Employment Pass Frequently Asked Questions
If you have been thinking about moving to Singapore for work, there may be certain questions that you need answering before making the move. Here, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the Singapore Employment Pass.
Approximately 3 months before the expiry of the Employment Pass (EP), authorities will send a Renewal Notice to the Employer’s registered address. The renewal application should be completed and submitted to MOM at least 2 months before the pass expires. After the renewal application is approved, the employer will receive an approval letter. Normally there shouldn't be any issues with the renewal as long as you are still employed with the company and have not violated any conditions of the EP. You should specially take note of the following:
- The EP holder should not engage in any other employment. Nor you should act as the director of any other company (unless you have secured approval from Singapore's Ministry of Manpower).
- If there are any changes in the employment particulars and personal particulars (such as duties performed, salary revisions, change of designation, change of residential address, marital status, nationality, name, etc.), you or your employer is required to notify the authorities accordingly.
The employer has to cancel the Employment Pass (EP) within 7 days upon termination of employment. The EP holder will typically be given a 1 month social visit pass upon cancellation of the EP.
For Employment Pass application filed online, it takes up to 3 weeks for most cases to receive the outcome notification from authorities. It may take longer during peak periods or when additional information is required from the various economic agencies.
When thinking about the timeline, keep in mind the following:
- The company must be incorporated first before Employment Pass can be applied. This can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks depending on whether you are present in Singapore or overseas.
- If you intend to submit the application online, and if the company is newly incorporated, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will need to be notified of the company’s particulars in order to activate the EP-Online system. This process can take up to 14 days from the day of notification to the MOM.
- If you are engaging a professional service provider to do the filing for you, it may take some time for you to provide the completed application and supporting documents before the application can be filed.
- After the pass is approved, there are still certain formalities that will need to be taken care of such as the medical examination, appointment for fingerprinting registration, collection of the pass, etc, which may take up to a few days.
If your company is less than 6 months old:
- If you hold more than 30% shares, the authorities may request that you apply for the Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) instead of the Employment Pass (EP). However if you prefer to apply for the EP, it is still possible. In this case, authorities will review your EP application and may approve your EP or advise you to apply for EntrePass instead if they determine that the EntrePass is more appropriate in your situation.
- If you hold less than 30% shares, you can apply for the Employment Pass.
If your company has existed for more than 6 months:
- You can only apply for the Employment Pass
This situation applies to foreign individuals or companies who intend to incorporate a Singapore company and relocate to Singapore. As per Singapore Companies Law, each company must have at least one director who is ordinarily a resident in Singapore. Therefore you will need to use a resident local director service on a temporary basis until your Employment pass is approved. Once your Employment Pass is approved and you have relocated to Singapore, you can replace the resident director with yourself as the local director in the company.
No, unfortunately that is not possible. Your company must be incorporated first before you can apply for the Employment Pass.
No. Neither employment pass holders nor their employers (on behalf of EP holders) are required to make CPF or any other statutory fund contributions. CPF contributions are required only for Singapore citizens and permanent residents. CPF was established in 1955 and is basically a savings scheme to provide protection for locals (Singapore citizens and permanent residents) in their old age.
When your Singapore work visa or permanent residence application is approved, authorities may require you to undergo a medical test. You will receive an approval letter that will indicate whether or not you are required to go through the medical test. Typically, the medical test includes a physical examination and some blood tests (to rule out serious diseases) and would usually require you to undergo an HIV Test and a Chest X-Ray. The physician would need to sign a form that will be attached to the approval letter.
To get the medical tests done, we encourage you to come to Singapore and go to any clinic or hospital where they can give you the report on the same day. If time is of the essence to you, do make sure that you confirm when the report will be ready before you proceed with the exam, wherever you may choose to go for your medical examination. Also, do make sure to check the approval letter on the latest government policies regarding the medical test.If you would like to get your medical test done in your home country, you can do so through a reputable clinic/hospital and bring the report with you when you arrive in Singapore. Please note that the medical report must be in English.
The chances of an Employment Pass application depend on the credentials of the company and the credentials of the individual applicant. We will be able to advise you further once we are in touch with you.