Work Pass

Singapore is building its future economy to take advantage of globalisation trends. As such, attracting international expertise, skills, and knowledge in specific targeted industries is key. With its small land size, slow population growth, and lack of international exposure within the local workforce, Singapore must hinge on talented foreigners to plug skill gaps and facilitate knowledge transfer.

Engage IASG to take advantage of Singapore’s growing economy!

Contribute to Singapore’s Economy Through Highly Talented Manpower

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Total Foreign Workforce
Employment Pass (EP) holders
S Pass holders

Foreigners who intend to work in Singapore need to ensure that they have a valid work pass. This functions similar to a work visa. The Singapore Government Agency responsible for the administration of Work Passes in Singapore is the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). There are various types of work passes available to support the varying skill-levels of talent. Candidates (through their Employers or Employment Agency) may apply for a Work Pass according to their respective eligibility.

Balancing Singapore’s local and foreign talent pool is vital to the nation’s economic and social interests. As such, policies surrounding labour law are forever intertwined with immigration policies so as to ensure Singapore’s manpower is functioning efficiently and productively to support the industries.

The IASG team is experienced and well versed in the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) regulations and requirements and undergoes regular training sessions to keep current. With exposure to various cases, we can advise accurately on your prevailing circumstances, anticipate success or failure, and maintain a 98% success rate on applications. We do this with speed and precision to meet your business needs.

Determining a Pass that is Suitable for You

Immigration@SG (IASG) helps individual candidates, business owners, and Human Resource Departments of MNCs and SMEs with the various types of work pass applications and visas.

We will perform an initial profile analysis with you, free of charge. This is a key phase in the entire application process as we will use this session to understand your background, reasons for applying for a Work Pass as well as analyse your current strengths and weaknesses in relation to what the Singapore Government is looking for. You can also use this session to clarify any queries pertaining to any application and immigration policy matters.

With your background information, we will be able to advise you on the correct pass type to apply for and we will provide advisory and instructions that can help boost your chances significantly.

Work Passes

Employment Pass (EP)

This pass is catered towards professionals, managers and executives (PMETs) in typically ‘white collared’ positions. Candidates need to earn at least S$4,500 a month and possess acceptable qualifications from recognised institutions.

An Employment Pass (EP) remains the property of the employers. Employees under an Employment Pass are not able to switch jobs freely unless a new Employment Pass has been approved by the new hiring entity.

An Employment Pass is typically granted for 2 years validity but thereafter, may be renewed for up to 3 years at a time on a case to case basis. There are no quota implications for Employment Passes per entity, so long as the employer can meet the salary benchmark and demonstrate that they have fairly considered local Singaporean / Singapore PR job seekers.

With all prerequisites met, an employer or appointed agent needs to apply on behalf of the candidate.

  • Open to all nationalities.
  • Have a job offer in Singapore.
  • Work in a managerial, executive or specialised job.
  • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $4,500.
  • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $5,000 for candidates in the financial services sector.
  • Have acceptable university qualifications, professional qualifications or specialised skills.

Note: MOM will be raising the qualifying requirements over 2 phases.

  • Phase 1: Effective 1 September 2022, minimum salary requirements will be benchmarked with local PMET salaries by age.
  • Phase 2: Effective 1 September 2023, MOM will introduce a new points-based Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) which is geared towards building a diverse talent pool centred around a Singapore Core.

Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)

The main difference between a standard Employment Pass (EP) and a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is that the PEP holder is not obligated or tied to a single entity. This gives the individual the freedom to venture several positions before deciding which is suitable. Only high-earning existing Employment Pass (EP) holders or overseas foreign professionals are eligible for this pass.

Pass validity is up to 3 years and is not renewable. To continue working in Singapore, Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) pass holders must apply for an Employment Pass (EP) or S Pass before the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) expires.

  • An overseas foreign professional with a last drawn fixed monthly salary overseas of at least S$18,000 within 6 months before you apply.
  • An Employment Pass holder earning a fixed monthly salary of at least S$12,000.

Additional Requirements to keep holding a PEP:

  • Must not be unemployed in Singapore for more than 6 months at any time.
  • Earn a fixed salary of at least S$144,000 per calendar year, regardless of the number of months you are in employment.
  • Notify the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) when starting or leaving a job, change your contact details, and annual fixed salary.


