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Singapore Employment Pass & Work Pass application or renewal in Singapore for a foreign staff can be a time-consuming process and challenging if you are not familiar with the various rules and application process set by the Ministry of Manpower.

Singapore Employment Pass & Work Pass Categories:

Employment PassThe Singapore Employment Pass is issued to professionals, managerial personnel (managing directors, general managers, CEOs), executives or specialists who wish to work in Singapore. An employer sponsor is required for this pass and employment agent can be authorised to apply on behalf of the employer. Young and junior candidates must earn at least S$4,500 to qualify (more experienced candidates need to qualify based on higher salaries).For high income and highly skilled professionals earning in excess of SGD12,000 per month for existing Employment Pass holders in Singapore and SGD18,000.00 per month for those currently working outside of Singapore, there is a special category known as the Personalised Employment Pass which does not require any employer sponsor. Upon approval, successful candidates have upto 6 months to find a suitable employer and can change employer anytime during the 3 year period which the Personalised Employment Pass is granted.
S PassThis category of pass is suitable for semi-skilled or junior to mid level skilled professional foreigners who would not qualify for Employment Pass. There is a minimum qualifying salary for this category which is SGD2,400 at the moment for entry level candidates. The qualifying salaries for more experienced candidates would be higher depending on the experience and qualification. A quota is also imposed for each company as to how many S Pass holders they can employ.
Work PermitThe Work Permit (WP) is issued to lower skilled workers who want to work in Singapore’s in-demand sectors and are from approved source countries. Employers need to provide a Banker’s Guarantee against disappearance for workers from non-traditional source countries such as India, China and Bangladesh while workers from traditional source countries such as Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea and Macau are exempted from such requirement. The worker is only allowed to work for a direct employer and in the specified occupation. There is no minimum qualifying salary for this category of work pass.
Dependent PassDependent Pass(DP) is typically offered to children or spouses of employment pass or S Pass holders (if they qualify). Holders of this pass are allowed to work in Singapore subject to obtaining a letter of consent from the Ministry of Manpower.

Employment Pass application is not subjected to any quota but assess on the merits of each case. However, for the work pass categories of work permit and S Pass, each company is subjected to a quota depending their industry category. Further, there is also nationality control on work permit holders for the various industry categories. For example, for companies in the service industry, they are generally allowed to hire one foreigner (Malaysian) on work permit or up to 40% of their total workforce. In order to hire a S Pass holder, they would need to have a workforce of 7 and total work permit and S Pass holders must not be more than 40% as well.

Employers can check their quota eligibility at this link:

Calculate Foreign Worker Quota

For more information about employment pass application services, you can also visit the following links

Singapore Employment Pass Application Service 

singapore employment pass

MOM Guide To Work Passes & Permits

MOM Brochure- apply-s-pass-ep-english

With COVID-19 pandemic and the various restrictions placed on travels, the application process has become even more complex. There are more rules to comply with before and after obtaining in-principle approval. It may be advisable to work with an experienced HR expert to smoothen and expedite the process.

Call us at (65) 67339388 / 65-68169888 or email us at [email protected] for more information on work pass & employment pass application.

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