Work Visas and Permanent Residence Application in Singapore

Dec 17, 2022News

In an effort to strengthen Singapore’s position as a global hub for talent, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is continuously updating the criteria for approving foreign work passes. This ensures local candidates are fairly considered and help businesses to grow.

If you are a foreigner and want to work in Singapore, here are some common work visas that are available:

1. Employment Pass (EP)

The Employment Pass is for foreign professionals, managers, and executives who have a job offer in Singapore. The candidates require having acceptable qualifications – a good university degree, professional qualifications, or specialized skills.

They need to earn a fixed monthly income of:

–   For all (except financial services): A base salary of at least S$4,500 (before 1 September 2023)

–   For all (except financial services): A base salary of at least S$5,000 (starting from 1 September 2023)

–   For financial services: A base salary of at least S$5,000 (before 1 September 2023)

–   For financial services: A base salary of at least S$5,500 (starting from 1 September 2023)

The qualifying salary for EP applicants in their 40s will be increased accordingly, approximately double the minimum qualifying salary for younger applicants in their 20s.

2. Personalized Employment Pass (PEP)

The personalized employment pass is for high-earning existing EP holders or overseas foreign professionals.

The criteria to apply for PEP:

  Within 6 months before you apply, your last drawn fixed monthly salary overseas should be at least $18,000

  An existing EP holder with a fixed monthly salary of at least $12,000

This criterion is applicable before 1 September 2023. From 1 September 2023, the fixed monthly salary will increase to $22,500 for both existing EP holders and overseas foreign professionals.

    3. EntrePass

    An Entrepreneur Pass is intended for serial entrepreneurs, high-caliber innovators, or experienced investors who want to operate a business in Singapore.  You need to meet certain conditions to apply for this:

      Have started, or intend to start, a private limited company registered with ACRA that is venture-backed or owns innovative technologies

    o   If registered, the company must be less than 6 months old on the date you apply

    o   If not registered, you can do so after you know the outcome of your application

      Meet any of the following innovative criteria as an entrepreneur, innovator, or investor


    • Has funding from a government-recognized VC or business angel
    • Is an incubatee at a government-recognized incubator or accelerator
    • Has a business network and entrepreneurial track record


    • Holds an intellectual property
    • Has a research collaboration with an IHL or research institute in Singapore
    • Has extraordinary achievements in key areas of expertise


    ·  Has an investment track record

    4. Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass

    This pass provides employment flexibility by allowing eligible applicants to concurrently start, operate and work for multiple companies in Singapore.

    Work pass holders and overseas candidates can apply if they meet either of the salary criteria:

      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

    In addition, overseas candidates need to demonstrate that they have been working or will be working for an established company overseas for at least 1 year.

    5. S Pass

    A Skilled foreign Pass is a common visa for mid-level skilled staff. Candidates need to earn at least:

      For all (except financial service): a fixed monthly salary of $3,000 (increases progressively with age from age 23, up to $4,500 at age 45 and above)

      For financial service: a fixed monthly salary of $3,500 (increases progressively with age from age 23, up to $4,500 at age 45 and above) 

    The criteria above are applicable for new applications or renewals from 1 September 2023 onwards.

    Renewals before 1 September 2023, need to have a fixed monthly salary of at least  $2,500 (increases progressively with age)

    Need help with your application?

    We will help you with

    •   Pre-application advising on Employment Pass (EP) and gathering of the necessary information
    •   Online filing of Employment Pass application
    •   Tracking EP application status while under processing
    •   Liaising with the Direct MOM officer in charge, if required
    •   Responding to MOM’s requests for additional information, if any
    •   Arranging for issuance of EP card upon in-principle approval (IPA)
    •   Filing of unlimited appeal in case of rejection of EP application

    If you are an EP holder, you can apply to be a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR)!

    There are three routes to apply for permanent residency. The most common route is through the Professionals/Technical Personnel and Skilled Worker Scheme (PTS). The second route is through the Global Investor Program (GIP) – foreign investors can invest S$2.5 million into the Singapore economy. The third route is through the Foreign Artistic Scheme, which is for acclaimed artists in photography, dance, music, theatre, literature, or film.

    Your application will be assessed based on the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) ‘s PR criteria. All applications must be submitted online using the e-service – link to

    Applicants will be graded based on the following factors:

      Type of work pass (EP, PEP, S-Pass, or EntrePass)

      Duration of stay in Singapore

      Marital Status

      Academic qualification

      Basic monthly salary


      Kindship ties in Singapore (any family members in Singapore)

      Contribution to Singapore’s Economy

    If you are a foreign investor in Singapore planning to relocate to Singapore, you can apply for PR at the Singapore Economic Development Board under the Global Investor Programme

    Your investment is valuable to the country as it will create employment and generate economic spin-offs. You could either launch a new enterprise or enrich existing ones in Singapore. Your investment not only benefits the country but also your company as the country has established friendly business policies, modern infrastructure, relatively low taxes, good environment with a pool of talents to help your company to grow. What you need to prove to the authorities are your business plan and your expertise. Under the GIP scheme, you can also apply for your family members. 

    For more detailed information on the GIP Scheme!

    PR applications will take about six months to process, provided all documents required are submitted.

    Do note that all male Singapore citizens and permanent residents are required to serve the National Service (NS) for 2 years. Usually, male applicants who are granted PR status as foreign students under their parents’ sponsorship are required to register for NS upon reaching 16 years old and will be scheduled for enlistment at the earliest upon reaching 18 years old.


    Nevertheless, applicants who are granted PR status under the Professionals/Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers Scheme or Investor Scheme are exempted from serving the NS.

    Ready to register PR Application?


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