Foreign entrepreneurs who are keen to start and operate a business in Singapore may apply for this pass. The business would be venture-backed or it possesses innovative technologies that are aligned to Singapore’s growth policies.

Pass is valid for 1 year and may be renewed for another year thereafter. Subsequent renewals are valid for 2 years at a time.


Candidates are eligible for this pass if both of these conditions are met:

  • Have started, or intend to start, a private limited company in Singapore that is venture-backed or owns innovative technologies.
  • Meet any of the innovative criteria as an entrepreneur, innovator or investor.

S Pass

Candidates from non-financial services industry who are mid-level skilled, earning at least S$3,150 a month and meet the assessment criteria may apply for this pass. This amount will increase progressively with age, up to $4,650 for those in their mid-40s. For those in the financial services industry, the base amount starts from S$3,650 and may increase up to S$5,650.

An employer or appointed agent needs to apply on behalf of the candidate. If the pass holder changes jobs, the new employer has to apply for a new S Pass. Pass is valid for 2 years and may be renewed for up to 3 years at a time.

  • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $3,150. Experienced applicants need higher salaries to qualify for this pass.
  • Have at least a Diploma from accredited institutions. Technical certificates of at least 1 year of full-time study may be considered, depending on the nature of employment and the respective skill required.
  • Have relevant work experience.


Administered by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), this visa is for tech entrepreneurs, leaders or technical experts with a track record to perform frontier and disruptive innovations in Singapore. Only a total of 500 applications are available since its launch in January 2021.


To be eligible, applicants must satisfy any two of the following conditions:

  • Have a last drawn fixed monthly salary (in the last 1 year) of at least S$20,000 or its equivalent in a foreign currency. Candidates or business owners with annual income in excess of S$240,000 or its equivalent in a foreign currency will also be considered.
  • Have at least five cumulative years of experience in a leading role in a tech company with a valuation/market cap of at least US$500mil or at least US$30mil funding raised.
  • Have at least five cumulative years of experience in a leading role in the development of a tech product that has at least 100,000 monthly active users or at least US$100mil annual revenue.

Overseas Networks and Expertise (One) Pass

In one of the boldest policies to have surfaced in the wake of Singapore’s post pandemic strategy is the One Pass. To be introduced in January 2023, the One Pass’s premise is to attract top foreign talent with valuable networks and deep skills and expertise from across all sectors.


Existing work pass holders and overseas candidates can apply for the Overseas Networks and Expertise (One) Pass if they meet either of the salary criteria below:

  • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000, or its equivalent in foreign currency, within the last 1 year.
  • Will earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$30,000 under their future employer based in Singapore.

For overseas candidates who are not yet work pass holders, they will also need to demonstrate that they have been working for an established company overseas for at least 1 year, or will be working for an established company in Singapore.

An established company must have a market capitalisation of at least US$500 million or an annual revenue of at least US$200 million.

Other Passes

Dependent’s Pass

This pass is for the legal spouse and children of eligible Employment Pass (EP), Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), Tech.Pass, or S Pass holders only.

Pass is valid for up to 2 years and is tied to the validity of the main work pass. This pass may be renewed and renewal duration is tied to the main pass holder’s pass or up to the duration requested, whichever is shorter. An employer or appointed agent must apply on behalf of the applicant.

  • Eligible for legally married spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 years old, including legally adopted children of Employment Pass (EP) or S Pass holders.
  • Employment Pass (EP) or S Pass holder must earn a minimum fixed monthly salary of $6,000.
  • Employment Pass (EP) or S Pass holders are sponsored by their employers.

Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP)

There are 2 Main Types of LTVP issued out in Singapore. First are ICA-issued LTVPs and the second being MOM-issued LTVPs. This pass is for parents, spouses, step-children or handicapped children of Singapore Citizens, PRs or eligible Employment Pass or S Pass holders.

LTVPs are typically valid for up to 2 years with MOM-issued LTVPs tied to the validity of the main work pass. It can be renewed and its duration is tied to the main pass holder’s pass or up to the duration requested, whichever is shorter. An employer or appointed agent must apply on behalf of the applicant.

