Epass, Spass and Work Permit: Working in Singapore for Filipinos

A lot of people asked me the difference between having epass, spass and work permit. Again, I am not an expert on this field and I am just really trying to help out those who are looking for answers and those who are interested to work in Singapore.

I already wrote about finding work in Singapore, you can check this link: Guide on How to Find Work in Singapore this is the first step! 

Finally, you went for your job interview then you got accepted, what is the next step? 

This entry would be about the difference between the permits, what are the requirements, how to apply it and how long do you usually need to wait.

Mostly, your HR will be the one to process all your papers, you just need to submit neccessary documents such as diploma, TOR, your previous pass (if you have one), resume etc.

But some small companies do not have a human resource department and is not knowledgeable on processing pass for foreigners hence the reason why there are immigration experts. I tried Paul Hype before and my pass got approved with their help. The only downside is that you have to pay about $800- $1500 for these companies (shouldered by you or your company) to help you process your papers.

Trust me, its quite hard to process your pass alone because MOM is really strict about it.

Employment Pass

Foreigners in general need quota  to be able to work in Singapore but for Epass the company doesn’t need quota meaning it is easier for the company to get a foreigner under employment pass as long as they are willing to pay $3,600 and more.

Who can apply for epass: (according to MOM), you must have:

  • a job offer in Singapore.
  • Work in a managerial, executive or specialised job.
  • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $3,600 (more experienced candidates need higher salaries).
  • Have acceptable qualifications, usually a good university degree, professional qualifications or specialist skills

This Assessment Tool will be your bestfriend along the way. This is actually quite accurate, before applying for EP you must try this one first to save you time.

Note on salaries:

  • Young graduates from good institutions can qualify if they earn at least $3,600.
  • Older, more experienced candidates need higher salaries to qualify.

For Filipinos, I just heard from a friend who is working in MOM that they usually choose 3 schools every year to be their top priority.

The schools vary every year. 2 years ago, it was DLSU, CSB and ADMU.

But if you are 24 and above, you must have a really high salary $4,000 and more regardless of your school. Again, you must always check the MOM assessment tool.


S-pass is for mid- skilled foreign employees. For this type of pass, there is a quota and levy to be paid by the employer.

Based from the MOM website, S-pass holders should meet this criteria:

  • Fixed monthly salary of at least $2,200. The salary should reflect work experience. Older, more experienced applicants need higher salaries to qualify.
  • A degree or diploma. We may consider technical certificates, such as courses for qualified technicians or specialists. The certification should include at least 1 year of full-time study.
  • Years of relevant work experience.

Again, you must always check the self-assessment tool for reference. This is most likely 80-90% accurate (but everything still depends on MOM).

Work Permit

There are different types of work permit. I do not have any knowledge about this although I am aware that Filipinos are now allowed to get a work permit not just as a domestic helper but also for construction or service sector as long as the company has quota and willing to pay such levy required by the government.

How to Apply for Work Permit?

There are a lot of agencies both in the Philippines and Singapore who process work work permits. Some agencies would require you to pay immediately some would be by salary deduction.

Most of these agencies will process all the papers for you but it is also your right to know the process and the rules.

Please know that MOM is very strict with work permit hence the reason why most work permit holders go through agencies.

Usually as long as you comply with all the requirements and your health is good, there won’t be a problem with the approval of your pass. Below is the list of agencies in Singapore that might help. Let me know if you have other suggestions.


There are about hundreds of opening just under POEA, you can double check by clicking this link. JOBS IN SINGAPORE

I’ll try my best to answer your questions and again I am not affliated to any agencies or any companies related to hiring hence, I am just trying to help since I received so many emails from my last post about finding a job in Singapore.

Happy Independence Day!







Guide on How to Find Work in Singapore

I have a lot of friends and even random people asking me on how to find a job in Singapore. Honestly, there are no shortcuts, I believe that experience is pretty much needed and I believe in putting all the effort if you really want something. I am not an expert, I am just here to share my experience and hoping that it can help you too.

Below is the step- by- step process of what you should do and what you need to do.

