Singapore Employment Pass

We bring solutions to make life easier for Employment Pass Application.

Singapore Employment Pass2023-09-18T14:20:42+08:00

Whether you’re looking to work or relocate to Singapore, or renew your Singapore Employment Pass (EP), we’ve got you covered. From consultancy for your Employment Pass (EP) eligibility, advising against the current climate of the situation, to execution of Employment Pass applications, enjoy seamless transition with reliable service by trusted experts.

Employment Pass Eligibility Criteria (Non-COMPASS)

Until 31 August 2023, only these were the eligibility criteria to apply for the EP:

This was before the new Singapore Employment Pass COMPASS Scheme was introduced and effective on 1 September 2023.

Impact of New Singapore Employment Pass Compass Scheme

EP candidates must pass a points-based Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) starting on September 1, 2023. This is a new point-based system with four fundamental criteria used to evaluate your EP application. Applications receive points only if they satisfy or surpass the given criteria. Employers can choose top-notch foreign professionals through COMPASS, which also increases workforce diversity while retaining a strong Singaporean core.

Through the Employment Pass Compass Scheme, businesses are expected to benefit from better clarity and certainty for their manpower planning. A comprehensive collection of personal and business-related criteria is used by COMPASS to evaluate EP applications.

How does this change affect your future Singapore Employment Pass (EP) application or renewals?

Clamping down on MNCs

Size of local employment and diversity of the company’s workforce has a direct impact on your Singapore Employment Pass application or renewal. Companies with low local employment and employees of the same foreign nationalities will have a more difficult time applying for EP application or renewal.

What does it mean for me?

Your EP approval is in the hands of your employer’s HR policies. Higher chance for your EP renewal or future Employment Pass applications to be rejected if your company fails to meet the requirements (low or no points will be scored from these criteria).

Small companies have bonus points

Small companies or solo entrepreneurs will benefit from this new Singapore Employment Pass scheme as they automatically secure 10 points if they have less than 25 employees.

What does it mean for me?

If you were to apply for your own Singapore Employment Pass under your new company, you will automatically get 10 points to your application.

Higher salaries are valued in EP applications and renewals

Your salary matters, with higher monthly salaries favoured in EP applications and renewals as the fixed monthly salary is compared to local PMETs in the sector.

What does it mean for me?

You can decide your salary in your company according to industry’s benchmarks to secure more points.

The New COMPASS Employment Pass Eligibility Criteria

Starting the 1st of September 2023, this new points system will be applied towards new Employment Pass applicants. The same system will also begin to apply to renewal of EPs starting the 1st of September 2024. This system is divided into two stages.

Stage 1: Qualifying Salary

Below are the minimum salary requirements which are determined according to the age of the applicant:

Sectors excluding financial services

  • The starting line is at the age of 23 with a qualifying salary of $5,000.
  • This 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

  • The starting line is at the age of 23 with a qualifying salary of $5,500.
  • This amount increases according to age—at age 45 and above, it will be up to $11,500.
  • See here for the detailed table on qualifying salary for each age on the Singaporean Ministry of Manpower website.

Stage 2: The COMPASS Scoring

COMPASS is a point-based system in which EP applicants must score at least 40 points to qualify. Here’s a breakdown of the points according to employer’s and applicant’s criteria:

Points for each criterion
20 points : Exceeds expectations
10 points : Meets expectations
0 points : Below expectations

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

– Individual Attributes –

– Firm Related Attributes –

– Bonus Criteria –

Fail to hit 40 points based on individual or firm’s attributes? Here are bonus points awarded to applications that meet these conditions.

COMPASS Exemptions

Candidates do not need to go through COMPASS if any of these criteria are met:

  • 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

For more information, visit the official COMPASS guidebook.

What is Required for Successful Employment Pass Applications?

The documents needed are mostly basic information of yourself as well as the employing Company. From 1 Sep 2023, educational qualifications (diploma-level and above) are required to be verified by the company for all Employment Pass applications in Singapore.

