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The Personalized Employment Pass in Singapore

The Personalized Employment Pass in Singapore

Singapore is a very welcoming country to foreign citizens seeking to relocate here for employment purposes. During the years, the Ministry of Manpower has enabled various types of work visas for foreign workers. These permits help both the employees and Singapore companies searching for highly-skilled individuals.

One of these permits is the personalized employment pass (PEP) which is different from the other work permits because it allows a foreigner to apply directly for it. Also, the Singapore personalized employment pass does not cover investors interested in company registration in Singapore. Also referred to as the EP, this type of work permit has several advantages, among which the fact that the holder can also bring other family members to Singapore based on it.

Our company formation experts in Singapore can assist foreign investors interested in starting a business here. Our specialists are also at the service of those who interested in Singapore EP renewal prior to its expiry.

Who is eligible for the personalized employment pass in Singapore?

The Singapore PEP falls under the regulations of the Conditions of Work Pass Act and the Employment of Foreign Manpower Law and is destined for highly-skilled individuals. Holders of Singapore work permits earning a monthly wage of 12,000 SGD may also apply for a personalized employment visa. As for foreigners, professionals with a monthly salary of 18,000 SGD are allowed to apply for a personalized employment pass in Singapore. The total salary for a whole year must be at least 144,000 SGD in order to be eligible for a Singapore personalized work permit.

The PEP has a 3-year validity period and cannot be renewed. Our Singapore company formation consultants can offer information on the employment legislation applicable in the city-state. They can also assist foreign investors who want to open a company in Singapore.

We can also guide foreign citizens employed here on the work permit renewal in Singapore.

How to apply for a Singapore personalized employment pass

Foreign professionals interested in applying for a personalized employment visa must prepare the following documents:

  • – a passport copy;
  • – educational diplomas;
  • – copy of the work contract, as well as copies after the previous work contracts, if applicable;
  • – a resume;
  • – payslips with the salary of the last three months;
  • – a bank account statement;
  • – the last tax statement.

Foreign citizens working in Singapore companies must also submit information about their current employers. Upon the expiry of the personalized employment pass, a foreign worker may apply for a regular work permit or even for a residence permit.

The difference between a work permit and a Personalized Employment Pass

Generally speaking, both types of visas enable foreign citizens to work in Singapore, however, the main difference between them and to the advantage of the PEP is that is not connected to a specific employer. In other words, overseas citizens can work for any employer in the city-state.

On the other hand, the PEP is designated only for highly skilled migrants, which is why when choosing between one or the other, it is best to consider these two important aspects.

If you are a foreign citizen and want to come to work in the city-state, our agents can guide on the suitable type of work permit.

We specialize in company formation, so if you run a foreign company, we can also help you set up a branch office in Singapore.

Who is not eligible for a Singapore PEP?

While we have presented who is eligible to obtain a Personalized Employment Pass in Singapore, there are also categories of persons who are not eligible for it. These are:

  1. people who come to work in Singapore under various sponsorship programs;
  2. freelancers and entrepreneurs coming to work here as self-employed people;
  3. sole traders, company directors and shareholders of companies;
  4. journalists, producers and other people who work in the media sector.

Also, people who plan on starting their own businesses in Singapore are not eligible for Personalized Employment Pass.

Our Singapore company formation consultants are at your service if you want to open a business here.

The main requirements to keep a Singapore PEP

Once obtained, the PEP must also be maintained and for this, several conditions must be met. These are:

  1. while in Singapore, the foreign citizen must not stay unemployed for more than 6 months while switching jobs;
  2. if the person changes the employer, he or she must notify the Ministry of Manpower;
  3. the PEP holder must also earn at least 144,000 SGD per year, no matter the duration of the work contract in the respective year;
  4. any change in the address must also be notified to the Ministry of Employment;
  5. a declaration stating the salary for the current year must be reported to the same Ministry at the beginning of the year (no later than January 31st).

If your permit is about to expire, we recommend you use our Singapore EP renewal services.

The main benefits of a Singapore PEP

A Singapore Personalized Employment pass comes with several benefits, apart from the one mentioned in the beginning of this article. Among these, the fact that a foreign citizen can work in any sector. However, for qualified professions such as those related to accounting, medical and pharmaceutical fields the person must register with the authorities governing them.

Also, if the holder leaves the job, he or she can continue living in Singapore for up to 6 months, during which the person can find a new contract.

We remind you that our company registration agents can also help foreign business owners to open a branch in Singapore if they want to expand their operations here.

Companies that have hired foreign workers can also rely on us for work permit renewal in Singapore for their overseas employees.

Bringing family members to Singapore under the PEP

One of the greatest advantages of the PEP is that the holder can reunite with close family members, such as:

  • – the spouse or common-law partner;
  • – minor children and unmarried children with ages above 21;
  • – stepchildren below the age of 21;
  • – parents.

In the case of spouses and minor children, dependent passes must be applied for. For the other relatives mentioned above, long-term visitor visas are required.

We can also assist with employment pass renewal in Singapore.

How many foreigners work in Singapore?

Considering that Singapore’s population is made of expats in a large portion, this also applies to its labor force. According to the Ministry of Manpower, in June 2021:

  • – the total foreign workforce was made of 1,197,100 overseas employees;
  • – there were 834,300 foreign employees with valid work permits in the city-state;
  • – out of these, 166,900 were Employment Pass holders;
  • – another 164,200 people held S Passes;
  • – an impressive 304,200 people worked in the construction, marine and shipyard sectors.

If you would like to open a company in Singapore and need information about hiring foreign employees, please contact our company formation agents. If you need more information on the employment pass renewal in Singapore, you can rely on our local agents.