SINGAPORE: Employment Pass Salary Standard to Elevate in 2017

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Singapore has decided to raise the bar for the income criteria for Employment Pass (EP) applications from $3300 to $3600 with effect from 1st January 2017, to keep in line with the rise in local wages and to sustain the quality of the foreign workforce.

Increasing the income bar does indicate a pay raise for the foreign workforce; hence people unable to qualify would either have to leave the country or would be placed on the S pass quota system. The MOM aims to create more and better jobs to boost the Singapore economy.

The increase in minimum salary requirement is regularly scheduled; however, this is the first since 2014.  One of the most common work authorisation routes for foreign nationals in Singapore, the employment pass, is used mainly for executive, managerial and skilled occupations. It is unlikely that this increase in the salary threshold is likely to have any major impact on most foreign nationals. For those whose passes are due to expire between 1st January 2017 and 30th June 2017 (both dates inclusive) will be able to renew for a duration of one year.

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