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Singapore Employment Pass: A Complete Guide

Singapore Employment Pass

The Singapore Employment Pass is great for those that want to work in Singapore and already found an employer. With that in mind, the Singapore Employment Pass eligibility can vary based on the different requirements, and also the employer or your niche. We are here to help you get a good understanding of the Employment Pass and requirements, but also the process and how you can get one.

What you should note is that the Singapore Employment Pass rejection rate is 93%, which means that most of the time, you will end up getting the pass. But there are situations when the pass will be rejected. That can be due to the employer not being qualified, you not having the right qualifications or a variety of other criteria. Regardless, you need to learn what went wrong and you can apply again. There’s no limit to applications, but if you were rejected, you want to know exactly what happened and how you can tackle this particular process.

What is the role of the Employment Pass?

You can use an employment agency Singapore to help you find a company to work with and get the Employment Pass. That being said, the Employment Pass itself is designed to help its holder both live and work in Singapore. You will be able to live here for roughly 2 years, and after that you can extend the Employment Pass with 3 years at once. That’s important, because it means you will continue to work and live here, something to keep in mind.

A thing that’s misunderstood by a lot of people is that the Employment Pass is not applied for by the employee. A company that wants to hire you will need to file the employment pass. However, they need to be an authorized corporate service provider and they need to have an employment agency license. Most companies will have this, but some don’t, so keep that in mind.


What’s the minimum earning amount in order to qualify for the Employment Pass?

One of the major Employment Pass eligibility requirements is to earn at least S$5000 in a month. There are cases when depending on the age or industry, the minimum amount might be a little bit higher. But that will be requested upon application, and you will learn about it as quickly as possible. That’s important, because it allows you to narrow down everything and ensure that you can operate without a problem.


Who grants the Employment Pass?

The Employment Passm is granted by the Ministry of Manpower or MOM. They are the ones that ensure legal employment to anyone in Singapore. So the company will apply for the Employment Pass to the MOM, and they are the ones that either accept or deny your request. That’s why it’s very important to ensure the application is sent to the MOM in time, otherwise there can be some challenges that will arise.

One of the benefits of going the Employment Pass route is that it can be versatile for a variety of professionals. It can be great for people with some experience in their niche, but also directors, managers and people that honed their craft very well. That’s why we think the Employment Pass is a great solution, because it gives you everything you need, along with exceptional benefit sand a great sense of flexibility.

You can switch employers after you received the Employment Pass, but upon renewal time, you will need to ensure that you pass all requirements again. That means you need to have a registered employer that the MOM recognizes, and that there are no problems. That way, you can pass the renewal and everything will be more than ok.


Important aspects to consider when it comes to the Employment Pass

  • If you receive the Employment Pass, it will be valid anywhere from 1-2 years. Then you can renew it for up to 3 years, depending on the situation.
  • One of the main benefits is that the pass allows you to go in and out of Singapore without needing a visa every time you leave. That might not seem like much, but the ability to travel freely without being locked to Singapore is what sets it apart.
  • Aside from that, there’s no quota or levy that you need to abide to. That’s especially true in cases when the sponsor company has a large number of EP holders. In most cases, not having a levy is extremely important, and it’s one of the most appealing aspects of the employment pass system as well.
  • Of course, there are also special cases and options. If you can’t go for the Employment Pass, you have the Personalized Employment Pass, but also the One Pass or Entrepass. Each one has its own requirements, but it might be a good fit for you, and it might offer a very good aspect along with excellent results and a very good value.
  • The processing time for the Employment Pass is going to differ, but in general, it’s anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks. It will vary, in some cases you might be in the shorter timespan if everything is sent accordingly and in time. But it also depends on the MOM workload, sometimes it might take a lot more time than expected, and that’s important to take into account.


What is the store system for the Employment Pass?

The thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to the Employment Pass is the fact that you need to have at least 40 points based on their criteria in order to pass the Compass requirements. For example, if the applicant improves diversity of the firm, you get 20 points. Educational qualifications can offer 20 more points. The employment of local PMET share can also give 20 points, and the salary relative to PMET norms will also give 20 points as well.


