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Applying for an Employment Visa in Singapore?

Considering working in Singapore or have found an employer based in Singapore?

Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS)

Singapore has implemented and improved various visa programs, and one of the most recent additions to the list is the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS), a point-based system used to evaluate eligibility for the Employment Pass (EP).

Starting from September 1, 2023, the COMPASS system will be implemented, requiring EP applicants to attain a minimum of 40 points to obtain the pass. This requirement will also apply to EP renewals from September 1, 2024.

The introduction of this framework aims to assist Singaporean companies in hiring highly qualified talent, thereby reinforcing the city’s workforce. In the following section, we provide answers to key inquiries regarding the COMPASS framework.

Who does COMPASS apply to?

From 1 September 2023, the following EP qualifying salary requirements apply to new applications and renewals:

– At least $5,000 for all sectors except financial services (increases progressively with age from age 23, up to $10,500 at age 45 and above)

– At least $5,500 for the financial services sector (increases progressively with age from age 23, up to $11,500 at age 45 and above)

How Does COMPASS Work?

Source: Ministry of Manpower

  • The applicant’s salary will be compared to the pool of current employees of the same sector and similar age.

A fixed monthly salary compared to local professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMET) salaries in sector by age

> 90th percentile20
65th to < 90th percentile10
< 65th percentile0
  • The applicant’s academic qualifications will be measured on the basis of the world’s top 100 ranking universities, Singaporean universities and highly recognized vocational institutions.

Based on the candidate’s qualifications

Top-tier institution20
Degree-equivalent qualification10
No degree-equivalent qualification0

Share of candidate’s nationality amongst firm’s PMETs

< 5%20
5 to < 25%10
>25%0

The percentage of local employees will be compared to other companies within the same subsector

Firm’s share of local PMETs within its sector

> 50th percentile20
20th to < 50th percentile10
< 20th percentile0
  • Talents on shortage on the local job market will be reflected here.
Job on the Shortage Occupation List+20#
  • Applications from companies working closely with the Singaporean government in international activities.
Firm meets specific assessment criteria on investment, innovation, internationalisation, or company and workforce transformation activities+10

If an applicant earns:

  • 0 points = They stand below expectations.
  • 10 points = They meet expectations.
  • 20 points = They exceed expectations.

Applicants earn additional points if they meet or exceed expectations. An applicant would require a total of 40 points or more to be eligible for the Employment Pass (EP):

Total PointsApplication Eligibility
40 points and aboveEligible
Less than 40 peopleNot eligible

 

Benefits of COMPASS

 

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What is it Like to Work in Singapore?

Singapore, a thriving economy, is known for her high-tech infrastructure and convenient amenities for businesses of all types and sizes.  As such, couple with the support from the government in terms of innovation, R&D and political stability, Singapore is therefore an attractive location for companies to setup their operations.

As a leading HR outsourcing agency in Asia, Links International offers visa consultations, immigration support, and specialised recruitment with 200+ experts across the group.

Learn more about the services we offer at Links by contacting us now for a one-on-one consultation with our experts!

Want to find out hiring costs across APAC?

Try our PEO/EOR calculator to get an estimate of hiring costs for 13 locations in APAC!

Frequently Asked Questions about COMPASS

Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS)

Candidates are exempted from COMPASS if they meet any of these conditions:

  • Have a fixed monthly salary of at least $22,500 (similar to the prevailing Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) job advertising exemption from 1 September 2023)
  • Are applying as an overseas intra-corporate transferee
  • Are filling the role for 1 month or less

If an applicant has scored 40 points and above on the COMPASS framework, he/she is eligible for the Employment Pass (EP).

Depending on several factors including the applicant’s qualifications, salary, work experience and others.

From 1 September 2023, the following EP qualifying salary requirements apply to new applications and renewals:

  • At least $5,000 for all sectors except financial services (increases progressively with age from age 23, up to $10,500 at age 45 and above)
  • At least $5,500 for the financial services sector (increases progressively with age from age 23, up to $11,500 at age 45 and above)

If the applicant applies online, the Employment Pass (EP) will either be processed or updated to the applicant within 10 business days.