Singapore’s robust economy, driven by a high degree of economic freedom as well as its strategic location, has attracted many investors and entrepreneurs. Along with that, is the creation of diverse work opportunities across many industries.
Professionals who are experts in their field, or who have accumulated significant years of experience in their industries, are very likely to be sought for in Singapore. To attract them to work in the city-sate, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has designed the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP).
The PEP confers many privileges to its holders, but also come with limitations. In this article, I’ll share with you 4 things that you must know before applying for PEP.
What are the benefits of a PEP?
Holders of the PEP may work in any industry as employees. However, applicants of certain professions, such as doctors, dentists, security officers, etc. require permission prior to application.
The PEP broadly provides its holders with the flexibility to work and to change jobs with no need to apply for a new pass with every change in employment. They can simply inform the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) using the PEP Notification Form.
PEP holders are also able to remain unemployed for periods up to six continuous months without having to apply for a new employment pass or leave the country. Generally, this will provide you with the easiest way to live and work in Singapore.
It also provides ‘dependants’ privileges’ that are afforded to P1 Employment Pass holders. This means that you are able to bring your spouse and children aged less than 21 years old. You can also bring your parents to Singapore via the Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP).
Limitations of the PEP
There are 3 major limitations to the PEP. While they are highly flexible, there are some limitations that you should be aware of prior to applying. Firstly, a PEP will only be issued once and is non-renewable. It is valid for three years, after which, you will need to apply for an Employment Pass or Permanent Resident status.
The maximum unemployment period permitted to PEP holders is six months. PEP holders are also required to earn an annual salary of $144,000 minimum for each year spent working in Singapore. You will be required to declare your salary within 30 days of the end of the calendar year.
While you will be free to change jobs as you wish, you are required to inform MOM of any changes in your employment or related status. This includes changes in your job title, travel documents, as well as cessations of employment.
Who is eligible for the PEP?
PEP aspirants may be eligible for the PEP if they meet the following requirements:
- Their last monthly salary was $18,000 or more and was no more than six months prior to the application.
- P1 Employment Pass holders will be eligible on salaries of $12,000 and more. A P1 Pass is a pass for professionals working in managerial or executive positions or in specialised fields.
- They are not freelancers intending to work without direct employers in Singapore.
- They are not issued with an Employment Pass through a sponsorship scheme.
- They are not share-holding Sole Proprietors, Partners or Directors of companies registered with ACRA.
- They are not planning to start their own business.
What do you need to apply for the PEP?
If you think that a PEP will suit your requirements, then you will need to gather documents and information in order to apply. You will need to download a PEP application form from the MOM website and submit this along with:
- All your educational certificates
- Employment contracts for new and previous employment (where applicable)
- A detailed employment history
- Wage slips for the last three months
- Three months’ worth of bank account statements
- Your last tax statement (where applicable)
- A copy of your passport/travel documents. For non-English documents, you must also submit their corresponding official translations. This can be done via a certified translator, High Commission or notary public.
Note that while working in Singapore you may be eligible for several tax deductions. Generally, it is best to hire a professional service that can ensure all your documents are in order and will do most of the legwork for you.
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