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How to get a Personalised Employment Pass in Singapore

3 minute read

The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is a visa targeted at top-tier professionals and managers, and comes with additional perks compared to an Employment Pass (EP).

The PEP is definitely a desirable choice if you qualify, and is often the preferred visa choice for high-calibre executives because it allows you more mobility within Singapore’s employment market. This article will give you a high-level overview of the PEP and its differences to its cousin, the EP.


Getting a PEP will mark the start of your new life if Singapore

Difference between the PEP and the EP

FeatureEmployment Pass (EP)Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)
OverviewFor foreign professionals, managers and executivesFor high-earning existing Employment Pass holders or overseas foreign professionals
Requirements– Have a job offer in SG
– Managerial, executive or specialised skills
– Fixed monthly salary comparable to top ⅓ of PMET by age
– Must not be unemployed in SG for more than 6 mths at any time
– Earn a fixed salary of at least S$144,000 per calendar year, regardless of no of mths in employment.
– If PEP is approved after 1 Sep 2023, must earn a fixed salary of at least S$270,000 per cal year
Can incorporate a business in Singapore?✔ As a Private LimitedPEP holders are not allowed to start a business or conduct any form of entrepreneurial activities
Minimum salary requirement

– All except financial services: At least S$5,000 / mth (increases progressively)

– Financial services: At least S$5,500 / mth (increases progressively)

– Existing EP holders: At least S$12,000 / mth

– Overseas foreign professionals: At least S$18,000 / mth. Last drawn salary should be within 6 mths before applying

Duration of passFirst-time candidates: up to 2 years3 years
Is it renewable?Yes. Renewals are up to 3 yearsNo. This pass is non renewable
  • PEP holders can look for work after they are in Singapore, unlike EP holders who need to gain employment before their arrival
  • PEP holders can opt to stay in Singapore for up to 6 months even after their employment contract has ended for job hunting
  • PEP holders can have the freedom to change employers and job sectors, allowing experimentation in their career
  • Applicants should hold appropriate academic qualifications (a university degree, or professional qualifications)

How Difficult Is It To Get A Singapore Personalised Employment Pass?

It is not difficult to get a personalised employment pass or PEP. The only catch is that you need to prepare all the necessary documents, pass the eligibility criteria, bring proof of your education and salary, and not have an existing employment pass. Satisfy all these and applying for a PEP should be a breeze.

In the worst case scenarios, applications for personalised employment pass can get complicated when there are missing documents or there are irregularities in the details like your name.

If you feel like you may need help with your PEP application, you can get an employment agency to help you out. An employment agency should be able to assist you in navigating the complexities of applying for a PEP.

Your PEP is your first step towards a Singapore permanent residency

Who is eligible for a PEP?

As PEP is a visa for top-tier professionals, the eligibility to qualify depends on the previously earned monthly salaries of the applicant. In order to qualify for PEP, the applicant must:

  • either draw a fixed monthly salary of at least S$18,000 within the last 6 months, or
  • earn at least S$12,000 if you are currently an Employment Pass (EP) holder

In addition to meeting one of the salary criteria, you must also:

  • possess a recognized degree from a well-established education institution
  • prove that you have 3-5 years of professional expertise in the relevant field and showcase your prominent employment history

There are also several exclusions to this visa – those who intend to work freelance without any direct employers, sole proprietors/directors/shareholders in ACRA-registered companies, and journalists, sub-editors, or producers.  This is because PEP holders are expressly prohibited from starting a business or conducting any form of entrepreneurial activity.

If you would want to start and operate a company in Singapore, you might want to consider other visa permits, such as an Employment Pass (EP), EntrePass or Overseas Networks & Expertise (ONE) Pass.

How to apply for a Personalised Employment Pass

Unlike the EP, an employer doesn’t need to apply for a PEP on your behalf, you can apply for it on your own. If you are a new applicant, you need these documents:

  • Your educational certifications and qualifications
  • Relevant employment contacts
  • Documentations that prove your employment background
  • A copy of your passport’s particulars page
  • Salary slips from the last 3 months
  • Bank statements & latest tax statement

You will need to provide these documents in perfect order and translated in English, otherwise your application can be delayed.  You can check the status of your PEP application here.

To ensure the validity of your PEP, you must not be unemployed in Singapore for more than 6 months at anytime and earn a fixed salary of at least S$144,000 per calendar year, regardless of the number of months you are employed. Please note that if your PEP is approved after 01 Sept 2023, you would need to earn a fixed salary of at least S$270,000 per calendar year. You also need to alert MOM as to your annual salary, any time you start or leave a job, and any time you update your contact details.

At this stage, seeking the assistance of a visa specialist such as Sleek, with in-depth knowledge of the approval process, can be beneficial. We can make your application hassle-free by suggesting the appropriate additional information or documentation needed at every stage of your application 

Not sure about the visa application process?

How Long Does A Personalised Employment Pass Application Take?

Normally, PEP applications get processed in about eight weeks

When you receive approval of your PEP application, you will be sent an IPA or In-Principle-Approval letter. This letter is valid for up to six months. This should be enough time for you to collect your PEP from the Ministry of Manpower or MOM office in Singapore. The letter will also detail a few other requirements you need to bring to claim your Personalised Employment Pass.

Your Personalised Employment Pass has a validity of three years. If you have dependents who are on a PEP-sponsored Dependent’s Pass, they will have no problems staying in the country as long as your PEP is valid.

Not all PEP applications get accepted so make sure you do it right

How much does the PEP application cost?

The costs that are applicable when applying for a PEP, along with their corresponding related expenses, are as follows:

  • PEP Application: S$650, inclusive of one free appeal and 50% refund for rejected applications on Sleek’s consulting fee. This excludes MOM’s fee of S$330.

What happens if my PEP application is rejected?

Under certain exceptional situations, the MOM may reject your application. If that happens, you can submit an appeal, which takes at least 3 weeks or more to be reviewed by MOM. Your application success is dependent on how well you sell your skill set and personal merits.

What Do You Need To Do To Maintain Your Personalised Employment Pass?

Maintaining your PEP is not difficult. You only need to ensure your contact and employment information is up-to-date with the authorities. You can do this in two different ways.

  1. The Personalised Employment Pass Notification Form (PEP notification form)

  2. Employment Pass Online Account (EPOL)

If you want to open an EPOL account, you only need to login with Singpass. Singpass is a digital ID that you will be using for a lot, if not all, of transactions with the government.

These are the information you can update on the PEP notification form:

  • Any changes in your employment status.
    Any change in one’s employment needs to be reflected on your PEP within 7 days. Your employer will also need to update your information regarding employment status through the Notification Form for Employers.

  • Change of local contact

  • Annual Salary.
    This information needs to be declared within 30 days from the last day of the calendar year.

With your EPOL account, you can change the following information in your Personalised Employment Pass

  • Travel document related changes or renewals.

  • Reporting of damaged or lost PEP cards. You can get a replacement card through EPOL.

  • Changes in residential address.

How Do I Renew my PEP?

Compared to other form of employment pass, the Personalised Employment Pass cannot be renewed after its three-year expiration. If your PEP has expired and you still want to stay and work in Singapore, you need to apply for an Employment Pass or Permanent Residency.

Your Personalised Employment Pass can also be canceled at any point in time. However, if you choose to cancel your PEP, you are no longer able to apply for another one.

Some other Qs:
Can a PEP holder incorporate a business in Singapore?

Can a PEP holder be a shareholder or director in Singapore? 

Next steps

Getting your PEP can be challenging but it is all worth it.

You might be interested in reading about:

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