Important Fact: Only Employers Can Apply and Sponsor Foreigners for Work Visa In Singapore. 

Foreign job seekers cannot apply for work visa or employment pass without any sponsor. They need to find a job first and the employer or the agency can apply on behalf of the employer as sponsor. 

The eligibility criteria are stringent. Prospective employers are encouraged to use the free Self-­Assessment Tool (SAT) to check if their candidate qualifies for employment pass or S Pass.The employment pass eligibility criteria for approval varies from time to time and the authorities do not officially disclose their complete approval criteria.

The general employment pass eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Young graduates from good institutions can qualify if they earn at least $3,600.
    Older, more experienced candidates need higher salaries to qualify.
  • There is no list of approved institutions. Instead, each application is evaluate on its own merit, based on a wide range of criteria such as global and country rankings, and enrolment standards.
  • Candidates without acceptable qualifications may not necessarily be rejected. Similarly, having acceptable qualifications do not guarantee approval.
  • MOM looks at other factors such as proven track records and exceptional skill sets on a case-by-case basis.

Over the past several years, the eligibility criteria have been tightened considerably. For example, with effect from 1 January 2017, new EP applicants will have to earn a fixed monthly salary of $3,600 or more, depending on qualifications and experience.

Older, more experienced applicants are expected to command higher salaries to qualify, in line with their work experience and skills sets.

Existing EP holders whose passes expire:

Duration of renewed pass Before 1 Jan 2017 From 1 Jan to 30 Jun 2017 From 1 Jan to 30 Jun 2017
Up to three years, based on existing EP criteria. One year, based on existing EP criteria. Up to three years, based on new EP criteria.