7 Tips for a Successful Singapore Employment Pass Application

7 Tips for a Successful Singapore Employment Pass Application

Apart from the basic eligibility criteria, there are additional considerations when a non-resident applies for an Employment Pass in Singapore. For example, your employment background and specific skills are major factors. To help you increase your success in getting a Singapore Employment Pass, we have compiled some valuable tips.

Are you eligible for the Singapore Employment Pass?

First of all, you have to check if you meet the basic eligibility criteria for obtaining an Employment Pass (EP). You are eligible to apply for an EP if you are

  • an entrepreneur or managing director of a Singapore company wishing to relocate to manage company operations;
  • a locally incorporated Singapore company that needs to recruit non-local talent; or
  • a foreigner with a job offer from a Singapore employer. In this scenario, your employer will be responsible for filing the EP.

You may also want to read a related article:

A Complete Guide to Singapore Work Passes

How to increase your chances of getting a Singapore Employment Pass

Here are some useful tips that can increase your success rate of Employment Pass application:

Complete the self-assessment tool (SAT) test

The first step is to take the Self Assessment Tool Test (SAT) provided by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). This test will help you understand the necessary requirements for a successful application and also let you know if you are eligible for an EP.

The SAT does not guarantee your application is approved or rejected. However, if your test shows that you are eligible for an EP, MOM has indicated that there is a 90% chance that you will get your application approved.

To complete the SAT, you must prepare scanned copies of your passport, educational certificates, salary history, and CV. If the qualification level that appears on your certification is not listed on the SAT, you can choose not to qualify on the SAT.

Check the required minimum monthly salary

Since September 2020, MOM has increased the minimum salary for EP candidates from $600 to $4500. In addition, by 2021, holders of work permits in the financial services sector must meet a higher salary requirement of $5000. However, if you have more experience in the workforce, your salary should be higher than the minimum wage. Generally, S$6000 to S$7000 is a good benchmark. Note that each case is subject to MOM approval.

If you do not meet the salary criteria, you will not be able to apply for an Employment Pass. However, you may be eligible to apply for an S Pass. It is a work pass for foreign employees with intermediate skills. To be eligible, you must have a fixed monthly salary of at least $2,200. In addition, before applying, your passport must be valid for at least seven months. You can also take the SAT to see if you qualify for the S Pass.


From September 2022, the minimum qualifying salary for new EP applicants will be raised from $4,500 to $5,000. For the financial services sector, which has higher salary norms, the bar will be raised from $5,000 to $5,500.

Besides EP salaries, the salary thresholds for S Pass holders will also be raised. The minimum qualifying salary for new applications will be increased from $2,500 to $3,000 starting in September of this year. For the financial services industry, a new salary threshold of $3,500 will be implemented.

Your experience matters!

Providing your employment history alone is not enough, as you need to have relevant work experience for the job being offered. Therefore, to ensure that your work experience is relevant, your work background and skills must match the job offered and the industry. In addition, choosing the right position title that accurately reflects the job scope and responsibilities of the applicant is equally important.

Also, note that MOM does not like individuals who switch jobs frequently. Apart from that, if your job profile shows inconsistencies, the application runs the risk of being rejected.

Meet academic the qualification

Since Employment Passes are reserved for top-level jobs such as professionals, managers, executives, and specialist roles, the academic qualification is used as one of the top eligibility requirements.

Candidates who obtain their qualifications from reputable universities or Singapore’s institutions will have an advantage. If you don’t have a tertiary degree, it can be compensated by excellent work history and high salary. Although each application is evaluated on its own merits, candidates with a tertiary degree usually have easier processing and approval.


If your transcripts and certificates are not in English, you will need them translated by an official translation service.

Provide good references

In cases where candidates cannot provide relevant certificates to MOM, the ability to generate references from previous employers or clients will also be very useful. This usually applies to candidates who have built their careers and expertise in relatively “new” industries, such as social media.

Have specific requirements for talent (if you are an employer)

Companies in niche industries will find that they have an advantage in hiring foreign talent because there will likely be fewer local residents with the relevant skills, qualifications, and experience to meet their needs. Tech startups are an example of a sector that typically gets quick approval of EP applications.

Present your company structure very well (if you apply as a company)

If you apply for EPs as a company, it will benefit you if you have run your organization for at least three years. This is because MOM will review your company structure, as well as its assets and liquidity when assessing whether the company has the capability and capacity to pay its employees. However, startups can prove their worth by showing bank statements or a letter from a reputable parent company (if it is a fully-owned subsidiary) that their operations will be financed until they are self-sufficient.

Applying for Employment Passes if you are an employer

Before applying for Employment Passes, you must first advertise your company’s available vacancies on MyCareersFuture for at least 28 days. This step ensures that all candidates in Singapore get fair consideration for job opportunities. Moreover, the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) requires that all employers in Singapore consider candidates fairly without any discrimination regarding race, gender, age, or nationality.

After posting your ad, you must include the job posting ID in your application. If the requirements are not met, your application will be rejected. When filling out the ‘salary range’ section, it is best if the proposed range is not too far apart. The maximum salary should not be more than 1.5-2 times the minimum salary range.

To increase your EP application approval rate, consider engaging a Singapore-registered corporate service firm like Biz Atom. Our experts can advise on which work passes you should apply for, prepare required documents, and help you with the application process. 

What to do if your EP application is rejected

If your EP application is rejected, you can appeal after three months have elapsed. However, you should only do this if you can address the cause of the rejection. In many cases, a rejection advisory will be issued for failed EP applications. Applicants can refer to EP Online to see the reasons behind the refusal and get advice on the best next steps.

Note that rejected candidates are not allowed to appeal. Only the employer or authorized third party responsible for submitting the initial application may appeal.

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