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“Blockade”? Is It Difficult for Russians to Apply for Singapore Employment Pass? Hear What EP Holders Have to Say.

Since Russia launched a military attack on Ukraine, several countries have announced sanctions against Russia. The sudden change has left Russia and its international allies uncertain. Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan stated on February 28 that “Singapore intends to take coordinated action with many like-minded countries to impose appropriate sanctions and restrictions on Russia.” Subsequently, on March 5, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the specific details of sanctions against Russia, including an arms embargo, trade restrictions, and suspension of financial services to four Russian banks.


Singapore is the first Southeast Asian country to impose sanctions on Russia. The last time Singapore implemented unilateral sanctions against another country was in 1978 during the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia (source: Time Magazine).

After 44 years, Singapore has once again implemented unilateral sanctions, this time against Russia. What impact will this have on Russia, and what difficulties might Russians face in applying for Singapore EP? Let’s hear from those who have successfully obtained EPs.

The venturing story of Mr. V

1. Education Background:

Mr. V, a 34-year-old Russian, graduated from McGill University in Canada with a major in Electronic Engineering and obtained a Doctorate degree in Electronic Engineering. McGill University is ranked 31st in the QS World University Rankings 2023 and is considered the top university in Canada. Known as the “Harvard of the North” or the “Canadian Harvard,” McGill University has the highest admission requirements, average admission scores, course difficulty, and graduation requirements among Canadian universities (source: QS official website).

During his undergraduate studies, Mr. V studied at Moscow State M.V. Lomonosov University in Russia, majoring in High-Energy Physics, and obtained a Master’s degree from the Faculty of Physics.

With a high level of education and profound achievements, Mr. V’s educational background gives him an advantage in his application for Singapore EP.


2. Work Experience:

Currently, Mr. V serves as the Chairman of Company F in Canada. In order to accelerate the global expansion of the company, Mr. V has set up companies in countries and regions such as the Cayman Islands.

With the accumulation of personal and family wealth, Mr. V has been planning how to better manage and pass on his wealth. After months of research, he has chosen to develop his career in Singapore.

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3. Why Mr. V Chose Singapore

In a detailed conversation with a client manager from Go Global Gem, Mr. V shared the compelling reasons behind his decision to choose Singapore as his new destination. The following key factors stood out:

A. Cultural diversity:

Singapore is renowned for its rich cultural diversity, with various ethnicities coexisting harmoniously. Chinese, Indians in traditional attire, Malays wearing headscarves, and people of different skin colors and races can be seen everywhere on the streets. This vibrant melting pot of cultures makes Singapore an attractive choice for Mr. V and his family.

B. Economic globalization:

As one of the world’s four major financial centers, along with New York, London, and Hong Kong, Singapore offers unparalleled opportunities for businesses. With its globally integrated economy, setting up a company in Singapore would accelerate Mr. V’s company’s global expansion plans, providing access to a highly competitive and dynamic business environment.


C. Education resources:

Singapore is renowned for its world-class education system, which combines Eastern and Western educational approaches. Its primary and higher education consistently ranks as the top in Asia. In particular, its education system aligns with the Commonwealth countries and is widely recognized worldwide, providing an excellent platform for Mr. V’s children to pursue further studies in Europe and the United States, offering them a higher starting point for their education.

D. Livability and business-friendliness:

Singapore is known for its high quality of life and business-friendly environment. With a tropical climate characterized by mild and humid weather throughout the year, Singapore is often referred to as a “Garden City” and is highly suitable for living. This was a significant factor for Mr. V, considering his previous residences in Russia and Canada, where long winters and low temperatures were challenges. Choosing Singapore would provide Mr. V and his family with a comfortable and conducive living environment.

Application Process

In conclusion, the compelling reasons for Mr. V’s decision to choose Singapore as his new destination revolve around its cultural diversity, economic opportunities, excellent education system, and livability. Singapore’s global outlook, business-friendly environment, and high quality of life make it an ideal choice for Mr. V and his family’s needs. With the assistance of Go Global Gem, a self-employed EP (Employment Pass) scheme was tailored for Mr. V and his family based on their specific situation.

