FAQs

Work Visa FAQs

Who is eligible for PEP?

The MOM has tightened the eligibility requirements to ensure that the Singapore Personalised Employment Pass remains a top-tier visa for highly qualified individuals.

The following foreigners are qualified to apply for a PEP:

  • P1 Pass holders who earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$12,000;
  • Overseas applicants who are not unemployed for longer than 6 consecutive months and whose last drawn fixed monthly salary was at least S$18,000;
  • Applicants who earn a minimum annual fixed salary worth S$144,000.

What is Employment Pass?

The Singapore Employment Pass (EP) is the main type of Singapore work visa issued to foreign entrepreneurs, professionals, skilled employees, managers and owners (shareholders)/directors of Singapore companies.

The EP does not fall under any quota system and is not charged a monthly levy.

Who can apply for an employment pass?

You can apply for the Singapore Employment Pass (EP) or Singapore work visa, if you are a:

  • foreign entrepreneur who has incorporated Singapore Company;
  • managing director of a registered business in Singapore;
  • shareholder of a Singapore company who wish to relocate to Singapore to manage your company operations
  • professional with in demand skills set and have an Employment offer from a prospective Singapore employer. In this case, you will need the company to apply for the employment pass on your behalf.

What are the employment pass eligibility requirements?

To be considered for an Employment Pass, you must have a fixed monthly salary of at least S$3,600 (effective 1 January 2017) and possess one or more of the following:

  • Generally, a recognized Diploma/Degree qualification from a reputable university
  • Professional qualifications
  • Specialist skills
  • Work related experience

Possessing a recognised qualification does not automatically guarantee a successful Employment Pass application, as the applicant may need to satisfy other criteria, such as relevant work experience or professional skills.

The Ministry of Manpower evaluates each applicant based on individual’s and company merits.

Other factors which also play a contributory role are:

  • Salary of applicant
  • Age of applicant
  • Roles & responsibility
  • Repute of the company
  • Company paid up capital
  • Applicant current citizenship

What are the procedure and timeline to obtain an Employment pass?

There are two ways Employment pass application can be submitted to the Authority by online or manual submission.

  • The electronic EP application submission online is faster in processing the outcome of the applicant. This route is recommended for applicant who can satisfy the EP eligibility requirements easily stated above.
  • Manual submission takes a longer time to process. The advantages are that it allows supporting documents to be submitted, which can enhance the chances of a positive outcome, if the applicant primary eligibility requirements is lacking.

The Online Process

The online process consists of the following steps:

  • Step 1: Application to obtain authorization code to submit application online for newly incorporated company. Upon submission, it takes about 7-14 days for Ministry of Manpower to send the authorization code.
  • Step 2: Upon Submission of applicant application online, it takes the Ministry of Manpower aroung 3 weeks or more to process the application and notify the outcome. Subsequent application do not have to repeat for step one.

The Manual Process

This manual submission route is normally recommended for applicants who do not satisfy the EP eligibility requirements, but have sufficient supporting credentials to support their EP application

  • The Application is submitted manually to MOM with all the supporting documents.
  • The processing time is about five weeks upon submission. Processing time may take longer during peak periods or when additional information is required from the various economic agencies.

What are the various types of categories of Employment Passes issued?

 

Employment Pass Eligibility Summary Table

Pass Type Factor One Factor Two Factor Three
P1 Fixed monthly salary
> S$8,000
Professional, Managerial, Executive, Specialist jobs
P2 Fixed monthly salary
> S$4,500
Professional, Managerial, Executive, Specialist jobs Recognised qualifications
Q1 Fixed monthly salary
> S$3,600
Recognised qualifications In lieu of recognised qualifications, we may also consider compensatory factors such as skills and years of experience (we recommend a minimum of 5 years relevant work experience)

What is the base salary range must I declare to secure an Employment pass?

Depending upon your salary, education and experience declared, you will be issued with one of the following types of Passes:

  • P1 Pass: for applicants with a base salary of above S$8,000 a month.
  • P2 Pass: for applicants with a base salary between S$4,500 and S$8,000 a month.
  • Q1 Pass: for applicants with a base salary between S$3,600 and S$4,500 a month.

