• June 2, 2020

The Employment Pass (EP) in Singapore is a brilliant service for businesses that want the best talent. It allows them to source the best irrespective of whether they are currently in Singapore or not. As human resource is considered the most crucial resource for a company. This facility is a huge advantage of having your business in Singapore. The entire system is seamless and bureaucracy free. It not only encourages employers to hire the best fit, but it also gives them guidelines about how to achieve just that.

All companies have to show is that the person has the relevant qualifications, is getting paid a decent amount to live in Singapore (at least $3600/month) and they made choose the candidate based on merit.

This sounds very simple and in fact, the processes are very streamlined as well. Both for the employment pass holder and the employer. This article provides an introductory guide on the EP in Singapore including:

1.      Employment Pass and Dependent Visa

2.     Basic Requirement including Skills

3.     Ministry of Manpower (MOM) considerations

4.     Documents Required

5.     Application Prerequisites

6.     Applying for EP

7.     In-Principle Approval (IPA)

8.     Notification Letter and Fingerprints

9.     Final Suggestions

Employment Pass and Dependent Visa

This pass is actually for skilled employees like executives, directors, and managers. Thus the required fixed salary is even higher for a senior-level manager etcetera. This is just the first step and once an employee has the initial 2 year EP. He can also apply for a family or a dependent visa. And the Employment Pass in Singapore can be renewed for up to 3 years at a time. It is intended for people who need to be in Singapore for the long term.

Thus only a company or an employment agent can apply for EP.

Basic Requirement including Skills

Other than the salary requirements, the person must also have some specialized skills. The job offer must be with the candidate for an executive position at the least or a manager/director position. All nationalities can apply for the Employment Pass in Singapore. However, the employee must have a university degree and preferably specialized training or certifications.

Ministry of Manpower (MOM) considerations

When the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) received the application, it scrutinized the company as well. It looks at aspects like the ratio of Singaporean to foreign employees in the company. And compares it with the industry average. The benefit of Singaporean society by the company is also evaluated.

Documents Required

The company must be registered with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and it’s business profile must be shared. The employee must consent in writing to the company or employment agent applying for the EP in Singapore on his behalf. As with all work Visas, the personal details on the employee’s passport are needed. The MOM may choose to also ask for additional requirements.

Application Prerequisites

To ensure fair consideration the company is required to advertise the position on job banks for 2 weeks before they can apply for an EP. Though this is a strict requirement it can be waived in 4 special conditions:

  1. The employee will work only for up to a month before leaving
  2. It is an intracompany or group of companies transfer and the person is already a senior employee
  3. The company pays a handsome salary of $12000 per month and above
  4. It is a small company with 25 employees or less

Applying for EP

The employment agent or company will either apply online or submit a completed hardcopy of the employment pass form. As per the form, there may be other documents that need to be submitted with it. It takes a minimum of 3 weeks to process the online EP and 8 weeks for the manual EP. The fee is S$105 per EP application.

In-Principle Approval (IPA)

The MOM sends an IPA online and the employee has 6 months to enter Singapore and request the issuance of the EP.

Once the candidate is in Singapore he will submit S$225 and the following:

  1. Passport details
  2. Details of current Visa like short term Visit Pass or immigration pass
  3. Local address to deliver the EP card
  4. One authorized person who will receive the SMS and the email about the details of delivery of EP card

This is submitted by the employment agent or the company. When submitted the EP is released almost immediately.

Notification Letter and Fingerprints

Now the candidate receives a notification letter. This qualifies him to work and travel for one month in Singapore and travel outside as well. The candidate may be required to submit his fingerprints and have his photo taken.

This is required for new EP holders and employees who last registered over 5 years ago. Now the employee is responsible for booking an appointment and coming to Employment Pass Service Centre. He is also required to bring some documents. These include but are not limited to notification letters, appointment letters from the company, original passport. Within 4 working days after submitting his or her fingerprints the employee will receive his EP.

Final Suggestions

As you can see this is a fairly complicated process thus it is highly recommended to hire an employment agency for the same. A company employee already has a lot of work on his hands and is not trained to handle this entire process. Even a small mistake can easily cause a snag and delay this already complicated, multi-stage process. This it is highly recommended that this work be handed over to a professional corporate service provider who can handle this with ease and efficiency.