Sunday, January 8, 2012

How to get your first Employment Pass (EP) in Singapore

First of all, welcome to Singapore! 

Here’s an overview of the steps that I took in order to obtain my EP (Employment Pass) in Singapore, after moving here from Australia. It's been over a couple of months since I got my EP now, but I found one of the most difficult things was just finding the place to register and collect my EP!

How to get your first Employment Pass EP in Singapore
  1. Employer fills in application form - Your employer fills in the application form with you to apply for your EP. This can be done online or manually on paper. Applying online is the fastest option.
  2. Wait - This can take a while to process and can take up to five weeks.
  3. In-Principle Approval letter provided - An In-Principle Approval letter will be mailed to the employer if the Employment Pass application has been approved. 
  4. Apply to collect the Pass - Your employer will need to apply for you to then collect your pass, which includes the payment and a Notification Letter. 
  5. Register for an appointment online - You will need to register to book an appointment online at http://epscapp.mom.gov.sg/.
  6. Employment Pass Services Centre -  When you have an appointment all set up you can arrive to present your documents and collect your pass in person (directions below). When you arrive there will be someone there ready to greet and guide you to collect a waiting number for you to see someone. You don't need to wait for your exact booking time to collect this waiting number, you can pick up a waiting number as soon as you arrive and if they're not too busy you can actually be served before your assigned booking time. 
  7. At the Employment Pass Services Centre counter - They will take your documents (see below for Documents to bring) and ask you to scan your fingerprints (mainly your thumb) into the system. You'll find this thumbprint useful if you ever need to enter/leave Singapore at their electronic gates - as you will be able to use the Enhanced Immigration Automated Clearance System (eIACS) lanes using just your fingerprint. In terms of the EP card, they will let you know when your card will be ready as you will need to come back to pick it up another day.
  8. Wait 2-3 days - Pick up your Employment Pass (EP) card at the same place (different section at the centre) when it's ready. Well done, you're now officially allowed to work in Singapore!

Where is the Employment Pass Services Centre?
Finding the place I found one of the most challenging, as the process itself although timewise can take a while, is generally quite straightforward. So this is where you pick up your employment pass:

The Employment Pass Services Centre
The Riverwalk
20 Upper Circular Road, #04-01/02
Singapore 058416


View Larger Map

There's a map provided at: http://www.mom.gov.sg/Documents/services-forms/EPSC_Map.pdf
Here's the link to Google Maps as well. It's the block between the river and Upper Circular Rd.

The best way to get there is head to Clarke Quay MRT station (train station - coded NE5), where you will come out of a shopping centre called the "Central". Once there you just need to cross the road (Eu Tong Sen St and New Bridge Road - note they have a street name for each direction the traffic is going), and you cross the road by going over an overpass or pedestrian crossing.

Stick to the river if you get lost and look for a building called "The Riverwalk". It may not look like it at first if you're not taking the lift (elevator) and instead taking escalators, but the EP processing centre is at one of the top levels.

If you find yourself near a building that has different colour wooden windows then you're on the wrong side of the river. Make sure you're on the side with Central and you should see The Riverwalk walk nearby too.


Documents to bring
  • Employment Pass application form and/or In-Principle Letter
  • Notification Letter
  • Your educational documents such as a copy of your education degree/ certificates and past employment testimonials
  • Passport sized photograph (passport-sized and taken within last three months) - they generally want one with a clear white background as they scan the photo in. There is a local passport photo store nearby that does it for SGD $6 if your photo is not suitable.
  • Personal particulars page of applicant’s passport/travel document - i.e., your passport and current visa travel document. (e.g. Immigration White Card)

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