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Hiring Foreign Talent: The Difference Between an Employment Pass and S Pass


After you’ve registered your business in Singapore, and start looking to grow your operations by growing your company’s staff count, you may want to recruit talent from overseas.


Employment Pass and S Pass are two separate documents that enable foreign nationals to legally work in Singapore for a locally incorporated business. They are intended for both mid-skilled and highly skilled professionals.


However, you might think they are really similar and wonder what the difference is between these two types of work visas. We’ve broken down the criteria, minimum salary requirements, and quota of these passes you can have for your company.


Employment Pass versus S-Pass

Here’s a comparative table with key facts and differences between Employment Pass and S Pass in Singapore:



What is the daily levy rate?

The daily levy rate applies only to S Pass holders who did not work for a full calendar month.


Here’s how you calculate it:

(Monthly levy rate x 12) / 365 = rounding up to the nearest cent.


How do I apply for an Employment Pass or S Pass for an employee?


If your company needs to hire a foreign national on an Employment Pass or S Pass, here is the procedure you should follow:

1. Post a job ad on a government-approved website.

2. The job advertised must match the occupation in the Employment Pass / S Pass application.

3. The employer submitting the Employment Pass / S Pass application must be the same as the one in the job advertisement.

4. The job ad must remain open for at least 28 days after publication.

5. If you make amendments to job details during this period, the ad must stay open for another 28 days after the changes were made.

6. On the 29th day, you can start your Employment Pass / S Pass application.

7. You cannot submit an Employment Pass / S Pass application if it took more than 3 months to fill in the position advertised in your job posting.


If you need assistance in applying for Employment Pass or S Pass, please contact us for discussion.

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