S Pass Rejected & They say I'm not qualified to apply any pass

Hi everyone,

I want to share my current condition first:
- I am Chinese Indonesian, 22 y.o.
- I am a Singapore bachelor degree from a private university, my score are average, but never failed any class.
- I also having a formal education in China for a year, for learning Chinese literature and linguistic (it was a non-degree program, only a cert saying I finished Chinese lesson for a year).
- I got less than 1 year work experience.
- The offered salary was $2,500 and a S Pass.
- I've tried to use the SAT and it said that I only can apply S Pass, based on my background.
- I'm not holding any other pass.
- My S Pass application was rejected, not due to inexperience or salary, but other thing.

After almost 10 days, the result came out and the application was rejected. Inside the EP Online status, it only has a generic reason "This individual is not eligible for any work pass". The company tried to called the MoM, and mentioning about sending an appeal.

But the MoM replied that "since the letter of rejection indicated that you are not qualified to apply any pass, there is no point to appeal because it will still be rejected." And MoM even not stating any detail reason, why the application was rejected.

Then the company suggest me to call MoM personally, and I did that. However, MoM said they will never disclose any information regarding the application to individual.

Now the question, how would I know which aspect that made me not qualified for any pass? I can't ask it personally, even the MoM never give the answer to the company I applied to. This also would affect my future job opportunities in Singapore.

And do you guys any tips on how to discovering the rejection reason?

Thank you!

If MoM does not want to tell you, then there is no way to find out why you were rejected.
You are well advised to look for employment in another country instead. Sorry!

beppi :

If MoM does not want to tell you, then there is no way to find out why you were rejected.
You are well advised to look for employment in another country instead. Sorry!

Hi Beppi, apparently the company have found out the reason of rejection, and it's solely related to me. At this point, we have address the issue and sending an appeal. How long would be the appeal take place? The last submission took around 5-7 days, would it be faster or slower?

If your assumption of rejection is correct then the response to your appeal should be faster. Good luck

What was the rejection reason and how did you resolve it?

Hi, I got the similar case. I am a bachelor of engineering with 3 years experience in Indonesia. I would like to work in Singapore but My S Pass application was rejected without clear reason. only stated "This individual is not eligible to apply for a work pass. Please find another candidate".
My employer talked to MoM and said that it was not due to my qualification, salary, or quota but other thing related to myself (that I will not be eligible for a work pass in Singapore). My employer ask whether I have an unfavorable record. Therefore I provide a certificate of good conduct from my national police force to employer to prove my record is clear for appealing. Still the appeal is unsuccessful.
I need an advice: if I email to MoM to ask about the reason detail, will it offend MoM and make my case worse?
Thanks in advance.

Asking (at MoM AND ICA!) will not make your case worse, but it will most likely also not help.
You must have an "adverse record". Were you ever denied entry to Singapore, or overstayed, or had an employer lodge a complaint against you (e.g. for absconsing a work contract without proper termination)?

Thanks for the advice, Beppi.
That's makes me confuse more. I don't have any adverse record especially in Singapore. I have never been denied or problem entering Singapore since 2010 for holiday. I've never overstayed either. Moreover, I don't have any problem with my employer (Indonesia) as I maintain good relationship with them. (I haven't start working in Singapore yet.)

Then all the more you should contact ICA and MoM to find out what caused the rejection. If you really have never done anything they dislike, it might be wrong information and easy to clear up.

beppi :

What was the rejection reason and how did you resolve it?

After months of waiting, finally I didn't get the pass. Because there was an urgency to fill up this position, so they use internal sources to fill it up. I'll share the cause of my rejection.

I was rejected because I didn't aware that the FIN number of any Singapore passes will remained the same, regardless what types of passes you get next. I mentioned, I did my degree in Singapore which make me hold this student pass. However, there was a major miscommunication between my employer and me, which I thought they were asking "Am I holding any SG Passes (right now)" but actually they were asking "Have you hold any SG Passes before".

So when the company declare that I never hold any SG Pass, the MOM data shows that I did hold a SG Pass. The system does not show what kind of pass you hold, it only shows that you already have a registered FIN number. Well, this was a major mistake (imo), because we looked like trying to manipulate MOM by declaring a lie.

My employer never reveal the content of the appeal letter, or how the process of it, so I don't have any idea about it. However, during the second attempt we did mentioned that I was not aware of this FIN number issue, and we admit our mistakes, but the outcome still remained the same.

