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EP vs. PEP – Rights, similarities, and differences

2 minute read

Employment Pass (EP) and Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) are just 2 of the work passes available to foreigners who want to stay and work in Singapore.


Employment Pass (EP)

The characteristics of an Employment Pass are:

  • This work pass is for foreign professionals, managers, and executives earning at least S$5,000 a month with acceptable qualifications. Older and more experienced candidates are expected to earn higher salaries to qualify, up to S$10,500 for candidate in mid-40s.
  • For candidates in the financial services sector, they will need to earn at least S$5,500 a month and have acceptable qualifications to qualify for the pass. Older candidates will need higher salaries to qualify, up to $11,500 for each candidate in their mid-40s.
  • The validity of the EP is usually 2 years for new applications and 3 years for renewals.
  • An Employment Pass holder needs to apply for a new EP if the holder plans to change employers.
  • There is no foreign worker levy or quota required.
  • The EP holder can be the director and/or shareholder of a company.
  • The EP application takes about 3 weeks to process.
  • The EP holder is eligible to apply for long-term passes for spouse and children if the monthly salary is at least $6,000 and for parents if the monthly salary is at least $12,000.

Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)

The characteristics of a Personalised Employment Pass are:

  • This work pass is for overseas foreign professionals earning more than S$18,000 a month and Employment Pass holders who earn at least S$12,000 a month.
    • From 1 Sep 2023, the minimum qualifying salary will be raised to S$22,500.
  • The PEP is not tied to an employer and it offers a greater flexibility than an Employment Pass. The PEP holder can move to a different employer without the need to apply for a new PEP, as long as it is within the validity period of the current PEP.
  • The PEP holder can be without a job for up to 6 months to look for new employment.
  • The validity of a PEP is 3 years and is not renewable upon expiry.
    • The PEP is a one-time issued pass and the holder will not be able to get another PEP once it has expired or cancelled.
  • There is no foreign worker levy or quota required.
  • The PEP holder cannot be a director and/or sole shareholder of a company.
  • The PEP application takes about 8 weeks to process
  • The PEP holder is eligible to apply for long term passes for spouse, children and parents.


EP and PEP are distinctly different work passes for different types of candidates. You have to consider in depth the differences between the 2 work passes and the requirements for each of them before you proceed to apply for it.

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