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Guide to the Singapore Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)

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In this article, you’ll discover everything you need to know about the Singapore Personalised Employment Pass. This includes its approval criteria, eligibility requirements, application process, and timeline. 

What is the Singapore Personalised Employment Pass?

Singapore’s Personalised Employment Pass (also referred to as the PEP) is a type of work visa that is issued to top-tier individuals and based on a set of their own merits. 

Due to the fact that the PEP is not exclusive to a single employer, owners can pursue opportunities without needing to renew the pass with separate businesses. Holders of the PEP are entitled to stay in Singapore for up to six months in between jobs, as a means of evaluating professional opportunities. Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (also known as MOM) manages the issuing of the PEP. 

What are the qualifying criteria for the PEP?

Singapore’s MOM has laid out criteria for those wishing to obtain a PEP. The strict criteria have been implemented to heighten the quality of PEP holders and ensure the PEP remains a premium pass for top-tier individuals. PEP aspirants need to meet the following conditions:

  • Must earn an annual salary of at least S$144,000
  • Holders of the P1 Pass must earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S12,000
  • For international professionals who have not been unemployed for more than six consecutive months, their last drawn fixed monthly salary must be least S18,000

If an individual fails to secure work beyond the grace period, their Singapore work visa will be revoked. 

So long as a professional has a valid PEP, their dependents are allowed to stay in Singapore. 

PEP application timeline

For first time applicants, the PEP approval process generally takes between 3-4 weeks. New Horizons can assist you to submit your application to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower.

Required documents for your application

When applying for your PEP, we require the following documents:

  • A resume that details your employment and education history
  • Previous employment testimonials and copies of your education certificates 
  • A copy that outlines the personal particulars page of your passport 
  • An appointment letter drafted by your current employer
  • Copies of your last three month’s payslips

For any documents that are not in English, they need to be translated into English by an official translation provider.

PEP approval and collection 

After a PEP application is approved, Singapore’s MOM issues an In-Principle Approval letter (also known as an IPA) via email. To collect their PEP at the Work Pass Division of MOM, applicants must produce their IPA letter. 

From the date that an IPA letter is drafted, it is valid for a period of six months.

To collect a PEP, applicants must present the following items, in addition to their IPA letter:

  • A recent passport-size photo
  • Their original passport with the entry embarkation cards 
  • A medical exam report may also be needed – if the IPA letter states that one is required 
  • Any additional documents as specified in the IPA letter

For applicants that need to produce a medical exam report, this can be done in either their home country or Singapore. The advantage of having this done in Singapore is that most clinics offer medical examinations and reports within one day.

Entry Visa to Singapore 

For anyone overseas who requires an entry visa into Singapore, their IPA letter features a single journey entry visa. 

Once arriving in Singapore, New Horizons can schedule an appointment with Singapore’s MOM on your behalf. This is typically needed for finger printing. Once these procedures are finalized, your PEP is available in four working days. 

Passes can be collected in person at MOM. Alternatively, you can authorize a member of New Horizons’ team to collect the pass on your behalf. 

Relocation with family members 

For new holders of the PEP, they enjoy the benefit of dependent privileges. These privileges are similar to those afforded to P1 Pass holders. 

PEP holders can also apply for a Dependant’s Pass. This can be for a PEP holder’s spouse, parents, or unmarried children under the age of 21. 

A PEP holder’s spouse may work in Singapore as a Dependant’s Pass holder. However, it’s worth noting that their prospective employer needs to apply for a Letter of Consent (also known as an LOC). This must be applied through MOM before any work is undertaken. 

Additionally, PEP holders can apply for a Long-Term Visit Pass (also known as an LTVP). This can be for a holder’s common-law spouse, unmarried or handicapped children over the age of 21, stepchildren, or parents-in-law. 

What happens if a PEP application is denied?

There may be occasional circumstances where an individual’s PEP application is denied. If this occurs, New Horizons can investigate further on your behalf. Based on the reasons outlined by Singapore’s MOM, we can submit an appeal. This will address those issues outlined, as well as separate documents that may be requested. 

Appeal reviews take at least three weeks to be finalized by MOM. 

Validity of the PEP

Individuals should be mindful that the following conditions affect the validity of a PEP:

  • After the date of issue, a PEP is valid for a period of three years. It is also non-renewable. After three years have lapsed, a person must apply for an Employment Pass or Permanent Residency to legally continue work in Singapore. 
  • Holders are prohibited from starting their own business or engaging in entrepreneurial activities. If they intend to do so, they must apply for an EntrePass. 
  • Holders must not be unemployed for longer than six consecutive months. A PEP will be cancelled if the holder does not secure employment within six months. 
  • Changes to either employment, address, or travel documents need to be updated with MOM immediately.
  • Annual earnings need to be declared with MOM – within 30 days of the end of a calendar year.

Cancellation of a PEP

A PEP will be canceled – and restricted from being reinstated – if the holder is unemployed for longer than six consecutive months. If this occurs, the holder is then issued with a Short Term Visit Pass

To legally work in Singapore, individuals should then apply for an Employment Pass or Permanent Residency status. 

Permanent Residency qualification

For holders of the PEP, they may apply for Permanent Residency through the Professional, Technical Personnel & Skilled Workers scheme (also known as the PTS). Those wishing to apply for Permanent Residency should wait at least six months before making an application. This is so they can provide the required six month’s salary. 

How New Horizons can help

New Horizons provides global employment solutions for individuals and companies expanding into overseas markets. Our team of specialists possess a comprehensive understanding of Singapore’s unique cultural, legal, and economic marketplace. Through this expertise, we support businesses to quickly and compliantly extend their operations into Singapore.

Before you apply apply for a PEP, it is important to recognize that Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower heavily scrutinizes all applications. As such, it is essential that your application is professionally drafted and complies with the necessary guidelines set out by MOM.

New Horizons’ team of in-country experts work in collaboration with government departments to assist you through each stage of the application process. This reduces the chances of your application being rejected by MOM and allows you to begin conducting business sooner. 

In addition to this service, our Global PEO enables you to quickly and compliantly begin trading in Singapore, without the burden of establishing costly entities or foreign subsidiaries. Through our Global PEO, we oversee your company’s recruitment, onboarding, global payroll, and tax and legal compliance. 

If you’d like to know more about any of our employment solutions, contact a member of our team today. 

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