What can you learn from my experience?
1. Make sure that you have submitted the right document. Never ever do my mistake, if the employer were unclear, it is your job to ask for it.
2. My employer told me that during the appeal letter, if we never submit any new documents/ new information, the outcome will always remained the same.
3. For S Pass specifically, the appeal letter should emphasize more to your USP, what make you (foreigner) different from the PR/ Singaporean. What set of skills that Singaporean/ PR does not have.
4. MOM will never entertain individual inquiries. Yeah, it's depressing to not know why you are not eligible, but you can do some self check and keep asking the company to help you with this. Since MOM will only entertain the company.
5. The longest waiting period of me was 3 weeks, if more than 3 weeks usually the MOM will send an email to your employer saying they need more time to review your case. So if you are waiting for more than 3 weeks, please ask your employer to send followup e-mail to MOM.

Hope my story can help you, feel free to private message me if you do have question or reply in this thread, for sure someone will help you :)


Dehakid: Thanks for taking your time to post this, so other readers can hopefully avoid similar issues. I wish you more luck in your subsequent work pass applications, whether in Singapore or elsewhere!

beppi :

Dehakid: Thanks for taking your time to post this, so other readers can hopefully avoid similar issues. I wish you more luck in your subsequent work pass applications, whether in Singapore or elsewhere!

Thank you Beppi!

Hi Beppi, i’m experiencing the same feeling. I’m so worried that I will be rejected by the MOM. Before I have my previous employer and then my boss from there told me that they key in me as a Restaurant Manager bfore in the USA.. But I’m just an Assistant restaurant manager bfore.. Now what i am facing now is that after I resigned to my previous employer here in singapore, I got a new offer from another company and they key in me the true details that I’m an Asst Restaurant Manager in the USA.. I’m thinking if this should be a problem? If MOM will reject me? Because two companies key in my details differently. :(

Whether this detail is considered a minor difference or an important inconsistency depends on the processing officer at MoM. But at least you have an explanation that you can present in case it‘s needed.
Good luck!

Thank you beppi. But have you heard any situations like this? Or what’s MOM policy when approving and rejecting applications? Only education or even the experience and position before they check?

If your experience letter at US restaurant shows as Asst Manager (which you have submitted at MoM) will be the final acceptance at MoM. It’s difficult to say if MoM will reject or not cause of that mismatch. But, you can appeal after rejection and provide your rational for that misinterpretation. MoM does accept employee’s appeal (if you have valid point). Don’t worry and be positive. Good luck

Thank you! 😇 I talked also to one of the agents and he said, experience outside Singapore is not an issue. Only MOM will check the previous experience in Singapore, because of the FIN number. I will let you guys know once I know the result. The problem now may status is still withdrawn. Is the online checking of status is accurate? Because according to my employer they apply it already, Jan 3, 2018. But since yesterday its still withdrawn.

Online is the only medium where you can check your status on a regular basis. So, no question about it’s accuracy. It may take few days to update in the system, if the employer has already submitted the COMPLETE documents at MoM. Good luck


I am currently experiencing a similar issue. The company (the Firm) applied for an S-Pass based on the self-assement tool. It was rejected within 3 weeks with the same reason of ineligibility.

The Firm submitted an appeal on OCT 2017 with 8 new supporting documents such as letters of recommendation from the Associate Dean of SMU Juris Doctorate program, Law Professors, supporting letter elaborating my USP, certificate of good character and even revised my position to " Legal Business Development" or something on that line (Thats what the Firm's partner instructed the HR to do). I suppose these documents entail new information for MOM to consider? 

MOM sent an email to the Firm 3 weeks thereafter requesting more time to review my case, but I have yet to receive any outcome (2 months and counting). The Firm HR informed me that there is no further development as of now.

My questions:

1. Whether it is the norm for MOM to take this long? They will make people wait for more than 2 months for just a rejection? Both the firm and myself are confuse with the rejection and the amount of time they need. The Firm speculates that the rejection is most likely due to a "policy reason" since there is a glut in the Singapore law industry i.e too many unemployed local lawyers. 

The problem is that I cant move on to accept any new offers and submit new application without resolving this current appeal.

2. Anyone experiencing long appeal process before? Share please!

Brief personal background:

1. Had an EP, Student Pass and Training Employment Pass (TEP) before (All the same FIN number tho)
2.  Law Degree from Indonesia - Pelita Harapan University (Recognized); Juris Doctorate from Singapore Management University; Qualified Lawyer in Singapore (Passed the Singapore Bar) (Member of the Singapore Law Society).
3. Intending to work at a Singapore Law Firm (No issue on quota), Salary offered: $4000 since I have no prior experience as a lawyer and this is a career switch.
4. No adverse record - stayed in Singapore for more than 15 years (Since primary school) and I passed the Singapore Bar (they checked my background too and I signed a court document saying that im neither bankrupt nor do I possess any criminal record).
5. 6 years professional experience in Business Development
6. I am 34 years old this coming March 2018.


