Singapore Employment Pass (EP)
What is a Singapore Employment Pass (EP)?
The Employment Pass (also known as E Pass or EP) is the main type of work visa in Singapore. It is designed for foreign professionals, managers (i.e. managing directors, general managers, CEOs, and other management personnel), executives, and specialists who are employed by a Singapore company.
All EP applications are assessed by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). An EP is granted with an initial validity of 1 or 2 years, and is renewable as long as the pass holder remains employed in the company.
With an EP, you can travel in and out of Singapore with minimum hassle at the immigration. As an EP holder, you are also eligible to apply for permanent residency in Singapore.
Do I need an Employment Pass?
You will need an Employment Pass if you’re an entrepreneur who intends to incorporate a company in Singapore and move here to run company operations. Similarly, if you’re a corporation looking to relocate your staff (e.g. managing directors and management staff) to Singapore, you will also need to apply for an EPass for each employee.
Employment Pass Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for an E Pass, applicants must meet the MOM’s salary and educational requirements, and must possess the following:
- Recognised educational diploma/degree
- Professional qualifications
- Specialist skills
- Relevant work experience
Your application is evaluated by the Ministry of Manpower based on your merits. There are also other factors may affect your application, such as:
- Roles & responsibility
- Related work experience
- Company’s background
- Company’s paid up capital
- Current citizenship
A recognised educational qualification does not guarantee a successful EP application. You also need to satisfy other criteria such as relevant work experience and/or professional skills. Similarly, an applicant without a recognised educational qualification may not necessarily be rejected for EP if he has other compensating factors.
Employment Pass Types and Eligibility
There are three categories of Employment Pass: P1, P2 and Q1 Pass. The EP does not fall under any quota system nor is there a monthly levy charge for EP.
- P1 Pass
For applicants earning a fixed monthly salary of S$8,000 and above.
Must possess acceptable qualifications.
Ideal for: Senior level managers; Managing Directors; CEOs; CFOs; Specialists (SMEs – Subject Matter Experts)
- P2 Pass
For applicants earning a fixed monthly salary of at least S$4,500.
Must possess acceptable qualifications.
Ideal for: Mid-level Managers or Senior Executives; Skilled Technicians
- Q1 Pass
For applicants earning a fixed monthly salary of at least S$3,000.
Must possess recognized or specialized skills (Minimum of 5 years work experience may compensate for lack of recognized qualifications)
Documents Required for Employment Pass (EP)
We will need the following documents for submission of Employment Pass visa application in Singapore:
- Resume or CV stating your educational and employment history
- Copies of educational certificates and past employment testimonials
- A copy of your passport details
Any documents that are not in English must be translated into English by an official translation service.
Procedure and Timeline
All applications and the required documents must be submitted to the Ministry of Manpower either manually or online.
In general, the online application is faster. On the other hand, manual application may be preferred if there are supporting documents to be attached.
Online applications typically take between 1-10 working days for MOM to process. This varies according to the credentials of the employing company and the qualifications of the applicant. Meanwhile, manual application can take between 3-6 weeks from the date of submission.
This timeline may vary based on a number of factors.
Employment Pass Validity
- Validity period for first-time applicants is up to two years
- Validity for EP renewals is up to three years
Entry Visa into Singapore
If you are overseas and require an entry visa to Singapore, your IPA letter will include a single journey entry visa. Upon your arrival in Singapore, we will make an appointment with the Ministry of Manpower on your behalf for finger printing. Your pass will be ready in 4 days after you complete the procedures.
You may collect the pass at Ministry of Manpower personally or authorise AsiaBiz to collect it on your behalf.
Rejection of Employment Pass Application
In the event that your Employment Pass application is rejected, AsiaBiz shall lodge an inquiry with the Ministry of Manpower. Based on the reasons provided by the Ministry, we will submit an appeal that will address the issues outlined by the government body and also include all additional documents, if any, that they request for. The Ministry of Manpower will take a minimum of three weeks or more to review your appeal.
Change of Employer
You must apply for a new pass whenever you change employers. There is no need to cancel the existing pass before applying for a new pass. The Ministry of Manpower evaluates each application for a new pass based the applicant’s qualifications, work experience, and employer credentials. Once the new pass is approved, you shall have to arrange for the old pass to be cancelled by your old employer issuing a letter requesting the same.
Renewal of Employment Pass
The Ministry of Manpower will send an Employment Pass Renewal Form to your employer two months before your EP expires. You should submit the renewal application at least 4 weeks prior to the expiration of your EP. Upon approval, your employer will receive a letter of notification and your new pass is ready for pick up at the Ministry of Manpower.
Permanent Residence Eligibility
EP holders of P1, P2 and Q status are eligible to apply to become a Permanent Residence through the Professional, Technical & Skilled Workers scheme. There is no designated waiting period, but you are required to submit salary records spanning 6 months. As such, you should plan your application at least 6 months ahead. It is advisable for Q1 pass holders to wait at least 2 years before applying for permanent residency.
Passes for Family Members
Employment pass holders earning at least S$4,000 can apply for Dependant Pass for their:
- Unmarried children under 21 years of age
P Pass holders may also apply for Long-Term Visit Pass for their:
- Common law spouse
- Unmarried daughters above 21 years of age
- Handicapped children above 21 years of age
- Step-children under 21 years of age
|EP Type||Dependant Pass||Long-term Visa Pass|
|P1, P2||Yes for
|Q1||Yes if they earn at least S$4,000 per month||No|