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Revised Employment Pass (EP) eligibility from 1 September 2023 for new EP applications

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From 1 Sep 2023, MOM will be enhancing the Employment Pass (EP) eligibility criteria. To qualify for an EP, the candidate will have to pass 2 stages:
Stage 1: Meet the EP qualifying salary based on age, qualification and sector (criteria as of today).
Stage 2: Pass the points-based Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) by scoring at least 40 points


Introduction to COMPASS

COMPASS is a holistic points-based framework which looks at both candidate and company-based attributes to award points and the EP application will need a minimum of 40 points to pass.

Exemption from COMPASS

EP applications will be exempted from COMPASS if they meet any of following:

1) Candidates earning at least a fixed monthly salary of $22,500
2) Candidates applying as an overseas intra-corporate transferee
3) Candidates applying for a short-term EP i.e.,  EP for a duration of 1 month.

For EP applications that fall under any of the above scenario, they would also be exempted from posting a job advertisement.

Special consideration from COMPASS

Companies with less than 25 PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians) will be awarded a default 10 points for C3 (Diversity)  & C4 (Support for local Employment) criterion. 

Key Indicators to note for COMPASS (Sector)

The company’s sector impacts C1 (salary compared to sector norms) & C4 (local PMET share compared to sector). Under COMPASS, MOM group companies into relevant sectors based on their primary business activity, as declared to ACRA generally. This applies to companies which have multiple businesses that cut across sectors. Companies will be able to see their sector classification via the Workforce Insights tool on myMOM Portal.

List of sectors under COMPASS



Wholesale trade

Retail trade

Air & sea transport

Land transport & logistics


Food & beverage services

Info-communication technology


Banking and other financial services

Insurance services

Fund management services

Real estate services

Professional services

Admin & support services

Public admin & defence


Health & social services

Arts, entertainment & recreation

Other community, social & personal services

Utilities and other goods producing industries


Checking of the company’s sector information via Workforce Insights Tool

Key Indicators to note for COMPASS (PMETs)

The number of PMETs impacts C3 (Diversity) & C4(local PMET share compared to sector), and whether the company gets default 10 points for C3 & C4 criterion.

Employees are counted as PMETs if they are:

  • Foreign employees earning at least $3,000 in fixed monthly salary declared in their work pass application. This excludes In-Principle Approvals, and passes that need not be tied to a single employer (i.e. Work Holiday Pass, Tech.Pass, ONE Pass and Pre-Approved Letter of Consent).
  • Local employees (Singapore citizens or permanent residents your firm contributes CPF for) earning at least $3,000 per month, based on their CPF Ordinary and Additional Wag.

To cater for fluctuations in the PMET count, PMET count is based on an average of 3 months available data updated on the 6th day of each month. There is also a lag time of 2 months. For example, on the 6th of April, PMET data is based on Dec, Jan & Feb CPF and work pass records. This is because the CPF contributions for the month are generally due by the 14 of the next month and MOM only obtains the data from CPF board on the following month.

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Checking of the PMETs details via Workforce Insights Tool

Details on the COMPASS criteria 

C1- Salary of the candidate (Candidate’s attribute)

Fixed monthly salary compared to local PMET salaries in sector by age


≥90th percentile 


65th to <90th percentile 


< 65th percentile


C1 is the salary of the candidate as compared to the benchmarks for local PMET salaries in the sector by age. MOM has published the benchmarks here and annual updates to the benchmarks will be announced in March each year and applied to EP applications submitted from 1 September of the same year.

Things to note on the benchmarks – The table shows the required salary for candidate aged 23 and below, and the required salary for candidates aged 45 and above, to get 10 and 20 points for C1 for the different sectors. The required salary for candidates aged 23 to 45 increases progressively as they get older (the increase in salary required is the same for each additional year, just need to pro-rate accordingly).

C2- Qualification of the candidate (Candidate’s attribute)



Top-tier schools


Degree-equivalent qualification


No degree-equivalent qualification 


C2 is the qualifications of the candidate. 

Qualifications from top tier schools will be awarded 20 points. These are top 100 universities based on QS World University Rankings, and other highly-reputed universities in Asia. It also Includes Singapore’s Autonomous Universities and institutions that are highly-recognised in a particular field. MOM has released the list of top-tier school and his list will be updated in March annually and take effect in September of the same year

Qualifications from Degree-equivalent qualifications will be awarded 10 points. These are generally qualifications comparable to a bachelor’s degree in the UK system. It also includes Professional qualifications that are well-recognised by the industry and endorsed by a relevant sector agency.

Do note that if the candidate declares a qualification for the EP application, MOM will require verification proof for the declared qualification. As qualifications are not a compulsory requirement under COMPASS. Candidates who do not hold degree-equivalent qualifications or who do not wish to declare their qualifications can still pass COMPASS by earning sufficient points on other criteria.