Yes, it is becoming more an more common for MoM to take two months or longer. And no, a long processing time does not show higher chances of approval.
There might be another reason for MoM's difficulty to decide: After 15 years in Singapore, you are probably expected to have applied for PR (and eventually citizenship) already. In case you are second generation PR and didn't apply to avoid NS, this will be viewed heavily in your disfavour!
If you ant to accept another offer, you need to cancel this EP application first.

All my family is in Jakarta. I am not second gen PR haha. I didnt apply PR cz I had to return to Jakarta and get my degree there due to financial crisis. Only when I saved up enough I returned to Singapore to further my study.

The struggle is real. lol

Hi there,

Indonesian is not easy to get Spass nor EP in Singapore. The pass min salary is keep increasing and it’s getting harder in every year.

My company did hire an Indonesian who studied in Singapore for many years, yet the EP was rejected evethough her salary was inside EP range. We did appeal yet rejected as well. In the end we did apply for S pass and finally she got it.

Based on my experience in Singapore, MOM hardly would entertaint any questions. The same thing goes to ICA when you apply for PR and get the rejection. All the best for you

You are right. The Partner of the firm did mentioned that they tried hiring Indonesian before and all got rejected.

Gracie889 :

My company did hire an Indonesian who studied in Singapore for many years, yet the EP was rejected evethough her salary was inside EP range. We did appeal yet rejected as well. In the end we did apply for S pass and finally she got it.

Obviously, the salary was NOT in EP range, only in S-Pass range.
It is important to understand that the EP minimum salary of currently S$3600 applies to fresh graduates only. It increases with higher education and work experience as per value of the employee on the job market - MoM wants to avoid foreigners coming in at lower than market salaries and thus distorting the pay scale for locals as well.


Hi everyone,

So I am having the same problem. My s pass application has been rejected. I don't know why. I just checked it online.
I have degree in Business ad major in Computer Applications in Philippines. I had 1 year call center experience in Philippines and 2 years retail experience in Singapore. I had E pass before.
My new employer applied me for s pass with salary of $2,600 as Sales operations assistant.  We did the SAT before proceeding with the application and it says I am eligible for s pass. The company has quota.

After only 6 days I saw that I got rejected. I am trying to figure out what is the reason for the rejection as there's no reason indicated.
By the way I'm 23 yrs old if that will matter.

Thank you to anyone who will reply.

Please help.

The reason is very likely too low salary.
With two degrees and apploicable work experience, you should earn around S$4000-5000/month and get an EP.

MoM might have thought the position which your employer offering to you can be offered locally. Secondly, your experience in call centre and major subject in computer application is not doing any justification to your offering job ‘sales assistant’. Last not the least, 2 years work experience with salary $2600 could be at lower level which is why MOM may see that local person should be hired instead of a foreigner. But, nevertheless keep trying. Good luck

I just found out the reason. The company has 5 local employees. Therefore they can hire 1 s pass but because of the company's nature of business. Mom requires 6 local employees to hire 1 s pass. How do we go about this? Is it possible to appeal?

Well in this case the company must either hire one more local or convince MoM to change the quota, before they can hire you.
Changing the quota is very difficult.

What documents we may need to support? Is it possible though? Cause technically, the company is eligible for 1 spass. But now they want 6 locals to hire 1 spass. I am really sad. After a series of struggles, i finally got a job. Now my pass is rejected.

Usually letter of appeal. But it has to be submitted by the company and you need to present a new information/ document/ special circumstances for MOM to reconsider. If you just pleading MOM with the same documents you have submitted, it be pointless.

New circumstances for example offer higher salary, new position with new job desc etc...

Scroll the above thread to see my appeal documents. I submitted 8 new documents in addition from the company appeal letter.

Since in your case the company wants a change of quota (from 1 foreigner per 6 locals to 1 foreigner per 5 locals), they need to give a good reason why.
Since the main reason for quotas is to keep jobs for locals, this should be that, somehow, hiring you will create more jobs for locals than hiring a local would. Difficult!

Developing software and hardware medical technology. Is it under service sector or all other sector? I am trying to figure out if our company falls to service.

Your employer should ask MoM what sector they are classified under. Nobody here could know!

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