March 18, 2022

New Points-based System for Employment Pass Applications in Singapore

The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore will introduce a new points-based evaluation framework for new Employment Pass (EP) applications from September 2023 and for EP renewals from September 2024. The Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) evaluation will require applicants to score at least 40 points under the employee and employer criteria which cover salary, qualifications, levels of national diversity and support for local employment by the employer and will be in addition to the standard minimum qualifying salary requirements for Employment Pass applications. The aim of the new framework is to encourage employment of highly skilled foreign employers and improve diversity within the Singaporean workforce.

From September 2023, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will commence using the COMPASS framework for new EP applications. It will then also be used for EP renewals from September 2024.

Under the COMPASS Framework, applicants will need to score at least 40 points within the employer and employee-based criteria. This framework aims to ensure the complementarity between foreign employees and Singaporean workers. Applications will also earn additional points based on whether they meet, exceed or fail to meet expectations per criteria in comparison to other employees and employers.

Points will be evaluated between Foundational and Bonus criteria.


Employee Attributes:

    • Salary: the employee will earn points by meeting sector specific requirements for local professional, managerial, executive and technical salaries based on the labour market statistics published by MOM.
    • Qualifications: Graduates of the top 100 universities according to international rankings will earn 20 points. Those will degree equivalent qualifications will earn 10 points

Employer Attributes:

    • Diversity: COMPASS will determine whether the applicant will add to the national diversity of the company with higher points being allocated where the applicant’s nationality forms a small part of the company’s PMET employees.


Employee Attributes:

    • Skills Shortage: More points will be allocated to an applicant if they are applying for a role listed on the Skills Shortage Occupation List (SOL). The MOM will issue the latest SOL in March 2023 ahead of the introduction of the framework in September 2023.

Employer Attributes:

    • Strategic Economic Priorities Bonus: COMPASS will recognize companies with ambitious innovation or internalisation activities in partnership with the Singapore government. The intention is to strengthen Singapore’s competitiveness through development and growth of companies contributing to innovation.

For further information on immigration in Singapore, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team.

Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over ten years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends.

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