Changes To Employment Pass and S Pass Requirements in Singapore [2022]

The Singapore Government has recently announced a slew of changes to the pass requirements for foreigners applying to work in Singapore under Employment Pass and S Pass. 

These impending tightening measures will force Singapore businesses to review their foreign hiring strategies. These changes include increasing the minimum salaries and decreasing the quotas for S passes for certain sectors. 

Increase In Salary Threshold For Employment Pass Holders

The new minimum qualifying salary for Employment Pass applicants increases from SGD4,500 to SGD5,000. For foreigners working in the financial sector, the qualifying salary increases from SGD5,000 to SGD5,500.

This new measure will take effect from the 1st of September 2022. For existing Employment Pass holders who are renewing their work passes, this new requirement will take effect from September next year (2023). 

Increase In Salary Threshold For S Pass Holders

Similarly, the new minimum qualifying salary for S Pass applicants increases from the current SGD2,500 to SGD3,000. For individuals working in the financial sector, the minimum qualifying salary increases to SGD3,500. 

This new measure will take effect from the 1st of September 2022. 

The government will further increase the minimum qualifying salary for S Pass holders in 2023 and 2025. The government will announce the exact increment details nearer to the date. 

The new rules will apply to existing S Pass holders from September 2023. This is to give businesses enough time to plan and adapt to the new measures. 

Changes To Employment Pass Application Assessment 

From September 2023, the government will implement a new way of assessing all foreign applicants for the employment pass.

Known as the Complementary Assessment Framework (Compass), it is a point-based system that will evaluate the applicant based on four foundational and two bonus criteria. 

The applicant will be scored in the following four foundational criteria:

  1. Salary – relative to the salary norms of the professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) in the domestic workforce for the sector
  2. Qualification – based on the EP applicant’s qualification
  3. Diversity – whether the applicant improves nationality diversity in the firm
  4. Support for resident employment – the firm’s employment of resident PMETs as a percentage relative to industry peers

The applicant will be scored on each of the above 4 items and assigned points (0, 10 or 20) for each of them. 

The applicant will need at least 40 points in total to succeed in their employment pass application. 

The bonus criteria consider skills that are short in supply to support strategic economic priorities.


These new changes are a step towards bringing in a complementary foreign workforce that is high in calibre.

Companies will now have to revise their selection process to better identify potential applicants who fit the various criteria listed above.

If you have any questions with regards to the application of passes, do not hesitate to get in touch with us!