Everything you need to know about the Personalised Employment Pass

Personalised Employment Pass Singapore

The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is a visa for foreigners with high salaries willing to live and work in Singapore. The PEP offers many advantages over the regular Employment Pass but also imply some requirements that are detailed in this article.

Who is eligible to the Personalised Employment Pass

The main requirement to obtain the PEP is the fixed monthly salary:

  • Of at least SGD 12,000 for existing EP holders
  • Of at least SGD 18,000 (or equivalent) for foreign professionals
  • From September 2023 onwards: the threshold will be increased to at least SGD 22,500 for both existing EP holders and foreign professionals

Some excluding factors have also to be considered. The following categories of professionals are not eligible to the PEP:

  • An existing EP holder within a sponsorship scheme
  • Professionals working under freelance or intending to
  • Professionals intending to start a business: a sole proprietor or a partner. A director if the candidate is also shareholder of the Singaporean registered company.
  • Journalists and/or professions closely related to journalism (editor, producer, etc.)

Consequently, the main consideration is the fixed monthly salary and how to calculate it. The fixed monthly salary includes two components: the basic monthly salary (as a monthly recurrent and non-varying payment) and the fixed monthly allowances.

The fixed monthly allowances include the allowances that are fixed and paid on a monthly basis (e.g., fixed housing allowance, fixed transportation allowance). Although and for clarification, the following allowances are not included:

  • Bonuses and commissions
  • Any reimbursements of expenses
  • Employer’s contributions
  • Variable allowances

You can find the fixed list of exclusion on the MoM’s website.

List of the advantages of the Personalised Employment Pass

The PEP offers significant advantages over the regular Employment Pass which you can find below:

  • The PEP is valid for up to 3 years (but is not renewable)
  • The PEP holder can work in any sector but must still comply with sector specific registration requirements (e.g., medicine related registration)
  • The PEP is not tied to the employer, this means that the PEP holder can change job and/or employer while keeping their PEP by notifying the MoM.
    • Consequently, a PEP holder can take more than one employment in Singapore, by notifying the MoM and receiving their approval.
  • The PEP allows to bring relatives to Singapore through the Dependant Pass (Spouse and children below 21 years old) or Long Term Visit Pass (common law spouse, step children under 21 years old and parents).

Requirements to retain the PEP

The Personalised Employment Pass is valid for up to 3 years. To ensure that the pass is not cancelled within this period, a PEP holder must ensure of the following:

  • Not be unemployed for more than 6 consecutive months in Singapore.
  • Demonstrate earnings (fixed monthly salary) of at least SGD 144,000 per calendar year (SGD 12,000 per month). Regarding this requirement, please note the following:
    • The requirements is prorated between the date of issuance of the PEP and the 31st December. For instance, a PEP issued the 1st of April will require to demonstrate revenues incurred from fixed monthly salary of SGD 108,000 by the end of the calendar year.
    • From September 2023 onwards: the threshold for newly approved PEP (not for prior existing PEP) will be SGD 270,000 per calendar year.
  • Notify the Ministry of Manpower (MoM) through a form for:
    • Starting or leaving an employmentChange of personal particulars (address, contact details, etc.)
    • Reporting by 30th January of the previous calendar year fixed monthly salaries.

Questions and Answers about the Personalised Employment Pass

1. I hold a PEP, or an In-Principal Approval letter for a PEP, will I have report revenues of SGD 270,000 starting in 1st September 2023?

No, if the PEP has been approved before 1st September 2023, the salary requirements will remain SGD 144,000 until its expiry.
If the PEP has been approved on 1st September 2023 or after, the new salary requirements apply (SGD 270,000).

2. Can severance payment be accounted as part of the calendar year revenue requirements of the PEP?

No, because a severance payment (or any type of bonus) is punctual and paid yearly, they are not accounted as part of the fixed monthly salary requirement.

3. Is it possible to work for 2 companies in Singapore under the PEP?

Yes, the PEP is a visa that is not tied to the employer. If you want to work for 2 companies, you need to notify the MoM of the new employment. The MoM will need to approve the second employment. You can find the form to fill in to declare a new employment to the MoM here.

4. Can a PEP be director of a small company in Singapore?

Yes, the PEP can be director or CEO of a start-up in Singapore if the PEP holder is not shareholder of the Singapore company.

5. Are there quotas of PEP per company?

No, the PEP is not subject to employment quotas in Singapore. A local company can hire as many PEP as needed.

6. I am a high-earning foreign professional, should I consider applying for the PEP or the ONE Pass?

The ONE (Overseas Networks & Expertise) Pass offers additional advantages over the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP):

  • It is valid for 5 years
  • It is renewable
  • Can start and own a company in Singapore

This being considered, the salary requirements for the ONE Pass are higher than for the PEP since the threshold is SGD 30,000 for the previous year of employment and from a company with high valuation, or a promised hiring in Singapore with a salary of at least SGD 30,000 per month.

Thus, we would advise candidates with monthly salaries above SGD 30,000 to apply for the ONE pass. To know more about the ONE Pass you can read our dedicated article!

MyBusiness in Asia can assist you with your application to the Personalised Employment Pass or the ONE pass, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and discuss your eligibility and how to structure your projects in Singapore and the rest of Asia.

Personalised Employment Pass Singapore