Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Employment Pass Rejected. Why? What to do?

Singapore Employment Pass (EP) is a type of work visa issued to foreign professional employees, managers, and owners/directors of Singapore companies by Singapore's Manpower Ministery. Unlike other work visas, there is no official quota system limiting the number of Employment Passes that can be issued to a company. You will need to have one to work in Singapore as an executive even if you work for a short period of time.

But your application for this pass may be rejected due to one or more of many reasons. The problem may be you (you may be under-qualified or you do not submit correct documents or information) or your employer (they may have too much Employment Pass holders, they may not look big, sound or legitimate enough business etc.). It may also be your or your companies agent. Or you may be in a position where there are more than enough locals with the same qualification available. So it is important to;
  • Make sure that you are qualified. For example, you need minimum $3000 SGD per month salary to get the lowest level Employment Pass. If you exactly get this amount or less, you decrease your chances. Also check with MOM whether your college or university is a recognized one.

  • Make sure that you or your employer work with a good agent and make sure that you provide all documents required to be submitted.

  • Obviously do not submit fake documents.

  • Do not make spelling errors. If you spell your university name incorrectly, do not be surprised to get a straight rejection. Double check all words.
  • Obviously do not submit misinformation. Actually, you may accidentally submit wrong information which can be interpreted as misinformation. When you appeal for this, you may make the officer think that you cannot even understand a question how come you are qualified to get EP! So make sure that you understand everything clearly, and in doubt double ask/check the questions.

  • If you are an older and experienced worker, 3,000 SGD per month salary will not qualify you for holding Singapore Employment Pass. You need to earn significantly higher.
Employment Pass application may be rejected and if the application is rejected, you need to submit an appeal submitted in writing to Singapore Ministry Of Manpower (MOM)'s Work Pass Division within one month of receiving the rejection letter via post or the iSubmit web portal.

Since 2011, Singapore government took several steps to tighten Singapore work visa requirements to slow the intake of foreign workers. The salary minimum levels are increased and number of recognized universities are reduced. So it is more difficult to get approvals nowadays. It even seems like the intention is now to reduce some excess foreign manpower since some people who are already working in Singapore are rejected in their Employment Pass renewal or when they change company (you need a new Employment Pass when you change employer).

So if you are an Employment Pass holder which was approved 2-3 years back and you think your qualification and education is not very high, it may be better for you to think twice before changing employer. The boom times of 2005 - 2009 period where it was much easier to get Employment Pass and Permanent Residency is over.


  1. Most of the time people face this problem. So you need to consult some specialized authority to avoid the hassle of rejection. One Visa consultants helps you in processing the application for Singapore Employment Pass in short period of time and with positive results.

  2. sir, will provisional diploma certificate, all semester mark sheets and support documents be enough to prove my educational qualification for an s-pass?