In view of the uncertain economic outlook and the relatively weaker job market in Singapore, the Singapore Government is making new adjustments to foreigners applying for employment pass and S pass. This is a move to place a larger focus on retaining and enlarging local employment.

Below is a summary of changes taking place with effect from 1st September 2020.


Employment Pass

  • From 1st September 2020, the minimum salary requirements for new applicants will be raised from SGD3,900 to SGD4,500.
  • The minimum salary requirement for employment pass applicants under the financial services sector will be further raised to SGD5,000 from 1st December 2020.
  • For renewal applicants, these new salary criteria will come into effect from 1 May 2021.
  • Employment Pass candidates in their 40s will be raised correspondingly and will remain around double the minimum qualifying salary for the youngest applicants.


S Pass

  • The S Pass minimum qualifying salary will be raised from $2,400 to $2,500 with effect from 1st October 2020.
  • For renewal applicants, the requirement will take effect from 1 May 2021.
  • Qualifying salaries for older and more experienced S Pass candidates to be revised accordingly


In considering employment pass and s pass applications, additional emphasis will now be placed on whether the employer has (i) kept up the support of local PMETs in their employment and (ii) been responsive to government efforts to help them recruit and train more Singaporean PMETs. Employers who discriminate against equally qualified locals over foreigners will be taken to task and may be punished.

In line with the fair consideration framework, employers are to advertise the job opening to locals for a minimum of 28 days (with effect from 1st October 2020) and must be able to show that they have considered all qualified locals, documenting down their selection process before proceeding with the hiring of foreigners.


Singapore continues to aim to be an international hub and these changes are made to better reflect the current situation. Foreigners with strong credentials and providing valuable resources to contribute are still very much welcomed.