For ICA-issued LTVPs, only Singapore Citizens, PRs, or a local Sponsor may table in an application.

Eligibility (MOM-issued LTVPs):
  • Eligible for common-law spouse, unmarried handicapped children above 21 years old, unmarried step-children under 21 years old of Employment Pass (EP) or S Pass holders who earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $6000.
  • Parents are eligible only for Employment Pass (EP) or S Pass holders who are earning a fixed monthly salary of at least $12,000.
  • Employment Pass (EP) or S Pass holders must be sponsored by their employers.
Eligibility (ICA-issued LTVPs):

You will be eligible to apply for a Long-Term Visit Pass if you are a:

  • Spouse of a Singapore citizen.
  • Spouse of a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR).
  • Unmarried child (aged under 21) born within the context of a legal marriage to, or has been legally adopted by a Singapore citizen/Singapore Permanent Resident (PR).
  • Parent of a Singapore citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident (PR).
  • Graduate from an Institute of Higher Learning seeking employment in Singapore.
  • Mother or Grandmother of a child or grandchild studying in Singapore on a Student’s Pass.
  • Visitor seeking permission to give birth in Singapore.

Letter of Consent (LOC)

Letter of Consent (LOC) allows individuals to work in Singapore by special permission. These individuals are already holding certain passes that typically do not allow them to work in Singapore.

  • Pre-approved Letter of Consent (PLOC): This is for eligible spouses or children of Singapore citizens or PRs holding an LTVP/LTVP+. They can only apply for a PLOC when applying for, or renewing the LTVP/LTVP+. The duration will be the same as the LTVP/LTVP+ pass that is issued by ICA.
  • Letter of Consent for ICA-issued LTVP/LTVP+ holders: This is for eligible spouses or children of Singapore citizens or PRs holding an LTVP/LTVP+. The employer or an appointed employment agent (EA) may apply on the candidate’s behalf. The duration will be tied to the LTVP/LTVP+ pass or period of employment, whichever is earlier.
  • Letter of Consent for Dependant’s Pass holders who are business owners: For eligible Dependant’s Pass holders who wish to operate a business in Singapore.
  • Pre-approved Letter of Consent. To be eligible, candidates have to be:
    • Spouse or unmarried child of a Singapore citizen or permanent resident who is issued with LTVP/LTVP+.
  • Letter of Consent for ICA-issued LTVP/LTVP+ holders. To be eligible, candidates have to be:
    • An LTVP/LTVP+ holder who is married to a Singaporean or PR or;
    • An unmarried child (under 21 years old) of a Singaporean or PR, who holds an LTVP;
    • LTVP/LTVP+ has to be valid for at least 3 months, and must have a job offer with a Singapore employer.
  • Letter of Consent for Dependant’s Pass holders who are business owners. To be eligible, candidates need to satisfy any one of the following criterias:
    • Sole proprietor of a Singapore-registered business.
    • A partner of a Singapore-registered business.
    • A company director with at least 30% shareholding in a Singapore-registered business

Benefits of Working In Singapore

Job Opportunities

Singapore’s favourable business environment attracts investments, thus creating job opportunities. Due to Singapore’s ageing population, it relies ever more on foreign talent to fill up the gap in its workforce. Popular sectors in recent years include financial services, biotechnology, and information technology. Singapore is always hiring!

Attractive Salary Ranges

Salaries in Singapore are highly attractive, especially for foreigners around the region. Not just because of Singapore’s strong currency but salaries in Singapore are typically much higher when compared in parallel to the ones offered in other countries in Southeast Asia. The higher salary is a result of the higher standard of living in Singapore.

Low Income Tax Rates

One of the reasons for Singapore’s economic success is the low income tax rates. Adopting the progressive tax structure, it is a fair proportion to income earned.

Great Infrastructure & Connectivity

Internet connectivity is fast and usually uninterrupted; water, gas, and electricity supply are efficient; public transport is affordable and reliable; having the second busiest trade port & best airport in the world is an admirable feat, beautiful tree-lined roads and landscaping all over the island city. Singapore literally has it all!

Safe Place to Live

It is safe to walk around alone in the early hours of the morning, even for women. Petty crimes such as theft are rare. Violence and terrorism are almost unheard of. Police and emergency services are efficient and fast.

