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Successful case study: She’s 24 and got her Employment Pass in just five days! What are the requirements of self-employed EP in Singapore?

The self-employed Employment Pass (EP) application is currently one of the easiest and most popular methods of immigrating to Singapore. Compared to investment immigration, the self-employed EP has a relatively low threshold, with no significant restrictions on the scale of investment business, and minimal limitations on the choice of industry.

However, starting in September, the criteria for applying for a self-employed EP in Singapore will become more stringent. With an uncertain future ahead, it is vital to seize the current opportunity and take advantage of the current conditions.

Recently, we assisted a client in obtaining a Singapore EP within just five days. Despite being under the age of 24, and lacking certain management experience requirements, she was able to successfully apply for an EP.

How did she manage this feat?

The venturing story of Ms. M

Ms. M is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in a Singaporean university, and comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Her interest in business was sparked by her family’s influence, and she is studying marketing and management in Singapore, with hopes of advancing her career overseas upon graduation.


Previously, Ms. M had attempted to apply for immigration to Singapore but faced challenges due to the requirements on age and management experience for the Singapore EP application. Being a student in her twenties, she lacked the necessary work management experience and encountered obstacles in her EP application, with other agencies unable to provide satisfactory solutions.

Over the past two years, the establishment of e-commerce companies such as Alibaba Lazada and Tencent Shopee in Singapore has created numerous entrepreneurial opportunities, which Ms. M is keen to explore. After conducting some research, she established a cooperative relationship with Go Global Gem.

Taking into account Ms. M’s specific circumstances, Go Global Gem’s client manager developed a solution for self-employed e-commerce immigrants in Singapore. With full preparation, Ms. M’s EP application was approved in just 5 days!

Application process:

Date of submission: 13 February 2023.

Approval date: 18 February 2023

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Scoring mechanic applied in this September

Starting from 1st September 2023, Employment Pass (EP) applicants will be required to pass a points-based Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) that assesses factors such as salary, age, skill, and occupation. The framework consists of basic items C1-C4 and additional items C5-C6. 40 points are required to pass COMPASS

To increase the likelihood of approval, EP applicants can earn points in the following areas:

  • Salary: The higher the salary offered, the more points can be earned.
  • Age: Younger applicants are awarded more points.
  • Skills: Possessing skills that are in demand in Singapore can earn additional points.
  • Occupation: Certain occupations that are in demand in Singapore can earn additional points.

It is important to note that while meeting the qualifying threshold of 40 points is necessary for EP approval, earning points in these areas can increase your chances of approval:

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));


Advantages of self-employed EP in Singapore e-commerce

1. Advantages of self-employed EP in Singapore e-commerce

The Employment Pass (EP) is a work permit designed for foreign professionals in managerial, supervisory, or professional positions, established by the Ministry of Manpower of Singapore. To set up a new company in Singapore based on their domestic business background, the applicant can work as a shareholder or an executive in a Singaporean company.

There are no investment, age, or language requirements for the Singapore Employment Pass (EP) application. Additionally, you would not need to explain the source of funds. With just six months, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence in Singapore. After becoming permanent residence for two years, you can then apply for citizenship.

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2. EP application process

The process of applying for an Employment Pass (EP) includes several steps:

  1. Check the company list: Check the list of companies based on the certificate. If the EP application is for a particular company, it is recommended not to take any position in other companies.
  2. SAT assessment: The client confirms the position for which they want to apply for an EP. Based on the client’s education and work experience, we assess their EP application qualifications and determine the minimum salary required for the EP application.
  3. The client confirms the information and signs the authorization and consent letters.
  4. Re-check materials and submit the EP application.
  5. Wait for the application to be approved and obtain the EP.

The Self-Employment EP offers a relatively low-cost option to achieve Singapore’s immigration plan, creating a better future for both enterprises and families. Successful applicants can enjoy various benefits, such as overseas tax incentives, medical treatment, and education opportunities.

Do you want to learn more about the Singapore EP? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. Go Global Gem offers business services, overseas asset allocation, overseas identity planning, and other integrated solutions to meet your needs.

For enquires please reach out to us:

Email: info@goglobalgem.com