Employment Pass Rejected

Hi all just wondering if anyone has had experiences whereby their EP has been rejected? I recently moved jobs, different job descriptions, and my application was declined.  My new company is in process of an appeal but this could take weeks - anyone any comments? Should I assume the worst  and look for other positions? Are there any jobs I can do which don't require an EP?  I love Singapore and would hate to have to leave......

Hello Punchkin!

Sorry for what happened.

Hope that other members will advise you soon.


Hi there,

I got mine rejected as well in February while renewing. My company appealed and thanks to my HR, who put a case/fight for me, I got it renewed and even upgraded to a higher category.

The most important thing is that your HR has to be able to convince MoM that they really need you specifically. Talk to your HR, bulk up your file for the appeal with a commanding letter of support from your company. If MoM feels your company is really committed to have you, they will not reject your EP again.

Unfortunately as a foreigner, you can't work without an EP here, there are other passes available for you to stay - you should look at the ICA websites for options if you run out of time.

Hi thank you so much for your response.  I feel a bit more positive, the appeal is fully supported by the company CEO and the COO has provided a letter to that effect.  I suppose it's just a matter of time.  I'll take a look at the website you suggested.  Thanks again.

There are several reasons why your EP might be rejected:
1. You don't fulfil the criteria any more (they have been tightened lately, especially for salary and academic qualifications). In that case you would also have been rejected in your old job when the next renewal came up.
2. Your employer doesn't fulfil the criteria (e.g. ratio of locals to foreign employees).
3. There are sufficient locals that can do the same job (the company has to convince MoM that they can't find a local).
4. You stayed in your previous job less than two years without giving good reasons for the change (MoM doesn't like job-hoppers).
5. There are discrepancies in your personal information (e.g. your first and second EP applications gave conflicting details, or they found out that something you wrote isn't true - they do check everything, incl. enquiries at your home university etc.!).

In general, they don't tell you the reason for a rejection. Sometimes a personal appointment with the officers at MoM can help finding out what is wrong (go with your company's HR manager!).
If none of the points above is true, it can probably be solved easily. If one of them is true, you might have a real problem and better spend your time looking for alternatives (i.e. jobs in other countries).

Thanks Beppi for your reply.  At this stage its in the hands of the MoM, my appeal has been submitted with th full backing of my company CEO, COO and HR dept so fingers crossed its just an oversight or cross in communications.


Please, let us know. I am in the same case.
My employer did appeal 3 weeks ago and no news yet...

Hi, sorry to hear you are in same position.  My appeal was submitted three weeks ago and still wIt response.

Having spoken with a recruiter, I understand there has been an increase in rejections so I assume the normal three week appeal will take longer since there is a possible back log.

The good thing is, if the appeal is rejected then mom must give a reason and at least we have a chance to rectify as at this stage I'm in the dark as to why I was declined.

Keep in touch!

At MoM, appeals are handled by the same officer who rejected the original application. Thus an appeal is only worth your time if you have additional material or information (and a good reason why it wasn't included initially - otherwise it might be counted against you).
In many cases, officers are willing to reveal the reasons for rejection in a personal talk, so go there (preferably with an HR representative) and meet the officer before you appeal!

Punchkin: I have never heard of a rule saying that MoM has to give a reason for rejecting an appeal. Is it new, or wrong information?

From what I have been informed by the mom they will not entertain visits or personal talks.  At the point of rejection there was no mention as to the reasons therefore at the point my potential employer is in the dark.  A reliable recruiter has told me, from her experience, mom will provide reasons if an appeal is not positive.  This is my experience and I'm sure others may vary.  It's a waiting game for now.


I did my masters in NUS but still i got a reject..
My employer applied on 15th sep and i immediately got a reject on 20th sep.
They reapplied with an appeal and I am still waiting..
Hope we all hear some good news soon..

hi punchkin so was the appeal successful?

Hi! Unfortunately my appeal was also rejected however my company did manage to secure me an S Pass which allows me to work again.  I believe the criteria for an EP has changed so that explains why I had two before but not this time.  Happy to say I have another two years in the clock!

