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Businesses will require work authorisation for foreign workers in Singapore.

The Employment Pass permits foreign professionals, managers and executives to work in Singapore.
Overview

Singapore Employment Pass (EP)

The Employment Pass allows foreign professionals, managers and executives to work in Singapore. Candidates need to earn at least $3,600 a month and have acceptable qualifications. With an established local network in Singapore, Hannan Tew are well placed to assist companies manage their Singapore mobility requirements. For further information, click the FAQs button on the top right.

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Target Market
  • Established businesses in Singapore
  • Established business overseas seeking to enter Singapore
  • Employees with job offers from companies in Singapore
Sponsor requirements
  • An employer or authorised third party has to apply for a candidate’s Employment Pass
  • An overseas employer that does not have a registered office in Singapore will need to get a Singapore-registered company to act as a local sponsor and apply on their behalf. The local sponsor must apply manually
Visa Eligibility
  • Have a job offer in Singapore
  • Work in a managerial, executive or specialised job
  • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $3,600 (more experienced candidates need higher salaries)
  • Have acceptable qualifications, usually a good university degree, professional qualifications or specialist skills
Family members
  • If EP holder earns at least $6,000 a month
Eligibility

Key Facts

Get a quick overview of the Employment Pass to decide if it is the right pass for you.

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Facts
  • for foreign professionals with a job offer in Singapore who meet the eligibility criteria
  • application must be made by an employer or an appointed employment agent needs to apply on behalf of the candidate
  • duration of up to 2 years for first time candidates and up to 3 years for renewals
  • can include family members
  • fixed monthly salary of at least $3,600 (more experienced candidates need higher salaries)
Documents

Singapore Employment Pass (EP)

The actual documents you require are dependent on your particular circumstances including (but not limited to) your family members, your health and character, your identity and your occupation. Your Hannan Tew advisor will provide you with a link to the Hannan Tew portal which will set out the specific documents required.

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Identity, health and character
  • Biographical pages of your current passports or travel documents
Occupations and skills
  • Your up to date CV covering at least 5 years
  • Educational qualification certificates
Documents from sponsor
  • Copy of your proposed employment contract
  • Position description for the proposed role

Processing

80%

Price

80%

Pathways to PR

80%

Simplicity

80%

Work authorisation

100%
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A temporary pass that provides company sponsored work authorization and pathways to permanent residence

If an applicant meets the eligibility requirements, the Employment Pass provides a streamlined and cost effective pathway to work authorisation in Singapore.  It also provides eventual pathways to permanent residence,  making it a preferred visa option for suitable employees. For more information, click the FAQs button on the top right.

Singapore EPs

Frequently Asked Questions

If I'm an EP holder, can I apply to be a Singapore permanent resident (PR)?

Yes. If you wish to become a Singapore permanent resident, you can apply through the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA). The application will be assessed based on ICA’s PR criteria.

Are employers required to buy medical insurance for Employment Pass holders?

Providing medical insurance is not a requirement for employing Employment Pass (EPs) holders. Most EP holders may already have their own medical insurance, or may want to choose their own coverage.

For EP holders who do not have existing medical insurance, employers can choose to provide insurance coverage as part of their employment contract, or encourage their EP holders to get their own medical insurance.

What is a fixed monthly salary?

Fixed monthly salary = basic monthly salary + fixed monthly allowances.

Basic monthly salary: This is payment that does not vary from month to month, regardless of employee or company performance, and regardless of whether the employee takes medical or personal leave.

Fixed monthly allowances: These are monthly allowances that do not vary from month to month. Examples include fixed food and housing allowances.

Fixed monthly salary does not include the following:

  1. Variable allowances
  2. Overtime payment, bonus, commission or annual wage supplements
  3. In-kind payments
  4. Any form of reimbursements, including for expenses incurred by an employee in the course of his employment
  5. Productivity incentive payments
  6. Contributions payable by the employer to any pension or provident fund, including any contributions made on the employee’s behalf
  7. Gratuity payable on discharge, retrenchment or retirement of the foreign employee

What if I want to change jobs while I am on an EP?

You should ask the new employer to apply for a new Employment Pass for you. There is no need to cancel the existing EP before applying for a new one.

Your application will be considered based on its merits and under prevailing guidelines.

Can I enter Singapore whilst my application is being processed?

You can enter Singapore as a normal visitor on a Visit Pass before your work authorization is processed, although certain nationalities will require an entry visa for travel to Singapore. If required, you can apply for an entry visa at the nearest Singapore Embassy or High Commission in your country of residence. Contact your Hannan Tew advisor for more information.

Can I travel to other destinations whilst my EP is being processed?

You may travel to other destinations while your Employment/S Pass is being processed.

What will I be asked to present when entering Singapore?

On arrival, you will be asked to present your passport, duly completed immigration arrival card (distributed on board prior to landing) and your work/ resident authorization (i.e. IPA) to enter the country.

Once in Singapore, you must provide the following documents/information in order for us to assist you with the pass issuance/card collection process:

  1. a valid passport
  2. the disembarkation/ embarkation card
  3. a duly signed employment and related pass declaration form (to be shared by your Hannan Tew advisor upon approval of your application)
  4. a Singapore residential address (if any) and
  5. confirmation that you have attended a medical examination, if required

What circumstances could delay my application process?

In addition to the normal processing times, your country of citizenship and other circumstances could delay the application process, notably:

  1. If you are a national of Pakistan, Indonesia, Russia, Bangladesh, some North African or Middle Eastern countries, you may be subject to additional background/ security checks
  2. If you have graduated from a Chinese university, you will be subject to additional verification process of your educational certificates
  3. If you are an ex-citizen or ex-permanent resident of Singapore and have not officially renounced your immigration status or completed your national service requirements
  4. If your employer is newly setup in Singapore and does not have business track record, the authorities may request additional documents when reviewing the applications

Can my application be expedited?

There are no options for expedited processing for Employment/S Pass applications.

Are my family members eligible for a visa/permit in Singapore?

You may apply for Dependant’s Pass(es) for the following family member(s), provided you earn a minimum fixed monthly salary of SGD 6,000:

  1. Legally married spouses (opposite sex); and
  2. Unmarried children (natural or legally adopted) below 21 years of age

Please note that Singapore is a conservative society where non-traditional family composition may present challenges. Please let your Hannan Tew advisor know if any of your family members fall into a category not outlined above.

Can my spouse work in Singapore?

Dependents are not automatically authorized to work, but a prospective employer may apply for a stand-alone Employment Pass or a Letter of Consent (LOC) tied to the existing Dependant’s Pass to employ your dependent. Your dependent should not commence employment until the new Employment Pass or LOC is issued. LOC is not available for dependent of an S pass holder and an independent Employment Pass, S Pass or Work Permit will be required.

What is the duration of this visa?

The visa can be for a duration of 12-24 months.

Can my permit be extended?

An Employment/S Pass can be extended prior to expiry subject to the qualifying criteria being met. Ask your Hannan Tew advisor for more information.

Disclaimer

The information contained here is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or give rise to an attorney-client relationship between you and our firm. The information: (i) must be regarded as a practical guide for general information and not a process guide for determining the specific immigration requirements of the countries covered, (ii) should not be a substitute for a more indepth analysis of applicable facts and circumstances conducted by competent professionals, and (iii) does not represent an opinion from Hannan Tew or any of its agents with regard to the laws of any of the jurisdictions concerned. The information does not guarantee the outcome or approval of any particular immigration application.

What can we do for you?

With extensive experience representing the world’s largest corporations, SMEs, and start ups, our staff are well placed to assist with all issues in relation to work authorisation applications in Singapore.

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