Documents needed for Employment Pass application

What you will see right from the start is that the Employment Pass can be very useful when it comes to working in Singapore legally. You have plenty of benefits, and the ability to find work within the country is a major benefit too. With that in mind, there are some documents that you need in order to apply for the Employment Pass, as you can notice below.

  • Passport bio data
  • You need to complete the EP application online, and it needs to be endorsed by the sponsor company
  • Testimonials shared by previous employers
  • A copy of the latest resume of the employee
  • The job duties of the applicant
  • A description of the sponsor company and its business activities
  • In various cases, supplementary documents might be needed, if they can help support the application of the person in question.


Why does it take up to 8 weeks for the application to be processed?

We mentioned earlier that it can take anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks. But how can you make sure that you stick to the shorter side of this timeline? In general, going for the online application is the better idea because it will ensure you will have all the documents and data sent. Plus, you will be in the online processing queue. On average, these requests are processed within 3 weeks after you submit your application, so keep that in mind.

The manual application process is what takes quite a bit more time. You can obtain the manual form from the MOM and you can attach all the documents to the form. You can submit everything via Singpost, and it will take around 8 weeks for everything to be processed.

In general, applying online is the better option. Sure, some people like the idea of applying manually because they find it a more suitable approach. The problem is that such a thing can end up taking a lot more time, and that’s definitely a thing that you need to focus on. Which is why it’s highly recommended to go with the online application, just because it shortens your timespan. As soon as you do that, it will lead to a much better experience.


Are you receiving an update from the MOM when it comes to the submission’s state?

Yes, they will offer an update and they will let you know if the submission is in processing, or if they need more documents. In some cases, you might need to share those, otherwise you will be rejected. Thankfully, the MOM does let you know if there are issues that hamper your ability to get approved. And if they need more info or documents, they will surely ask for them as quickly as possible. as we mentioned earlier.

You can also visit the MOM website where you can check for your current work pass status. That’s great, because you want to see if the Employment Pass was processed, if it takes more time to process and other relevant info. The more you know, the easier it will be to figure out a plan and see what you can do. That’s what matters when it comes to getting such a pass, and it will certainly help quite a bit.

Additional documents are asked only from time to time, and it depends on the situation and applicant. For example, they might require additional credentials, because they think the stuff you sent might not be enough. Or maybe they don’t have enough info about the company and financial data to ensure that they can be a proper revenue sponsor. Again, these are shared on a case-by-case situation, and that can help make things a whole lot easier.

They will only ask for necessary documents via their dedicated channels. That means you need to ensure that the email or SMS comes from the MOM before you share any details. Sometimes you can encounter scammers, so performing due diligence is very important.

Singapore Employment Pass

What happens if you get rejected?

Rejections are a sad situation, but they do happen from time to time. You can apply for an appeal in case there is a rejection for your Employment Pass application. It’s possible to share your appeal within 3 months after you got rejected. The reason whey they offer so much time is because they give time for you to re-acquire all the necessary data and information. In addition, you can also work with a professional like an employment agency in Singapore that will help you handle the situation and ensure there are no problems.

However, you can’t appeal the rejection forever. You can only share an appeal 2 times. So if you appeal more than 2 times, it’s possible that your appeal will not be taken into account. That’s why you must take each appeal very seriously and ensure that you don’t have to deal with any problems. At the end of the day, working with a professional employment agent will help circumvent issues, while making sure you don’t have to go through more than one appeal.


Does your family receive a pass for your family too?

If you want to bring your family to Singapore as an Employment Pass owner, you can do that. You are allowed to be their sponsor, and that’s valid for the family members. If you want to sponsor your dependents, you will need to earn at least S$6000 a month. Depending on the situation, there might be extra income requirements, so try to keep that in mind.



The Employment Pass is offering one of the best ways for any foreigner to work and live in Singapore. While the Employment Pass itself has a limited timespan, you can renew it, as long as you still fulfill the requirements. That’s why it’s highly recommended to work with an employment agency. They can offer all the necessary guidance and support, as you are ready to work in Singapore and qualify for the pass. Working with a team of experts will streamline the process, make it more effective, and also ensure that you have the best results!

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