Who is the Employment Pass for?
The Employment Pass (EP), also known as E pass or Employment Visa, is the main kind of Singapore Work Visa meant for entrepreneurs, executives and skilled professionals who wish to work in Singapore.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) allows foreign professionals to apply for a Singapore Employment Pass after they have incorporated their Singapore Company to enable them to live and work in Singapore.
There is no official limit or quota for the Singapore Employment Pass.
You Should Apply for an EP If...
- You are a foreign entrepreneur, executive or managing director of a Singapore company and wish to relocate to Singapore to manage your company operations;
- You are a locally-incorporated Singapore company and need to hire foreign employees;
- You have an employment offer from a Singapore employer. In this case, your employer will process the EP application on your behalf.
E-Pass Eligibility Requirements
All Employment Passes application are carefully assessed by Ministry of Manpower taking into consideration a number of factors as the applicants qualifications, working experience, job nature, economic contribution, employers track record and quality of the applicant to complement and supplement Singapore local workforce.
To be considered for an Employment Pass, you must have a fixed monthly salary of at least S$3000 and possess one or more of the following:
- Generally, a recognized Diploma/Degree qualification
- Professional qualifications (professional or educational)
- Specialist skills
- Relevant Work related experience
In some instances, an applicant who does not possess recognized educational qualifications may not be rejected for an EP, if there are other compensating positive factors in favour of his application, namely:
- Applicant job profile, salary, citizenship, etc.
- Repute of the company, employer’s track record, company paid-up capital, tax contribution, etc.
- Strategic and in-demand skills set Government highlighted key industry for development, etc.
Conversely, having recognised educational qualifications does not guarantee a successful EP application.
Employment Pass Types
The table below summarizes the Singapore E pass requirements, categories and eligibility:
There are 3 categories of Employment Passes namely P1, P2 and Q1.
|Pass Type||Eligibility requirements|
Employment Pass Application Procedure & Timeline
Applications for Employment Passes must be submitted to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
Applications may be filed either manually, or online. It is important to understand that different applicants will benefit differently from either of these options.
Depending on the application method you choose, the processing time for an EP application can take as little as one day to as long as two months, depending on a number of different factors. While the online application process appears quicker and less of a hassle, it however depends on your profile. Being standard and generic, it also does not allow you to attach any supporting documents if required.
Therefore, if you have a profile or background that is not entirely stellar but have supporting documents (eg. testimonials from previous employers, writing samples) that highlight your application’s merits, you may benefit from filing a manual application instead.
For manual submission of application forms, processing time will be at least five weeks from the date of receipt of the application. It may be slightly longer during peak periods or when the case requires input from various economic agencies.
Applying for an EP Online:
- Applicants who received their tertiary education and graduated from reputable universities
- Applicants who have amassed significant experience or are a subject matter experts in their fields
- Have attained higher-level certification in their qualifications eg. ACCA, ACIA, CFA, MBA etc.
- Applicants who have had significant working experience
- Applicants who are eminent in their respective industry or vocation and can contribute to Singapore’s international prominence in that industry, especially if that field is highlighted in government economic policy as being a key industry for development
Applying for an EP Manually:
- Young, inexperienced applicants who have had substantial co-curricular/leadership experience
- Nationals of emerging economies with little or unsubstantial university education but with desirable qualities
- Applicants with little to no formal education but have extensive informal vocational experience in key industries, the evidence of which can be furnished in the form of written testimonials, completed projects, portfolios etc.
Need Help to Apply for the Employment Pass?
Call Margin Wheeler today for a consultation on your situation, and a personal assessment of your chances of success in applying, as well as how we can assist you to put forth a stronger case.
Put your concerns to rest and trust our specialists to provide a thorough assessment of all the aspects of your application to ensure that it meets the current standards of review.
Our reliable guidance and high success rate come with years of experience and by continually staying abreast of Singapore’s immigration regulatory updates.
Documents Required – Singapore Employment Pass Application Form
Margin Wheeler requires the following documents for submission of Employment Pass application in Singapore:
- Employment Pass Application
- Resume or CV stating your educational and employment history
- Copies of educational certificates and past employment testimonials
- A copy of the personal particulars page of your passport
* Any documents that are not in English must be translated into English by an official translation service.
What Happens After Submission of Application?
EP Submission Timeline
Margin Wheeler submits all Employment Pass (EP) applications electronically to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) so that you can learn of your application outcome sooner.