C3 – Nationality Concentration/Diversity of the workforce (Company Attribute)

Share of candidate’s nationality among firm’s PMETs (based on passport)




5 to < 25%


≥ 25%


C3 is the diversity of the company workforce also known as the company’s nationality concentration. It is calculated based on the formula:

Number of PMET employees from specific nationality/Total number of PMET employees

The Total number of PMET employees

COMPASS awards more points to EP applications where the candidate’s nationality forms a small share of the firm’s PMET employees. No points are earned if the company is applying to bring in a candidate whose nationality currently forms a significant share of its PMET employees.

For the purpose of computing C3, which is based on the nationality on the passport, PR is not considered as a local PMET for C3.

C4 – Support for Local Employment/Company local PMET share (Company Attribute)

Share of local PMETs within your sector


≥ 50th percentile


20th to < 50th percentile


< 20th percentile


C4 is the local PMET share in the company as compared to the industry peers. Local PMETs for C4 will include both Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents.  It is calculated based on the formula:

Number of local PMET employees/Total number of PMET employees

The total number of PMET employees

The share of company local PMET is ranked with companies in the same sector to obtain the percentile. The application will earn more points if the company has a relatively higher share of locals among PMET employees, compared to peers in the same sector. If the company has at least a 70% local PMET share but is ranked < 20th percentile, the application will still be awarded at least 10 points as the intent is not to disadvantage firms in sectors which have a relatively high share of local PMET employees.

C5 – Skills Bonus also known as Shortage Occupation List(SOL) – Bonus Attribute

C5 is the Skill bonus points also known as the Shortage Occupation list (SOL). The SOL recognises EP holders in occupations that require highly specialised skills that are currently in shortage in the local workforce. For occupations listed in the list in the Shortage Occupation list, the applications will be awarded 20 bonus points.  The bonus SOL points will be reduced to 10 points if the nationality concentration for the candidate’s nationality (C3)in the workforce is ≥ 33.333%

Candidates applying for specific tech-related occupations in the SOL list may apply for a 5-year EP. This is conditional that 1) the candidate earns a fixed monthly salary of at least $10,500 (for candidates aged 36 and above, the salary required increases with age, up to a maximum of $13,500 at age 45 and beyond); and 2) the EP application pass COMPASS with a score of at least 10 points for C3 (Diversity).

For EP applications which require the SOL bonus points to qualify for an EP (40 points) or those who applied for a 5-year EP, MOM will conduct additional verification checks and if successful, candidates will be issued an occupation-restricted EP (i.e., unable to change occupation).

MOM will also be publishing an employer SOL guide which will detail the additional requirements on the SOL, information on the job description and duties on the occupation and additional documents required for verification checks.

Occupations on the Shortage Occupational List (As announced by MOM as of Mar 2023)

Occupation Group

SOL Occupation


Alternative protein food application scientist

Novel food biotechnologist

Financial services

Financial/investment adviser (ultra-high/high net worth, family office & philanthropy)

Green economy

Carbon project/program manager

Carbon standards and methodology analyst

Carbon trader

Carbon verification and audit specialist


Clinical psychologist

Diagnostic radiographer

Occupational therapist


Registered nurse

Infocomm Technology

AI scientist/engineer

Applications/systems programmer

Cloud specialist

Cyber risk specialist

Cybersecurity architect

Cybersecurity operations specialist

Data scientist

Digital forensics specialist

Penetration testing specialist

Product manager (digital)

Software and applications manager (technical lead/supervisor)

Software developer

Web and mobile applications developer


Marine superintendent

Marine technical superintendent

Note: Occupations may be added or removed from the SOL on an annual basis, to remain responsive to market conditions. The SOL will be reset every three years to avoid entrenching dependencies. Any updates to the SOL will be announced by March each year.

C6 – Strategic Economic Priorities Bonus (SEP)- Bonus Attribute

The SEP bonus recognises firms participating in a list of government programmes in line with the government strategic economic priorities. These are firms which undertake ambitious investment, innovation, and internationalisation activities in partnership with economic agencies, or firms endorsed by National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) as strong partners on company and workforce transformation activities. Firms with SEP bonus will be awarded 10 bonus points for every EP application submitted. 

To qualify for SEP Bonus, the company has to meet the following requirement.

  • Has partnership with the Government on ambitious investment, innovation, internationalisation, or company and workforce transformation activities
  • Show commitment in developing the local workforce or ecosystem.

The award of the SEP Bonus will be at the discretion of the supporting agencies running the relevant programme. Supporting agencies include, EDB, ESG, IMDA, MPA, STB, NTUC.

Companies can refer to https://www.mom.gov.sg/-/media/mom/documents/press-releases/2023/annex-c—eligible-programmes-for-sep-bonus.pdf for the list of eligible programmes.

The SEP bonus is valid for the duration of participation in an eligible programme or a period of 3 years, whichever is shorter. To maintain the SEP bonus after 3 years, company will need to score at least 10 points for C3 and C4 in the last 3 months prior to renewal.

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