Hi punchkin,

Glad to hear it finally worked out for you, sorry for the downgrade...

In the next two years, I would advise you to improve on your qualifications, beef it up with a few courses / further diploma in your area of specialization.

MoM doesn't like persons who stagnate in their job position/duties and there is no guarantee that the current criteria will not further move up.

That way, at a time of renewal, you can present a better file and stand better chances at getting a positive response.

This means salary was the reason for your rejection.
An EP requires S$3000/month or more (increased from S$2500 a few months ago), S Pass is available for less.

I'm not fussed about the down grade I'm really just hugely grateful for getting a two year visa regardless.  The reject. Has nothing to do with the salary as I'm still being paid within the limits.  The change has something to do with the qualifications as this has been tightened as in the uni they were taken at must be on the mom preferred list.

I'll def be doing more relevant exams within the next two years and will make sure I strengthen my case.

Hi Manasa,

How was your pass application? Was it successful this time? I'm currently pursuing my Master's in NUS, and I'm afraid I might encounter the same problem regarding pass application in the future. I hope you could share me this.



Same issue for me... and because they didn't give any justification, it's hard to know what to add for the appeal.

unfortunately my ep got rejected, after that i found that university name was wrong that I filled in the form what should i do now??
if I appeal but it will take time to get approved,so is there any way I work without ep during appeal time in new company.

Only holders of degrees from certain universities (MoM has a list) can get EP. If yours was mis-spelt (and thus they could not find it on the list), it is a sure reason for rejection.
You can appeal and have a good chance if your school (in correct spelling) is on their list.
But there is no (legal) way to work before the appeal is decided on. Waiting (without income) is the price you have to pay for this mistake. Since they will probably verify your degree with your school, this can take as long as your school needs to reply (one week to several months is usual).

Usually employer HR manager will resubmit for you....... alternative when HR apply next time, let her submit for S-pass application as well.. and please note for EP, your salary must be $3000 above to be qualified.

By the way, no need to go for appeal... just let your HR resubmit your application with the correct name will do... I apply for my staff will not take 3 workings days to get the result...

one more thing, all your original certificates must be scanned and let your HR submit together... if any incomplete submission will lead to immediate rejection....

Hi Everyone,
I would like to know a few details.

I am working here from May 2010 onward. In Feb 2011, I was absorbed by my client as I was on contract. From Feb 2011 until now, I am a working as permanent employee. My EP expires in Feb 2013. I would like to know if I will get my EP renewed ( may be it is too early to ask this question, but I'm fully dependent on this job) . I have taken the assessment tool in MOM website and I'm eligible for EP. 

The cause of my worry is again increased as I read this news today.

http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/ED … asy-expats

If it is less likely for my EP to get renewed, then what would be the alternatives?

Thank you for your comments and opinion.


Yes, there have been an increasing number of cases recently where an EP or even PR (REP) wasn't renewed. It's part of the new policy to reduce foreigner quotas.
Nobody on this forum will be able to tell whether your particular EP will be renewed or not. Apply and you will see!
If it's not renewed, the alternative (apart from staying on illegally without visa, which I would not recommend) is moving out of Singapore.  You better prepare for that possibility, just in case!

Thanks beppi for the kind response.

Do you have any idea if an EP renewals will be rejected irrespective of the fact that a local person is available to the same job?

I work as a Systems Analyst.

I know that a new EP application will only be granted if there aren't enough locals for the job (who must be preferentially employed). Not sure about renewals, but I guess so too.

Thanks beppi!

How about Personal Employment pass?
May be worth giving it a try? I will be completing two years on EP P1 category. So I hope I am able to apply for it.
Is there a validity period and some kind of restriction for PEP?

Yes, you can apply for a PEP (which can be granted only once in your life and is valid for 5 years).
As a P1 pass holder (which requires a salary above S$8000/month) you anyway have good chances of EP renewal. Don't worry!

