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The Singapore Employment Pass (EP) Compass System

The Compass System represents a departure from the conventional approach, focusing on a candidate’s holistic profile rather than just academic qualifications. The criteria for EP eligibility are now more nuanced, taking into account various factors that reflect an applicant’s skills, experience, and potential contributions to Singapore’s workforce.

Key Requirements and Criteria

To qualify for EP applications, candidates will need to pass a 2-stage eligibility framework:

Stage 1 Earn at least the EP qualifying salary, which is benchmarked to the top 1/3 of local PMET salaries by age.
Stage 2 Unless exempted, pass the points-based Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS). Note: Candidates who do not meet stage 1 will not be eligible for an EP, regardless of the points they would have scored under COMPASS. The 2-stage eligibility framework applies to new EP applications from 1 September 2023, and renewals of EPs expiring from 1 September 2024.

Stage 1: EP Qualifying Salary

The Employment Pass (EP) qualifying salary criteria for both new applications and renewals have been updated as follows:

  • For all sectors except financial services, the minimum salary requirement is $5,000. This amount increases gradually based on age, reaching up to $10,500 for applicants aged 45 and above.

In the financial services sector, the minimum salary requirement is $5,500. Similar to other sectors, this requirement increases with age, reaching up to $11,500 for applicants aged 45 and above.

All Sectors Chart (except financial services)

Age EP qualifying salary
23 or below $5,000
24 $5,250
25 $5,500
26 $5,750
27 $6,000
28 $6,250
29 $6,500
30 $6,750
31 $7,000
32 $7,250
33 $7,500
34 $7,750
35 $8,000
36 $8,250
37 $8,500
38 $8,750
39 $9,000
40 $9,250
41 $9,500
42 $9,750
43 $10,000
44 $10,250
45 or above $10,500

Financial Services Sector Chart

Age EP qualifying salary
23 or below $5,500
24 $5,773
25 $6,045
26 $6,318
27 $6,591
28 $6,864
29 $7,136
30 $7,409
31 $7,682
32 $7,955
33 $8,227
34 $8,500
35 $8,773
36 $9,045
37 $9,318
38 $9,591
39 $9,864
40 $10,136
41 $10,409
42 $10,682
43 $10,955
44 $11,227
45 or above $11,500

Stage 2: Compass

The COMPASS system is a clear and transparent points-based approach, providing businesses with a precise framework for workforce planning. It empowers employers to choose skilled foreign professionals effectively, fostering diversity in the workforce and strengthening the local talent pool.

Achieving Success in COMPASS

To successfully pass COMPASS, your application must accumulate a minimum of 40 points.

Criteria of Compass

C1: Salary

This criterion benchmarks your candidate’s salary against the local PMET salaries in your sector. It is different from the EP qualifying salary, which is the minimum bar that candidates need to pass to obtain an EP.

How to score points
Candidate’s fixed monthly salary compared to salary benchmarks by sector Points
90th percentile and above 20
65th to less than 90th percentile 10
Below 65th percentile 0
C2: Qualifications

This criterion awards points to candidates based on their qualifications.

How to score points
Candidate’s qualifications Points
Top-tier institutions, such as: Top 100 universities based on QS World University Rankings, and other highly-reputed universities in Asia Singapore’s Autonomous Universities Institutions that are highly-recognised in a particular field and endorsed by a relevant agency 20
Degree-equivalent qualifications, which generally refer to: Foreign qualifications that are assessed to be comparable to a bachelor’s degree in the UK system. MOM determines this with reference to international recognition bodies, such as the UK National Information Centre for recognition and evaluation of international qualifications and skills (UK ENIC). Professional qualifications that are well-recognised by the industry and endorsed by a relevant sector agency. 10
No degree-equivalent qualifications Note: Candidates without degree-equivalent qualifications can still pass COMPASS by earning a total score of at least 40 points from other criteria. 0
Verification proof requirements

If points are required from this criterion, you must submit verification proof along with your candidate’s qualifications in your EP application. Otherwise, there is no need to provide your candidate’s qualifications and verification proof.

C3: Diversity

This criterion grants additional points to applications where the candidate’s nationality represents a smaller proportion of the firm’s PMET (Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Technicians) employees. Having a diverse range of nationalities enhances companies by bringing in fresh perspectives and networks, fostering a more inclusive and robust workforce.

How to score points

If your organisation employs:

  • Fewer than 25 PMETs, your application will score 10 points by default.
  • At least 25 PMETs, your points will depend on the share of your candidate’s nationality among your organisation’s PMETs.
Share of candidate’s nationality among organisation’s PMETs Points
Less than 5% 20
5% to less than 25% 10
25% or more 0
C4: Support Local Employment

This criterion recognises organisations that create opportunities for the local workforce and build complementary teams comprising both local and foreign professionals.

How to score points

If your organisation employs:

  • Fewer than 25 PMETs, your application will score 10 points by default.
  • At least 25 PMETs, your points will depend on your organisation’s local PMET share relative to its sector.

Image source: MOM

C5: Skill Bonus (Shortage Occupation List)

This bonus recognises jobs that require highly specialised skills, which are in shortage in the local workforce. The SOL is determined by a robust evaluation process that takes into account industry needs and local workforce development efforts.

How to score points
Skills bonus Points
Job on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL)Share of candidate’s nationality among your organisation’s PMETs is less than 1/3 20
Job on the SOLShare of candidate’s nationality among your organisation’s PMETs is 1/3 or more 10
C6: Strategic Economic Priorities Bonus

This bonus recognises organisations that are either:

  • Undertaking ambitious investment, innovation and internationalisation activities in partnership with economic agencies
  • Endorsed by National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) as strong partners on company and workforce transformation activities

Singapore seeks to anchor and grow firms that can contribute to the innovative capacity of our economy, enhance our global linkages, and strengthen our economic competitiveness. Such firms should also have the scale or potential to provide good jobs for locals.

How to score points
Strategic Economic Priorities (SEP) bonus Points
Participate or meet the criteria for at least one of the eligible programmes 10

The award of the SEP bonus will be at the discretion of the supporting agencies running the relevant programme. MOM will notify your organisation if it has been awarded the SEP bonus and the points will be reflected in the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT). You may approach the relevant supporting agency if you have any queries.

Validity of SEP bonus points

The bonus points will apply for up to 3 years, or for the duration of your organisation’s participation in an eligible programme, whichever is shorter.

Renewal eligibility for SEP bonus points
(Exemptions from COMPASS)

At the end of the validity period, your supporting agency will reassess whether to continue supporting your organisation for the SEP bonus for a further duration. This renewal will be subject to your organisation’s continued participation in an eligible programme and meeting both of the following criteria:

These criteria ensure that organisations eligible for the SEP bonus points make efforts to diversify and improve their workforce profile.

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


The introduction of the Compass System marks a progressive leap in Singapore’s immigration policies. By focusing on skills, experience, and adaptability, the nation is not only attracting top-tier talent but also nurturing a workforce capable of thriving in a rapidly evolving global economy. Prospective applicants, armed with a comprehensive understanding of the new requirements, can confidently navigate the EP application process, contributing their expertise to Singapore’s vibrant professional landscape and reaping the rewards of a successful and fulfilling career. SGTI stands ready to assist employers in comprehending these changes and ensuring seamless integration of skilled professionals into the workforce.