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When can I cancel Employment Pass?

3 min read|Last Updated: July 18, 2022|
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An employment pass is considered an asset to the holder. They were given the privilege living and working in Singapore. Speak to a consultant before cancelling your Employment Pass because this act is irreversible. If you end up applying for a new Employment Pass, your chances of obtaining it is lower than your previous Employment Pass. This is due to tightening regulations coupled with a lower quota for foreign expatriates.

When should an Employment Pass be cancelled?

  • You plan to resign your existing employment and leave Singapore permanently
  • You are retrenched by existing employer and wish to leave Singapore permanently
  • You plan to resign from your existing employment and join a new employer in Singapore
  • You want to resign from your existing employment to start your own business in Singapore 
  • You are retrenched by your existing employer and wish to find alternative employment in Singapore

What is the timeline for the pass to be cancelled?

The pass cancellation is auto approved by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM). If the Employment Pass has Dependant Pass or Long-Term Visit Pass linked, these passes will also be cancelled immediately.

What is the procedure to cancel an Employment Pass?

Terminated by existing Employer – Pass cancellation to be done by employer

  • Receive termination letter from employer (at least 1 month prior)
  • File IR21 (Tax clearance form) with IRAS – Employer is responsible to file this to IRAS
  • IRAS furnish notification of tax clearance filed
  • Confirms no outstanding tax payment with IRAS
  • Cancel the Employment Pass and related passes
  • MOM will furnish Short Term Visit Pass (STVP) for pass holders to remain in Singapore for the next 30 days to settle your departure

Resign from own Company and decides to leave Singapore – Can be done by appointed agent

If you’re an employment pass holder that runs your own business and wishes to leave the country, you may appoint an agent to handle the pass cancellation on your behalf. Fortunately, Paul Hype Page provides the service to assist you.

  • File IR21 (Tax clearance form) with IRAS – To be filed at least 1 month before departure
  • IRAS furnish notification of tax clearance filed
  • Confirms no outstanding tax payment with IRAS
  • Cancel the Employment Pass and related passes
  • MOM will furnish Short Term Visit Pass (STVP) for pass holders to remain in Singapore for the next 30 days to settle your departure

Cancellation of Employment Pass Formalities to Settle

Besides ensuring there is no outstanding payment with IRAS, you might also want to ensure the items below are settled:

  • Accommodation – Settle remaining payments and collect deposit (if any)

  • Utilities – Settle remaining payments and collect deposit (if any)

  • Personal bank account – Confirms with bankers if there is any formalities or outstanding payments that needs to be settled

Employment Pass is valid for 2 years and is renewable thereafter. So, if you wish to go back to your origin country once the validity ends, you do not need to renew the pass. But if you wish to continue residing here, you will need to renew the pass but is still subject to MOM’s approval.

Our thoughts

Unless you already have another job offer, rethink your decision on cancelling your Employment Pass especially if you run your own company in Singapore. There are ample business opportunities in Singapore and staying physically in Singapore increases your chances of success here. Again, we emphasise, there are tightening regulations to qualify for new Employment Passes, coupled with lowered quotas. Cancel your pass only when you are absolutely sure business in Asia is not part of your plans.


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) 

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.

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.

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