Blogs Singapore Work Pass Uncategorized Work Pass


With effect from 1 September 2023, all employers intending to hire foreigners on Employment Pass in Singapore are required to meet the new qualification known as Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) to assess the eligibility of foreigners for the Singapore Employment Pass.

The key purpose of this new complementarity assessment framework is to enable employers to select and hire high-quality foreign professionals to work in Singapore while improving the workforce diversity and maintaining a strong Singaporean core.

complementarity assessment framework


Under the new Complementarity Assessment Framework, all EP applications will be assessed on four foundational criteria, namely Salary, Qualifications, Diversity and Support for Local Employment. Further to the four foundational criteria, there are two bonus criteria that recognise applications bringing in skills that are not readily available in Singapore and support strategic economic priorities, which create jobs for Singaporeans.

To qualify for Employment Pass (EP), the candidate must score 40 points from the four foundational criteria, or by scoring points under the bonus criteria. There are concessions for start-ups and small firms with less than 25 employees to meet the 40 points requirements.

Renewal applications are exempted from COMPASS for 1 year from 1 September 2023 but will be subjected to the same assessment framework from 1 September 2024.

The following are a summary of the key criteria/ factors that will affect the scoring under COMPASS.


All applicants must meet the EP qualifying salary. For a similar job role and age, the salary differences may vary according to industries. For example, the salary requirements for jobs in the banking and finance sector is higher compared to other business sectors. To gain points under the salary criteria, candidates will be benchmarks against salaries for local PMET salary in the same industries taking into account age factor.


MOM has also provided a list of renown universities and foreign institutions that which would be automatically gain between 10 to 20 points under this category. For candidates with qualifications outside the list provided, employers would be responsible to arrange for verification of the qualifications by engaging approved third-party accreditation agencies. These agencies must be from the list approved by MOM.

Applicants without degree equivalent qualification can qualify for EP by gaining points through our criteria. The assessment framework recognises that not all successful entrepreneurs and talent must have gone through formal tertiary education.


The COMPASS framework encourages firm to have a diverse mix of nationalities so it enriches firms with new ideas and networks, and contributes to a more inclusive and resilient workforce.

Points are awarded to applications where the candidate’s nationality forms a small share of the company’s PMET employees.

As it’s not easy for firms with small number of headcount in Singapore to comply, a default score of 10 points will be awarded for firms with less than 25 employees.

Support for Local Employment:

COMPASS recognises firms that make efforts to create opportunities for the local workforce and build complementary teams comprising both local and foreign professionals.

Points are awarded to firms with a high share of locals, among PMET, compared to other firms within the same business sector. If a firm’s local PMET share is at least 70% (pegged to the 20th percentile of firms economy-wide), the application will earn at least 10 points. This is regardless of where the firm stands within its subsector. In this way, the MOM does not penalise firms in subsectors which have a relatively high share of local PMET employees. PMET is defined as local employees earning at least SGD3,000.00 per month.

Skills Bonus (Shortage Occupation List):

The COMPASS framework recognises that there are a number of occupations and specialised skills that are short in Singapore. Information technology with niche expertise such as cyber security and health care professionals such para-medical skills are well known examples of such occupations. Others include professionals in agritech, fintech, green economy etc.

The Shortage Occupation List (SOL) has been developed and published to guide employers on what occupation list can qualify for additional bonus points.

Strategic Economic Priorities Bonus:

Companies that are undertaking ambitious innovation, internationalisation activities or strategic economic projects in partnership with the government economic agencies are also recognised and will be provided additional bonus points.

In order to qualify for this additional bonus points, companies must engage, participate and meet assessment criteria in selected programmes run by various economic agencies. Typically, these programmes and support would require companies to show commitment to developing the local workforce or ecosystem.

Singapore Work Pass Uncategorized Work Pass

Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass (ONE Pass):  Singapore is ready to become home of the world’s best talent.

Singapore recently introduced the Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass (ONE pass)- a premier work visa for global talent in business, arts, culture, sports, science, technology, academia and research.

2023 promises to be an exciting year for the Singapore business and HR communities when the Ministry of Manpower inaugurates the Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass (ONE Pass). While the parameters are set in attracting the industries’ top business talent, with an average monthly salary of SGD 30,000 (USD 21,000), we are also anticipating a warm Singapore welcome will be extended to Individuals with outstanding achievements in the arts and culture, sports, science and technology, and academia and research who may also qualify, strengthening Singapore’s positioning as the home of the world’s best talent.

Noted as one of the best cities to live in, albeit the high costs, people living in Singapore are treated to everyday modern creature comforts set-out in a modern-day lush greenery. We’re talking about high rise, smart residential and commercial spaces, historically restored heritage and arts hubs, tech-centric touchpoints and garden-inspired skyscrapers, Singapore has it all. With its locally diverse culture, a commonly shared English language proficiency, its people are accustomed to accessing the best products and services, making it the choice base for many MNCs and their expat teams.

With the launch of the Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass (ONE Pass) ONE Pass, Singapore is addressing long-term challenges that globally leading talent have faced in the past. It offers the employment flexibility that many expats and the growing global gig community of experts are longing for. It also recognizes the value-addition, not only the ONE Pass holder to the Singapore workforce and business community, it also extends more opportunities for gainful employment for their families.