Thank you so much beppi

Hi all,
My EP also got rejected cause I was replacing a Singaporean Local Manager...is his a reason and also my company is not employing any singaporean.
I was supposed to join as Local Director for an MNC.. My education is Diploma...is this also one of the reasons?
Would be good to have some insights

"is his a reason and also my company is not employing any singaporean" - unlikely to be the reason as there are no foreigner quotas for employment passes of Q1 category and above. For S-Passes, there is a quota and if there are no Singaporeans employed by the company, S-Pass applications will be rejected.

"My education is Diploma...is this also one of the reasons?"
could be the reason, unlikely to get Q1/P2 passes without a degree, as these are mostly for fresh grads / low to mid experience professionals. Experience/track record/salary weigh a bit more in P1 applications.

thankyou fr your time to reply.
please could someone suggest the best way to file an appeal.
my company really wants me to transfer in Singapore and we are really in a fix coz of this.
appreciate your time guys..

it's anyone's luck at the moment for EP applications. If you want to maximize your chances at a succesful appeal, don't hesitate to involve your HR, and get MoM to reveal reason for rejection (this can be tricky as they are usually reluctant to state reason for rejection even in face to face meeting with HR).
Your company has to be able to convince MoM that they need you and there isn't any locals that are able to do what is in your job description, i.e you possess a rare ability/talent that is not available locally or one of your specific skills is crucial for the Singapore business entity. If your employer is able to convince MoM that not hiring you will be disruptive / disadvantageous for the company, I see no reason for MoM not to approve it. So I suppose you could file an appeal with a letter of support detailing why the company needs you specifically.

Dear Ruddy thanks for your reply and suggestion. We are coming up with an appeal with a new statement on why we need to hire a foreigner. Actually speaking looking at the situation and the anger/frustration of the Songaporean people in various blogs/ newspapers I am a bit discouraged to move there too. Anywyas pls don't get me wrong coz all the Songaporeans I have been in contact with my cliEnts have been welcoming and very cordial. I will keep you informed how it goes. Thanx again...

beppi :

Yes, you can apply for a PEP (which can be granted only once in your life and is valid for 5 years).
As a P1 pass holder (which requires a salary above S$8000/month) you anyway have good chances of EP renewal. Don't worry!

Renewal of EP doesn't depend on your pay. As long you are in minimum pay for EP, amount is not an issue. The main issue is your own personal qualification. Like your degree whether related to your current job? If you're self company, are you hiring any local as Gov wants you to contribute with society too. If you're a solo player and no qualified qualification and your job can be easily replaced by other local, then most likely your renewal will get rejected.

I got my friend been in Singapore for 4 Years. He is paying regular tax, and drawing salary of 10K+ a month. He got office, registered business, but didn't hire local. So he is solo so far. His EP got rejected, and his second appeal also got rejected. Now is the third appeal. But chance is very slim as verbally the officer didn't give him hope and he has to move out country by the time the EP expired. Imagine how he is going to close down the company and all contracts he is having. But see, Gov Decision is final ... For solo player be extra careful, they evaluate not only base on personal but also your company. So be prepared.

Good luck to those who appeal. But one advise try to get reason of rejecting. Normally you can get somebody from company to call MOM and ask, they might give your company reason. There is no use for you to appeal without fixing the problem as you will get the same result.

The above case is a typical "one-man-show" company that probably exists only to give that one man an EP and the right to live in Singapore. MoM is clamping down on those - and I think rightly so.

For other cases ("real" employees or "real" companies") everything I wrote does apply. Salary level does matter and at P1 level (above S$8000/month) academic qualifications (degree) are not needed any more.

Hi Beppi,
Do you mean coz we are a MNC with no local or foreign employee and they are trying to get an EP for me as a local director?
My salary is 8000..but I have a diploma No degree
We will apply for an appeal again...u mean degree is not needed anymore for EP?

Vic: My comment was directed to bensonlew, not you!
If yours is an MNC, things are probably different: A foreign MNC with a rep or branch office in Singapore can employ foreigners easier. Contact ACCRA!

I said one-man-show companies cannot get an EP for that one man any more, especially if he's also the owner and thus the "employment" is only created to get the EP.

A university degree is required for EPs up to P2. P1 can be given without, the minimum basic salary for P1 is S$8000/month.

Thanks Beppi, what is aCCRA? Thanks fr ur time and comments

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