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Companies who are looking to employ foreign citizens to work from Singapore locally, must apply for a work visa for each such individual employee. If these companies are not yet registered in Singapore, then they would need to incorporate themselves here in Singapore before making this application.

There are different categories of employment passes with varied nomenclature depending on the kind of employment offered and the compensation paid in each case. More details can be found here. You can Contact us for proper advice on the right work pass for your people. 

A fixed monthly compensation of at least S$3600 (for new applications w.e.f. 1 May 2020 S$3900) is required by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for issuing permission to work in Singapore called an Employment Pass (EP). They must work in a managerial, executive or specialised job and have acceptable qualifications, usually a good university degree, professional qualifications or specialised skills.

This can be done online and is usually approved (if all the conditions are met) within 3 weeks. However, for newly registered companies, it may take longer as MOM will request for additional supporting documents. The application can be made on behalf of the employer by a licenced Employment Agency.

Before making this application, it is required by the Singapore government that the employer seeking a foreign employee has made reasonable efforts to employ from the currently available Singapore workforce, and has been unsuccessful.

Towards the above effort, MOM has made it compulsory for all companies to advertise their job openings on the Singapore Government’s jobs portal for atleast 14 days before applying for an Employment Pass. This is waived in case the prospective employer

  • has less than 10 employees, or
  • is paying a fixed monthly remuneration of at least S$15,000 (raised to S$20,00 w.e.f. 1 May 2020) for the opening under discussion, or
  • is filling the position with an Intra- Corporate Transferee, a person holding senior position, or a person with advanced expertise, or
  • finds this necessary for short term contingencies (not more than one month).

There is a constant reminder to all employers that ‘’Any company found to have nationality-based or other discriminatory HR practices will face scrutiny from MOM and have their work pass privileges curtailed’’.

The following documents are required for making an application to MOM for an Employment Pass

  1. Employment pass application duly completed by the prospective employer. If the employer is outsourcing the application process to an authorized agency, then a prescribed MOM authorization form duly signed by the director of the Singapore local employer must be given to the agency.
  2. Employer company’s latest business profile or instant information registered with ACRA.
  3. A copy of the personal particulars page of the candidate’s passport.
  4. Candidates educational certificates – for candidates from certain countries (as listed by MOM) copies of complete transcripts and verification letters may be required.
  5. A copy of an employment offer letter or a signed contract of employment.
  6. If the requested EP is for a regional representative of an overseas company, then
    • a copy of the approval letter from Enterprise Singapore for setting up the representative office in Singapore.
    • a letter from the representative’s office headquarters stating the purpose of the application, the period of this assignment, and a guarantee for the maintenance and repatriation of the candidate.
  7. If the employer is looking to employ a healthcare professional, lawyer, football player or coach, then a supporting letter from the respective professional bodies in Singapore.
  8. A copy of food shop licences issued by the SFA (or NEA, if it has been issued before April 1, 2019), if the employer is a food establishment.

MOM may request for additional supporting documents such as a copy of office tenancy agreements, financial statement of the employer, copy of business contracts and sales invoices. Usually this may happen in cases where the employer is a newly registered company.

Save yourself from the stress of rejected applications – contact our licensed EA professionals for proper advice on the right work pass for your people.