Singapore Employment Pass: Requirements, Procedure & Timeline

Staff Writer

November 29, 2023

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Singapore is known as one of the safest countries in the world, thus many individuals aspire to live, establish businesses, or build successful careers here. Not to mention, with the growing numbers of international corporations and successful startups in Lion City, many of these companies are also looking for the opportunity to hire international people. 

To simplify the process for both foreign employees and employers to work in Singapore, the government offers the opportunity for these individuals to acquire the Singapore Employment Pass (EP). EP acts as the primary work visa for foreign professionals aspiring to work in Singapore. Read on below to learn everything about Singapore EP and what are the steps that one should take when planning to acquire one!

What is the Singapore Employment Pass?

Singapore EP is a work visa issued by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for individuals holding managerial, executive, or specialized roles within Singaporean companies. By having this work visa, foreign EP holders can live and work in Singapore. They can also travel in and out of the country without needing to apply for entry visas. 

Foreign employees need to meet specific criteria regarding qualifications, experience, and salary thresholds set by the MOM to be eligible for the EP. 

For foreign employees and employers, having a broad and detailed knowledge of the EP is important - as it involves various stages, such as document preparation, submission, and processing by the MOM. Understanding these steps ensures that both employees and employers are aware of the necessary documents, timeframes, and potential challenges that might arise during the application process. This will help in efficient planning and timely initiation of the application.

To qualify for the EP, candidates must meet specific criteria that are required by the government, such as:

  • Must have a job offer from a company that is registered in Singapore. 
  • Possessing a minimum salary of S$5,000 per month. Do keep in mind that individuals with more work experience are required to earn a higher salary.
  • Holding relevant educational qualifications.
  • Have adequate work experience.
  • Possessing sought-after skills.

The Singapore Employment Pass is valid for up to 2 years and can be renewed for up to 3 years.

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What is the Application Procedure for Employment Pass?

  • Pre-Application Preparation

If you want to apply for EP in Singapore, you should first prepare essential documents beforehand to be included in your registration request. At a glance, the document should include educational certificates, a comprehensive employment history, and valid passport details. Below are all the document requirements you will need for the EP application.

Documents Needed Details
EP application form Completed and signed EP application form
Valid passport With at least 6 months of validity
Educational certificates Relevant academic qualifications and certificates
Employment offer letter Offer of employment from a Singapore employer with a detailed description of your job duties and responsibilities
Employer details Employment business profile or ACRA registered instant information
Resume Detailed resume outlining work experience and skills
Passport-sized photograph The passport-sized photo should adhere to Singapore standards
Previous employment records Proof of previous work experience, achievements, and references from previous employers
Other supporting documents Additional documents supporting qualifications
  • Submission Process

Once you have all the relevant documents, everything should be submitted along with your EP application to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). This can be done online or manually. But most of the time, people prefer to do it online as it is much easier and simpler to do so. Do keep in mind that accuracy and completeness of documentation are crucial for a successful EP application.

  • Document Verification

MOM will conduct a thorough verification process, ensuring that the documents provided align with the eligibility criteria and comply with Singapore's employment regulations.

The processing duration for EP applications varies, as it involves varied stages from submission to approval or rejection. Typically it will take a few weeks to a couple of months until the result is out. However do keep in mind that the wait time can be influenced by several factors, including the volume of applications received, the completeness of submitted documents, and any additional verification needed.

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The Singapore Employment Pass stands as a valuable opportunity for foreign professionals seeking employment in Singapore's dynamic landscape. 

A thorough understanding of the EP requirements, application procedures, and timelines is important for foreign professionals seeking opportunities in Singapore and the companies interested in hiring them. Proper preparation will help streamline the process, minimize errors, and increase the chances of a successful application!

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