EP Pass timescale

Just started my process and the interminable form-filling "sigh". Here in the USA I am being bombarded by auto-responses telling me the recipients are on vacation.
Does Singapore slow down for the Christmas period?
I have been given a 4-6 week time scale. is this accurate?

Can anyone tell me if you can enter Singapore while waiting for an E-Pass to process. We could use the time to house hunt and get settled in. If not I may have to get creative with the company credit card. ;)

Thanks in advance

To wait 4 to 5 weeks for EP approval is now a days quite common. So, no need to be worried.

Yes, during Xmas n New year followed by Chinese New Year ( Next year it falls on 08 & 09 Feb'16) many people are in vacation. So, it does affect a bit if not much.

And, about your last query on while your EP is in processing, you can enter into Singapore under a visiting pass which will have 30 days staying period here.

And, before your visiting visa expires, you must have EP in your hand.

Good luck n have a safe trip to Singapore.

Thanks Surya2k

To add to Surya's excellent reply above:
You need a valid residence visa (EP is one of them, SVP or tourist visa isn't) to rent residential property. So house-hunting might be a bit difficult: You depend on the goodwill of the landlord to reserve a place until you have the EP and can sign a rental contract!

Thanks Beppi. I knew that an EP was usually a prerequisite for a rental agreement as well as a car deal. Just wish my company had got their finger out and started a couple of weeks ago. I am supposed to start a class on the first of Feb so that might not happen.
I definately have to be out of the USA by the 20th so maybe a wee break in Malaysia might be an option. ;). It will certainly beat the feckin' tornadoes going on here right now.

You can "start a class" as participant (training courses are allowed on SVP) but not do any teaching or other paid job before your EP is issued (this is the next step after the application is approved and you passed the medical check).
A break in Malaysia is probably a good idea if you don't want to afford Singapore hotel prices.

Heh! I am the instructor Beppi. I am the old dog that is giving out new tricks.


Can you tell me if the advertising of a position is mandatory? We know that there isn't anyone in Singapore qualified for the position. Does my company need to prove this?


Two weeks of unsuccessful advertising on the locals-only job bank is mandatory in almost all cases before a foreigner can be hired. Exceptions are only very high paying jobs or very small companies. Check with MoM if you qualify for an exemption.

Thanks Beppi

I am not very highly paid (by my company standards) and my company is a large one but we know there is not anyone qualified in Singapore.
The local HR should have had this done weeks ago but you know HR!

Incidentally I am being transferred rather than hired does that make any difference?

Thanks again.

Zeolite wrote:

Incidentally I am being transferred rather than hired does that make any difference?

I am not sure, since I have not received incidental evidence since this new advertising rule was implemented. Internal transfers were easier before that, but there never was (and probaby never will be) an official or published rule about it.

I just checked the MoM website (http://www.mom.gov.sg/employment-practi … -framework). The following exemption is possible:

The job is to be filled by an intra-corporate transferee (ICTs). Under the World Trade Organisations General Agreement on Trade in Services (WTO GATS), ICTs refer to those holding senior positions in the organisation or have an advanced level of expertise.

Not sure if you qualify, but it may be worth a try.
The other exemption reasons are also listed there.

"advanced level of expertise" most definately describes me!
I will talk to the HR

Thanks Beppi

When we first came to Singapore 6 years ago I used my office address and my office lady here in Singapore helped a ton with the process. Just renewed...applied two weeks ago and they delivered the EP and DP's today at the office...got three years this time..again big thanks to the office staff...Good luck

ah well...Beppi is right again!

Job is being advertised as I type. Pointless but necessary,.

Gimme the hoops I will jump through them.

Job was advertised and the EP was applied for yesterday.
House hunting now.
It is a hard life!


I have an EP in principle.

Thanks for the advice guys. You rock!

Off to find a house now.

And thanks for posting everything here. Since MoM doesn't publish anything, we depend on people like you to understand their ways and give advice to others.

Off to the EP Service Centre on Friday for fingerprints and photographs.

The process has gone very smoothly so far.

Zeolite.. Congrats to get an EP and moreover things fall in place for you without any long waiting or trouble.

Got the official ID card on Thursday so that was 4 working days. The process was pretty painless I have to say.

Next step is getting a bank account and phones!

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