The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has decided to discontinue the Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate (EPEC) scheme from 1 December 2011. From now on the MOM will not be accepting any applications for EPECs.
The EPEC was introduced in 1992 and is a certificate which signalled to employers that its holder is likely to be eligible for an Employment Pass. It also allows its holder to stay in Singapore to facilitate their job search and is valid for 2 years.
After an individual received an EPEC they need to activate it, which meant applying for a Long Term Social Visit Pass (LTSVP) to stay in Singapore (for up to 1 year previously). The LTVSP could be applied for any time during the 2 year validity period of the EPEC.
Here are some FAQs which the MOM has answered regarding suspension of the EPEC:
Without the EPEC, how can a foreigner search for a job in Singapore?
There are many means whereby foreign talent can search for job opportunities in Singapore without the need to be physically present (such as job boards and recruitment firms).
Foreign students who are graduating from selected local institutes of higher learning (IHLs) can apply for a one-year LTVP to stay in Singapore after graduation to look for a job. The list of IHLs is available on the ICA website.
I am an EPEC holder. What are my current options?
If your EPEC is still valid and you are interested in coming to Singapore to look for a job, you can apply for a non-renewable three-month LTVP from ICA, before your EPEC expires. If your EPEC is still valid but you have no plans to come to Singapore to look for a job, you do not need to do anything. If your EPEC has expired, you will not be able to renew your EPEC or apply for a LTVP from ICA.
I applied successfully for an EPEC before 1 December 2011, but have not applied for an LTVP from ICA. What is the duration of the LTVP I can apply for?
You can apply for a non-renewable three-month LTVP from ICA.
I have previously applied successfully for an EPEC and LTVP. Can I still apply for another three-month LTVP from ICA using the EPEC?
No. You will not be able to apply for another LTVP from ICA with your EPEC if you have already previously done so.
My EPEC has expired. Can I renew my EPEC or apply for a LTVP from ICA?
No. The EPEC is issued on a one-time basis and is non-renewable. You will not be able to apply for a LTVP from ICA using the EPEC.
My EPEC application is still being processed. Will my application be rejected?
All EPEC applications that are being processed will be assessed with the same criteria as before. EPEC applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application via email. Successful applicants will be issued EPECs which will still remain valid for 2 years from the date of issue.
Can I still use my EPEC during my job search in Singapore after 1 December 2011?
Yes, you can use your EPEC as a signal to employers during your job search in Singapore after 1 December 2011, as long as your EPEC is still valid (i.e. 2 years from the date of issue).