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.


Difference between the PEP and the EP

  • 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)

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 on a freelance basis 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 set up a company, you would need to apply for an EntrePass.

How to apply for a PEP

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 and earn a fixed salary of at least S$144,000 per calendar year, regardless of the number of months you are employed. 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.

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.

Next steps

If you’re ready to take your business from dream to reality, we can help you make it happen. Get tailored, practical advice from us about your situation – get in touch with us today.

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