Employment Pass Eligibility: Educational Qualifications Is Required By September 2023

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Employment Pass Eligibility: Educational Qualifications Is Required By September 2023

Starting from September 1, companies in Singapore that want to hire foreigners on an Employment Pass (EP) will have to ensure that their educational qualifications are authentic. This mandate comes as part of the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS), which was introduced last year and takes effect in September for new applications, while for EP renewal applications, it will come into effect in September 2024. In this article, we will explore what can be expected from this additional requirement and how it will impact employers and foreign workers.

What's New Under The New Regulation?

Under COMPASS, EP applications will be awarded points based on four attributes and two bonus criteria. One of the key attributes is educational qualifications. A candidate that exceeds expectations with qualifications from a top-tier institution can earn up to 20 points, while a degree-equivalent qualification earns 10 points. If a candidate does not have a degree-equivalent qualification, they will not be awarded points.

*The Shortage Occupation List will identify niche and highly specialized jobs that are in short supply within Singapore's workforce, such as roles in tech, healthcare, and sustainability. This list will go through a "major refresh" every three years to ensure it remains responsive to industry developments.

The COMPASS is a new framework that aims to improve the quality of the EP application process by assessing the complementarity between job vacancies and local talent. It takes into account factors such as companies' efforts to hire locals, their contributions to the economy, and their commitment to developing Singaporean talent. As part of this framework, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will now require companies to submit educational qualifications for EP applications.

This means that companies must ensure their foreign employees have the necessary educational qualifications before submitting an EP application. The MOM will verify the authenticity of these qualifications through a database of recognized institutions and universities, both locally and internationally. It is essential for employers to note that any fraudulent documents or misrepresentation could result in rejection of the EP application and may even lead to legal consequences.

What Is MOM Trying To Achieve Here?

Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced exciting new updates for Employment Pass (EP) applications.

The ministry will be enforcing mandatory third-party verification proof for applicants with diploma-level qualifications and above to ensure the authenticity of their educational qualifications. This move will safeguard against fraudulent practices and provide peace of mind for employers seeking to hire foreign talent.

These updates show that Singapore remains committed to attracting top talent from around the world and prioritizing the growth and development of key industries. The MOM's focus on maintaining the authenticity of qualifications and diversifying the workforce through the Shortage Occupation List and NTS Occupation List will drive innovation and success in Singapore's business landscape. We look forward to seeing the positive impact of these updates on the economy and job market in the months and years ahead.

NTS Countries And Hiring Process In Singapore

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is spreading its wings to attract Non-Traditional Source (NTS) countries' workers, bringing in exceptional talent and diversity. MOM has announced an attractive quota with a minimum fixed monthly salary to hire these skilled individuals, allowing companies to take their business game up a notch. The cherry on top? These coveted workers can only form 8% of your workforce and must be lavishly rewarded with at least S$2,000 every month.

This move is a significant one, as it provides more opportunities for companies to diversify their workforce and hire workers from other countries and regions. Furthermore, it helps employers to find the right workers for their businesses, regardless of their country of origin.


The educational qualifications requirement applies to all levels of EP applicants, from entry-level employees to executives. The MOM has stated that they will take into account the relevance of the educational qualifications to the job position when assessing the EP application.

This new requirement is aimed at ensuring that foreign workers hired on EPs are qualified for their positions and will not lead to displacement of local talent. It also aims to promote transparency and integrity in the EP application process.

Employers may need to allocate additional resources and time to verify their foreign employees' educational qualifications. They may also need to adjust their hiring practices and consider local talent before applying for EPs.

Foreign workers may also need to provide additional documentation to prove their educational qualifications, which could potentially delay their EP application process. It is important for foreign workers to ensure that their educational qualifications are authentic and recognized before applying for an EP.

In conclusion, the new requirement for educational qualifications as part of the EP application process is a step towards ensuring transparency and integrity in the hiring of foreign workers.

Overall, these changes are also a positive step for Singapore's workforce and economy, as they ensure that only qualified and deserving candidates are hired for jobs in Singapore. It also provides more opportunities for companies to diversify their workforce and find the right workers for their businesses. With these new regulations in place, Singapore is poised to maintain its position as a top destination for talented professionals and workers from all over the world.

Read also: A Comprehensive Guide To ONE Pass

Read also: Employment Of Foreign Manpower Act: 7 Things You Must Know Before Hiring Foreign Worker In Singapore

Read also: Introducing Unemployment Support In Budget 2023? What Can We Expect



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