Features of Singapore Employment Pass Procedure

Features of Singapore Employment Pass Procedure

The Employment Pass(EP) is a type of working visa in Singapore. About one-third of Singapore’s residents are labor emigrants; as a rule, Malaysians and Filipinos are hired for unskilled labor. Foreigners who are considered qualified staff are called expats in Singapore.

To get EP, there are some requirements:

  • Employment pass process is possible only if you have an appropriate diploma and work experience.
  • It is necessary to speak at least one of the four-state languages fluently: ​​English, Chinese, Tamil, or Malay. Of course, you have to know English.
  • To get an employment pass, you need to get a job in advance in an organization that legally operates in Singapore; this is not difficult, as almost all international business enterprises have a branch office on the Singapore Islands.
  • Income tax on salaries begins to be calculated only from the third month of work; it is progressive and is paid once a year.

Read more about Employment Pass requirements in our other guides.

How much do people get in Singapore

How much do people get in Singapore?

Before you apply for EP, the most essential and intriguing question is salary. How much can I get there? In Singapore, the average salary is about $4000 per month. Sounds nice, isn’t? Accordingly, its size is directly dependent on the availability of an employment pass, a labor emigrant’s professional skills and qualifications, and the scope of employment. However, even unqualified foreigners receive a decent income for their work.

Lower service personnel of the hotel business, catering workers: cleaners, laundresses, maids, waiters, and novice managers receive from 500 to 2700 US dollars per month. However, the cost of living in Singapore is quite high (renting housing, travel, food). 

The highest-paid professions. To combat corruption and bribery, Singaporean judges, officials, and civil servants receive very high salaries. However, for foreign citizens, expats, and even permanent residents, such positions are not available.

Foreigners working as economists, doctors, engineers, lawyers, designers, architects, programmers, and financiers receive about 4,500 US dollars a month. Top-ranking professionals who hold leadership positions in similar work areas receive at least $7,000.

The most sought-after professions. Qualified personnel is in demand in the following areas:

  • IT-technologies: programmers, developers, designers of websites and mobile applications.
  • Medicine: doctors and medical personnel.
  • Engineers of various industries: electricians, water specialists, aeronautical mechanics, pilots.
  • Scientists: biochemists, chemists, physicists.
  • Top managers, economists, and financial experts.
  • Modeling business, media, and services: hostess, models, dancers, and English teachers.

How to find a job in Singapore?

The procedure for getting an employment pass is not easy; this is due to the high requirements for the candidate, both by the state itself and directly by the employer. Besides, you need to correctly build a sequence of actions for personal employment pass eligibility: assessing your resources, searching, interviewing, collecting, and submitting documents to the consulate, obtaining a work visa, and traveling.

  1. First, check the requirements for foreigners on the official websites of the government. It is the best way to make sure whether you’re eligible or not. 
  2. Explore the labor market of the country and figure out what specialists are required and well-paid. Get to know what type of visa is required. 
  3. Prepare some papers: CV and resume. Do not forget that the resume must be in English and contain a photo, up-to-date contact information. Find an appropriate job position and contact an employer. If an employer is interested in you, prepare for the interview. 
  • If you’re an inexperienced seeker, you can employ the agency’s services. It requests money, but the agency will provide you with information during the whole process. When choosing an assistant, you should carefully consider the agency’s reputation and rating, as well as customer reviews.
  • One more option is to involve third parties who live and work. As an option, register your company so that the citizen of Singapore holds the position of the head. After that, on behalf of the director of this company, you can apply for a work visa. The visa application will be considered in about 2-3 months.

What to do to get a job in Singapore?

Official employment in this country takes place in the following order: search for a job, sign an employment contract, obtain a work visa, and leave for the country. In this case, the basic burden of employing a foreign citizen is assigned to the employer. They must initiate all measures to legalize labor relations between themselves, the employee, and the state. The applicant must:

  • find a job and (or) respond to the employer’s invitation;
  • pass an interview and confirm suitability for the work;
  • to get a job offer;
  • get health insurance;
  • prepare and submit a set of documents to the consulate in a prescribed manner;
  • get EP;
  • find living in the country (negotiate the rental of housing);
  • get a work visa, fly to this country, and start work.

Requirements for the applicant.

  • Qualification. Certified in-demand specialists also can rely on generous pay. If you’re an alumnus of a prestigious university, you can lay claim to a high salary.  Skills play a role too. However, applicants who do not have the required qualification level also have a chance to obtain an Employment Pass if they have other benefits to compensate for this.
  • Work experience. At least, candidates must have two years of experience in a particular field. 
  • Language. You can easily apply for a job if you’re fluent in one of the state’s languages. The required level is upper-intermediate. 
  • To be solvent. You should pay attention at this point, as all expenses you pay on your own, including flight and housing. 

Applying for Employment Pass SingaporeApplying for Employment Pass Singapore

Applying for an Employment Pass

To apply for a work visa, you must first find a job. The employer must invite you to the country. The application can be made online, and the company will have to pay an application fee. The visa application will be processed from 3 to 8 weeks, and the employee must be in the country at this time.

Required documents:

  • Your passport (original and copy). There are cases when documented the last name distinguishes from your actual; in this case, provide with explanation letter and supporting documents.
  • Degree certificate: Bachelor or Master. However, residents of India and China have to provide additional documents
  • A resume containing a complete list of previous jobs.
  • Two photographs of standard size.
  • Proof of a permanent residence address.
  • Information on the enterprise’s activities, job responsibilities of the applicant, and the amount of his remuneration.

How to apply for EP?

  1. Submitting an application by company or online. In this case, you can do it through EP Online. It takes about three weeks. The application fee is $105. 
  2. If your application is approved, MOM sends you an Approval Letter (IPA). Since you’ve received the Letter, you have six months to arrive in the country and request to issue the Employment Pass.
  3. Being in Singapore, submit the following documents:
  • Passport;
  • Information about Short-Term Visit Pass;
  • Current residential address; 
  • Valid contacts details of authorized recipient to get an alert message or email with delivery details;
  • A fee of S$225.

Additional documents:

  • Immigration white card;
  • Health declaration form.
  1. When your EP is approved, you get a Confirmation Letter. Within one month, you’re allowed to start to work or travel around the country. Sometimes, it is required to register fingerprints or take a photo. 

What if your request is denied? You can appeal this decision and resubmit your documents within three months. But it can be re-apply only if the reason for the cancellation was eliminated. There are no limitless attempts to submit EP. 

With each new visa application or renewal, the documents and arguments are reviewed anew, so the decisions may differ.

If the company terminates the contract with you, then your pass will be valid for another week. In addition, the company is obliged to buy an air ticket so that the employee can get home.

If you want to apply for a work visa to Singapore, it is best to contact specialists.


Who is issued EP to?

The Employment Pass is issued to qualified foreign workers employed in Singapore. To obtain EP, you must have a degree and, work experience. The visa is issued only to those who have been hired in Singapore with a salary of at least SGD2,500.

Is it difficult to get EP in Singapore?

Due to the pandemic, the process of getting EP became a bit complicated. Moreover, there are new regulations that limit some quotas.

What is the difference between S Pass and Employment Pass?

EP is available only for highly-skilled staff, who have a degree. S Pass is issued to skilled technicians and mid-qualified personnel who are considered to be essential workers.

How long is the Employment Pass valid for?

For those, who get it for the first time- up to two years; for individuals who renewed EP –  three years.

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