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2024-03-14-21:00:56

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Eligibility for Employment Pass

Employment Pass (EP) candidates need to pass the points-based COMPASS in addition to meeting the EP qualifying salary.

Who is eligible

To qualify for EP applications, candidates will need to pass a 2-stage eligibility framework:

Stage 1 Earn at least the EP qualifying salary, which is benchmarked to the top 1/3 of local PMET salaries by age.
Stage 2

Unless exempted, pass the points-based Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS).

Note:

  • Candidates who do not meet stage 1 will not be eligible for an EP, regardless of the points they would have scored under COMPASS.
  • The 2-stage eligibility framework applies to new EP applications from 1 September 2023, and renewals of EPs expiring from 1 September 2024.

EP qualifying salary (Stage 1)

The following EP qualifying salary requirements apply to new applications and renewals:

  • At least $5,000 for all sectors except financial services (increases progressively with age from age 23, up to $10,500 at age 45 and above)
  • At least $5,500 for the financial services sector (increases progressively with age from age 23, up to $11,500 at age 45 and above)

  • For EPs expiring from 1 September 2024, in addition to meeting the EP qualifying salary, they will also need to pass COMPASS to get their pass renewed.
  • From 1 January 2025, the EP qualifying salary for new applications will be revised to at least $5,600, and at least $6,200 for the financial services sector.
    This revised EP qualifying salary will also apply to the renewal of EPs that are expiring from 1 January 2026.

Select your sector to view the EP qualifying salary by age:

All sectors (except financial services)

The revised EP qualifying salary will apply to:

  • New EP applications from 1 Jan 2025
  • Renewals of EPs expiring from 1 Jan 2026
Age Current EP qualifying salary Revised EP qualifying salary
23 or below $5,000 $5,600
24 $5,250 $5,832
25 $5,500 $6,064
26 $5,750 $6,295
27 $6,000 $6,527
28 $6,250 $6,759
29 $6,500 $6,991
30 $6,750 $7,223
31 $7,000 $7,455
32 $7,250 $7,686
33 $7,500 $7,918
34 $7,750 $8,150
35 $8,000 $8,382
36 $8,250 $8,614
37 $8,500 $8,845
38 $8,750 $9,077
39 $9,000 $9,309
40 $9,250 $9,541
41 $9,500 $9,773
42 $9,750 $10,005
43 $10,000 $10,236
44 $10,250 $10,468
45 or above $10,500 $10,700

Financial services

The revised EP qualifying salary will apply to:

  • New EP applications from 1 Jan 2025
  • Renewals of EPs expiring from 1 Jan 2026
Age Current EP qualifying salary Revised EP qualifying salary
23 or below $5,500 $6,200
24 $5,773 $6,455
25 $6,045 $6,709
26 $6,318 $6,964
27 $6,591 $7,218
28 $6,864 $7,473
29 $7,136 $7,727
30 $7,409 $7,982
31 $7,682 $8,236
32 $7,955 $8,491
33 $8,227 $8,745
34 $8,500 $9,000
35 $8,773 $9,255
36 $9,045 $9,509
37 $9,318 $9,764
38 $9,591 $10,018
39 $9,864 $10,273
40 $10,136 $10,527
41 $10,409 $10,782
42 $10,682 $11,036
43 $10,955 $11,291
44 $11,227 $11,545
45 or above $11,500 $11,800
Fast-growing tech companies that are newly expanding to Singapore and the region may be eligible for the Tech@SG Programme.

COMPASS (Stage 2)

COMPASS is a transparent points-based system that gives businesses greater clarity and certainty for manpower planning. It enables employers to select high-quality foreign professionals, while improving workforce diversity and building a strong local core.

How to pass COMPASS

Your application needs to earn 40 points to pass COMPASS.

COMPASS Infographic

Criteria details

C1. SalaryShow

This criterion benchmarks your candidate’s salary against the local PMET salaries in your sector.

It is different from the EP qualifying salary, which is the minimum bar that candidates need to pass to obtain an EP.

