How to Get a Singapore Employment Pass

How to Get a Singapore Employment Pass

Employment Pass is a work visa that foreign professionals, CEOs, managers, and executives need to acquire to live and work in Singapore. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) reviews applications from eligible candidates.


Who can Apply for Employment Pass (EP)

Singapore company or its appointed employment agent applies to the MOM on behalf of the foreign candidate the company wants to employ. Each application is evaluated and approved on merit.

There is no ‘Golden Formula’ that can help applicants to a successful application. However, experienced employment service providers have noticed certain factors while rendering their staff augmentation, permanent and executive staffing, contract staffing, and IT staff outsourcing services.


Factors for a Successful Employment Pass Application

An employment offer from a well-known Singapore company favours the candidate. In addition, the candidate must:

  • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$4,500
  • Be a manager, executive or specialist
  • Have a university degree or professional qualifications

MOM usually takes about three weeks to process an application. The benefit of hiring an employment agency for the employment pass application is that they know the process and guidelines inside out. If a candidate’s application gets rejected, they assist in appealing to the MOM and try to sort out the underlying problem.

The following are a few additional factors that can affect a candidate’s chances of acquiring an EP:

  • Candidate’s nationality
  • A job requiring higher qualifications (niche role)
  • Employing company’s past revenue and paid-up capital
  • Candidate’s salary

Employment Pass Application Process

MOM advises candidates to use the self-assessment tool and see if they can successfully pass the test. The chances of successful candidates getting qualified are high.

To reiterate, it is the Singapore employing company or its authorised hiring agent like Nimmish that applies to MOM for an employment pass on behalf of the candidate.

  • The candidates need to submit scanned copies of their educational certificates, resume, and passport. They then can check the status of their application online
  • Once a candidate’s employment pass application is approved, MOM sends an IPA ( In-Principle Approval) letter to the company’s address. IPA is valid for six months
  • IPA is a one-time entry visa for the candidate to visit Singapore and collect the pass. They have to present a copy of the IPA, passport, and documents mentioned in the IPA
  • MOM sends candidates a notification letter enabling them to work and move in or out of Singapore till they get their EP card
  • The candidates may have to register their fingerprints and photo. They will need to present their passport, appointment letter, employment letter and other documents
  • After the paperwork, the EP card may take four business days to arrive

What Happens if Candidate’s EP Application is Rejected?

If a candidate’s EP application is rejected, the employing company or the agent has three months to appeal against it.

The authorised recruiting agent coordinates with the officials of MOM and tries to solve the problem. They understand the nuances of the approval process.

The agent helps to rework the applications to showcase candidates’ skills and experience to emphasise their candidature for the EP. They also provide clarifying details and documents to MOM to help revert the decision.

MOM takes at least three weeks to process such appeals. The employment agent can even assist a Singapore company in understanding why their past applications were rejected. In short, an experienced employment agent streamlines companies’ employment pass application process when they want to recruit foreign candidates.

Contact us at +65-6536 0036 or email us at to know more about our employment pass and recruitment services.