Why is My Singapore Employment Pass Rejected?

5 min read|Last Updated: December 7, 2023|

Singapore Employment Pass (EP) rejection is common, especially so if it is not applied by Ministry of Manpower-licensed agent. In most cases, you will notice that Ministry of Manpower (MOM) does not reveal the reasons behind an EP rejection.

Here are the 7 reasons why your EP is rejected based on our 14 years of experience as a licensed agent.

1. No efforts in hiring local


MOM has been implicit in ensuring Companies post job advertisements as an effort to employ locals before employing foreign professionals via Employment pass even though the Company is exempted from job advertisement. If the company did not show that they have made efforts in hiring locals, the Singapore Employment Pass rejection rate will be higher.


It is advisable that the Company proceed with a job advertisement to serve as supporting document to MOM as proof that it has indeed fulfil the criteria needed.


2. Company does not have sufficient funds


MOM foresees that it is not financially feasible for the Company to hire a work pass holder. MOM uses a period of 12 months of employment and should see adequate funds in the company bank account. If not, they will deliberately reject the EP application and advise for the Company to hire locals instead.


To curb the problem, it is advisable for the Company’s bank account to always have sufficient funds to cover the candidate’s 12 months’ salary payable together with their business operation expenses.

For example:

Declared salary of EP holder per month: $5,000

Estimate overheads of business operations per year:$100,000

Funds in company bank account should cover:

  • 12 months of salary payable: $60,000

  • Estimate 10% of overheads: $1,000

Total: minimum $61,000 in company bank account


3. A leap of candidate’s salary


One of the famous rejection reasons is MOM noticed a significant change in the candidate’s salary compared to their previous employment.


Put a salary range in between the previous salary received, a recommended leeway of 30%. They can also check their eligibility via the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) with the intended salary.

4. Job Scope and Qualifications Do Not Match


MOM review a candidate’s educational background, work experiences, the salary offered, and market demands for certain occupation before deciding the outcome of the application. Hence, your profile should be commensurate with the job scope.


It is always advantageous for a candidate to possess skills and knowledge related to the occupation applied as an EP holder. It will also be helpful if some letter of recommendations are presented to support the application. The supporting documents will boost the chance of success in an application.

5. The Position Can be Easily Replaced by a Singaporean


The Government wishes to create sustainable and inclusive growth for Singaporeans to remain at the core of the country’s workforce. Any positions applied for foreign expats that can be easily replaced by a Singaporean will have a higher chance of the Singapore Employment Pass rejection.


Having skills or abilities that are rare within the country and directly relates to the business entity will likely have their EP approved. For example, a foreign professional from Korean background advising on Korean products is in a niche.

6. Applicant Did Not Fulfil the Eligibility Criteria


Submitting the EP application without first checking their eligibility via the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) can lead to rejection. Even though the current minimum qualifying salary for one to hold an Employment Pass is SGD$5,000, it does not apply to every candidate.


Checking their eligibility via the SAT is helpful before proceeding to submit the EP application. Speak to a consultant that can gauge if your salary is in proportion to your age, experience, skills, and the job scope.

7. Discrepancies in Applicant’s Personal Information


Every EP applicant is required to provide sufficient information about personal details, academic qualifications, work experience, awards, and achievements. Those who either provide insufficient or incorrect information will find that their application will be rejected.

Educational certifications from China and India also require further verification. If not done properly, it delays the process or results in rejection.


Declare only what you can prove with supporting documents and complete the entire verification process before your submissions.

How to reduce EP rejection rate?

One of the ways to ensure the Employment Pass application is a smooth one is by hiring a professional agency to do so on your behalf. Paul Hype Page is one of the pioneers in doing work visa application, mainly Employment Pass.

We ensure to cover up as many red flags MOM might point out so the application can be assessed smoothly by the Ministry of Manpower.

How to appeal for Employment Pass Rejection?

The hiring company or professional employment agent who applied for the EP earlier can appeal against the rejection within three months. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) does not directly hear appeals from candidates.

When appealing an EP rejection, it is important to address the issues mentioned in the rejection letter. Otherwise, the result will not change. Therefore, take your time and have a thoughtful appeal. Employer can always check the EP Online to check the status of the appeal.

It will take approximately 6 weeks for MOM to process your appeal.


Come down to our office or get in touch virtually for an EP assessment to determine your best chance to live & work in Singapore today.


Can those who have had their EP application rejected apply for any other work visas of Singapore?2023-05-19T18:03:48+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?2023-05-20T10:25:20+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. Other work visas than EP include the S Pass, Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass), and Personalized Employment Pass (PEP).

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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