As an open economy and a multi-racial country, Singapore welcomes qualified foreign professionals, managers, executives and skilled workers to work and live here. However, there are certain restrictions and criteria that one has to meet before he can apply for a work pass.
Any foreigner who is not a permanent resident and wishes to work in Singapore is required to obtain a work pass from the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Among the different categories of work passes, the Employment Pass (EP) allows foreign professionals, managers and executives to work here. Application for EP is open to all nationalities.
With effect from 1 January 2017, foreigners applying for EP need to earn a salary of at least SGD3,600 per month. Older and more experienced applicants are expected to command higher salaries that commensurate with their work experience and skill sets. Applicants also need to meet the following requirements:
There is no official quota for EPs. Do note, however, that each applicant is evaluated on his own merit by MOM basing on a wide range of criteria such as global and country rankings, and enrolment standards. Even if an applicant meets all of the above criteria, there is no guarantee that his EP application will be successful.
To find out more about the criteria and documents required to apply for an EP, please visit our Employment Pass Eligibility Checklist page.
Foreigners who are successful in their application can also apply for Dependant's Pass for their families to come to Singapore to live with them, provided they meet the criteria set by MOM. They can also apply for Singapore permanent residency after two years if they wish to continue living in Singapore in the long term.
The EP allows first-time foreign employees to work in Singapore for up to two years, with renewals of up to three years. Renewal form will be mailed to the employer’s address two months before the EP expiry. The employer should submit the renewal application at least four weeks prior to the expiry. Once approved, the employer will receive a letter of notification and the new pass is ready for pick up.
The Singapore employer or an appointed employment agent can apply an EP on the candidate's behalf. Foreign entrepreneurs, CEOs or directors of a Singapore company who wish to relocate to Singapore to manage their locally-incorporated business can apply on their own or through an appointed employment agent.
Applications can be submitted manually or online to MOM. While an online application is processed faster (about 7 to 10 working days), it does not allow attachment of supporting documents. Thus, applicants with physical documents, such as testimonials from previous employers and other documents, need to submit their application manually, which may take up to several weeks to process.
As a licensed agent of the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM), VOPlus has helped many foreigners successfully apply for an Employment Pass in Singapore. Contact us for a consultation today.