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New Criteria To Employment Pass (EP)

A hand writing of Rules & Regulations sign New Criteria to Employment Pass eligibility

What are the New Criteria to Employment Pass eligibility?

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.

Click here to learn more about COMPASS Guide
Click here to learn more about Shortage Occupation List
Click here to learn more about eligible programmes for SEP bonus

How to pass COMPASS

Your application needs to earn 40 points to pass COMPASS.

Criteria details

C1. Salary:

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.

Note:

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 for salary

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. Qualifications

This criterion awards points to candidates based on their qualifications.

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

Click here for the list of top-tier institutions

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

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. Diversity

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 for Diversity?

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.

Tip:

  • 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

Tip:

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.

 

C4. Support for local employment

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 by supporting the local employment

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.

Tip:

  • 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.

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

Note:

  • 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, MOM does not disadvantage organisations in sectors which have a relatively high share of local PMET employees.

 

C5. Skills bonus (Shortage Occupation List)

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.

Skills bonus Points
  • Job on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL)
  • Share of candidate’s nationality among your organisation’s PMETs is less than 1/3
20
  • Job on the SOL
  • Share of candidate’s nationality among your organisation’s PMETs is 1/3 or more
10

Tip:

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:

  • Your candidate needs to perform the job duties listed for the specific shortage occupation.
  • You need to select one of the eligible job titles in your EP application.
  • 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.

Tip:

Refer to the SOL 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

If your candidate needed SOL bonus points to pass COMPASS or obtain a longer duration EP, you can only employ your candidate in the specific shortage occupation. This is because they would not have met the eligibility criteria if they were not working in that occupation.

You must notify MOM if they need to be redeployed to a different job role. Your candidate’s eligibility for an EP will then be reassessed.

 

C6. Strategic Economic Priorities (SEP) bonus

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

 

  • Have a fixed monthly salary of at least $22,500 (similar to the prevailing Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) job advertising exemption from 1 September 2023)
  • Are applying as an overseas intra-corporate transferee
  • Are filling the role for 1 month or less

 

COMPASS case studies

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

# Summary of examples
1 Example A-1: Meets all 4 foundational criteria
2 Example A-2: Meets all 4 foundational criteria (small firm)
3 Example B: Weak on one foundational criterion but exceeds exceptions on another foundational criterion
4 Example C: Weak on one or two foundational criterion but earns sufficient points on bonus criterion

 

Example A-1: Meets all 4 foundational criteria

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)

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 exceptions on another foundational criterion

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 criterion

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)

 

Please visit MOM for more up to date guidelines on COMPASS at: www.mom.gov.sg/compass

ACHI is one of the licensed Employment Agencies in Singapore. We will assist your work pass related applications and appeals at our level best with the regulatory authority Ministry Of Manpower (MOM) for successful outcome.
Please refer to our GUIDES for more information, SERVICES to meet your requirements or CONTACT us if you wish to avail these or many other services.

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