Singapore Immigration Roadmap

You are here

  • Accepted a job offer in Singapore*
  • Business Owner / Director incorporating a new company in Singapore with a Local Nominee Director

Current Goal

  • Acquire Relevant Work Pass as an Employee / for Employee(s)
  • Acquire Relevant Work Pass as a Director of own Company
Documents and Folder

Future Possibilities

  1. Singapore PR + Social Integration
  2. Singapore Citizenship + Social Integration
  3. Business Incorporation (without Local Nominee Director) + Work Pass (for employees)

How IASG Boosts Work Pass Applications

IASG adopts an effective strategic and thoughtful approach to all Work Pass applications to ensure the highest probability of obtaining approval. Unlike many employment agencies, IASG does not approach Work Pass applications simply as an over the counter or transactional business.

IASG takes pride in understanding the nuances of business requirements. With an in-depth understanding of governing policies and an ever evolving policy landscape, IASG has maintained a high level of work pass approvals for clients ranging from Multinational Corporations (MNCs) , Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Startups, Family Offices, and also sole proprietors or lone Directors who wishes to establish their first foothold into Singapore.

Approach to Work Pass Applications

We will handle the entire pass application process with the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and/or other government agencies, which involves:

1. Collating relevant documents required for the application


2. Drafting and submitting applications electronically/manually


3. Providing additional documents, if requested by MOM


4. Issuing passes electronically/manually


5. Assist on medical examinations, if required by MOM


6. Prepare appeals (for rejected applications)


Post-Application Management & Advisory

Once the application has been submitted, we will be tracking and updating you on the status of your pass applications, including arranging for the collection/delivery of physical cards. We will also assist in monitoring pass expiry dates for future action, which consist of:

1. Renewal/Cancellation
2. Changes in Details
3. Replacement for loss of card


There are five categories of work passes in Singapore. 

  1. Professional – Employment Pass (EP), Entrepass, Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), Tech.Pass, and effective January 2023, the One Pass.
  2. Skilled and semi-skilled workers – S Pass, Work Permit for migrant worker, Work Permit for migrant domestic worker, Work Permit for confinement nanny, Work Permit for performing artiste
  3. Trainees and Students – Training Employment Pass, Work Holiday Pass (under Work Holiday Programme), Work Holiday Pass (under Work and Holiday Visa Programme), Training Work Permit
  4. Family members – Dependant’s Pass, Long Term Visit Pass, Pre-approved Letter of Consent, Letter of Consent for ICA-issued LTVP/LTVP+ holders, Letter of Consent for Dependant’s Pass holders who are business owners
  5. Exemptions and working while on a visit pass – Miscellaneous Work Pass, Work Pass Exempt Activities, Work pass exemption for foreign students, Work passes for holders of Long Term Visit Passes issued by ICA

All work pass applications need to be submitted to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). However, depending on the pass type, you may need your employer or an authorised agent to apply on your behalf. For assistance, you may call us at +65 6493 1830.

If you are currently or previously an Employment Pass (EP) or S Pass holder, you can marry a Singaporean. However, if you are currently or previously a Work Permit holder, you will need to get an approval from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

The duration of stay after a work pass expires is at the sole discretion of the Ministry of Manpower. By default, an S-Pass or Employment Pass / PEP holder has to make arrangements to leave Singapore within 1 month from the date of pass expiry. Work Permit holders on the other hand have about 2 weeks on average.

However, the duration may change depending on the circumstances that led to the pass expiry or termination, including but not limited to Employment Termination, Misconduct, Criminal Charges, Resignation, and closure of business entities just to name a few.

No, you would need to have a job offer by a Singapore-registered company first. The employer or an authorised employment agent will apply for your work pass on your behalf to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Yes, it can be challenging to secure a work visa in Singapore. Due to Singapore’s size, reliance on foreign talent is dependent on gaps in the workforce that locals are unable to fill. Gaps could also be present in areas where locals lack the talent and expertise. For such, the Singapore Government is reliant on highly qualified foreigners to complement the local talent pool.

Qualified candidates may thus find it relatively easy to get a Singapore work pass, depending on the type of employment and the type of pass you are eligible for. A foreigner needs to be offered a job by a Singapore-registered company first before getting a work pass. Most of the work pass can only be applied by the employer or an authorised agent on behalf of the candidate. 

