Working in Singapore: Personalised Employment Pass

Working in Singapore: Personalised Employment Pass

Perhaps the most elusive of all the work visas available in Singapore, the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) offers foreign talent greater flexibility and opportunities than any other pass. While it confers many benefits, this pass is not a long-term option as it holds a validity of up to three years and cannot be renewed upon expiry.

Primarily aimed at attracting some of the world’s greatest talents to Singapore, the PEP ensures that the foreign applicant would be able to work in any occupation in any industry, provided that the criteria for entering certain specialised fields such as law or medicine are fulfilled. Unlike the Employment Pass, the PEP does not tie the applicant to any one employer. Whether he or she remains in the same company would not affect the PEP status.

Another important benefit of this pass is that the applicant would be able to gain a first-hand understanding of the jobs market in Singapore. The applicant would be able to remain in Singapore for up to six months without being employed, and to use this time to assess various companies to find the right match for him or her. This is much unlike the other passes that are granted to foreign professionals only once the applicant has secured a place in the company. The PEP holder however, should note that their pass does not allow them to engage in any freelance or entrepreneurial activities.

Am I eligible for a Personalised Employment Pass?

You may apply for a PEP if you meet either requirement:

  1. You are a foreign professional. Your last drawn fixed monthly salary overseas was at least S$18,000. Your last drawn salary should have been given to you within six months before the application.
  2. You are an Employment Pass holder in Singapore. You are earning a fixed monthly salary of at least S$12,000.

However, do note that if you’re an Employment Pass holder under the sponsorship scheme, you would not be eligible for the PEP. The same applies for any sole proprietor, partner or director and shareholder in an ACRA-registered company. Journalists, editors, sub-editors or producers are also not eligible for the PEP.

Once the pass has been issued, the applicant has six months to find regular employment or he or she would need to cancel the pass. The applicant would also need to earn a fixed salary of at least S$144,000 per calendar year, irrespective of the number of months that he or she is employed.

Who may join me in Singapore?

As long as you hold a PEP, you will be able to bring in your spouse, children and parents. The type of passes given to them is similar to that of the Employment Pass and EntrePass.

Dependant’s Pass
  1. Legally-married spouse
  2. Unmarried children under 21
Long Term Visit Pass
  1. Common-law spouse
  2. Unmarried handicapped children above 21
  3. Unmarried step-children under 21
  4. Parents

How do I apply for a Personalised Employment Pass?

First complete the PEP Application Form (here) and gather the documents listed in the form’s annex. If you’re never applied for a work pass in Singapore before, you would also have to bring along the following documents when the application is submitted at any Singpost branch:

  1. Educational Certificates
  2. Employment contracts of new or previous employment if any
  3. Employment history
  4. Latest 3 months of salary slips and bank account statements
  5. Latest tax statement

Note that any documents that are not in English, a copy of the original document and an English translation should be submitted.

Following your application, you would receive an In-Principal Approval (IPA) letter within 5 weeks. These would be mailed to the Singapore address listed in your application. Within 6 months of receipt of the former, you would need to come to Singapore for the pass to be issued.

The issuance of the pass can be requested using EP Online if you have a Singpass. If you do not have one, make an appointment with the Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC) and bring along your completed Card Delivery Form and other supporting documents.

Once the pass has been issued, refer to your notification letter to see if you need to register your fingerprints and photograph. If so, please make an appointment to do so at the EPSC within 2 weeks, and bring along your appointment letter, notification letter, and the other documents listed in the IPA for document verification. You will then be able to receive your card within 4 working days.

For a step-by-step guide on applying for a Personalised Employment Pass, please visit the Ministry of Manpower’s website (here).

15 Sep 2016