us. With a 93% success rate, we’ll increase your EP approval chances.

Sales representative for Company Registration with Employment Pass in Singapore

Checklist for a successful EP Application

For Employing Company:

  • Post Job Advertisements on carrers@gov to abide with MOM’s Fair Consideration Framework
  • Ensure you have a corporate bank account opened and have sufficient funds to cover candidate’s 12 month salary + business operation expenses
  • Tenancy agreement of the workplace
  • Prepare business plan proposal
  • Engage with potential clients (preferably Singapore clients) and prepare Letter of Intent or contracts signed with them
  • Ensure you have all invoices issued and proof of payment made by client in
    company bank account
  • Ensure the Company complied with all the annual tax filing with IRAS and annaul return filing with ACRA. Preparation the AGM finanicial statements as well

For EP Applicant

  • Get a signed employment contract with company incorporated in Singapore
  • Get letter of recommendation from past employers
  • Passport
  • Academic certificates

  • Prepare you updated resume and ensure you have past experience in align with your current Job description
  • Salary offered on your previous job should be similar to the one you applying

Your Questions, Answered

Moving to Singapore can be daunting if you’re not familiar with the visa processes. Here are the top questions regarding Singapore Immigration & Visa applications that will clear your doubts!

The estimated timeline for the Singapore EP application is between 2-4 months, depending on the case. In some instances, it could drag up to 6 months if multiple rounds of appeals are requested.

You can post in government career portals such as at carrer@gov and my career future. Alternatively, you can also search for local and foreign talents on other job portals like JobStreet, Randstad, and LinkedIn.

If hiring foreign talent, you must interview at least 3 local Singaporeans for the position. This is to abide with the MOM’s Fair Consideration Framework.

Compared to other work passes, EP is the easiest way to apply for PR in Singapore. Therefore, foreigners interested in obtaining long-term Singapore PR status should first apply for an Employment Pass.
So, congratulations if you are applying for an Employment Pass (EP)! You’re taking a significant step towards becoming PR in Singapore.

For a foreigner seeking to register a company in Singapore with an Employment Pass (EP), the initial step is to ensure they meet MOM’s eligibility criteria.

The foreigner must understand the requirements and plan for their intended company comprehensively. After confirming eligibility, they should engage an appointed employment agent for EP application and company registration assistance.

You can read more about it here.

You can’t transfer ownership of your Singapore Employment Pass, but you can apply for a new EP under your newly formed company. Once the new EP is approved, you can cancel the EP that is tied to your current employer.

The 2 differences between a Singapore Employment Pass (EP) and Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) are:

  • Singapore EP is applied under the company’s name while the PEP is applied under your own name
  • Singapore EP is renewal after expiry while the PEP is non-renewable after 3 years.
  • Singapore EP requires a minimum salary of S$5,000 (from Sep 2023), whereas the PEP mandates a minimum annual salary of S$144,000, equivalent to a monthly salary of S$12,000.
The minimum paid up capital to set up a company in Singapore as an expat or foreigner is S$1.
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.
There are no laws that bar one who has experienced an EP application rejection from applying for other work visas. EP application rejections pertain specifically to the EP. Thus, one who has had an EP application rejected but fulfills the criteria for other work visas may apply for those.

The Singaporean government considers it important that all foreigners who work in the country do so with a valid work visa. Thus, it offers a variety of work visas for those who plan to work there. Such work visas besides the EP include the S Pass, Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass), and Personalized Employment Pass (PEP).

The current minimum qualifying salary is S$5,000 per month to apply for the Singapore Employment Pass.
No, to become an Employment Pass holder, one does not necessarily require IELTS to be eligible.

Changing jobs as a Singapore Employment Pass holder is simple – there are two situations that you may wish to consider:

  • Apply a new job and request your new employer to apply the Employment Pass on your behalf
  • Appoint an agent to incorporate a Company and apply the Employment Pass for you

Here are some pointers before changing jobs:

  • You cannot keep your existing Employment Pass while switching jobs. You must apply for a new Employment Pass.
  • You cannot have 2 Employment Pass ID cards. To receive the new one, you need to cancel the old card.
  • You don’t need to cancel your current pass during the new EP application process. It won’t affect your new EP application.

We recommend that you wait for your In-Principal Approval (IPA) letter before resigning to ensure that you EP is approved. It takes roughly 100 days to change your job as an EP holder in Singapore.

  • Day 1: Obtain an offer letter from your new employer
  • Day 2: Apply for an EP under your new employer.
  • Day 30-60: Once successful, you will receive an IPA letter valid for 6 months.
  • Day 90: Tender your resignation and serve the notice period (1 month in this example) with your current employer.
  • Day 91: Once finished, your current employer will help cancel your Employment Pass and issue a Short-Term Visit Pass (STVP) for you to stay in Singapore.
  • Day 92: Proceed to card issuance at MOM for your new Employment Pass with the new employer.
  • Day 100: You are ready to start working with your new employer

The distinction between a dependant’s pass (DP) and a long-term visit pass (LTVP) lies in the relationship between you and the individual.

DP is for legally married spouses or unmarried children under 21 of holders of a Singapore Employment Pass or S Pass.

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Ready to Apply for an Employment Pass in Singapore?

Trusted globally by many clients, our in-house MOM-licensed agent boasts a 93% success rate in Singapore Employment Pass applications.

The benefits of appointing us are:

Guidance on the preparation of key EP application documents that MOM is looking for

MOM officers prioritize speaking to their appointed agents over individuals. Our fastest EP approval is just 2 weeks.

Liaising with MOM to get insights to EP rejection & necessary documents to boost approval