- It takes MOM between 1 to 15 working days to process the application.
- Upon receiving the In-principle Approval notification, we will make arrangements for the collection of your EP.
The application for the Employment Pass can only be done once the company has been incorporated. It is not necessary for the applicant to be physically present in Singapore while the application is being processed.
Approval & Collection of Employment Pass
Once the application has been approved, the Ministry of Manpower will issue an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter via email. The IPA letter must be produced upon collection of the EP at the Work Pass Division at the Ministry of Manpower. An IPA letter is valid for six months from the date of notification of approval. To collect your EP, you will be required to present:
- A copy of the IPA letter
- A recently taken passport size photograph
- Original passport with the entry embarkation cards
- Medical exam report* (if the In-Principle Approval states that you require one)
- Any other documents that are requested in the approval letter
* You may get a medical examination done in your own country through an established clinic/hospital or in Singapore. Most clinics in Singapore provide medical examination and report within a day.
Entry Visa into Singapore
If you are overseas and require an entry visa to Singapore, your IPA letter will include a single journey entry visa. Upon your arrival in Singapore, we will make an appointment with Ministry of Manpower on your behalf for fingerprinting. Upon completing the procedures, your pass will be ready in 4 working days. You may collect the pass at Ministry of Manpower personally or authorize Margin Wheeler to collect it on your behalf.
Validity of Employment Pass Upon Approval
The validity of an EP varies and is as follows:
- First-time applicants – up to 2 years
- EP renewals – up to 3 years
Singapore Employment Pass Rejection
In the event that your Employment Pass application is rejected by the authorities, our specialists will establish a firm appeal in defence of your position.
Margin Wheeler will investigate why your application was rejected. Based on the reasons provided by MOM, we will submit an appeal that addresses the issues outlined by MOM, and also include additional documents as per their request, if any.
Please note that it may take three weeks or more to process an appeal, depending on the complexity of the case. Our fees include one free appeal in the event your initial application is unsuccessful.
Change of Employer
Employment Pass holders must apply for a new pass whenever they change employers. There is no need to cancel the existing pass prior to application for a new pass. Ministry of Manpower evaluates each application for a new pass based the applicant’s qualifications, work experience, and employer credentials. A new pass will be issued once the old pass is cancelled.
Renewal of Employment Pass
The Ministry of Manpower will mail an Employment Pass Renewal Form to your employer’s address two months before your EP expires.
You should submit the renewal application at least four weeks prior to the expiration of your EP. Once approved, your employer will receive a letter of notification and the new pass is ready for pick up at the Ministry of Manpower.
Work Visa Processing Services
Margin Wheeler holds the status of a duly licensed employment agency with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
The license enables Margin Wheeler to facilitate placement of foreign employees for a local employer and represent employers or foreign employees in the official submission of work pass applications.
With Margin Wheeler dedicated work visa processing unit, clients need only deal with one party for all expatriate work pass administrative needs.
Margin Wheeler handles the paperwork and processes involved in obtaining the relevant visas for expatriate employees.
Options Available After Obtaining EP
There are two options available for you after obtaining your Employment Pass. They are as follows:
P1, P2 and Q EP pass holders are eligible to apply for Singapore Permanent Residence through the Professional, Technical & Skilled Workers (PTS) scheme.
There is no designated waiting period but one of the documents required for PR application is six months of salary record.
Hence, it is advisable for P Pass holders to wait for at least six months prior to application. It is, however, advisable for Q1 pass holders wait for at least two years before applying for permanent residence.
Need Professional Assistance?
Should you engage a professional firm to assist you with your Singapore Employment Pass application filing?
That depends. If, after reading this guide, you feel that you know what you are doing, you probably could go ahead without professional assistance.
However, if you feel that you could do with having the benefit of the perspectives of an experienced professional who deals with such applications on a regular basis, to review your application and supporting documents pre-application, and/or to recommend structuring your application in a way that boosts your chances of success, you should engage Margin Wheeler for assistance.
Engage Our Service
We provide Singapore Employment Pass (EP) Applications services at S$1000/applicant and charge an additional S$200 to open an MOM account if required.
Let us help you out with your foreign manpower today!
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Compliance with Local Laws
Why do you need a Corporate Secretary?
Section 171 of the Singapore Companies Act, Chapter 50 requires ALL Singapore Companies to appoint a Singapore Company Secretary to handle on-going statutory compliance matters.