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In line with Singapore’s ambition to attract global talent to complement its local workforce, MOM (the Ministry of Manpower) is adding a second step to the Employment Pass application process. Currently, the Employment Pass eligibility and application framework consists of one stage: meeting the qualifying salary. This new, second stage will be a holistic scoring system called COMPASS (the Complementary Assessment Framework). For new applications and renewals, applicants will need to successfully pass both stages. COMPASS will be initiated on 1 September 2023 for new Employment Pass (EP) applications and on September 2024 for EP renewals.

So how does it work?
EP applications will be scored using the COMPASS framework based on a wide range of factors relating to both the applicant and the company. Applications are scored on 4 foundational criteria and 2 bonus criteria, where additional points can be scored. Points can be scored for both the individual and the firm applying. Let’s start with the foundational criteria:

Is anyone exempt from COMPASS?
Applicants are exempt from COMPASS if they fulfil the following criteria:
● Earning at least S$20,000 fixed monthly salary
● Applying as an overseas intra-corporate transferee under the World Trade Organisation’s
General Agreement on Trade in Services or an applicable Free Trade Agreement that Singapore
is party to, OR
● Filling a role on a short-term basis (one month or less)

Overall, COMPASS will serve as a comprehensive scoring framework, ensuring businesses recruit not only high-quality professionals but also a tool to create a diverse and fair workforce. We can help you with your Employment Pass applications or renewals. Contact our team for advice and support – info@cslb-asia.com. Alternatively, book a 20 minute Q&A session at our Work Pass Clinic on the last Friday of the month.

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