Employment Passes

Details of eligibility, the types of passes, the process and paperwork needed to apply or change the employer details for an Employment Pass...

Foreigners planning to work in Singapore on an Employment Pass (EP) must have the relevant qualifications from the Singapore recognised Universities or be equipped with specialist skills. Different types of Employment Pass may be issued depending on the salary of the applicant, but the basic procedures remain the same.

The Different Types of Employment Pass

  • P1 Pass: Employment Pass holders with a minimum income of more than S$8,000 per month
  • P2 Pass: Employment Pass holders with an income of between S$4500 to S$7999 per month and a degree/diploma qualification or equivalent
  • Q1 Pass: Employment Pass for holders with at least a degree/diploma qualification who earn an income of between S$3000 and S$4499 per month
  • Comprehensive information on the MOM website

An Employment Pass is tied to the individual and the company they work for. If an Employment Pass holder wants to change jobs, the employer will have to cancel the existing EP and the new employer will have to apply for a new one. The EP must be cancelled if the holder ceases employment in Singapore or obtains Permanent Resident status.

How to Apply

An Employment Pass application is usually made by the employer. This application process can start before the foreigner's arrival in Singapore, but can only be finalised when the successful applicant has arrived in Singapore and handed his or her passport to the authorities for verification.

In normal circumstances, the applicant's employer will act as the required local sponsor. If there is no local sponsor, the applicant may provide a banker's guarantee on the collection of his or her approved EP.

Any work-related application may be done via EP Online through the MOM website, or on an application form via SingPost (the MOM-appointed collecting agent).

There is a small fee for each application, and processing time is usually two to three weeks.

The documents required for all employment (and training) related applications are:

  • The appropriate completed application form (applicable to manual submission only). The form must be signed by both the applicant and an authorised officer from the sponsoring company. It should be endorsed with the company's stamp or seal.
  • A copy of all the applicant's educational documents and past employment testimonials. These are not necessary if the applicant has held or applied for an EP during the last two years and has already passed these documents to the MOM.
  • A passport-sized photograph of the applicant taken within the last three months.
  • A copy of the travel document page showing the applicant's personal particulars.

Further and more specialised documentation may also be required for members of certain professions.

On Approval

An In-Principle Approval Letter, valid for six months, will be issued. It may allow the applicant to work for one month before they collect their EP.

Once ready, the applicant or their company's authorised agent must collect the EP card from the MOM:

  • Ministry of Manpower
    At: EPSC, 20 Upper Circular Road, #04-01/01 The Riverwalk, Singapore 058416
    Tel: 6438 5122
    Fax: 6534 4840

The following documents will need to be produced:

  • The applicant's travel document, with at least two blank visa pages
  • Any relevant medical documents, together with a chest x-ray and blood test reports, if applicable
  • The In-Principle Approval Letter
  • Either the Immigration White Card (IMM27) for a new application or the Green Card for renewal


Employment Passes are usually issued initially for up to two years, and may be renewed for up to three years. The issued EP can be renewed before it expires. This renewal process is usually straightforward, unless the government considers an Employment Pass holder’s behaviour or their dependants undesirable.

The spouse and children of an EP holder may enter and live in Singapore on Dependant's Passes (DPs). Spouses are not allowed to work without a Letter of Consent but children can attend schools without needing a further student's pass. An EP holder may also bring in other members of their family on a Long-Term Social Visit Pass (LTSVP).

If a person who is currently holding on to a DP (for example the spouse of an EP holder) wants an EP, the DP must be cancelled before the Ministry issue this person with a new EP.

Change of Address

EP and S Pass holders must update their residential addresses with the MOM within five days of starting work when they have moved to a new work location.

Further Information

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Information contributed by One Visa Pte Ltd 9 Temasek Boulevard, #09-01 Suntec Tower 2, Singapore 038989 www.one-visa.com email Tel: 6407 1579 / Fax: 6407 1501 Copyright © One Visa Pte Ltd All Rights Reserved. Picture courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board