Employing company to prepare:

  • Post job advertisement to abide with MOM’s Fair Consideration Framework and gives the same consideration to local candidates (this can be served as supporting if MOM were to request it)

  • Ensure Company bank account is opened and have sufficient funds to cover the candidate 12 months’ salary payable and business operation expenses
  • Have tenancy agreement of the workplace

  • Prepare business plan in detail

    • What is the product/service offered
    • Why the need to operate in Singapore
    • What is the manpower projection
    • Who are the potential clients
  • Engage with potential clients (better if they are Singapore clients) and prepare the Letter of Intent or contracts signed.

  • If the business has started operating, ensure all invoices issued are neatly kept and can be tallied with the proof of payment made by clients in the Company bank account
  • Ensure the Company complied with the annual filing (tax filing with IRAS, financial statement preparation and annual return filing with ACRA)

EP Applicant to prepare:

  • Get a signed employment contract with the employing Company

    • Ensure the position and salary are tallied with EP application
  • Secure letter of recommendation from past employers as well as potential clients
  • Ensure the job description is suitable with the position applied and candidate had past experiences in it
  • Resume must be up to date and entail all the achievements throughout the years

    • Good education background and achievement in career is a must
    • Ensure the salary offered for EP is similar to the current salary received

Timeline & Procedure for Singapore Employment Pass

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. Below are the typical steps taken for EP applications:

  • Day 1) Review the client’s Employment pass application and advise on the additional documents that might be needed such as a Business Plan, Tenancy Agreement etc
  • Day 3) Submit the Application to MOM and open the company’s bank account. The company’s bank account should have a capital of 12 months of the EP applicant’s declared salary.
  • Day 20) MOM may approve or request for additional documents
  • Day 30) Submit the document after communication with the MOM officer and working with client on the needed documents

Comparison between Traditional EP and EP Set Up by Company

At Paul Hype Page, we offer services for both traditional EP applications and EP set up by a company. Differences between these two approaches are illustrated below:

Traditional EP Application  Company Set up With EP 
Additional steps   NA 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.  

Learn more about our company incorporation services here.  

Type of career growth   This path involves seeking career advancement within an existing company, which may require competing for available positions or changing jobs.  With this approach, you essentially become your own boss. Your growth is dependent on acquiring more clients, expanding your business, and hiring employees. 
Amount of capital required   To meet the employer’s criteria, the company must maintain an amount in its bank account equal to the applicant’s annual salary.

For example, if the applicant earns $6,000 per month, the company needs to have $72,000 in its account 

When you choose to use our incorporation service, we have the capability to provide your company with financial support of up to $300,000.

This assistance is designed to significantly increase your chances of obtaining a higher approval rate for your Employment Pass (EP) application. 

Influence of Downturns/ Economic Recession   In challenging economic times, such as a downturn, the traditional Employment Pass (EP) application process can pose a disadvantage as it may be more vulnerable to job loss due to the unfavourable economic conditions.  When opting for the Company Setup with EP approach, you have the advantage of owning your own company. This means there is no risk of losing your job during an economic downturn. Instead, your focus shifts towards how your company will navigate and adapt to the challenges posed by the economic recession. 
Validity Period The validity of this past for new candidates is up to 2 years, with option of renewals up to 3 years. Those in the tech or other fields in shortage may qualify for more than 5 years duration of the EP. 

In certain situations, the Employment Pass (EP) may be canceled, and you may be issued a 30-day Short-Term Visit Pass (STVP). This STVP allows you a brief period to make the necessary arrangements to exit the country. 

This EP has 1 year validity and can be renewed before expiry 

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!

How can a foreigner register a company in Singapore with an Employment Pass?2022-07-16T12:22:19+08:00

The process for a foreigner to register a company in Singapore is similar to that of a local, with the exemption of the need to apply for an Employment Pass to physically be and work in Singapore.

You can read more about it here.

How to transfer ownership of your Singapore Employment Pass from your existing company?2022-07-02T11:40:02+08:00

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

What’s the difference between Singapore Employment Pass and Personalised Employment Pass?2022-07-02T11:41:51+08:00

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 has a minimum salary requirement of S$5,000 (from Sep 2022 onwards) while the PEP has a minimum annual salary requirement of S$144,000 which estimates to a monthly salary of S$12,000.
How much does it cost to set up a company in Singapore as an expat?2022-07-02T11:38:16+08:00

The minimum paid up capital to set up a company in Singapore as an expat or foreigner is S$1.