Candidates who do not meet the EP qualifying salary will not be eligible for an EP, regardless of the points they would have scored under the C1 salary benchmark.

How to earn points

Candidate's fixed monthly salary compared to salary benchmarks by sector Points
90th percentile and above 20
65th to less than 90th percentile 10
Below 65th percentile 0

C2. QualificationsShow

This criterion awards points to candidates based on their qualifications.

How to earn points

Candidate’s qualifications Points

Top-tier institutions, such as:

  • Top 100 universities based on QS World University Rankings, and other highly-reputed universities in Asia
  • Singapore’s Autonomous Universities
  • Institutions that are highly-recognised in a particular field and endorsed by a relevant agency
20

Degree-equivalent qualifications, which generally refer to:

  • Foreign qualifications that are assessed to be comparable to a bachelor’s degree in the UK system. MOM determines this with reference to international recognition bodies, such as the UK National Information Centre for recognition and evaluation of international qualifications and skills (UK ENIC).
  • Professional qualifications that are well-recognised by the industry and endorsed by a relevant sector agency.
10

No degree-equivalent qualifications

  • You will be awarded points only if your candidate’s qualification is assessed to be comparable to a Bachelor’s degree in the UK system. Otherwise, no points will be awarded even if the institution is found in MOM’s drop down list of accredited institutions.

Note: Candidates without degree-equivalent qualifications can still pass COMPASS by earning a total score of at least 40 points from other criteria.

0

Verification proof requirements

If you need points from this criterion, you have to submit verification proof together with your candidate’s qualifications in your EP application.

Otherwise, you do not need to submit your candidate’s qualifications and verification proof.

C3. DiversityShow

This criterion awards more points to applications where the candidate’s nationality forms a small share of the firm’s PMET employees. A diverse mix of nationalities enriches firms with new ideas and networks, and contributes to a more inclusive and resilient workforce.

How to earn points

If your organisation employs:

  • Fewer than 25 PMETs, your application will score 10 points by default.
  • At least 25 PMETs, your points will depend on the share of your candidate’s nationality among your organisation’s PMETs.
You can use the Workforce Insights tool on myMOM Portal to check the share of nationalities among your organisation’s PMETs.
Share of candidate’s nationality among organisation’s PMETs Points
Less than 5% 20
5% to less than 25% 10
25% or more 0

The nationality of your organisation’s employees (including Permanent Residents) is based on the nationality indicated on their passport in the Singapore Government’s records.

Related questions:

View all COMPASS-related questions

C4. Support for local employmentShow

This criterion recognises organisations that create opportunities for the local workforce and build complementary teams comprising both local and foreign professionals.

How to earn points

If your organisation employs:

  • Fewer than 25 PMETs, your application will score 10 points by default.
  • At least 25 PMETs, your points will depend on your organisation’s local PMET share relative to its sector.

You can use the Workforce Insights tool on myMOM Portal to check your organisation’s sector classification and local PMET share relative to its sector.

C4. Organisation's local PMET share relative to its sector

Organisation's local PMET share relative to its sector Points
50th percentile and above 20
20th to less than 50th percentile 10
Below 20th percentile 0

If your organisation’s local PMET share is at least 70% (pegged to the 20th percentile of organisations economy-wide), your application will score at least 10 points.

This is regardless of where your organisation stands within its sector. In this way, we do not disadvantage organisations in sectors which have a relatively high share of local PMET employees.

Related questions:

View all COMPASS-related questions

C5. Skills bonus (Shortage Occupation List)Show

This bonus recognises jobs that require highly specialised skills, which are in shortage in the local workforce. The SOL is determined by a robust evaluation process that takes into account industry needs and local workforce development efforts.

How to earn points

Skills bonus Points
20
  • Job on the SOL
  • Share of candidate’s nationality among your organisation’s PMETs is 1/3 or more
10

You can use the Workforce Insights tool on myMOM Portal to check the share of your candidate's nationality among your organisation's PMETs.

