Singapore is a flourishing business center due to its robust economy, competitive position and favorable business hub. It’s important for foreigners such as Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Entrepreneurs to work or set up their own business in Singapore to know the Singapore Employment Pass (EP).
To obtain an Employment Pass in Singapore, candidates must meet specific criteria, including having a job offer from a Singaporean employer or demonstrating their eligibility as entrepreneurs planning to launch businesses in the country.
What is the Singapore Employment Pass (EP)?
The Singapore Employment Pass (EP) is a type of renewable work visa for foreign professionals, managers, executives, and other professionals to live and work in Singapore. The Employment Pass is also available to Entrepreneurs who have incorporated a Company in Singapore. This permits the Entrepreneur to move to Singapore and run business operations in the country.
Interested in learning more about how to apply for Employment Pass as a Working Professional, Foreign Entrepreneur, or Singapore Incorporated Business Owner? Let’s get started!
Key Facts about the Employment Pass:
The Employment Pass (EP) in Singapore initially holds a validity of up to 2 years and can subsequently be renewed for an additional period of up to 3 years. Notably, one distinguishing feature of the EP, setting it apart from the S Pass, is the absence of a sector-based quota system.
It’s important to note that while the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) offers comprehensive guidelines and resources online, each EP application is subject to individual assessment, with decisions based on the merits of the specific case.
|Job Offer by Singapore-Registered Company||Applicants must have a job offer from a company registered in Singapore.|
|Job Role||Applicants must work in a managerial, executive, or specialized skills role.|
|Academic Qualifications||Applicants should possess appropriate academic qualifications relevant to their job role.|
|Minimum Monthly Salary||The fixed monthly salary should be comparable to the top one-third of PMET (Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Technicians) salaries in Singapore, based on the applicant’s age. Minimum salary requirements vary by age and are subject to change.|
Increases progressively with age
Up to S$10,500 for applicants in their mid-40s for all sectors except the financial sector
Up to S$11,500 for applicants in their mid-40s for the financial sector
Documents Needed for Application:
Applicants must provide:
- Completed EP application form
- Valid passport
- Recent passport-sized photograph
- Educational certificates
- Verification proof from a background screening company
- Employment testimonials or reference letters
- Resume and relevant educational certificates
- Latest Company’s business profile
- Testimonials or references from previous employers
- Description of what the organization does, along with the responsibilities of the applicant.
The Singapore Employment Pass (EP) application process can be summarized in the following steps:
Determine eligibility. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements for the EP, which include having a job offer from a Singapore-registered company, holding a managerial, executive, or specialized skill position, having the relevant academic qualifications, and earning a salary that aligns with the industry standard.
Prepare necessary documents. Applicants must gather all of the required documents, such as the completed EP application form, passport, educational certificates and employment testimonials.
Engage an employment agent. Employment agents can help applicants with the EP application process including submitting the application to MOM and providing guidance on the required documents.
Await the In-Principle Approval (IPA). The IPA is a letter from MOM that grants the applicant permission to enter Singapore and work under the EP. The IPA is typically issued within 3 weeks of submitting the application.
Record fingerprints and photos at the Employment Pass Service Centre (EPSC). Once the IPA is issued, the applicant must visit the EPSC to record their fingerprints and photos.
Receive the EP card. The EP card is typically issued within 5 working days of recording fingerprints and photos at the EPSC.
Checking Status & Validity:
You can check the status of your EP application online via the MOM EP status check portal. You will need to enter your date of birth and your FIN or passport number. You can also check the validity of your EP using the SG Work Pass app or the MOM EP status check portal.
If you are using the SG Work Pass app, you can simply scan the QR code on your EP card. If you are using the MOM EP status check portal, you will need to enter your date of birth and your FIN or passport number.
It is important to note that the information on the MOM EP status check portal is only updated once a day. Therefore if you have recently submitted your EP application or renewed your EP it may take up to 24 hours for the updated information to appear on the portal.
If you have any questions about your EP application status or the validity of your EP, you can contact MOM directly.
When MOM rejects the EP Applications, they will inform the reasons. Employers will be able to file an appeal within three months by making online appeals along with providing extra evidence to justify the request. It’s crucial to read through with detail the rejection of an EP application and explain that in the appeal when applying to appeal an EP application rejection.
Employers need to submit additional documents that could support the case including proof of an employee’s skills and experience or a letter of reference from one of the company’s senior-level executives.
MOM will evaluate all the appeals and decide accordingly. If the application is successful, this will be communicated to the employer and the candidate will be issued with an EP. If the appeal does not succeed, the employer will be informed of this and the candidate shall depart from Singapore.
EPs can be renewed for up to 3 years and employers can renew the EP online using the MOM EP eService portal. The application must be supported by the necessary documents The EP renewal process is usually straightforward and takes about 2 weeks to complete. However, it is important to submit the application before the EP expiry date. To renew an Employment Pass (EP) in Singapore:
Step 1: Get written consent from the employee.
Before you can renew an EP, you will need to get written consent from the employee.
Step 2: Submit the renewal application online via the MyMOM Portal.
To submit the renewal application online, you will need to log in to the MyMOM Portal and complete the EP renewal application form.
Step 3: Check the status of the application via EPOL.
You can check the status of the EP renewal application via EPOL. To do this, you will need to log in to EPOL and enter the employee’s FIN or passport number.
Step 4: Provide the employee with a copy of the in-principle approval letter (IPA).
Once the EP renewal application has been approved you will need to print out the in-principle approval letter (IPA) from EPOL and provide the employee with a copy. The employee will need to present the IPA to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) when they arrive in Singapore to renew their EP.
Rights of EP Holders:
EP holders can incorporate a business in Singapore and be shareholders or directors within the company sponsoring their EP. However, there are a few things to take note:
- EP holders must have the approval of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to be directors of companies in Singapore and MOM will consider the applicant’s qualifications, experience, and the nature of the business when making a decision.
- EP holders must also comply with all other local regulations such as the Companies Act of Singapore.
Fastlane Group can assist foreign companies incorporated in Singapore and apply for Employment Passes (EPs) for business owners and employees. Our expertise & commitment to provide the finest service in the industry is backed by an experienced & highly skilled team of professionals for all our clients. We have in depth experience in the business environment in Singapore as well as how to apply for an EP.