Qualifying Salary for Singapore Employment Pass To Be Raised To S$3,600

Starting 1 January 2017, the minimum qualifying monthly salary for Singapore Employment Pass holders will be raised from S$3,300 to S$3,600, announced the Ministry of Manpower on Tuesday. This change is brought about as part of the ministry’s goal of regularly updating the salary criteria in order to keep pace with increasing local wages, maintain the quality of the foreign workforce, and further improve complementarity to the local workforce.


The Employment Pass is intended for foreign individuals who are handling executive, managerial, or specialised work positions. Taking effect next year, the ministry will only consider EP applications of foreign workers who can command a salary of at least S$3,600, given that the applicant also satisfies other qualifications such as having professional experience, good educational background, and specialist skillset. On the other hand, individuals who possess more credentials must command higher compensation that matches their breadth of experience.


The last update for Employment Pass holders’ minimum qualifying salary happened in January 2014 from S$3,000 to S$3,300.


According to the MOM, companies will be provided with ample lead time to adjust to the changes. As such, existing current Employment Pass holders with passes that will expire:


  1. Before 1 January 2017: Employment Pass holders will be able to renew, for a duration of up to three years, based on existing EP criteria.
  2. Between 1 January 2017 and 30 June 2017 (both dates inclusive): Employment Pass holders will be able to renew, for a duration of one year, based on the existing EP criteria.
  3. 1 July 2017 onwards: Employment Pass holders will have to meet the new criteria for renewal, for a duration of up to three years.


MOM highly encourages employers and candidates to use the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) in order to clearly assess if the applicant passes the minimum requirements and qualifications for the pass. Positive results mean that the applicant has a higher likelihood that the application for the pass will be approved. Take note that this, however, does not ensure that the pass will be approved. The SAT Tool will be updated by MOM based on the new criteria on November of this year.


“The manpower policy framework is designed to meet the manpower needs of the economy, so that businesses can stay competitive and grow, and ultimately create more and better jobs in Singapore,” mentioned MOM in its press release.


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