New Requirements for Singapore Employment Pass And S-Pass Starting From September 2020

Due to the impact of COVID-19 globally, the economic outlook is uncertain and the job market is weaker with the rising unemployment. As such, the Singapore Government has updated new requirements for foreigners applying for Employment Pass (EP) and S-pass. This is a move to encourage local employers here to place a bigger focus on keeping the local workforce and employment.

Below is the summary of changes taking place with effect from 1st September 2020.

Employment Pass

  • The minimum salary requirement increases from S$3,900 to S$4,500 for new applicants.
  • EP applicants minimum salary requirement for the financial services sector will increase to S$5,000 from 1st December 2020.
  • These new salary criteria will come into effect from 1 May 2021 for all renewal applicants.
  • For EP candidates in their 40s, the minimum qualifying salary will increase correspondingly. They will remain around double the youngest applicants.


S Pass

  • The minimum qualifying salary for S Pass will increase to S$2,500 from S$2,400 moving forward from 1st October 2020.
  • This requirement will take effect from 1 May 2021 for all renewal applicants.
  • For older and more experienced S Pass candidates, their qualifying salaries will be revised accordingly.


In considering EP and S Pass applications, more emphasis will now be placed on whether the employer has (i) kept up the support of local Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) in their employment and (ii) tried taking up government efforts to help train and recruit more Singaporean PMETs. Employers will face certain punishments if they attempt to favour foreigners over equally qualified locals.

According to the fair consideration framework, employers must advertise the job vacancy to only locals for a minimum of 28 days. This requirement begins from 1st October 2020. They must prove that they have considered all qualified locals by documenting the selection process before hiring foreigners.

Singapore’s aim to be an international hub remains the same and these changes reflect the current situation. Foreigners with strong credentials and valuable resources are still very welcome to Singapore.

If you have questions or need help applying for EP or S Pass, feel free to contact us.


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