Employment Pass guide for employers

Welcome to our Employment Pass Guide for employers in Singapore! In this post, we will provide you with information on everything you need to know about the employment pass application process, including eligibility requirements and documentation needed. We hope this information will be helpful as you navigate the process of securing a pass for your employee!

What is an Employment Pass?

An employment pass (EP) is a kind of work pass which allows foreign professionals, managers and executives to work in Singapore. Candidates need to have an employment offer in Singapore before they can apply for an Employment Pass.

What is the minimum salary requirement for an Employment Pass?

Employment Pass candidates need to earn at least:

  • Current criteria:
    • $4,500 a month
  • For new applications from Sep 2022 + renewal applications from Sep 2023:
    • $5,000 a month (in general)
    • $5,500 a month (for financial services)
  • Applicants with more work experience will also correspondingly require a higher salary to qualify.

Are there any qualification requirements to apply for an Employment Pass?

Employment Pass candidates need to have acceptable qualifications, such as a good university degree, professional qualifications, or specialised skills. While MOM does not have a list of approved institutions/qualifications, it is stated that each application will be judged based on many factors, including the “candidate’s salary, track records, work experience, skill sets and global and countries’ rankings of institutions.”

In addition, acceptable qualifications need to come from an accredited institution. As an employer, you can check if their institution is accredited, by contacting global verification agencies, the international accreditation bodies, or the awarding country’s educational authorities. Here are some examples of global verification agencies.

Is there any quota for Employment Pass?

There is currently no quota for Employment Pass.

What is the application process for an Employment Pass?

Before applying for an Employment Pass:

  1. Before applying for an employment pass, employers have to ensure that the job opening has been advertised on MyCareersFuture, showing fairness in considering all job applicants. 
  2. It is advisable to use MOM’s Self-Assessment Tool as a preliminary check to whether your candidate would qualify.

Applications can be made from myMOM Portal. According to MOM, 85% of applications are processed within 3 weeks. We’ve prepared a checklist below to highlight some of the key items that you should prepare to make your application process more seamless!

Checklist for Employment Pass application submission:

  • Get a formal consent (in writing) from the candidate, giving their permission for the employment pass application.
  • Upload documents required to facilitate the application process:
    • Personal particulars page of candidate’s passport
    • Company’s latest business profile or instant information registered with ACRA.
    • Candidate's educational certificates, for e.g., degree certificate. 
    • Additional documents are required for candidates whose qualifications are from India and China, for those whose institutions are not found in the application form’s drop-down list (refer here for more details).
    • Verification proof of candidate’s qualifications (to show that these qualifications are genuine and were awarded from an accredited institution)
    • Additional documents are required for the following:
      • Regional representatives of overseas companies
      • Healthcare professionals, lawyers, football players or coaches
      • Employees in a food establishment
  • You will need to pay $105 for each application at this stage. 
  • Check on the status of your application. If the pass is approved, you will need to print the in-principle approval letter (IPA) from the Employment Pass online portal.
  • With the in-principle approval letter (IPA), send the pass holder’s copy to the candidate. The employer would have 6 months to bring their candidate over to Singapore, to get the pass issued. If necessary, the candidate may also be required to go for a medical exam after arriving in Singapore. 

For more details, you can refer to MOM’s guide on “Document required for Employment Pass”.

Bringing your candidate into Singapore

  1. Apply for an entry approval for your candidate to enter Singapore.
    • You will need to ensure that your candidate follows the COVID-19 requirements as stated in the entry approval letter
  2. As mentioned earlier, the employer needs to get the pass issued within 6 months of the in-principle approval (IPA). 
    • This has to be done while the candidate is in Singapore and it can be done through myMOM portal
    • Pay $225 for the issuance of each Employment Pass
  3. The card will be delivered 4 working days after the candidate registers and verifies the documents at the Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC).

For more information on the application process, please refer to MOM’s guide on “Apply for an Employment Pass”.

How to check Employment Pass application status?

You may check the Employment Pass application status on myMOM Portal.

What is the validity of the Employment Pass?

For first-time candidates, the employment pass duration is up to 2 years. For renewals, it can be up to 3 years. 

How can I renew the Employment Pass for my employee?

Yes, you can submit an application to renew an employment pass for your employee, if you’d like them to continue working for you.

Do take note of the following when you renew the Employment Pass:

  • Employment Pass holders need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in order to be considered for renewal of employment pass
  • Employers can start to apply to renew an Employment Pass up to 6 months before the pass expires.
  • You must apply before the expiry date, so it’s good to start early. See this link to calculate when you can start renewing 
  • The renewed pass may have up to 3 years validity. 
  • Renewal of pass costs at least $225/pass

For more details, you can refer to MOM’s guide on “Renew an Employment Pass”.

Do I have to pay a levy for Employment Pass holders?

No levy is required for Employment Pass holders.

What are the differences among Employment Pass, Employment Pass and Work Permit?

  Employment Pass S Pass Work Permit
Target group Foreign professionals, managers and executives Mid-level skilled/ technical staff Semi-skilled migrant workers in the following sectors:

  • Construction

  • Manufacturing

  • Marine shipyard

  • Process

  • Services


 
In addition, there are also Work Permits for: 

  • Migrant domestic workers

  • Malaysian confinement nannies

  • Foreign performing artistes

  • Process

  • Services


You may refer to the MOM website on “Work passes” for more information.
Minimum monthly salary required for pass holders Currently:

  • At least $4,500
    (older candidates need higher salary to qualify)



For new applications from Sep 2022 + Renewal applications from Sep 2023:

  • At least $5,000

  • At least $5,500 (for financial services)

Currently:

  • At least $2,500
    (older candidates need higher salary to qualify)



For new applications from Sep 2022 + Renewal applications from Sep 2023:

  • At least $3,000

  • At least $3,500 (for financial services)

No minimum salary required 
Are family members provided passes? May apply for a Dependent’s Pass for family members, if they meet this eligibility criteria No
Is levy required? No Yes Yes
Is there any quota? No Yes Yes
Does the employer need to provide insurance? Employers can choose whether or not to provide medical insurance for EP holders Employers must buy and maintain medical insurance for S Pass holders.
The insurance coverage must be at least $15,000 per year and cover inpatient care and day surgery.
Employers must buy and maintain medical insurance for Work Permit holders. 
The insurance coverage must be at least $15,000 per year. This insurance should cover inpatient care and day surgery, including hospital bills for conditions that may not be work related.

Thanks for reading! We hope this article has helped you understand the process of applying for an Employment Pass in Singapore. With our Payboy payroll & HR software, you can actually set work pass expiry reminders so that you will never miss the pass renewal dates, giving you a peace of mind! If you have any questions or would like more information, you can sign up for a demo and we’ll be happy to help!

Find out how you can do it all with Payboy

Reach out to us if you are keen for a free demo on how we can help you save hours and give you some peace of mind on payroll and other HR matters so that you can focus on your business and people.
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