Work Visa FAQs
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.
The Personalised Employment Pass does not allow you to register a business in Singapore. The pass is intended for professionals who wish to be employed by a third-party employer.
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.
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.
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
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.
Employment Pass Eligibility Summary Table
|Pass Type||Factor One||Factor Two||Factor Three|
|P1||Fixed monthly salary
|Professional, Managerial, Executive, Specialist jobs|
|P2||Fixed monthly salary
|Professional, Managerial, Executive, Specialist jobs||Recognised qualifications|
|Q1||Fixed monthly salary
|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)|
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.
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.
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.
The EP does not fall under any quota system nor is there a monthly levy charge for EP. The MOM will review the application based on the applicant and company merit.
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.
Both P1 and P2 Pass holders can apply for Dependant Pass for their:
- 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
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
|Q1 Pass Type||If you earn more that S$6,000 per month, you may sponsor the stay of your:
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.
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