top of page

The Employment Pass qualifying salary is reviewed annually against the benchmark. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE – A raft of changes to the foreign work pass system is set to keep up the skills bar of Singapore’s foreign workforce at all levels, while ensuring Singaporeans can get good jobs and enterprises here pursue innovation.

Chief among these changes is an increase in the Employment Pass (EP) qualifying monthly salary for new applicants from Jan 1, 2025, and for those who are renewing it from the year after.

Their minimum qualifying monthly salary will be raised to $5,600, from $5,000 currently.

Those working in financial services will need to earn $6,200 a month, up from $5,500 now, in view of the sector’s higher wage norms.

“The EP qualifying salary will also continue to increase progressively with age,” Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng said on March 4, during the debate on the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) budget.

The minimum salary for candidates in their mid-40s to qualify will also increase to up to $10,700, and to up to $11,800 for those working in financial services.

The changes were made to ensure the cost of hiring an EP holder remains in line with what the top one-third of local professionals, managers, executives and technicians minimally earn, which was a benchmark unveiled during Budget 2022.

The EP qualifying salary is reviewed annually against the benchmark, MOM said in a statement on March 4.

The timing of the moves means that firms with existing EP holders have a longer runway, potentially up to 2028, to manage the impact of these changes and prepare their hiring plans, Dr Tan added.

The EP is valid for up to two years for first-time pass holders, and up to three years for those whose passes are renewed.

Dr Tan said the dates were set in response to concerns from trade associations and chambers on the rising costs of manpower and constraints in hiring.

However, he added: “Even as we continue to attract top talent to grow our economy, our work pass framework needs to be strengthened to ensure that firms develop their local workforce and treat locals fairly.”

Still, there will be no adjustment to the S Pass qualifying salary and levy in 2024, which will both be increased in 2025 as part of a series of stepped increases already announced in Budget 2022, he noted.

Employment Pass minimum qualifying salary

The new figures will kick in from Jan 1, 2025, for new applicants and from Jan 1, 2026, for renewals.


Yi, T. H. (2024, March 4). Salary threshold for new Employment Pass applicants to be raised to $5,600 from 2025. The Straits Times.


bottom of page