What you need to know about the Singapore MOM Employment Pass

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Singapore as a Global Employment Hub

As global markets set their sights on 2024, Singapore maintains and further cements its position as an in-demand global employment hub for workers of all types. HRD and Indeed report that “Job seekers across Asia are setting their sights [on] Singapore with the city-state seeing a 96% increase in foreign applicants in the past three years”.

With the expectation of even more foreign workers looking to come to Singapore, the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has increased regulation around Work Pass or work visa application requirements and document verification. Work passes are required for all foreign workers in Singapore. They come in different types, including the Employment Pass for certain higher-tier workers (more on this below). These passes must be applied for by employers and secured prior to the employee’s start of work.

The stricter implementation of work pass requirements and application processes helps the MOM mitigate the rise of fraudulent activities related to job applications in Singapore. These are surprisingly not as rare as one might think, hence the need for heightened security measures.

What is an MOM Employment Pass or EP?

The MOM Employment Pass or MOM EP is a type of work pass specifically for:

  • Foreign professionals
  • Managers
  • Executives

The EP is the work pass for higher-tier positions that may require a greater breadth of work experience and higher educational qualifications for candidates. 

Other types of work passes include the EntrePass for foreign entrepreneurs; The S Pass for skilled workers; and the Work Holiday Pass for students and graduates looking to work in Singapore for a limited time. Read up on all the types of Work Passes here

What kind of workers are eligible to apply for an EP? 

Foreign professionals, managers, and executives who meet a particular salary requirement, and who pass the COMPASS or Complementary Assessment Framework, are eligible to apply for an EP. 

Learn more about the details of EP eligibility.

Is it difficult to apply for an EP?

Given the constant influx of applications of foreign workers to Singapore, the MOM recently implemented a more stringent verification process for EP applicants. Specifically, each time a Singaporean company brings in foreign talent, it must ensure the authenticity of the individual, and that their professional credentials adhere to the rules set forth by the Singaporean government. 

Verified educational credentials provide the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) the assurance that the school where your candidate studied and the course they took were accredited, and that their credentials are genuine. This gives the Singapore government confidence that they are employing top individuals. 

While this process may be strict, it need not be difficult to accomplish. The application process can be conducted online, and is transparent, so that anyone can learn the steps in the process and make informed decisions about how they will carry it out for their organization.

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The MOM EP Application Process

You can apply for an Employment Pass online as an employer, or an appointed employment agent. 

Browse through our detailed MOM Employment Pass guide, or jump to specific sections below:

What MOM Checks are Required for EP applications?

In September 2023 Singapore became more stringent regarding education verification as part of the EP application process. This is because of the high number of diploma fraud issues recorded in Singapore among foreign worker applicants.

Education records like certificates, diplomas, transcripts, and the like are to be checked and verified only by MOM-accredited companies, such as Veremark, for them to be accepted by the Singapore government as a qualification for EP applicants. In particular, verification proof is “required for post-secondary diploma and above qualification.” 

The MOM goes on to elaborate that “The following are not accepted as a form of verification proof: Education certificates and documents certified by a notary public School letters.” A simple certificate check by random institutions, or even certain legal entities like Notaries that are unaccredited by MOM would not be acceptable, and applicants may fail the process.

Veremark is accredited by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore to conduct background checks, including education verification, and help ensure that your EP candidates’ qualifications are authentic. Our MOM Education Verification Package will provide the verification proof required during the Employment Pass application process. 

Our Education Checks can verify details including:

  • Enrollment dates 
  • Attendance
  • Degree or diploma conferred 
  • Graduation date

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Conclusion

Employers in Singapore must obtain an EP from the MOM on behalf of the foreign workers they wish to hire. With the growing prevalence of diploma fraud, MOM has recognized the need to take decisive action to protect employers and maintain the integrity of the country's workforce. 

Veremark’s MOM education verification package offers many advantages to employers looking to hire for Singapore operations. Furthermore, as an MOM-accredited specialist organization that can carry out your education verification, we can also carry out  many other types of background checks to implement as part of your screening and hiring process for international workers. 

Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you with  hiring and verification in Singapore, or anywhere in the world.

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FAQs

What is an Employment Pass?

An Employment Pass or EP is a type of work visa specifically for foreign professionals, managers, and executives who earn at least $5,000 monthly and have passed the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS).

What are the required documents for an Employment Pass application?

The document requirements include the candidate's passport page showing their personal particulars AND the company's latest business profile OR their instant information registered in the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). 

Supporting documents are also necessary for roles in certain industries. These supporting documents should come from a recognized professional body.

How can Veremark help with an Employment Pass application?

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has a strict system in place to ensure the authenticity of the applicant’s qualifications. Veremark is a MOM-accredited background screening agency that can provide the verification proofs - such as education verification and institution accreditation checks, needed to apply for Employment Pass.

FAQs

What background check do I need?

This depends on the industry and type of role you are recruiting for. To determine whether you need reference checks, identity checks, bankruptcy checks, civil background checks, credit checks for employment or any of the other background checks we offer, chat to our team of dedicated account managers.

Why should employers check the background of potential employees?

Many industries have compliance-related employment check requirements. And even if your industry doesn’t, remember that your staff have access to assets and data that must be protected. When you employ a new staff member you need to be certain that they have the best interests of your business at heart. Carrying out comprehensive background checking helps mitigate risk and ensures a safer hiring decision.

How long do background checks take?

Again, this depends on the type of checks you need. Simple identity checks can be carried out in as little as a few hours but a worldwide criminal background check for instance might take several weeks. A simple pre-employment check package takes around a week. Our account managers are specialists and can provide detailed information into which checks you need and how long they will take.

Can you do a background check online?

All Veremark checks are carried out online and digitally. This eliminates the need to collect, store and manage paper documents and information making the process faster, more efficient and ensures complete safety of candidate data and documents.

What are the benefits of a background check?

In a competitive marketplace, making the right hiring decisions is key to the success of your company. Employment background checks enables you to understand more about your candidates before making crucial decisions which can have either beneficial or catastrophic effects on your business.

What does a background check show?

Background checks not only provide useful insights into a candidate’s work history, skills and education, but they can also offer richer detail into someone’s personality and character traits. This gives you a huge advantage when considering who to hire. Background checking also ensures that candidates are legally allowed to carry out certain roles, failed criminal and credit checks could prevent them from working with vulnerable people or in a financial function.

Transform your hiring process

Request a discovery session with one of our background screening experts today.

MOM education verification: a guide for all employers

A guide for all employers in Singapore

Singapore’s booming economy entices thousands of overseas professionals to its shores every year. Its role as the financial hub in Asia, and its ability to weather the storms of the global financial crisis and the COVID pandemic has seen its popularity rise.

Regarded as a safe country, with a stable economy and no foreign debt - Singapore is prosperous, peaceful, and innovative. Widely regarded as an attractive place to work, almost half the population of the island are immigrants.

With this influx of talent, the country has had to make adjustments to the way it accepts new workers from abroad. In this guide we’ll explore the rise of Singapore as a desirable place to live and work, the problems it has faced with this rise in interest from international visitors, and new regulations that all employers in Singapore need to know about.

This guide explores:

- Singapore's foreign worker problem and the rise of diploma fraud

- The requirements needed to work in Singapore as a employee from overseas

- The new regulations introduced by Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM)

- Third-party verification on education credentials

- New two-stage eligibility framework (Salary + COMPASS)

- MOM's collaboration with Veremark

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