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SINGAPORE Employment passes

An Employment Pass (EP) is normally issued for 1-2 years at a time and is renewable thereafter. An EP visa enables you to work and live in Singapore and travel in and out of the country freely without applying for Singapore entry visas. Possessing an EP also opens the door for Singapore permanent residence.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

The key facts and requirements for an Employment Pass work visa are as follows:

  •  A fixed salary of more than S$2,500 a month.
  • A tertiary degree from a reputable university and relevant professional experience. A strong professional work experience history and good salary may be considered in place of education in some cases. Proposed employment in Singapore must be relevant to your prior experience.
  • There is no quota system. Each application is reviewed by authorities based on the credentials of the employing company and the applicant.

Depending on your salary, education, and experience you will be issued one of three types of EP:

  •  P1 Pass: for applicants with a base salary of above S$7,000 a month.
  • P2 Pass: for applicants with a base salary between S$3,500 and S$7,000 a month.
  • Q1 Pass: for applicants with a base salary between S$2,500 and S$3,500 a month.

This is a general guideline only and the specific type of pass issued will be at the discretion of the authorities. In practical terms, there is not much difference between the three types of Employment Passes except for the following:

  • Although all types of EP work visas allow you to bring your spouse and children under 21 years old, Q1 pass holders are unable to apply for Long-Term Social Visit Passes for their family.
  • Generally, P1 pass holders can apply for Singapore permanent residence as early as one year after obtaining an EP whereas P2 and Q1 pass holders need to wait at least two years.

For immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age), EP holders can apply for a family visa called Dependant Pass (DP). DP applications will be approved automatically if the EP application is approved. You can file DP applications at the same time or anytime after your EP application is approved. The expiry date of Dependent Passes will be the same as the Employment Pass.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED

The following documents are required for submission of an Employment Pass visa application:

  • EP Application Form 8 which must be endorsed by the Singapore employing company
  • A copy of a CV detailing the applicant’s work experience
  • Copies of education certificates and past employment references
  • A passport-size photograph taken within the past three months
  • A copy of the personal details page of the applicant’s passport
  • A business profile for the Singapore company
  • Detailed description of the duties to be performed by the applicant
  • Detailed description of activities and/or products of the company
  • Tenancy agreement of the place of business in Singapore

 

All documents must be officially translated into English.

 

APPLICATION PROCEDURE AND TIMELINE

Completed applications and required documents must be submitted to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM).  Applications can be filed manually or online – online application is quicker but does not allow for the attachment of supporting documents. When supporting documents will play an important role in your application decision, we recommend filing the application manually.

 

Unfortunately, many websites provide inaccurate timeline information with an objective to gain a client. The reality is that end-to-end processing time for an EP application can take anywhere between 2-6 weeks depending on a number of different factors.  The official Ministry of Manpower website – www.mom.gov.sg provides the most accurate and up to date information on the entire application process.

 

APPROVAL AND COLLECTION

When your Employment Pass visa application is approved, MOM will send an In-Principle-Approval (IPA) letter to the employing company’s address, specified in your application form. The letter has a six-month validity and you need to collect your EP in Singapore before it expires.

To issue the EP, MOM requires a copy of the IPA letter, your passport and any other documents requested in the approval letter. You may need to take a medical test and produce the report when collecting your Employment Pass – if you do, this will be mentioned in the approval letter together with the list of tests. Medical tests can be done in your own country through an established clinic/hospital or on arrival in Singapore.

 

If you are overseas, a onetime entry visa will be issued to you as part of the letter so that you can enter Singapore and collect your EP.  Dependant passes can be collected when you collect your EP.

 

It is important to note that an EP application is not approved as a matter of course but is subject to review and approval by the Singapore authorities. Therefore you should not make any relocation plans until you have received an In-Principle-Approval of your application.

DEPENDANT PASSES

Employment Pass holders (P1, P2 and Q1) and S Pass holders (whose fixed monthly salary is more than $2,500) may apply for Dependant’s Passes (DPs) for their:

 

  • Spouse; or
  • Unmarried/ legally adopted children under 21 years of age.

 

If a Dependent’s Pass holder wishes to work in Singapore the employing company will need to complete a Letter of Consent (LOC) application form and submit it to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). There are no salary criteria for the LOC, and processing time is about three weeks from the date the application was received.  The outcome will be sent to the employer, and you can start work once your employer has received the LOC. Renewal of the LOC is required when the Dependent Pass is renewed. The LOC ceases to be valid when the Dependent Pass is cancelled or when you are no longer employed by the company.

FURTHER INFORMATION

If you have any other questions about life in Singapore, please contact Nicoll Curtin’s Singapore office, who will be happy to help.

A list of websites for further research is listed below:

 

www.yoursingapore.com

 Official tourism site of Singapore

www.ica.gov.sg

Singapore government immigration site

www.mom.gov.sg

Ministry of Manpower – official site for information about working in Singapore

www.livinginsingapore.org

Expatriate information site and blogs

www.expatsingapore.com

Expatriate information site

www.propertyguru.com.sg

Information about renting property in Singapore

www.iproperty.com.sg

Information about renting property in Singapore

 

DISCLAIMER

The information in this document is correct as far as we can ascertain at the time of publication. Costs, prices and accuracy of information may change over time.  We will make every effort to ensure information is up to date on our website and in our documents, but we suggest you check all important information with the official Singapore bodies, particularly in the case of acquiring Employment Passes.

Key Areas:

Application process

Tax in Singapore

Moving to Singapore?

IT Jobs in Singapore

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