Upcoming changes to Employment Pass eligibility requirements in 2023

In order to enhance Singapore’s workforce quality and diversity, two major changes have been applied to the eligibility requirements for employees currently working or aiming to work in Singapore under an EP. Those changes will come into effect from 1 September 2023.

Overview of changes to EP eligibility

Candidates must pass a two-stage eligibility framework:

  • Stage 1: Earn at least the EP qualifying salary, which is benchmarked to the top 1/3 of local professionals, managers, executives and technicians (‘’PMET’’) salaries by age.
  • Stage 2: Pass COMPASS.

To give employers time to adjust, the MOM has implemented a progressive timeline:

Source: Overview of changes to Employment Pass eligibility (MOM website)

Higher qualifying salary to EP

To raise the quality of EP holders and reflect local PMET wage trends, the EP qualifying salary will be benchmarked to salaries of the top one-third of the local PMET workforce. The MOM distinguishes the workers depending on their work sector and their age (as the minimum qualifying salary increases progressively with age).

Source : Eligibility for Employment Pass (MOM website)

Complementary Assessment Framework (COMPASS)

In addition to meeting the qualifying salary (Stage 1), EP candidates must pass a points-based Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) (Stage 2).

The new system is based on four basic criteria (Salary, Diversity, Qualifications, Support for Local Employment) and two “bonus” criteria (Skills bonus, Strategic Economic Priorities).

The table below summarises how points are earned:

Source : Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS)

A total of 40 points will be required to obtain the EP. This can be achieved either by earning 10 points on all foundational criteria, making up the required points by exceeding expectations on another criterion or by scoring bonus points.

However, a candidate can be exempted from COMPASS under three hypothesis:

  • Earning at least $22,500 fixed monthly salary
  • Applying as an overseas intra-corporate transferee under the World Trade Organisation’s General Agreement on Trade in Services or an applicable Free Trade Agreement that Singapore is party to.
  • Filling a role on a short-term basis (1 month or less).

Astrid Cippe | Graciane Paitard-Albin

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *