Before beginning work for an employer in Singapore, all foreigners must have their work visas authorized by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). A work visa can be a work permit, S Pass, or an employment pass Singapore (EP), which are most common among seasoned professionals, managerial staff, executives, or specialists with strong qualifications.
Employers do not face the limitations of foreign workers levy (work permit) and foreign workers quota (S Pass) when applying for job passes, despite being regulated by the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
Importantly, foreigners are not permitted by Singapore law to apply for an EP on their own. Instead, the application is often made to MOM by the employer or an approved third party such as Singapore Incorporation.
Step-by-step instructions for obtaining a Singapore employment pass
Employers in Singapore must be aware of the following exhaustive considerations following the implementation of the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) in August last year in order to improve their chances of securing approval for employment pass Singapore application:
- If your business is in a niche market or has a proven track record of success for more than three years.
- If the applicant’s skill set complements that of the local labor force.
- If the applicant is a citizen of a tier 1 country/region.
- If the agreed salary meets local industry requirements (for middle-level positions, it must be more than S$4,500 per month, while for senior positions, it must be more than S$8,000).
- If you used the government’s latest work site, it shows that you want to hire locals first.
- If you have a positive Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) result, which is MOM’s free online tool for determining whether a nominee meets the EP requirements.
Who is eligible for a Singapore employment pass?
The following are the eligibility requirements for an employment pass Singapore, which is usually valid for three years:
- Managerial or executive positions, as well as specialized work
- The applicant is working at a fixed monthly salary of at least S$3,300 or at current market rates. Keep in mind that the S$3,300 qualifying cap is only for young graduates from good institutions; seasoned applicants need higher salaries to qualify.
- The applicant has suitable qualifications. Keep in mind that since MOM does not have a list of recognized institutions for educational and other qualifications, it judges each institution on its own merits, based on factors such as global and country rankings, and enrolment standards.
Procedure for applying for an employment pass Singapore
An EP framework requires the following documents:
- Personal information page of the applicant’s passport.
- The most recent business profile or real-time details filed with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
- Information on the applicant’s academic credentials.
An English translation must be given for documents that are not in English.
Applicants from India must send their transcripts and mark sheets. Also, Chinese applicants must send their certificate of graduation as well as verification of these certificates.
Employment pass Online, a government site run by the MOM can be used to complete all EP-related transactions including cancellation, renewal, and family passes, significantly reducing processing time. The processing time for EP Online applications is 7-14 working days, while manual work visa applications take about five weeks. Please keep in mind that an overseas employer with no registered office in Singapore must hire employment pass Singapore registered company.
An application that has been rejected can be appealed
If an EP application is denied, the business or jobs agency has three months to file an appeal. It should be noted that a company can only appeal if it can provide new evidence to resolve the concerns raised in the rejection advisory of your work visa. Appeals may be filed online and take at least three weeks to be processed by MOM.
Renewing an employment pass
An employment pass Singapore may be extended for up to three years. The business or jobs agent must send all renewal requests via EP Online. A request to upgrade a pass may be made up to 6 months before it expires. Furthermore, the application for renewal must be received by MOM at least two weeks before the expiration date of the EP. If the candidate does not renew the pass until it expires, he or she must apply for a new work visa.
Apply for a work visa today
With stricter controls and essential paperwork to keep track of, it is recommended that businesses work with a corporate services provider who can provide professional advice in the employment pass application process. The Ren Ai Group makes it easy to apply for a work visa. Contact us if you need assistance in obtaining an employment pass.