Singapore Personalised Employment Pass Scheme
The Singapore Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is a premium work visa for top-tier expatriates and highly qualified professionals who wish to relocate to Singapore.
Under the PEP scheme, foreign professionals can work in Singapore for up to 3 years. Unlike the Employment Pass, the PEP is not tied to a single employer. This means that a PEP holder has the flexibility to switch jobs during the validity of his/her work pass. Since PEP is awarded based on individual merits, you may apply for the PEP before you are duly employed in Singapore. There is a grace period of six months from the collection of the visa to secure employment.
Currently, the Employment Pass or EP can only be granted on the basis of confirmed employment with a specific employer. Whether the employment ends or the EP holder leaves, the work pass is immediately cancelled and the EP holder has to leave Singapore unless he finds employment with a new company. Moving to a new job with a different company or employer requires a new application, and therefore a new EP. Since PEP is not tied to any employer and will be granted on the strength of individual merits, a PEP holder is able to remain in Singapore for up to six months in between jobs to evaluate new employment opportunities.
PEP Eligibility Requirements
The eligibility requirements for the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) has been raised, and some of its features have been refined. This ensures that the PEP remains a premium pass for top-tier foreign talent and is in line with recent moves to raise the quality of Employment Pass holders. Under the revised criteria, the following are eligible to apply for a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP):
- Current P1 pass holders earning a fixed monthly salary of at least S$12,000
- Overseas-based professionals with a last drawn fixed monthly salary of at least $18,000. He/she should not have been unemployed for longer than 6 consecutive months.
Other key changes to the PEP scheme are as follows:
- Increase of minimum annual fixed salary requirement from $34,000 to $144,000.
- Change in validity period of PEP from 5 years to 3 years.
- PEP holders may bring parents, spouses and children as dependants.
- Failure to secure employment beyond the grace period (6 months) will result in the revocation of the Singapore work visa.
Note: There is no immediate impact on existing PEP holders!
Current PEP holders have until 31 December 2014 to fulfil the revised minimum annual salary requirement of $144,000. However, PEPs due to expire within 6 months after that date (i.e. between 1 January 2015 to 30 June 2015) will be allowed to remain until expiry.
Dependents of existing PEP holders who are in Singapore by 1 Dec 2012 will be allowed to stay so long as their sponsors have valid PEPs.
*PEP pass holders are not allowed to start their own company in Singapore. However, they are allowed to hold a minority Shareholding in the company including acting as one of the Directors.
Benefits of having a PEP
- PEP holders have job flexibility. They can generally take on employment in any sector. PEP holders do not need to re-apply for a new pass when changing jobs.
- PEP holders are also given the flexibility of a continuous period of up to six months without a job to evaluate employment or work opportunities. They are not required to leave Singapore during this time.