You got your desired Employment Pass at a very high price: a lot of work had been done to meet picky criteria of the MOM. Probably you even didn’t notice that: if your visa was masterly handled by professional agents, you must have enjoyed a smooth approval. But you should know the reality: crowds of EP seekers get rejected every month; the competition and EP “price” raises day by day, and the battle isn’t finished yet. One day (in a year or two depending on the period you work visa was issued for), you will have to go through Employment Pass renewal. This process will require a team work with your visa agency because Singapore EP renewal doesn’t happen automatically. It’s another one MOM’s exam you should pass for saving the job you tried to land so hard.
The authorities keep an eye on every EP holder and strive to ensure all of them are really worth positions they occupy. The reason is obvious: you take the place that could belong to a talented Singaporean. That’s why you must justify the government’s trust and prove that you fit the criteria at your forthcoming renewal of Employment Pass. The fact that you are still employed isn’t persuasive enough; you must still meet the starting criteria to please the authorities.
Employment Passes are usually issued for the maximum of 2 years. MOM decides about the duration of every EP on case-by-case basis. 3 months before your expiry date, MOM will send your boss a reminding about the terms of Singapore employment pass renewal for you. There is no need to rush things because you have 2 months for preparation: your boss or an agency you rely on must send the application form a month before the EP expires. EP Renewal Process isn’t that easy as it seems. Every detail must be taken care of if you don’t want to have your EP renewal rejected. You have worked for a long time on this position and must have achieved a lot; it would be stupid to risk it all by approaching the renewal of Singapore Employment Pass carelessly.
Important Facts about Employment Pass Renewal in Singapore
- Using high-end online tools simplifies the procedure of renewal of Employment Pass in Singapore. If your boss applies to renew Employment Pass using an online service, the result will be known in 7 working days. If you renew EP manually, the processing may take up to 5 weeks. If you aren’t sure you are able to manage online stuff, it’s better to ask for professional help. A lot of agencies handle renewal of Employment Pass in Singapore, but it’s better to stick to the most reliable one. Firstly because now you have what to lose – your well-tuned job, and secondly because the agency that made your first EP already knows your situation and keys to successful application.
- The MOM encourages all applicants-to-be to renew their EPs early. A lot of applicants worry that if they apply for renewal a few months before the expiry day, in case of success, these few months of legal stay in Singapore will be “eaten” by the new pass. No worries! Commonly, the MOM attaches these “lost” months to the new EP, so you won’t lose them.
- You mustn’t miss the EP renewal deadline; in case you miss it, you will have to make a brand new EP, and it means you come back to the very beginning. It’s another argue in favour of competent assistance provided by a visa agency. If a seasoned agency is responsible for your renewal of EP, you can be calm that all deadlines are met.
- Duration of renewed Employment Pass in Singapore is usually 3 years. When this period is about to end, you will have to go through another renewal procedure. Theoretically this can last until the foreign employee reaches the retirement age.
- Your Employment Pass renewal isn’t guaranteed on the ground you’re still hired. The MOM warns that you must meet certain criteria. These criteria can be changed during your current EP period, and if you fail to meet them, you can lose your pass. For example, in 2014, new rules of hiring foreigners were introduced by the MOM and the salary threshold was changed. It had been raised from $3,600 to $4,500, and those who still earned $3,000 or $3,200 were downgraded to less advantageous work visa (S Pass). New rules of hiring foreigners included the obligation for Singaporean employers to consider the local talents for the jobs fairly. It means if the firm turned out to have any discriminatory HR behaviour, its EP renewal applications could be rejected.
- Except the salary requirement your skills, experience and designation must be in balance. As years pass and you become older, you are expected to get your skills perfected and therefore to be paid more. If this doesn’t happen, it can jeopardize your expatriate Employment Pass renewal.
As requirements or trends always can change, it’s important to pass your renewal matter to a professional who is in the know of latest changes. This way you secure yourself from nerve-wrecking rejection. Going through renewals isn’t easy, but luckily it isn’t the only way to save the job and your right to live in Singapore. You always have an option to become a permanent resident and stop your renewal troubles once for all. Your visa agency knows the best time to lay claim for becoming a permanent resident and can help you to fit all necessary criteria. The benefit of relying on seasoned visa team is that you can squeeze the maximum from your situation and avoid needless and tiring efforts.