Does Employment Act cover foreigners?2021-12-02T17:45:19+08:00

The Employment Act does not make any distinction between local or foreign employees. It covers every employee under a contract of service, except for domestic workers, seamen and government employees. 

What is the purpose of Employment Act?2021-12-02T17:45:01+08:00

Promoting equal opportunity and fair treatment in employment through the elimination of unfair discrimination. 

Who is covered by the employment Act in Singapore?2021-12-02T17:36:27+08:00

In general, the Employment Act in Singapore covers any person who has entered into a contract of service with an employer. This includes Workmen (e.g. persons engaged in manual labour or persons in jobs stated in the First Schedule of the Employment Act, such as cleaners, bus/train drivers, or construction workers) 

Why is the Employment Pass the most common Singapore visa which is issued?2020-06-23T10:33:44+08:00

All visas offered by the Singaporean government provide various advantages to those who obtain them. However, the advantages offered by the Employment Pass are more numerous, accessible, and commonly needed or desired when compared to the advantages offered by other visas. Therefore, the Employment Pass has become the most frequently issued, desired, and recommended visa in Singapore.

Why does the Singaporean government offer various Visa Types?2020-06-23T10:33:25+08:00

People of various educational levels, skill levels, and salaries are interested in moving to, living in, and working in Singapore. These differences prevent the same visa from being used for every foreigner who plans to work in Singapore. Thus, to overcome this potential problem, the Singaporean government must offer different types of visa to cater to the needs of as many foreign workers as possible.

Can anyone from any country receive an Employment Pass?2020-06-23T10:15:19+08:00

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. 

Can those who have had their EP application rejected apply for any other work visas of Singapore?2023-05-19T17:57:14+08:00

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.

Are there any work visas in Singapore other than the EP?2020-06-23T10:05:11+08:00

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).

What is the purpose of the Jobs Bank?2020-06-22T14:36:15+08:00

The Jobs Bank was created to help Singaporeans who are seeking a job with their search for employment. It allows for greater connection between Singapore’s employers and jobseekers. It is also linked to MySkillsFuture and the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF).

Must all EP holders eventually become Permanent Residents?2020-06-22T14:35:57+08:00

Those who are interested in obtaining PR status in Singapore ought to know that receiving an EP will make it much easier for them to do so. Therefore, foreigners who are interested in becoming a Singapore PR ought to apply for an EP. However, those who already own an EP but have no desire to become a Singapore PR are not obliged to do so.

Can anyone from any country receive an Employment Pass?2020-06-22T14:35:16+08:00

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.

What is the minimum salary for Singapore Employment Pass?2022-11-03T12:27:34+08:00

The current minimum qualifying salary is S$5,000 per month to apply for the Singapore Employment Pass.

Is IELTS required for Singapore Employment Pass?2022-11-03T12:26:49+08:00

No, to become an Employment Pass holder, one does not necessarily require IELTS to be eligible.

How can a Singapore Employment Pass Holder Change Job?2022-11-03T12:26:09+08:00

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 that you should note when changing jobs:
• You cannot keep your existing Employment Pass while switching jobs. You must apply for a new Employment Pass.
• You cannot concurrently have 2 Employment Pass ID cards. To receive the new one, you need to cancel the old card.
• There is no need to cancel your current pass while the new EP application is being applied as it will not deter 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 completed, your current employer will assist to cancel the Employment Pass and issue you the Short-Term Visit Pass (STVP) to remain 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

What’s the difference between a Dependant’s Pass (DP) and a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP)?2022-11-03T12:20:13+08:00

The difference between a dependant’s pass (DP) and a long-term visit pass (LTVP) is the relationship between yourself and the individual.

For DP, it is applied for legally married spouse or unmarried children under 21 years old for those who hold a Singapore Employment Pass or S Pass.

Singapore Immigration & Visa Articles

Get knowledgeable on all-things immigration to make your move to Singapore a seamless and stress-free one with our hand-crafted articles based on our experience.

Ready to Apply for an Employment Pass in Singapore?

Trusted by many of our clients globally, our in-house MOM-licensed agent have 93% success rates when applying for Singapore Employment Passes.

The benefits of appointing us are:

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

MOM officers prioritise speaking to their appointed agents instead of individuals – our fastest EP approval is just 2 weeks

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

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