To obtain the C5. Skills bonus:

  1. Your candidate needs to perform the job duties listed for the specific shortage occupation.
  2. You need to select one of the eligible job titles in your EP application.
  3. Your candidate needs to meet checks on additional job requirements if they fall into either of these categories:
    • They need the SOL bonus points to pass COMPASS.
    • They are applying for a 5-year duration EP for a specific tech occupation on the SOL.

Refer to the SOL Employer Guide to understand the additional requirements for EP candidates who require the SOL bonus points to pass COMPASS.

We will check the candidate’s job duties, past work experience and qualifications or industry accreditation for the declared occupation.

Redeployment to another occupation

Candidates who needed SOL bonus points to pass COMPASS or obtain a longer duration EP can only be employed in the specific shortage occupation. This will be clearly stated in the in-principle approval (IPA) letter’s “Important” note.

If they need to be redeployed to a different job, we will need to reassess if the candidate qualifies for an EP in the new job. You should notify MOM first, and we will then advise you on the next steps.

Candidates who did not need SOL bonus points to pass COMPASS are not subjected to this restriction, but will still need to notify MOM.

C6. Strategic Economic Priorities bonusShow

This bonus recognises organisations that are either:

  • Undertaking ambitious investment, innovation and internationalisation activities in partnership with economic agencies
  • Endorsed by National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) as strong partners on company and workforce transformation activities

Singapore seeks to anchor and grow firms that can contribute to the innovative capacity of our economy, enhance our global linkages, and strengthen our economic competitiveness. Such firms should also have the scale or potential to provide good jobs for locals.

How to earn points

Strategic Economic Priorities (SEP) bonus Points
Participate or meet the criteria for at least one of the eligible programmes 10

The award of the SEP bonus will be at the discretion of the supporting agencies running the relevant programme. MOM will notify your organisation if it has been awarded the SEP bonus and the points will be reflected in the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT). You may approach the relevant supporting agency if you have any queries.

Validity of SEP bonus points

The bonus points will apply for up to 3 years, or for the duration of your organisation's participation in an eligible programme, whichever is shorter.

Renewal eligibility for SEP bonus points

At the end of the validity period, your supporting agency will reassess whether to continue supporting your organisation for the SEP bonus for a further duration. This renewal will be subject to your organisation’s continued participation in an eligible programme and meeting both of the following criteria:

These criteria ensure that organisations eligible for the SEP bonus points make efforts to diversify and improve their workforce profile.

Exemptions from COMPASS

Candidates are exempted from COMPASS if they meet any of these conditions:

COMPASS tools and resources

COMPASS guidebookShow

The COMPASS guidebook provides:

  • An overview on the EP eligibility framework
  • Tips on navigating the EP framework and submitting an application

Workforce Insights toolShow

You can use the Workforce Insights tool on myMOM Portal to:

  • Check your organisation's workforce profile and industry benchmarks for salary and non-monetary benefits based on MOM survey data
  • Find out your organisation’s scores in the following COMPASS criteria:
  • Get benchmarking insights for workforce planning and hiring decisions
  • Get resources for better human capital practices
The Workforce Insights tool infographic explains how to access and use the tool in more detail.

Self­-Assessment Tool (SAT)Show

Employers and employment agents can use the enhanced Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) to check a candidate's eligibility before applying.

Learn more about how to use the SAT.

COMPASS case studies

Here are some examples of how EP applications may be scored on COMPASS:

Example A-1: Meets all 4 foundational criteriaShow

Scenario:

  • The organisation is a marketing consultancy in the professional services sector.
  • Firm-related attributes: The organisation has a local PMET share at the 40th percentile of their sector. The candidate’s nationality currently forms 15% of the organisation’s PMET employees.
  • Candidate attributes: The candidate is a business manager and holds a bachelor’s degree from a foreign university (not in the top-tier list). The candidate's salary is at the 70th percentile compared to local PMET salaries in this sector.

Outcome: The application meets expectations on all four foundational criteria and scores 40 points. Most applications will fall into this category.

The table explains the points scored for each criterion.