1. Look for an agency in your home country that can help you look for a job and process your papers.

I went through an agency and they are the one who looked for a suitable job for me (there is still an interview process and its not easy) and they also arranged all the necessary papers that I need before I can work in Singapore. You can check POEA’s website for suitable jobs and approved agencies in the Philippines here, (POEA AGENCY).

Although I did that because I had no idea, I am not recommending it as it requires paying a big amount for you to be able to work in Singapore. You are lucky if you find an agency that does not have any placement fees because its probably the easiest way to be in Singapore without worries.

2. Online Job Portals are helpful! Sign up for free and apply to as many jobs as you can (Given the fact that you are qualified, experienced + educational background is very important)

I will provide you a list of job sites that I used when applying for a job, I suggest you sign up and explore all the possible job offers in your field.

Jobstreet Singapore

This is the most used job site in Singapore, you can find thousands of jobs here although to be honest, if you are a foreigner, it would be very hard because you are competing with locals and Singapore is known to prioritize locals (which is understandable), unless you think you are good enough, I recommend for you to apply here and don’t forget to check the site everyday because there are new job offers in every field!

Jobsdb Singapore

This is probably my favorite. It is very direct and they will let you know within a week if you are qualified for an interview or if you are not suitable for the job. Although there are only few companies (most are agencies), it is not bad to give it a try.

Indeed Singapore

Indeed is also good because a lot of job portals are connected to it meaning if you see an offering in jobsdb, you’ll probably see it also in Indeed. Although, most companies here are connected to an agency or to a website, where in applying would be very tedious.

Stjobs Singapore

I did not register here because I do not have a background in either Finance, IT or anything computer related. Although they have a number of jobs listed, Stjobs is known in both Finance, Accounting and IT industry. Although, I still think that its one of the best because they have a very good and efficient system in hiring talents.

Glints Singapore

This is very new (and a start- up) they have a very cool and personal system. If you check on their website, you’ll see that their target market are millenials who are looking for associate or executive jobs, part- time and project- based jobs. Most of my friends found their current job here, the down side is most companies are just starting or SME’s, they do not have quota for foreigners (which I will thorougly explain in my next blog post).

Tip: If people ask me what  I can suggest, I’d say to check on the openings (of the job portal listed above) and go directly to the companies’ website and apply. It would take a lot of effort because its a long process but its worth it and I guess, companies priotize those who apply directly through their website or hr email because it means you are very much interested to work for their company. 

3. Do not enter Singapore as a tourist and look for a job here because immigration is strict about it and you might be deported.

A lot of Filipinos visit Singapore as a tourist but ends up staying here for 30 days. I dont suggest it at all because 1. It is illegal and 2. You might get caught 3. You might have a hard time going back to Singapore. But, if you think you can manage and you are willing to take risks I have few suggestions that might be helpful.

Rent in Singapore starts at $300 (P10,350) to $800 (P27,600) monthly, food if you think about it, is not that expensive if you know how to cook probably $300-500 is enough to keep you going. Transpo would probably cost you around $100/month. so it is important that you have enough budget and you are not spending too much because there is a reason why Singapore is known to be the most expensive city in the world.

Try to apply atleast 30-50 applications a day if you really want to work here, go for interviews and answer all the questions directly. I know a lot of people who found a job in less than a month because of their qualification and persistence (don’t lose hope).

If you are already in Singapore, there are agencies who cater to foreigners, this might be of big help. Although, you have to pay the placement fee. (Usually its 2 months of your salary). I know some agencies but I’d rather not share it publicly.

Note: Minimum salary in Singapore for Spass is $2200 (P75,900) and $3300 (P113,850) for Epass.

Also, don’t be too choosy with the job or the company! I started in retail and end up working for a good company with the position that I prefer.

4. If you tried all your luck and still nothing, its best to work for a company in the Philippines that has an office based in Singapore. 

I know a lot of people who worked for a company in the Philippines and got transfered to their office in Singapore. I think its a good thing because you will not have a hard time adjusting with the company and at the same time, they’ll be willing to process all your papers.

Basically, you just have to set a goal and make sure that you will do everything to reach it. Although I still think that there is no place like home, I only suggest working in other countries if you want to be independent (financially, mentally, emotionally) or if you hate traffic as much as I do.