How An Employer can apply for Singapore Employment Pass in 2020 for their Foreign Employee – (Including COVID-19 Requirements)

5 Steps To Obtain Singapore Employment Pass

Step 1: Check Eligibility & Requirements 

If you are a foreign specialists from overseas is required by a local employer for a job vacancy where suitable local candidate cannot be found, then the employer needs to show evidence that all efforts have been made to hire local staff. This would include putting up a job advertisement at a government managed job portal known as jobsbank or careerfuture.  Unless exempted, the job advertisement must be for at least 14 days so that sufficient time is allowed for local job seekers to apply for the vacancy posted. Despite all efforts and no suitable local candidate can be found, then the employer can proceed to make the  necessary Singapore Employment Pass Application for the selected foreign applicant. Singapore Employment Pass is the highest level of work pass category which allows well educated professionals to work and reside in Singapore.

Step 2: Fulfil criteria for a Singapore Employment Pass Application

OccupationShould be as relevant to the employer’s business activity as far as possibleEnsure that the Ministry of Manpower has reflected your business activity and sector correctly.
QualificationDegree from a reputed university, a professional qualification or another specialised skill → Judgement on a case-by-case rating (national and worldwide rankings)
SalarySalary depends on experience and qualification → higher salary requires for more experienced applicantsMinimum fixed monthly salary of more than SGD 3,900 → refers to fresh university graduatesFind the 3 types of categories under this pass type here

Step 3: Prepare Neccessary  Supporting Documents

  • Copy of the companies business profile and description of your job tasks of the employing company
  • Application Form 8
  • Authorisation Form
  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of latest resume and Educational Certificates/Academic Qualifications
  • Copy of CV
  • References from prior employers

Step 4: Submit a Singapore Employment Pass Application online

An application can be done online only. Usually the application process can take between 2 to 4 weeks and longer up to 8 weeks if the authorities requires further backgrounds checks.

In addition to that, the employers submit directly or appoint a HR specialist / employment agency such as JobPlus to apply and submit on their behalf. A professional assistance is certainly recommended as the application process can be more cumbersome now given the COVID-19 pandemic and heighten restrictions.

Follow these 5 steps:

  1. Get a written consent from sponsoring employer (if an employment agency such as JobPlus assists you with the procedure)
  2. Log in to EP Online, upload the necessary documents and forms
  3. Check status online after 3 weeks
  4. If pass is excepted, log in to EP Online and print your in-principle approval letter (IPA)

Step 5: How to get EP activated

Upon in-principle approval, the Singapore Employment Pass is ready to be activated within 6 month.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, successful applicants need to apply for entry approval from MOM first before arriving in Singapore.  The employer is also responsible to ensure that all the foreign employees comply with all the latest government advisory and guidelines. For example, upon arrivals, successful applicants may need to undergo quarantine for a certain number of days or go for a swab test to obtain a health clearance certificate before proceeding with pass activation and work.

Once activated, an arrangement can be made for the applicant to go to the Ministry of Manpower with the following:

  • Original passport
  • Appointment letter
  • Notification letter
  • Other documents listed in your IPA letter

The successful foreign employee need to bring:

  • Copy of immigration white card
  • Medical examination form/health declaration form
  • Declaration form together with in-principle approval letter (IPA)

Further advantages of a Singapore Employment Pass:

  • Pass holders are able to sponsor their spouses and children for dependent passes to live/work in Singapore
  • The approval period is typically 2 years but renewable prior to expiry
  • You can enjoy easy immigration procedures when travelling in and out of Singapore
  • EP holders may apply to get a Permanent Resident status
  • If EP holders wish to change an employer during the term of his or her EP, a fresh application is required and this will be subject to rules and criteria at the point of application.

For more help visit 4 Tips to Secure an Employment Pass.