Criteria Explanation Points
Salary Candidate’s fixed monthly salary is within the 65th to less than 90th percentile compared to local PMET salaries for sector by age 10
Qualifications Candidate holds a degree-equivalent qualification (not top-tier) 10
Diversity Share of candidate’s nationality among organisation’s PMETs is within 5% to less than 25% 10
Support for local employment Organisation’s local PMET share relative to its sector is within the 20th to less than 50th percentile 10
Total - 40 (Pass)

Example A-2: Meets all 4 foundational criteria (small firm)Show

Scenario:

  • The organisation is a small medical technology start-up in the biomedical sciences sector.
  • Firm-related attributes: The organisation has a small PMET employment of 15.
  • Candidate attributes:The candidate is an Operations Manager and holds a bachelor’s degree from a foreign university (not in the top-tier list). The candidate’s salary is at the 70th percentile compared to local PMET salaries in this sector.

Outcome: The application meets expectations on all four foundational criteria and scores 40 points. Most applications will fall into this category.

The table explains the points scored for each criterion.

Criteria Explanation Points
Salary Candidate’s fixed monthly salary is within the 65th to less than 90th percentile compared to local PMET salaries for sector by age 10
Qualifications Candidate holds a degree-equivalent qualification (not top-tier) 10
Diversity Organisation has fewer than 25 PMET employees 10
(Default)
Support for local employment Organisation has fewer than 25 PMET employees 10
(Default)
Total - 40 (Pass)

Example B: Weak on one foundational criterion but exceeds expectations on another foundational criterionShow

Scenario:

  • The organisation is a commercial bank in the financial services sector.
  • Firm-related attributes: The organisation has a local PMET share at the 40th percentile of its sector. The candidate comes from a less represented nationality in the organisation, which currently forms 3% of the organisation’s PMET employees.
  • Candidate attributes: The candidate is a management associate and holds a bachelor’s degree from a foreign university (not in top-tier list). The candidate's salary is at the 60th percentile compared to local PMET salaries in the sector.

Outcome: The candidate does not meet expectations on the salary criterion, but his nationality improves the diversity of the organisation. His application still scores 40 points and passes.

The table explains the points scored for each criterion.

Criteria Explanation Points
Salary Candidate’s fixed monthly salary is less than the 65th percentile compared to local PMET salaries for sector by age 0
Qualifications Candidate holds a degree-equivalent qualification (not top-tier) 10
Diversity Share of candidate’s nationality among organisation’s PMETs is less than 5% 20
Support for local employment Organisation’s local PMET share relative to its sector is within the 20th to less than 50th percentile 10
Total - 40 (Pass)

Example C: Weak on one or two foundational criterion but earns sufficient points on bonus criterionShow

Scenario:

  • The organisation is a software firm in the Infocomm technology sector.
  • Firm-related attributes: The organisation has a local PMET share at the 10th percentile of its sector. The candidate’s nationality currently forms 35% of the organisation’s PMET employees.
  • Candidate attributes: The candidate’s job is on the shortage occupation list and the candidate holds a master’s degree from a foreign university (not in the top-tier list). The candidate’s salary is at the 95th percentile compared to local PMET salaries in the sector.

Outcome: The application does not meet expectations on firm-level criteria, but the candidate is of a higher calibre and fills a shortage occupation. His application doesn't earn enough points on foundational criteria but with the SOL bonus points, the application scores 40 points.

The table explains the points scored for each criterion.

Criteria Explanation Points
Salary Candidate’s fixed monthly salary is at or above the 90th percentile compared to local PMET salaries for sector by age 20
Qualifications Candidate holds a degree-equivalent qualification (not top-tier) 10
Diversity Share of candidate’s nationality among organisation’s PMETs is 25% or more 0
Support for local employment Organisation’s local PMET share relative to its sector is within the below the 20th percentile 0
Skills bonus Candidate’s job is on the Shortage Occupation List
(awarded 10 points instead of 20 as the share of candidate’s nationality among organisation’s PMETs is 1/3 or more)
+10
Total - 40 (Pass)