Requirements for obtaining an Employment Pass in Singapore
A. Eligibility Requirements of Employment Pass (“EP”)
- The current salary threshold for the EP is $3,300. However, aside from the minimum salary, the applicant’s educational qualifications and work experiences will be considered by the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) in granting the EP.
- However, do note that the minimum fixed monthly salary requirement of S$3,300 is typically applicable to fresh graduates from good quality educational institutions, whereas older applicants who are experienced will need to command higher salaries in order to qualify. There is no list of approved institutions as MOM will evaluate each tertiary institution on its own merit based on a wide range of criteria.
- There is no official quota system. Each application is reviewed by authorities based on credentials of the employing company and the applicant.
- While guidelines are provided, the EP application is still at the discretion of the authority.
B. For Employers – Advertising Requirement
- As of 1 August 2014, firms submitting EP applications are required to advertise their job vacancies on the Jobs Bank at https://www.jobsbank.gov.sg.
- However, there are exemptions from the advertising requirement:
- Jobs in firms with 25 or fewer employees,
- Jobs that pay a fixed monthly salary of S#12,000 and above,
- Jobs filled by intra-corporate transferees (those who hold senior positions in the organization or have an advanced level of expertise)
- Jobs which have a period of employment for not more than one month.
- The job advertisement must be open to Singaporeans and comply with the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (i.e. acceptable requirements in the advertisement are educational qualifications, type of experience required for the job, amount of experience, specific skills, employee’s willingness to commit to a particular job requirement).
- It is necessary for the advertisement to run for 14 calendar days as firms that submit EP applications prior to the close of the 14 day advertising period will not be able to proceed with their EP applications. After the advertising period, the firm can hire the most qualified candidate, regardless of nationality.
C. Regulatory conditions after the EP is granted
- It is worth noting that there are certain regulatory conditions that have to be complied with under Part II of the 6th Schedule of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (Chapter 91A) Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations 2012:
- MOM (MINISTRY OF MANPOWER) has to be informed if the foreign employee contravenes any EP conditions applicable to that foreign employee, once the employer becomes aware of the contravention.
- Before reducing the fixed monthly salary of the foreign employee below of the fixed monthly salary as declared in the work pass application, the employer would have to submit a request for reassessment of the foreign employee’s work pass eligibility, before the salary can be reduced.
- Where MOM is of the opinion that the foreign employee would no longer be eligible for the EP after reduction of salary, the employer cannot reduce the fixed monthly salary.
- Where MOM is of the opinion that the foreign employee would continue to be eligible for the EP after reduction of salary, the employer may reduce the fixed monthly salary to not less than the proposed reduced fixed monthly salary.
- Before terminating employment of the foreign employee, the employer has to apply for cancellation of the EP and visit pass of the foreign employee. This has to be done within 7 days after employment is terminated.