What has changed
Effective January 1, 2017, to qualify for an Employment Pass (EP) the candidate must earn a minimum fixed monthly salary of S$3,600, and meet other criteria such as qualifications and experience. Those with more years of experience are required to command higher salaries commensurate with their work experience and skill sets, as per current practice.
The current minimum fixed monthly salary requirement is S$3,300, which the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) raised from S$3,000 in January 2014.
Who is affected?
- All employers in Singapore who currently sponsor or may sponsor EPs in the future should be aware of this change.
What to expect
Compliance requirements for EP renewals for existing EP holders are governed by the expiration date of the current EP:
- Expiration Date before January 1, 2017: Employers will be able to renew the EP, subject to the employee meeting the existing EP criteria, for up to a maximum of three (3) years.
- Expiration Date between January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017 (both dates inclusive): Employers will be able to renew the EP, subject to the employee meeting the existing EP criteria, for a maximum of one (1) year.
- Expiration Date July 1, 2017 and onwards: The employee will have to meet the new EP criteria to be eligible for the renewal of the EP. The maximum duration granted for renewal of EP is three (3) years.
As a reminder, current EP holders who are moving to a different employer in Singapore are considered new EP applicants.
Employers are encouraged to use the Self Assessment Tool (SAT) on the MOM website to assess if their candidates would be eligible for EPs, or if their employees on EPs continue to be eligible for the EPs. If an employee is no longer eligible for an EP, then their employer will need to apply for an S Pass if they wish to continue to employ the foreigner. The SAT will be updated by November 2016 to meet the new salary criteria.
What you need to do
- Clients will need to meet the new salary requirement to sponsor an EP in accordance with the timeline outlined above.
- Firms which employ fresh graduates, or those coming on short-term assignment from other countries where salaries are typically lower, are likely to be most affected by this change and should plan ahead accordingly.
- Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client
The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.