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Earlier this month (9 Jul), an Indian national posted on the Singapore Expat Forum revealing that he was first rejected by the Manpower Ministry when he applied for an Employment Pass (EP) with salary of S$5,500. However, when his company later applied for him on S-Pass at S$6,000, his application became successful.

The foreign talent from India wrote, “I am from India and moving to Singapore for job as a Software Engineer. I am being offered SGD5500 monthly in my offer letter. According to my employer, they had applied for E-Pass but since it was not given, I am being issued IPA (In-Principle Approval) for S-pass.”

“The issue is that on IPA my salary is mentioned SGD6000 instead of SGD5500. I enquired with my employer. She told me that they have requested correction from the ministry which might take around 2-3 weeks. Meantime, IPA is still valid and I can use it to come to Singapore as it is already approved,” he added.

According to MOM website, EP is for foreign professionals, managers and executives to work in Singapore with a salary of at least $3,600 a month and acceptable qualifications. The S-Pass, on the other hand, is for mid-skilled foreign employees (e.g. technicians) who have at least a fixed monthly salary of $2,200 and a degree or diploma.

“We may consider technical certificates (for S-Pass), such as courses for qualified technicians or specialists,” MOM added.

In other words, S-Pass is meant for foreign technicians while EP for foreign PMETs.

It is therefore, strange that MOM would reject a foreign PMET applying for EP but approve his S-Pass application as a “technician” with an even higher salary.

It was a mistake

Later, when the Indian national raised his concerns with the company about the discrepancy in salary, the company then tried to write a new letter to MOM saying that they had made a mistake in declaring his salary.

The Indian national continued, “I raised the discrepancy issue to them (the company) and now they are saying that they will provide an amendment letter signed by one of the directors of company stating that wrong salary was declared during application process which I will also have to sign.”

He asked in the forum, “Since, they are saying that they have applied to MOM, for correction of salary, could it might happen, that MOM can still cancel the IPA instead of just correcting it? Asking this coz if I am coming to Singapore on current IPA (with incorrect salary) and in meanwhile MOM decided to cancel it, I might get stuck in between.”

In the end, the company agreed that he waits for the new IPA letter before coming to Singapore so as to play safe.

“They have agreed for waiting for IPA approval with correct salary and come after it has been revised. I know that s pass IPA approval usually taked 2-3 weeks,” he revealed. Notice that this foreign talent considered the past tense of take is ‘taked’ instead of ‘took’.

“I have some of my friends there in the same company. Also, its a reputed tech company. So, I know that I can trust them. What I was worried about was the variation of salary in offer letter and IPA at Immigration Check. If ICA would have requested the offer letter and found the variation, then it would have cause problem at Airport. Right ???”

“Apart from that cancellation of IPA in case of correction is also a concern. Although they assured me that its highly unlikely case as amount being offered currently for S pass is far more than the minimum threshold. But I think waiting for Revised (IPA) letter seems like a safe route,” he added.

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