Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Singapore Tightens Criteria for Employment Passes (EP) Which Some May Face Employment Pass Rejected
Before applying for Immigration Singapore, the foreigner may be working in Singapore and need to apply for Employment Pass. Tighter rules and stringent laws are making it too easy for applications to face an Employment Pass rejected status. But why is this happening?
Singapore’s most sought-after visa is also now the hardest visa to obtain. It was the norm in Singapore to approve EP applications if the applicant met the required criteria. The approvals were gauged based on prior work experience, qualifications and salary. Recently, MOM tightens the criteria for EP applications. MOM’s reason cited was because it wants to tighten the overall quality of the foreign workforce.
Employment Pass Handle by MOM, Not Immigration Singapore
EP applications now must undergo a stringent review process by the processing authority. In this case, it is MOM who handles the applications, not Immigration Singapore. The latter is the border control authority and has nothing to do with applications.
Why Is My Employment Pass Rejected?
In most cases, MOM will not reveal the reasons for the rejection. MOM has refined the application process. Then, if you get your Employment Pass rejected, these could be the reasons why:
Your Employer Did Not Fulfil the Balance Ratio
All companies in Singapore must hire locals before they hire foreigners. This is a mandated requirement to protect the local workforce. Your employer must be able to justify why they need to hire foreign talent. Otherwise, you’re looking at the possibility of having your Employment Pass rejected. The company’s recruitment practices must be aligned with the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF). The FCF guideline was introduced by MOM. Moreover, MOM is against unfair hiring practices, and any company in violation will not have their EP applications approved.
You Did Not Meet the Qualifying Criteria
Sometimes, it does come down to the simplest reason. If you don’t meet the qualifying criteria, expect an Employment Pass rejected outcome on your application. Ideally, you must meet all the qualifying criteria to be safe.
Your Resume Does Not Reflect Your Responsibilities
Submit an updated CV to MOM for your application. If your CV does not reflect your increasing responsibility or rising salary, it may be rejected. This could be because MOM might view it as being stagnant in your current role. They only prioritise outstanding candidates with the new changes.
Your Job Scope and Qualifications Don’t Match
You must meet the demands of Singapore’s local job market. These demands include having the right educational background, salary range, and job skills. Your job scope must also match your qualifications. You may have years of work experience to show, but if your skills don’t relate to the job you’re applying for, your EP might face rejection.
Employers Must Consider Locals First
Singapore encourages foreign talent that contributes to the economic growth of the country. However, they need to look after the needs of the local workforce too. Your skills must be outstanding enough to make significant contributions to the economy in the long-run. If the role can easily take by a local, your EP might face rejection.
How Long You Stayed in Your Previous Jobs
MOM prefers to see consistency. Ideally, you should be able to demonstrate that you have stayed in one position for more than 2-years. If you frequently changed jobs without a valid reason, that might affect your application.
Your Personal Information Has Discrepancies
It is advisable that you check your application several times before submission. Any incorrect information supplied will result in an immediate Employment Pass rejected status. Your details should not be conflicting or incomplete or they might find your application might as “questionable”.
Problems with the Company Background
Maybe they don’t consider the company’s business activities relevant enough. But then the business has a weak Singaporean core. Or maybe your company is within an irrelevant industry. Either way, if there is no strong case provided, MOM might easily have your Employment Pass rejected.
Health Problems or Nearing Retirement Age
If you have health problems or are nearing retirement age, then it is unlikely MOM is going to approve your EP application.
Can I Make an Appeal?
You can make an appeal within 3 months for any Employment Pass rejected cases. However, MOM advises that you should only do this if you can address the reason why it was rejected. Unless you can provide new information during your appeal, the outcome will not change.
The reasons for rejection are available at EP Online if you applied online. You may also seek advice about what to do next. For manual applications, you must refer to your letter of rejection. Candidates are advised to use the online Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) to gauge their qualifications.
You can lodge appeals through EP Online. You may also check your application status and print the outline letter here.
Who Has Authorisation to Make an Appeal?
Only an employer or authorised third party who submitted the initial application can make the appeal. Then, MOM will not entertain queries directly from candidates about Employment Pass rejected cases.
The expected processing time for appeals is at least 3 weeks. In some cases, it may take longer to review the Employment Pass rejected cases. Avoid calling MOM or sending them multiple emails to enquire about the status of your EP. This will not also change the outcome or speed up the process.
You may also interest to read more about Singapore Immigration Schemes and Requirements.