The final decision of which type of passes will be issued is at the discretion of MOM.

What are my chances of obtaining an employment pass?

The reality is that not all EP work visa applications are approved. The Ministry of Manpower evaluates each applicant based on the individual’s and company credentials.

Factors which play a very important role are:

  • Applicant age, salary, citizenship, education, professional experience and skills
  • Roles & responsibility of applicant
  • Repute of the company and paid up capital
  • Availability of local staff and economic viability of the company to Singapore

If the initial application is rejected, we will explore the rejection reasons with MOM and if appropriate, file an appeal by addressing the issues raised by authorities. If the additional details submitted are satisfactory to MOM, your employment pass application will likely be approved. Please note that MOM will take a minimum of three weeks or more to review appeal application.

Application for Employment Pass

Can I apply for Employment Pass prior to incorporating my Singapore Company? Why do I need to appoint a resident Director?

All Employment pass application can only be submitted once the Singapore Company has been incorporated. In order to incorporate a Singapore company, you will require the following:

  • 1 Shareholder (Can be an individual or Corporation)
  • 1 Resident Director (Can be a Singaporean, permanent residence or Employment Pass, EntrePass or Dependant pass holder) AsiaBiz can provide you a nominee resident director to satisfy the statutory requirements until you secure your employment pass.
  • 1 Company Secretary name in ACRA as officer of the company (will be provided by AsiaBiz)
  • Minimum paid-up capital of S$1
  • A local registered office address (will be provided by AsiaBiz)

Once you have obtained your Singapore Employment Pass, you can act as the local resident director. All company incorporation registration process including work pass application can be handled without you having to be in Singapore.

Talk to our experts today to know about foreign company registration options in Singapore.

Can I relocate my family to Singapore once my Employment pass is approved?

With effect of 1 January 2018, all Singapore Employment Pass holders who earn a minimum of S6,000 per month can apply for Dependant Pass and/or Long-Term Visit Pass for their family members.

Dependant Pass

Both P1 and P2 Pass holders can apply for Dependant Pass for their:

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried, biological or legally-adopted children under 21 years of age

If you are an Employment or an EntrePass pass holder, your spouse is eligible to work in Singapore as a dependant pass holder. However, your prospective employer is required to apply for a Letter of Consent (LOC) with Ministry of Manpower. (Note: Not eligible for S Pass holders)

However, with effect of 1 September 2012, the following parties will not qualify under the Dependant Pass program:

  • Parents-in-law of P1 Pass holders
  • Parents or parents-in-law of P2 Pass holders

Long-Term Visit Pass

P Pass holders can also apply for Long-Term Visit Pass for their:

  • Common law spouse
  • Unmarried children above 21 years of age
  • Handicapped children
  • Step-children
  • Parents/parents-in-law

if they meet a minimum fixed salary of S12,000 per month.

A Snap Shot

Pass type granted to EP holder Dependant Pass Long-term Visit Pass
P Pass type Yes for

  • Spouse
  • Children below 21 years
Yes for

  • Common law spouse
  • Unmarried children above 21 years
  • Handicapped children
  • Step-children
  • Parents/Parents-in-law
Q1 Pass Type If you earn more that S$6,000 per month, you may sponsor the stay of your:

  • Spouse
  • Children below 21 years
No

 

Employment Pass holders contributions to social security funds

Do Singapore Employment pass holders need to contribute to any social security or skill development fund etc?

Employment pass holders do not have to contribute to any social Security, i.e. Central provident fund (commonly know as “CPF” which is only applicable to Singaporeans and permanent residence). However, the employer (company) is required to contribute a fee to the skill development fund. SDL contribution is payable by employers for all employees up to the first $4,500 of gross monthly remuneration** at the rate of 0.25% or $2, whichever is higher.

Need help starting a business in Singapore?

We’ve got it all covered. With AsiaBiz, you get a dedicated one-stop solution for your company incorporation, immigration, offshore setup, accounting, taxation, and corporate compliance needs.

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