Immigration and Work Visa / Work Permit – Singapore

Employment Pass for working in Singapore

Non-Singaporeans intending to work in Singapore must apply for a Singapore Work Permit, known as an Employment Pass. With such, holders are eligible for employment as professionals, managers and executives.  

Eligibility for Application for a Singapore Work Permit

An Employment Pass application must fulfil the eligibility conditions.  Essentially, the candidate must possess acceptable academic qualifications (usually a good university degree), professional qualifications or specialised skills.  Besides, they must have an offer in a managerial, executive or specialised job in Singapore.  In addition, an application must also meet the following requirements.

Age-specific minimum fixed monthly salary requirements

Financial services sector : A minimum fixed monthly salary of S$5,500 increasing progressively with age up to S$11,500 for those in their mid-40s.

Other sectors : A a minimum fixed monthly salary of S$5,000 increasing progressively with age to S$10,500 for those in their mid-40s.

Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) (effective 1 September 2023)

There are 6 assessment criteria concerning a comprehensive set of attributes of the candidate and the hiring company.  First, there are 4 Foundation Criteria : Salary, Qualifications, Diversity and Support for Local Employment.  In addition, there are 2 Bonus Criteria : Skills and Strategic Economic Priorities.  It is a points-based system where a candidate will earn certain points for each criterion.  Candidates must earn a total number of points not less than the Passing Score.

Employment Pass Application Requirement

The employer or an authorised third party must be the one applying for the Employment Pass .  They must provide written consent of the candidate indicating his/her agreement to be employed by the employer. For example, a signed employment contract.  If the employer is an overseas company without a registered office in Singapore, it must appoint a local sponsor.  The sponsor, which is a Singapore-registered company, will the submit the application on behalf of the employer.

Employer must first advertise on the Singaporean government’s MyCareersFuture portal for at least 28 consecutive days before making the application. There are 2 exceptions to this requirement.  One, the company has with less than 10 employees.  Two, the fixed monthly salary for the vacancy is at least S$20,000,   

A job advertisement for use by a Singapore work permit application shall not have expired or closed for more than 3 months.  Also, where it is used for more than one Employment Pass application, the total number of applications cannot exceed the number of vacancies in the advertisement.

Processing Time of an Employment Pass Application

Around 85% of applications of Singapore work permit are processed within 3 weeks.

Approval of an Employment Pass Application

After the approval of an application, the employer can use the EP Online platform to print an in-principle approval letter (IPA).  The employer can then pass it to the candidate.  Essentially, this will contain a pre-approved single-entry visa for the candidate to enter Singapore.  The employer will have 6 months to bring in the candidate and get the Employment Pass.  A newly issued Employment Pass will have a validity of 2 years and a renewed Pass will be valid for up to 3 years.

Bring Family Members to Singapore

An Employment Pass holder can apply for a Dependent Pass for his/her legally married spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old (including legally adopted children) if he/she is sponsored by his/her employer and earns a fixed monthly salary of at least S$6,000.  For family members who are not qualified, an Employment Pass holder can apply for a Long-Term Visit Pass.  This includes his/her common law spouse, unmarried handicapped children above 21, unmarried step-children under 21 years old, and parents (where an additional minimum fixed monthly salary requirement of S$12,000 applies).

This is based on latest information published by relevant authorities at the time of posting.  FastLane HR will not be responsible for any loss or damages incurred as a result of any inaccuracy of such information. 

Date: July 2022

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