For many years, residing in Singapore has only been limited to its natural born citizens, its niche of residents and an active foreign talent pool who has secured jobs from locally registered companies and have been issued a valid employment pass, having passed the rigid selection criteria set by the local Ministry of Manpower.

At the height of the pandemic, the city state of Singapore has seen the exit of many expats who suffered from pay cuts or were simply recalled from their local posts by their MNC employers, forcing them to move out of the county, even if they have families attending school and are deeply entrenched in the local community activities. This has been deeply challenging, since the working expat community in Singapore are only allowed to earn an income from one main employer only. What makes the ONE Pass so much valued is the flexibility it provides its pass holders. From previously relying on the employment passes being secured by the employers, ONE Pass is a personalised pass, that individuals who meet the criteria may independently apply for. More so, the number of potential employers or revenue streams where the ONE Pass holder may generate their monthly average income from, will also no longer be expected from one sole employer alone. Instead, a ONE Pass holder is entitled to concurrently start, operate and work for multiple companies in Singapore at any one time.


While the big tech giants like Twitter, Microsoft, Amazon and many others are rallying back the troops to a back-to-office memos and destination office experiences, Forbes[1] noted that remote work is here to stay and according to projections, 25% of professional jobs in North America will be remote by end of 2022 and it is expected to continue to grow in percentage into 2023. With this shift in working models, Asia is expecting an influx of globally leading talent who have long been eager to enjoy the perks of remote work to find themselves relocating with their families to tropical get-aways with first-world hubs like Singapore. The city state’s top-notch infrastructure, economic independence and abundance of travel opportunities make it the ideal choice of a new home.


In the recent years, Singapore hit the news with its elite team winning medals in the Olympics and Asian games, being the choice headquarters of globally leading content creator, NasDaily and awe-inspiring displays at Changi’s Jewel and Gardens by the Bay. With the ONE Pass, it opens a wider opportunity to attract more individuals who excel in the world of sports and the arts to explore living in Singapore and share their exciting talents.

The application for the ONE Pass has officially open on January 1, 2023. The opportunity for globally leading talents in the business, arts, culture, sports, science, technology, academia and research industries will have the opportunity to check if they match these innovative criteria and potentially relocate to Singapore and value-add to its young, dynamic and happening workforce.

HRPlus will be actively monitoring the implementation and operations of the ONE Pass scheme and support clients or applicants who are interested to apply.

Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass


Blogs MOM Singapore Work Pass

Alternative Types of Work Passes to Singapore Employment Pass.

In situation where a foreign applicant is not eligible for Singapore Employment Pass work visa, he or she can explore other forms of work pass to work in Singapore. These are quota based work pass which means that the company must hire a certain number of local staff before such work pass can be approved.

For example, foreigners may be able to qualify for S Pass work visa which requires lower salary, less stringent academic qualification and skills criterions.

  S Pass

The S-Pass work visa is for mid-level skilled foreign employees from any country. Candidates need to earn at least SGD2,400 a month and meet the assessment criteria. The hiring companies are subjected to a quota of how many S-Pass work visa they can apply for depending on their local head count numbers. Salary offered should reflect length of work experience and academic qualification, higher salary requirements for candidates with more years relevant work experience than fresh graduates or junior employees. Other than diplomas, technical certificates, such as courses for qualified technicians or specialists can be considered in the assessment for eligibility process. These certifications should preferably include at least 1 year of full-time study. The relevance of applicant’s work experience is also taken into account in the evaluation process as this is a skilled work pass.

With effect from November 2020, employers with 10 or more employees are required to advertise their job vacancies at the government administered portal known as for at least 28 days weeks before they can submit an application for S Pass for foreign candidates in the event they are not able to find any suitably qualified local candidates.

Work Permit

Work Permits (WP) are work passes for foreign workers from approved source countries working in the construction, manufacturing, marine, process or services sector. The Work Permit visa is generally meant for lower skill or unskilled labor or blue collar workers but can also be used for certain professional staff as a form of work visa to work in Singapore.

Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)

The is the highest pass category for highly skilled and high income foreigners earning in excess of the equivalent to SGD18,000 per month. No employer sponsor is required unlike all other types of work passes. The approved individual is basically a self-sponsor pass holder and has the flexibility to choose to work for any employer but cannot be unemployed for more than 6 months. Personalised Employment Pass can only be issued once for a maximum period of 3 years and thereafter the applicant needs to convert to EP or other types of visa. Existing high income EP holders earning in excess of SGD12,000 per month can also convert to PEP. Holders of PEP is not allowed to be directors of or start their own company.

Entreprenuerial Pass (Entrepass)

As the word suggest, this is a category of pass targeted at business persons or entreprenuers. There is no minimum salary requirement and educational qualification criteria is less important. However, the applicant needs to demonstrate that he or she is worthy of the Entrepass. The approving criteria is varied and stringent and includes some of the following:

  1. Applicant can demonstrate successful business track record in high value and scalable businesses.
  2. Applicant has special expertise not available locally and has been recognized internationally.
  3. Applicant is willing to invest substantial funds, grow the business by hiring local professional staff.

As there are many types of work passes to suit different foreigners, employers are encouraged to discuss the various options with professional human resource consultants specializing in work pass and employment pass applications in Singapore. With the support from competent HR professionals, the application process can be expedited and approvals assured.