Out of all of Singapore’s work permits and passes, the one which offers the most flexibility is the Personalized Employment Pass.

However, the Personalized Employment Pass also has the strictest eligibility requirements.

Who is Eligible to Apply for the Personalized Employment Pass?

You are eligible for the Personalized Employment Pass for Singapore if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are already in Singapore with an Employment Pass and you have a salary of at least S$12,000.
  • Your last fixed salary at your job overseas (which you received at most six months before applying for the PEP) was at least S$18,000.

You cannot apply for a Personalized Employment Pass if:

  • You have an Employment Pass which you received under the sponsorship scheme (if the company you work for is not registered in Singapore).
  • You are a shareholder, partner, or owner in a company registered under ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory).
  • Are a freelancer, journalist, editor, sub-editor or producer.

How is the Personalized Employment Pass Different From a regular Employment Pass?

The Personalized Employment Pass offers a lot more benefits than a regular Employment Pass does. For example:

  • You can work in any sector.
  • You are not tied to a specific employer.
  • If you change your job, you do not have to apply for a new work Pass. You do, however, have to notify the Ministry of Manpower.
  • You can stay in Singapore and look for a job for up to six months, even if you are unemployed.

What are the Conditions and Requirements for the Personalized Employment Pass?

The Singapore Personalized Employment Pass offers a lot of flexibility in regards to the work you take up and who you work for. However, you must abide by a certain set of requirements and conditions as well.

The requirements for a PEP include:

  • You cannot be unemployed in Singapore while you hold a PEP for longer than six months. If you cannot find a job within six months, your PEP will be canceled.
  • You must make a minimum of S$144,000 per year, regardless of how many months you’ve worked for.
  • You must notify the Ministry of Manpower for any changes to your personal information or status, such as:
    • Starting a new job.
    • Leaving a job.
    • Changing your contact details, such as your address.
  • You must notify MOM about your salary details by 31 January of every year.

How can I Apply for the Personalized Employment Pass?

Since the PEP is not tied to a specific employer, you do not need one to apply on your behalf – you apply for the Personalized Employment Pass yourself.

You must be in Singapore when you apply for a PEP. If you are not already an Employment Pass holder, this means you can also apply for a Personalized Employment Pass while holding a Short-Term Visit Pass.

If you are subject to Singapore visas, you may have to obtain an entry visa beforehand.

Applying for a Personalized Employment Pass

The Personalized Employment Pass application process goes as follows:

  1. Download and complete the “Personalised Employment Pass Application Form” from MOM’s website.
  2. Obtain all the documents that are mentioned in Annex 1 of the application form (see a list of the required documents below).
  3. Submit the application form and the documents at a SingPost counter (the Singapore post office) to mail it to the Ministry of Manpower.
  4. Pay the pass processing fee (S$105) and keep the receipt slip.

The PEP processing time is about eight weeks. If it is approved, the MOM will send you an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter, which allows you to enter Singapore if you have left the country.

The IPA is valid for six months. During this time, you have to apply to get your Pass issued. You can request to get your Pass issued yourself or you can appoint an Employment Agent to do it for you.

There are two ways in which you can apply to get your pass issued: online or manually.

Getting the pass issued online

You can apply online if you have a SingPass account, or if you apply through an appointed Employment Agent with a SingPass account. The process of applying to get your Pass issued online goes as follows:

  1. Log in to EP Online through your SingPass account to make the request.
  2. Submit all the required documents. (See below)
  3. Pay the fee (S$225). Depending on your case, you may have to pay additional fees, such as for a Multiple Journey Visa.
  4. Get your notification letter.

The notification letter allows you to travel in and out of Singapore and informs you whether you need to register your picture and fingerprints (see below).

Getting the pass issued manually

If you do not have an appointed Employment Agent or a SingPass account, then you must request your Pass over the counter at the Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC). The process of applying to get your Pass issued manually goes as follows:

  1. Make an appointment at the Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC) via MOM’s website.
  2. Submit all the required documents (see below).
  3. Pay the fee (S$225). Depending on your case, you could be asked to pay additional fees, such as for a Multiple Journey Visa.

Registering your picture and fingerprints

You will have to register your picture and fingerprints if:

  • You are a first-time candidate.
  • If the last time you registered was five years ago.

You have to make an appointment at EPSC to register in the two weeks after your pass is issued (not your Pass Card!).

You have to bring the following documents when you go to your appointment:

  • Your passport
  • The appointment letter
  • The notification letter
  • Any documents that were listed in the IPA and notification letter.

Within four days after EPSC registers your photo and fingerprints and reviews your documents, you will receive your Personalized Employment Pass Card.

Required Documents for the Personalized Employment Pass

When you apply for a Personalized Employment Card, you will have to submit several supporting documents.

All the documents you submit have to be in English. If they are not, you must have them translated by an official translator.

Required documents when you apply for the PEP

When you are applying for your Personalized Employment Pass, you must submit the following documents:

  • Photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport, such as:
    • Your personal details
    • Passport number
    • Issue/expiry date
    • Any pages which show changes to your passport or personal details.
  • Photocopies of your educational certificates.
  • Photocopies of all current and previous employment contracts.
  • A document detailing your employment history.
  • Bank statements and salary slips from the past three months.
  • Your latest tax statement.

Requirements when you get the pass issued

When you request to get your pass issued, you will need:

  • Photocopies of your passport details.
  • A Short-Term Visit Pass or an immigration pass.
  • Details about your place of residence in Singapore.
  • An address where they will send you your Pass Card.
  • Contact details of at least one person you have authorized to receive your Pass delivery details (via SMS or email).
  • Your Disembarkation / Embarkation card.
  • A completed declaration form along with your IPA letter.

Can I Bring my Family Members With Me if I Have a Personalized Employment Pass?

Yes, all holders of a Personalized Employment Pass are allowed to bring their family members to live with them in Singapore.

Depending on your relationship with your family member, you can bring them through:

  • The Dependent’s Pass, available to:
    • Legally married spouses (husband/wife)
    • Children under 21 who are not married.
  • The Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP), available to family members who do not qualify for the Dependent’s Pass:
    • Common law spouse.
    • A child over 21 if the child has a mental or physical handicap making them dependant on you.
    • Unmarried step-child under 21.
    • Your parents.

You can apply to bring your family members with you at the same time you submit your PEP application. You can also apply to bring them after you are already in Singapore.

Can I Renew a Personalized Employment Pass?

No, you cannot. The Personalized Employment Pass has a validity of three years, and it can’t be renewed.

After your PEP expires, your employer will have to apply for an Employment Pass or S Pass in your behalf if you want to be allowed to work in Singapore.