The application process was as follows:

  • 7 December 2022: Submission of EP application documents
  • 14December 2022: Supplementary documents provided (educational credentials authentication)
  • 26 December 2022: Receipt of in-principle approval letter for EP


Recently, Mr. V traveled to Singapore and obtained the physical EP card with the accompaniment and assistance of his client manager from Go Global Gem. Furthermore, Mr. V’s wife also successfully applied for a Dependant’s Pass (DP) for Singapore with their client manager’s help. Congratulations to Mr. V and his family for embarking on a new chapter in their lives!

 Self-Employed EP Application Requirements

Previously, Minister for Manpower, Chan Chun Sing, announced that starting from September, the Employment Pass (EP) in Singapore will introduce a Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) scoring system, with stricter criteria and more challenging application process.

Currently, the main requirement for EP application is the minimum salary (SGD 5,000, or SGD 5,500 for individuals in the financial industry). However, the new EP policy not only requires meeting the salary threshold, but also includes a scoring requirement. Both criteria must be met in order to obtain the work permit.

Starting from September 1st, the COMPASS framework scoring criteria mainly consist of 4 primary assessment items and 2 secondary assessment items, with a passing score of 40 points.

The 4 primary assessment items are: salary, qualifications, Diversity, and Support for local employment. Each item has a maximum score of 20 points.

The 2 secondary assessment items are bonus points, including individual-level skills and company-level economic priority strategies.

Foundational criteria Points
C1. Salary (Individual)

Fixed monthly salary compared to local professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMET) salaries in sector by age

l ≥ 90th percentile 20
l 65th to < 90th percentile 10
l < 65th percentile 0
C2. Qualification (Individual)
Based on candidate’s qualifications
l Top-tier institution 20
l Degree-equivalent qualification 10
l No degree-equivalent qualification 0
C3. Diversity (Firm-related)
Share of candidate’s nationality among firm’s PMETs.*Note: if the company has fewer than 25 Professional, Managerial, Executive, and Technical (PMET) staff, 10 points will be automatically awarded in C3.
l < 5% 20
l 5 to < 25% 10
l ≥ 25% 0
C4. Support for local employment (Firm-related)
Firm’s share of local PMETs within its sector*Note: if the applicant’s nationality comprises 1/3 or more of the company’s Professional, Managerial, Executive, and Technical (PMET) staff, the points awarded for skills will be reduced to 10 points.
l ≥ 50th percentile 20
l 20th to < 50th percentile 10
l < 20th percentile 0
Bonus criteria  
C5. Skills Bonus – Shortage Occupation List (Individual)  
Job on the Shortage Occupation List +20
C6. Strategic Economic Priorities Bonus (Firm-related)
Firm meets specific assessment criteria on innovation or internationalisation activities

In this item, Singapore aims to encourage companies to engage in innovation and internationalisation, and to develop the local workforce or ecosystem. Such as:

– ESG’s Scale-up SG;

– EDB’s Research and Innovation Scheme for Companies (RIS(C));


As the COMPASS comes into effect, obtaining an Employment Pass (EP) in Singapore is expected to become more difficult. Coupled with the tightening of the Global Investor Program (GIP) and increased investment requirements, it is clear that Singapore is emphasizing quality over quantity when it comes to foreign talent.

It is anticipated that the EP requirements will only rise in the future, making early applications advantageous. Among the various ways to apply for an EP, the Self-employed EP is known for its quick processing time. In recent times, Go Global Gem has achieved multiple EP approvals in record time, with processing periods as short as 7 business days, 5 business days, and even 3 business days! This is a testament to Go Global Gem’s speed and efficiency in obtaining EP approvals.


Time waits for no one, and opportunities favor the prepared. If you have a need in this regard, please contact Go Global Gem immediately. We can assist you with assessment, as well as provide services such as business consultancy, overseas asset allocation, and overseas identity planning. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for professional assistance.

For enquires please reach out to us:

Email: info@goglobalgem.com