New Salary Criteria for Hiring Foreign Executives in Singapore

Posted by Written by Ayman Falak Medina Reading Time: 3 minutes

Singapore will increase the salary criteria for foreign executives and professionals working in the country from January 1, 2025.

The new rule applies to new Employment Pass (EP) applicants. The Employment Pass is issued to expatriates employed as foreign managers, executives, and skilled professionals in Singapore. First-time candidates can obtain an EP for an initial two years which can then be renewed for up to three years at a time.

From January 1, 2025, the qualifying monthly minimum salary for new EP applicants will be raised to S$5,600 (US$4,155) from the current S$5,000 (US$3,710), and those renewing it from the year after.

Individuals working in the financial sector will also need to earn S$6,200 (US$4,600) per month, an increase from the current S$5,500 (US$4,081) rate.  

Candidates who are offered a monthly salary of S$6,000 (US$4,171) or more, are eligible to apply for a dependent’s pass for their legally married spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age to join them in Singapore.

Further, candidates in their mid-40s must earn a minimum S$10,700 (US$7,940) and S$11,800 (US$8,757) for those working in the financial sector.

How to apply for an Employment Pass

The Complementarity Assessment Framework

Singapore introduced a new points system for EP applicants in 2023, called the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS), in addition to higher qualifying salary thresholds.

The government hopes that the new system will improve the capacity of Singaporean businesses to select high-quality foreign professionals and ensure workforce diversity.

Future EP applicants must score at least 40 points under the COMPASS system, awarded based on four attributes and two bonus criteria.

Singapore COMPASS Point System

Points for each foundational criterion           



Exceeds expectations


Meets expectations


Does not meet expectations

How COMPASS works

The COMPASS framework evaluates EP applications on individual and firm-related attributes. These are based on four foundational criteria where the applicant earns points on whether they meet or exceed expectations.

Applicants can also earn additional points on two bonus criteria – one for candidates in jobs where there is a skills shortage, and second, for firms that engage in innovation and internationalization activities.

40 points are required to pass COMPASS.

COMPASS scoring

The scoring system is highlighted in the following table.


PMET: Professionals, managers, executives, and technicians.

The skills bonus is reduced to +10 if the share of the candidate’s nationality is one-third or higher among the firm’s PMETs.

Small firms with fewer than 25 PMET employees score 10 points on C3 and C4 by default.

Who is exempted from COMPASS?

The candidate is exempted from COMPASS if they fulfill the following conditions:

  • Earning a fixed salary of at least S$20,000 (US$14,667) per month;
  • Filling a role on a short-term basis, one month or less; or
  • Applying as an overseas intra-corporate transferee under the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement or a free trade agreement to Singapore is a party.

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Documents for EP application

Employers need to submit the following documents for the EP application:

  • Personal information of the applicant’s passport;
  • Company’s latest business profile or information registered with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA); and
  • Details of the applicant’s academic certificates. Applicants from India and China are required to produce additional documents.
  • Additional documents for Indian and Chinese nationals:
  • Indian applicants – transcripts and mark sheets.
  • Chinese applicants – certificate of graduation and verification proof in English from sources recommended by the MoM.

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ASEAN Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia and maintains offices throughout ASEAN, including in Singapore, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang in Vietnam, in addition to Jakarta, in Indonesia. We also have partner firms in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand as well as our practices in China and India. Please contact us at or visit our website at