How to increase your chances of a successful EP application in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis?

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Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, obtaining an Employment Pass (EP) visa to live and work in Singapore as a foreigner has become more complex as the Singapore Government has taken measures to ensure that companies consider local talent considerably before employing foreigner workers. 

For instance, in early September, the minimum salary requirements for EP and S Pass holders were increased and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has also increased the requirements for documentation to be provided as part of visa applications.


If you are a foreigner wanting to live and work in Singapore, the good news is that the process for applying for a visa remains clear and that by complying and meeting the requirement you still have a good chance of  obtaining an EP as well as Dependant’s Pass (DP) for the family and Letter of Consent ( LOC) for those DP holders who wish to work in Singapore.

Criteria for obtaining an EP

Singapore still remains a hub for international companies and continues to attract foreign investment, Singapore is by no means closing its door to foreign works as the Little Red Dot recognizes the positive contribution of a foreign talent pool. 


Herein lies some of the recent updates to criterias  for EP applications: 

  • Firms applying for new Employment Passes for foreign professionals will need to pay them a base salary of at least S$4,500. This is for people with limited experience.
  • For professionals with greater experience a salary of S$7,000-8,000 and above is common
  • People working in the finance sector with an EP will have to earn a minimum salary of S$5,000 (from 1st December 2020)
  • New salary criteria will come into effect from 1st May 2021 for EP renewal


The list above is not exhaustive. More information on EP and S Pass criteria can be found in our resource Updates changes in visa requirements in Singapore

Increase your chances of getting an EP

Since Q2 2020 Sleek has advised and assisted hundreds of people in their applications for EP, DP and LOC’s and we have experienced first hand how an increasing number of cases require further documentation, in particular for smaller businesses.


However, it’s still possible to set up a business or hire foreign talent by following MOM’s requirements. Some of the extra information frequently asked by MOM: 

  • General business plan
  • Hiring plan, including local manpower
  • Major contracts secured
  • Bank statements
  • Proof of need for foreign manpower


Sleek’s inhouse visa team analyses each visa case thoroughly before advising on whether a person is eligible or not to obtain a work pass and which work pass is the best fit. As a general rule of thumb a new business should have paid-up capital or major contracts secured corresponding to one year of operations (rent, salary etc) before applying for a work visa. This is one of MOM’s ways of ensuring that only companies who are serious about growing in Singapore and creating long term value and job creation are approved. 


Due to our thorough screening process our final approval rates are above 95% and we would love to assist you with your application. 

Want to know more?

Confused about your Singapore immigration chances during Covid-19? Our internal visa team is happy to help you. If you qualify for an EP our team can help you without needing you to travel to Singapore. Ready to begin your visa application? Get in touch with us today.




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