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Employment Pass vs. Other Work Visas: Which is Right for You?

Getting a work visa in Singapore can seem complicated, especially when you’re choosing between an Employment Pass and other visas. At One Visa, we’re here to make things clear for you. This article will help you understand your options and decide what’s best for you. We’ll explain the different types of visas, what you need, and how to apply so you can choose the one that suits your career goals.

Employment Pass:

The Employment Pass is like the golden ticket for foreign professionals aiming to work in Singapore, especially those in managerial, executive or specialized jobs. It’s for the ones who have qualified credentials and have secured a job offer in Singapore.

Key Points:

  • It necessitates a monthly salary of at least SGD 5,000 (SGD 5,500 in the financial industries) .
  • Recognized qualifications are imperative.
  • Validity: Initially for two years and renewable.

S Pass:

The S Pass is suitable for mid-skilled employees. It has distinct criteria and is assessed based on a points system considering multiple factors like salary, qualifications, skills, job type, and work experience.

Key Points:

  • Monthly salary must be at least SGD 3,150.
  • Possess a recognized qualifications.
  • Quota applies to this work pass.
  • Validity: Initially for two years and renewable.

Work Permit:

The Work Permit is another option, primarily for semi-skilled or unskilled workers in sectors like construction, manufacturing, marine shipyard, process or services sector.

Key Points:

  • No minimum salary requirement.
  • Typically for workers from approved source countries.
  • Validity: Generally two years.
  • Quota applies.

Comparing the Visas:

When comparing these visas, consider:

  1. Eligibility: Employment Pass requires higher qualifications and job positions.
  2. Salary: The minimum salary requirement varies substantially between the visas.
  3. Sector: Certain visas are sector-specific like the Work Permit.

Which is Right for You?

To help you delve deeper and opt for the most suitable visa, our detailed guides on the One Visa website can provide a plethora of information and insights.

For instance, if you are a professional with substantial qualifications and a high-paying job offer, the Employment Pass might be the optimal choice. If you are a mid-skilled worker, the S Pass can be your ally, and if you fall into the semi-skilled or unskilled category, the Work Permit may be the way to go.

EntrePass: For the Innovators and Visionaries

If you have a spark of innovation and are aiming to set up a business in Singapore, the EntrePass could be your golden key. Designed for budding entrepreneurs, innovators, and tech aficionados, this pass is tailored for those willing to plunge into the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Singapore.

Key Points:

  • It’s for founders of a company, not employees.
  • The business must be in an innovative sector and be venture-backed or possess promising potential.
  • Validity: One year initially and renewable thereafter.

Personalized Employment Pass (PEP): Flexibility at Its Best

For those high-flying professionals who love to keep their options open, the Personalized Employment Pass is an exceptional choice. Unlike the standard Employment Pass, which ties you to a specific employer, the PEP provides you the liberty to switch jobs without reapplying for a new pass.

Key Points:

  • Candidates must earn a minimum monthly salary of SGD 22,500.
  • The pass is not tied to an employer.
  • Validity: Three years, non-renewable.

Tech.Pass: The Future Builders

Acknowledging the surge in technological advancements, Singapore introduced the Tech.Pass – a unique pass aimed at drawing in tech leaders and experts to fortify the nation’s tech landscape. This pass offers a realm of opportunities for tech entrepreneurs, leaders, and technical experts globally.

Key Points:

  • Aimed at tech industry leaders, leading researchers, and founders.
  • It allows you to invest or start a tech company, mentor startups, lecture at local institutions, or undertake research projects.
  • Validity: Two years and extendable for another two.

Visa Insights: Navigating the Decision Matrix

Let’s briefly comprehend the underlying essence of these passes:

  • Nature of Work: Are you an innovator or an established professional? EntrePass is tailored for entrepreneurs while the PEP is for high-earning professionals not tied to a specific employer.
  • Flexibility: If you prioritize flexibility in job-switching, the PEP shines bright. But, if you’re looking at contributing significantly to the tech ecosystem, Tech.Pass might be your game.
  • Salary Brackets: Financial credentials play a pivotal role. While the PEP caters to the upper echelon with a minimum salary requirement of SGD 12,000, the EntrePass doesn’t emphasize salary but the innovative value of the business.
  • Validity of the work pass: Consider the duration of the passes. While some are renewable, like the EntrePass, others like the PEP come with a non-renewable tenure.

Exploring One Visa’s Role in Your Journey

Now, understanding all these nuances might seem like deciphering an intricate puzzle. But that’s where our expertise at One Visa takes center stage. Our seasoned consultants, armed with their vast knowledge and experiences, are adept at guiding professionals and entrepreneurs alike, ensuring that they choose the visa or pass that is an optimal fit for their aspirations in Singapore.

We believe in personalizing our guidance. Everyone’s journey is unique, and understanding that distinction is paramount. Whether you’re an entrepreneur setting foot into Singapore’s dynamic startup scene or a professional aiming to carve a niche in the corporate labyrinth, we’re here to provide insights, clarifications, and a roadmap tailored just for you.

Singapore’s broad spectrum of visas and passes reflects the nation’s dedication to inviting global talent across different sectors. Whether you’re an innovator, a corporate leader, or a tech wizard, there’s a place for you in Singapore’s vibrant ecosystem. While each visa type comes with its set of perks and requisites, what remains consistent is Singapore’s commitment to being a hub of opportunities, growth, and innovation.


Remember, every journey starts with a single step. While the myriad of options may seem overwhelming, it’s essential to recognize that these choices represent doors to a myriad of opportunities awaiting you in Singapore.

At One Visa, we strive to be your compass in this journey, guiding you to your ideal visa choice. We encourage you to delve into the visa services we offer, gain deeper insights, and get in touch with us to embark on your professional journey in Singapore.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum salary for an Employment Pass?
The minimum salary is SGD 5,000 per month.

Can S Pass holders bring their family to Singapore?
Yes, under certain conditions.

Is it easy to get a work permit in Singapore?
It depends on various factors like sector, qualifications, and nationality.

How long does it take to process an Employment Pass?
Typically, 3 weeks.

Can Employment Pass holders apply for permanent residence?
Yes, they can apply for PR in Singapore.

Is there an age limit for the Employment Pass?
There is no specific age limit, but younger candidates are preferred.

Can I apply for an Employment Pass without a job offer?
No, a job offer from a Singapore employer is necessary.

Is the Work Permit only for specific sectors?
No, it’s for all sectors except that certain labour intensive sectors are given more WP quotas. Check with us on your company’s eligibility to hire a WP.

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