Rebecca Siggers

A Comprehensive Guide to Employment Passes: Navigating Work Authorisation



Accessing employment passes in Singapore can be challenging for foreigners living there due to strict regulations and complex application processes. Our guide contains everything you need to know about various employment passes, as well as how you can secure authorization successfully.

Types of Employment Passes For Work Authorization

Singapore provides various categories of employment passes, including, including:

1. S Pass

An S Pass is designed for mid-level skilled staff. To qualify, the minimum fixed monthly salary needed must be S$2,500 or above and companies are only permitted to hire a certain percentage of pass holders based on total workforce size; additionally, your S Pass will remain tied to one employer in case you lose employment and thus become invalidated.

2. Employment Pass

An Employment Pass (EP) is available to foreign professionals, managers, and executives earning at least S$4,500 monthly who need greater job flexibility compared to what an S Pass offers – you may remain on an EP for up to 60 days while transitioning between jobs since its use does not adhere to any quota system.

3. Personalized Employment Pass

Personalized Employment Passes (PEPs) offer greater flexibility for high-earning employment pass holders and entrepreneurs who require switching jobs quickly without their pass being canceled first; the minimum monthly earnings requirement is $18,000.

4. EntrePass 


Singapore provides eligible foreign entrepreneurs with the ability to set up and operate new businesses by way of its EntrePass program. It would help if you met specific qualifications related to business experience, funding requirements, and employing local staff members in Singapore.

Eligibility Criteria 

The Employment passes must fulfill certain eligibility requirements that extend beyond salary requirements and specific salary thresholds outlined above:

Educational Requirements 

At a minimum, you should hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.

Experience: Relevant work experience will be evaluated to ascertain your qualifications for the position, while your economic needs and industry support requirements in Singapore will take priority over other criteria for passing an S Pass or EP Application.

Company Quota: When issuing S and EP Passes to foreign workers, companies must adhere to any regulatory quota requirements set for foreign worker recruitment quotas in place at that particular employer.

General criteria also require candidates to possess good character and financial security and have no significant medical histories that require further review.

Applying for an Employment Pass


To initiate the application process, companies offering employment must apply on behalf of candidates for jobs they offer. Here are the usual steps:

  1. The candidate submits supporting documents, which the company uses and pays a fee.
  2. Ministry of Manpower reviews and assesses applications. 
  3. If approved, an In-Principle Approval Letter will be provided. 
  4. Entrant requests an Entry Permit before arriving in Singapore; upon arrival, they are given their EP card (Physical EP Card). * 
  5. The individual then applies for their required work visa(s).

Applying for and receiving work permit approval may take up to four weeks; being organized will help speed the process. Having all the required documents handy will assist with expediting this step of the application.

Renewal of an Employment Pass

EPs and S Passes usually last two years before expiring; to continue working in Singapore after their expiration dates have come and gone, renewal requirements should be taken care of as quickly as possible to continue working here. 

These include the following essential renewal steps: 

  1. It must be restored within 30 days after the pass has expired.
  2. The employer must request renewal by paying the renewal fee.
  3. Pass salary requirements still need to be fulfilled.
  4. Employment needs and sector labor demands considered. 
  5. In some instances, medical exams or additional documentation may also be required before renewal. 

Successful renewal will lead to the issue of a new employment pass and may take up to two weeks if all requirements have been fulfilled.

Cancellations and Terminations

MOM may cancel or terminate an employment pass early under specific conditions: 

  • Employee resigns or is terminated Criminal conviction Company EP quota exceeded.
  • The employer has failed to pay the monthly pass holder levy and violated work pass conditions.

Company Shuttered in Singapore

For S Passes and EPs in Singapore, quickly finding another employer who will assume your pass to prevent cancellation is vital to retain employment eligibility; PEP holders, however, have greater freedom in exploring other employment possibilities.

Navigating Singapore’s complex employment pass landscape may seem intimidating at first. Still, by studying its various pass types, requirements, application process, and potential pitfalls, you will set yourself up for success and obtain your ideal employment pass to start your Singaporean career.


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