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Employment Pass Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re considering moving to and working in Singapore, you are bound to have questions. At Hawksford we’ll give you the answers and support your business growth.

  • How can the Employment Pass be renewed or cancelled?


    Approximately 3 months before the expiry of 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 4 weeks 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 haven't 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 the MOM).
    • 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 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.

  • How long does it take to process Employment Pass?

    How long does it take to process Employment Pass?

    When the Employment Pass application is filed online, it takes within 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 for. This can take anywhere from couple of days to 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 MOM will need to be prompted 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.
    • It may take certain amount of time for you to provide us with the completed application and supporting documents before we can file the application.
    • After the pass is approved, there are still certain formalities that will need to be taken care of such as the medical examination, the appointment for fingerprinting registration, collection of the pass, etc, which may take few more days.
  • As a company shareholder can I apply for Employment Pass?

    If your company is less than 6 months old:
    • If you hold more than 30% shares, the authorities may ask that you apply for Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) instead of Employment Pass (EP). However if you prefer to apply for Employment Pass, 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 is older than 6 months:


    • You can only apply for Employment Pass

  • Does our company require a resident director service if we are applying for 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 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.

  • Can I apply for Employment Pass prior to incorporating my company?

    No, unfortunately that's not possible. Your company must be incorporated first before you can apply for Employment Pass.

  • Do Singapore work visa holders need to contribute to CPF (social security fund)?

    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.

  • Is a medical test required when applying for work pass in Singapore?

    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.

    For getting 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.  Wherever you go for your medical examination, if time is of the essence to you, make sure you confirm when the report will be ready before you proceed with the exam. Also, 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 be mindful that the medical report must be in English.
  • What are my chances of success with Employment Pass application?

    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 advice you further once we are in touch with you.

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