Know more about Singapore employment pass

Employment Pass (EP) is a working visa issued to foreign workers employed in Singapore. It allows them to enter the country for work and provides them the opportunity to become a permanent resident of Singapore after a stay of few years. It has a validity of one to two years and can be renewed as long as the employee still works in a Singapore company. This guide will provide you with a general outline of EP and the processes involved in securing one.

Basic Information, Requirements, and Privileges

  1. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) also puts premium on an applicant’s educational attainment and work qualification to determine and grant of EP to be issued. Although both are taken into consideration, there are instances when a solid work experience coupled with good salary on a field related to current Singapore employment can take the place of educational attainment.
  2. To be eligible for EP, an applicant must be a graduate of a reputable educational institution and earn at least S$3,600. Undergraduates who received high salary in their previous employment may also qualify for an EP.
  3. A Singapore company can apply for as many EP as it needs for its foreign workforce. Each of these applications will be reviewed and decision of approval is taken by Ministry of Manpower Singapore.

    Technically holding an EP provides you opportunity to bring immediate family members to Singapore through a Dependant’s Pass (DP). Foreign employees who have S$5,000+ monthly salary can apply for a DP for their spouses and children who are below 21 and single. Both the EP and DP applications can be processed at the same time and the expiration of both passes is similar. Also, the chance of getting an approval for permanent residency is higher for those who are in the higher salary bracket.

    Documentary Requirements - For employment pass

    Company-endorsed EP Application Form 8

    Scanned Copy(ies) of:

    1. Educational certificates
    2. Educational Transcripts / mark sheets (For nationals of some countries)

    Copy of the applicant passport

    Business profile of the Singapore employing company

    Employee’s detailed job description

    Copy of employment contract

    Other documents deemed necessary by the authorities

    Please note that every application of Employment pass must be sponsored by a Singapore based company or business. That means a job offer from a Singapore based company is necessary before employment pass application is lodged. In case your monthly income is more than 18000 SGD then you can think of filing a personalized employment pass (this pass does not require sponsorship from Singapore based company).

    Procedure and Timeline

    Application for EP can be done manually or electronically by submitting all the required documents to the Ministry of Manpower. Online applications can be completed from one to ten working days; whereas manual application may take anywhere from three to six weeks. One of the factors affecting the timeline regardless of the application method is the completeness of the documents submitted. It is therefore very important that prior to applying you must have all relevant documents available.

      Approval and Collection

      Once the application for EP is approved, MOM will send the employer an In-Principle-Approval letter (IPA). Every IPA has a validity of 6 months. The IPA must be exercised within this six month’s time else it lapses. The applicant will then bring the IPA, medical records, and other pertinent documents mentioned in the letter to the MOM to secure the EP. Applicants who are outside of the country will be issued a one-time entry visa to allow them to enter into Singapore. If there is an application for DP alongside with the EP, both can be secured at the same time when the employee collects his/her EP.

      It is very important to note, though, that EP is always subject to the scrutiny of relevant authorities and is not approved all the time. The final decision on employment pass is by the Ministry of Manpower Singapore.

        Procedures to Follow when Application is Rejected

        Approval or rejection of EP application depends on the employer’s credentials and employee’s work experience and qualifications. In case of rejection, an appeal can be made by addressing all concerns that led to the decision. Once all requirements are satisfied, MOM will more likely approve the re-application. Typical details Ministry of Manpower will require are business plan, contracts, invoices and bank statements of the business sponsoring the EP.

          Frequently asked questions about employment pass

          The chances depend primarily on three factors – Your educational background, your work history and the credentials of the company sponsoring your employment pass. Some other factors that Ministry of manpower may look into are ;
          1. Reputation of the university from where you completed your graduation
          2. Reputation of companies where you previously worked Your salary record with previous employers
          3. Paid up capital of the Singapore Company which is employing you
          4. Last 3 years financial results of the employing company

          Unfortunately the answer is no. Incorporating a company does not automatically gives you right to any employment pass in Singapore. As explained above employment pass is approved only on the basis of merit of your case.

          You can operate your company from overseas. For business meetings you can visit Singapore on tourist / business visa.
          Such visa is available. It is called personalized employment pass. If you are applying from overseas then to qualify for this visa you must be earning minimum 18,000 SGD per month in your home country. Check our package for personalized employment pass.

          If the employment pass is electronically filed then usually Ministry of manpower (MOM) will respond with its decision in 7 days. If the paper application is filed then the processing time is 4-5 weeks.

          No you can not apply for employment pass before a company is incorporated. Every employment pass need to be sponsored by Singapore based company. So company must be incorporated in this case first.

          Exactly. That is correct. However to get employment pass in this manner you need to have significant background in sectors of skills in demand for Singapore and a capacity to earn high salary.