+65-6536 0036 +65-6536 0036

Singapore Employment Pass Guide


Singapore Employment Pass is a work visa for professionals in specialist positions. It is granted to the persons with college degrees from recognized universities and having minimum salary of S$3,000 and professional experience. There are three types of Employment Passes: P1, P2, and Q1.

The Employment Pass (EP) is the main type of work visa, provided by the Singapore government to skilled professionals, executives, managers, owners, and directors who wish to take specialized jobs in Singapore. In this document, Employment Pass is also referred as employment visa and EP.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) issues employment visas to working professionals and entrepreneurs. However, if you own a newly incorporated company with 30% of share holding, you could to apply for Entrepreneur Pass instead of Employment Pass. Notably, if you own a Singapore company, and wish to recruit foreign staff, you are required to apply for an EP for every such employee.

This document will describe in detail the eligibility criteria, EP application process, approval time, and other relevant information about the Singapore Employment Pass.

Who are eligible for Singapore Employment Pass?

If you hold an offer from a Singapore company and you are interested to work there, you must meet certain basic requirements in order to obtain an EP.

  • Your minimum monthly salary should be S$3,000 per month.
  • You should hold a three level passed degree from a reputed university.
  • You should have the relevant professional experience.
  • In some cases if a person lacks good education, it can be compensated by a strong professional experience and a good salary figure.

There is no quota fixed for awarding EP visas. MOM takes into account the credentials of the employer and the candidate while issuing employment passes.

There are three types of Employment Passes – P1, P2, and Q1.

Pass TypeEligibility criteria
  • Your fixed monthly salary is S$8,000 and above per month.
  • You possess the acceptable qualifications.
  • Your fixed monthly salary is S$4,500 and above per month.
  • You possess the acceptable qualifications.
  • You are a young graduate from a reputed institute and you earn at least S$3,000 per month.
  • The older applicants should get higher salaries to qualify. The work experience and work quality will be taken into consideration.

There are no major differences in the above-mentioned three types of visas. All the three EP visas allow bringing along spouse and children. However, the Q1 pass holders cannot apply for Long-Term Social Visit Pass for their significant others. The Employment Pass holder is required to apply for Dependant Pass (DP) for the immediate family members such as spouse and unmarried children less than 21 years of age. While submitting your EP visa application, you can file the application for DP visa as well. The DP is automatically approved with the approval of EP visa. Both the visas will have a common expiry date.

What is the procedure to file the application for Employment Pass

You are required to submit the completed form and the required documents to the Ministry of Manpower to process your EP application. There are two options to file the application – Manual and Online. Although, the online filing seems easier and quicker, it prohibits attaching supportive documents. You are advised to take the help of professional immigration advisors to ascertain the attachment of relevant supporting documents. They will guide you to file your application manually with required documents attached, which can influence your applications decision-making process.

What is the application processing, approval and pass collection time?

After the successful submission of EP application, depending on the relevancy of the submitted documents, it may take from a few days to few weeks to get your application processed. MOM sends an email containing In-Principle-Approval (IPA) letter to your employer’s company address specified in your application form. You need to collect your Employment Pass from Work Pass Division at Ministry of Manpower by producing the IPA letter. You need to come to Singapore in order to collect the EP visa if you are not physically present in the country. The IPA letter is valid for six months. Along with the IPA letter, you are required to submit the following documents:

  • A recent passport sized photograph (not older than three months)
  • Original passport with *entry visa card (If you are not present in Singapore)
  • Medical examination report**
  • Any other document requested in the IPA letter

*If you are not present in Singapore to collect your EP visa, you will be issued an entry visa along with your EP visa with the IPA letter to enter Singapore and collect the Employment Pass. The Dependant’s Pass will also be issued with your EP visa, if you have applied for the same.

**Your IPA letter will state, if you need to produce a medical examination report with list of tests mentioned. You can acquire the medical report from any establish medical center in your own country or you can get the medical tests done after arriving in Singapore.

It is advisable to not to plan your relocation with family in Singapore until and unless you receive the IPA letter from MOM. Your application is subjected to review and approval from the regulatory authorities.

The validity of Employment Pass is up to 2 years for first time applicants and up to 3 years for renewals.

How to handle Employment Pass rejection

It is not certain, if you will be issued an EP just by filling and submitting an application to MOM. The authority does not approve each submitted application. The decisive factors are – qualification, work experience, and credentials of the employer and employee while approving or rejecting an application received for EP visas. If the application is rejected for the first time, an appeal can be filed after knowing the rejection reasons with MOM. If the requirements are favorably met with the authorities, it is likely to get the EP visa application approved. However, you may have to wait for another two-three weeks to get your application in process and approved.

How to renew Employment Pass

You will receive an EP visa renewal form at your employer’s address two month prior to the expiry date of your EP visa. You are required to fill and submit the form to MOM four weeks prior to the expiry date. Once your renewal application is approved, you will receive an approval letter at your employee company address. You will be required to collect your renewed EP visa from the MOM office.

If you change your company, you need to apply for a new EP visa. You can retain your existing pass while applying for the new one. The same process of evaluating your education, work experience, and employer credentials will be followed for issuing a new EP visa. Once the old pass is cancelled, you will be issued a new Employment Pass.

After reading this comprehensive guide on how to obtain an Employment Pass in Singapore, you may be confident enough to handle things on your own. However, if you like to have assistance of a professional firm, who handles visa application submission and acquisition on a regular basis, you can get in touch with us.

Please feel free to contact us on +65 6536 0036 or drop in an email at info@sbsgroup.com.sg

I am interested in

Singapore Employment PassSingapore Entrepreneur (EntrePass)S PassSingapore Work Permit (WP)Dependant’s Pass (DP)Singapore Training Employment PassSingapore Training Work PermitSingapore Long Term Visit PassSingapore Miscellaneous Work PassSingapore Work Holiday Programme

I am interested in :

Company RegistrationAccounting ServicesTaxation ServicesCorporate SecretarialAuditing ServicesPayroll ServicesBookkeeping ServicesVisas and Passes ServicesXBRL Filing