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MOM: Qualifying salary for Employment Pass applications to be raised from 2017

The Ministry of Manpower announced on 26 July 2016 that the qualifying salary for Employment Pass (EP) will be raised from $3,000 to $3,600 starting from 1 January 2017.

The ministry said that he aim for the raise is to keep pace with rising local wages, maintain the quality of the foreign workforce, and enhance the complimentary to the local workforce.

The last update of the minimum qualifying salary update was done in January 2014, from $3,000 to $3,600.

A monthly salary of $3,600 can only be applied to the first time applicants subjected to meeting other criteria on qualifications and experience.

Workers who had more years of experience are required to command higher salaries commensurate with their work experience and skill sets.

MOM will give time to make adjustments. Businesses with pass expires

  1. Before 1 January 2017: Will be able to renew, for a duration of up to three years, based on existing EP criteria.
  2. Between 1 January 2017 and 30 June 2017 (both dates inclusive): Will be able to renew, for a duration of one year, based on the existing EP criteria.
  3. 1 July 2017 onwards: Will have to meet the new criteria for renewal, for a duration of up to three years.

The ministry encouraged employers to use the Self-Assessment Tool on its website to assess if their EP candidates will meet the new salary criteria. The SAT will be updated by November 2016.

Assistant Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), Mr Patrick Tay, said that the change was a "positive move" towards keeping up with the rising median wages of the PMEs (professionals, managers and executives) and to maintain the quality of the foreign workforce.

Earlier on 21 July, The Executive Director of local fashion house, Yen’s Studio Pte Ltd, Yen Ser Ming, was sentenced to a fine for $72,000 in default 18 months imprisonment and the company was barred from hiring any foreign employees for falsifying salaries of her foreign employees.

MOM revealed that Yen had falsely declared the salaries of nine foreign employees to meet the minimum standard of the MOM to apply and renew S Passes between December 2010 and June 2013. Yen also falsely declared the salaries to renew S Passes of the same nine foreign employees in between October 2013 and October 2015. She also applied for two additional employees using the false declaration during the period of time. (read more)