A personalised employment pass is quite different from other types of work passes in Singapore. The other types of work pass in Singapore include the following: the Singapore Employment Pass, the Work Permit, the S Pass, and the Dependent Pass. The personalised employment pass differs from these in one crucial aspect – as it is “personalised”, meaning that the applicant sponsors it himself. This stands in contrast to the other types of passes, which require sponsorship by an employee. Along the same line, an applicant must possess a job to be eligible to apply for the other types of passes, but this requirement does not apply to this type of pass.

The Criteria

The ability to self-sponsor the application of a personalised employment pass can be vastly useful for many prospective employers and candidates. In brief, the stance that the Singapore Government is that they wish for employers to place greater emphasis on hiring Singaporeans, as opposed to foreigners. The details of this change in stance will be elaborated in further detail below. However, suffice to say that, given that the personalised employment pass can be applied for even when the applicant does not have a job, this can be a much easier route to obtain the right to reside in Singapore, should the applicant find it difficult to secure a job before the application of his pass.

The key criteria is the candidate must be able to prove that he or she has been earning a salary equivalent to SGD18,000 to be eligible to apply for this type of pass. However, for existing employment pass holders, the salary barrier is lower at SGD12,000 per month.

This type of pass is valid for 3 years and it is non-renewable.

Implications on the foreign workforce

For foreign employees who have already successfully obtained a pass and therefore the right to work and reside in Singapore, the change should not negatively affect them just yet. However, for potential foreign employees who are just beginning to consider attempting to obtain the right to work in Singapore, the stance of Singapore’s government can prove to be a major obstacle.

As it stands, given the significant control and power that the government wields over the process of obtaining employment in Singapore, it will likely be the case that such potential employees will find it immensely difficult to succeed in doing so. One possible workaround for such individuals is to opt for the application of this pass as opposed to attempting the usual route. This option has the additional benefit of an increased chance of success, given an applicant’s ability to self-sponsor it.