Business owners on the other hand can secure a valid Work Pass as the Director of their own newly incorporated business fairly easily, so long as they have the right documentation and possess a relatively clean record during the necessary due diligence checks.

No, once you attain an IPA for whichever pass, you are required to complete the issuance process before you are eligible to commence working. With the issuance done, MOM will provide a temporary documentation (Notification Letter) that allows the applicant to commence working.

He/She is concurrently required to schedule an appointment at the MOM Pass office to register their biometrics and iris scans. The actual pass will then be ready for collection in a couple of weeks time.

You can stay in Singapore for the period of your travel visa only. An IPA is not treated as a travel visa. Although IPAs typically have a 3-6 month validity, successful applicants are advised to complete the IPA processing as soon as possible to avoid any complications that may arise due to overstaying.

The main difference is in salary scales and job technical expertise. The respective passes are meant for professionals with mid-level skills and high-level qualifications and technicians. Apart from the eligibility, S Pass holders are granted mandatory medical insurance while Employment Pass (EP) holders are granted more perks, such as family passes, should their salary threshold meet minimum requirements. Further, business will need to adhere to quota requirements before qualifying to apply for an S-Pass. However, there are no quotas set out for Employment Passes (EP).

No, S Pass and Work Permit are two different work passes in Singapore. S Pass is for mid-level skilled workers while Work Permit is for semi skilled and migrant workers.

As of 1 Sep 2023, a minimum fixed monthly salary of $3,150 is needed for a candidate to be eligible for an S Pass in non-financial related positions. This figure will increase progressively with age and may have a base requirement of up to $4,650 for candidates aged 45 years old and above. 

For applicants in the Financial Services sector, the fixed monthly salary is S$3,650 and will increase progressively with age and may have a base requirement of up to $5,650 for candidates aged 45 years old and above.

There will be further changes to the S Pass qualifying salary on 1 September 2025 onwards.

Both the E Pass (aka Employment Pass or EP) and S Pass have their own distinct features. One is not better than the other. Depending on one’s qualifications and experience plus the employers company hierarchy and structure, attaining an S-Pass or EP may serve the same purpose. It is best to seek the advise from a professional like IASG before embarking on one’s foreign talent staffing strategy.

With the borders opening up and Singapore’s further enforcement of the Fair Consideration Framework, it is becoming increasingly challenging to attain an Employment Pass (EP). Jobs which can be fulfilled by locals should ideally be accorded to such. There has a seismic shift now in looking on to foreign talent that can immediately complement the local talent pool.

For candidates who meets such criteria or possess such skillsets, it is relatively easy to get an Employment Pass in Singapore, as long as the candidate meets all the other prevailing eligibility criteria.

Employment pass may be rejected due to the reasons below:

  • Tightening of regulations by MOM
  • No efforts in hiring local workers by the employer
  • Company does not have sufficient funds
  • Candidate’s proposed salary
  • Job scope and candidate’s qualifications do not match
  • Position can be easily replaced by a Singaporean
  • Applicant did not fulfil the eligibility criteria
  • Discrepancies in applicant’s personal information

According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), 85% of online applications are processed within 3 weeks. For overseas companies without a Singapore-registered office, it will take within 8 weeks for most cases.

MOM will exercise best practices to process all applications within its standard service level agreement requirements. However, there could be times when there are influx of applications that may surge and cause delays in overall processing times. For example, when the Singapore Government announced easing on border measures, there was a surge in EP and SPass applications that delayed overall processing time.

An Employment Pass allows a foreigner to work in Singapore without the need for attaining any other special visas. After 2 years, the foreigner is eligible to apply for a Singapore Permanent Residence. EP holders who earns the minimum threshold may also be eligible to sponsor their Spouse and Children below 21 years old under a Dependent’s Pass (DP).

An EP is typically granted for 2 years. Employment Pass (EP) may be renewed thereafter for up to 3 years at a time. This is again at the sole discretion of the Ministry of Manpower.

Apply for a Singapore Work Pass with IASG!

We can guide you through the various types of Work Passes available and help to submit your applications to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Consult with us today!