Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Singapore Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) criteria tightened

Singapore Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), is a special type of Singapore work visa issued to highly-skilled foreigners. Unlike ordinary Employment Pass (EP), PEP is independent of any employer and allows its holder to stay in Singapore for up to 6 months in between jobs.[1] With normal Employment Pass, you can only stay in Singapore up to a month if you lose your job so for this reason many EP holders try to get PEP to have better flexibility and security in their jobs in Singapore.

Currently about 12,000, 7 per cent of the 174,000 Employment Pass holders have PEP. But this number is set to fall as Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced that starting December 2012, foreign professionals applying for a personalised employment pass (PEP) will have to meet more stringent criteria that includes a minimum annual fixed salary of S$144,000, up four-fold from the existing S$34,000 a year.[2]:
From 1 December 2012, the qualifying criteria for the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) will be raised and some of its features will be refined. This ensures that the PEP remains a premium pass for top-tier foreign talent and is in line with recent moves to raise the quality of Employment Pass holders. P1 Pass holders who earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $12,000 and overseas-based foreign professionals whose last drawn fixed monthly salary was at least $18,000 will be eligible for the PEP. For overseas-based foreign professionals, they should not have been unemployed for longer than a continuous period of 6 months at the point of application. Correspondingly, the minimum annual fixed salary requirement will be increased to $144,000.
 The period of validity of the PEP will be reduced to 3 years. [3]

The changes will apply to all new PEP applicants, including existing P1 Pass holders who wish to apply for the PEP. There is no immediate impact on existing PEP holders. MOM will give all existing PEP holders until 31 Dec 2014 to meet the revised minimum annual fixed salary requirement of $144,000.

Previously PEP was available for current and former P1 Employment Pass holders and overseas-based foreign professionals with $8,000+ salary, P2 Pass holders with at least 2 years’ on a P Pass and earned a fixed salary of at least $34,000 in the preceding year, Q1 Pass holders with at least 5 years’ on a Q1 Pass and earned a fixed salary of at least $34,000 in the preceding year and foreign graduates from Singapore’s Institutes of Higher Learning with at least 2 years’ on an Employment Pass and earned a fixed salary of
at least $34,000 in the preceding year.[3]

See this PDF file titled CHANGES TO PERSONALISED EMPLOYMENT PASS (PEP) for the details of the new changes and answers to frequently asked questions.

[1] - Singapore Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)
[2] - MOM tightens criteria for premium employment pass
[3] - Changes to the Personalised Employment Pass

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