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Employment Pass Cancellation: Everything You Need to Know

Whether you're an expatriate, a skilled worker, or a business professional, understanding the process and implications of canceling an Employment Pass (EP) in Singapore is crucial. This comprehensive guide will walk you through every aspect of employment pass cancellation, addressing your queries and providing expert insights.

Can You, as an Employee, Cancel the Employment Pass?

Absolutely, as an employee, you have the right to initiate the process of canceling your Employment Pass in Singapore. However, the cancellation process typically involves multiple parties, including your employer and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). It's important to communicate your intent to your employer, who will then take the necessary steps to initiate the cancellation. The steps involved in this procedure may vary, but typically it's a collaborative effort between you and your employer, following the guidelines set by the Ministry of Manpower. Here's a quick breakdown:

  • Notify Your Employer: Express your intent to cancel the EP to your employer.

  • Employer's Role: Your employer initiates the cancellation process through the EP Online system.

  • Collect Required Documents: Gather necessary documents like your EP card and passport.

  • Submit Cancellation: Your employer submits the cancellation request online.

  • Receive Confirmation: You'll receive a notification confirming the cancellation.

  • Short-Term Visit Pass: Post-cancellation, you'll usually be issued a Short-Term Visit Pass for a brief stay in Singapore.

How Long Can You Stay in Singapore After Cancellation of Your Employment Pass?

After successfully canceling your Employment Pass (EP) in Singapore, you'll typically be granted a Short-Term Visit Pass, which allows you to stay in the country for a short period following the cancellation. Here's what you need to know:

  • Duration: The Short-Term Visit Pass is usually valid for between 30 to 90 days.

  • Wrap Up Affairs: This time can be used to finalize any pending matters and make departure arrangements.

  • Smooth Transition: It's an opportunity to tie up loose ends before leaving Singapore.

  • Departure Planning: Make sure to plan your departure within the validity of the Visit Pass.

During this period, you can take care of essential tasks, bid farewell to friends and colleagues, and ensure a seamless transition out of Singapore.

Can You Leave Singapore on an Employment Pass?

Yes, you can leave Singapore while holding an Employment Pass. However, it's essential to ensure that your pass is valid and not close to its expiration date. Additionally, if you're planning to return to Singapore after your trip, make sure you have the necessary re-entry permits or visas, if applicable, to avoid any issues at immigration. Valid Pass: Make sure your EP is still valid before planning your departure.

  • Re-Entry Permit: If you intend to return to Singapore after your trip, check if you need a re-entry permit, visa and SG Arrival Card.

  • Pass Expiry: If your EP is nearing its expiration, consider renewing it before departing.

  • Notice Period: Communicate your departure plans to your employer, adhering to any notice period requirements.

  • Document Checklist: Ensure you have your passport, EP card, and any other necessary documents.

  • Employer Communication: Keep your employer informed about your travel plans and ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities.

Leaving Singapore while on an EP shouldn't pose significant challenges, provided you follow the guidelines and have the necessary documentation. Just remember to plan ahead, maintain open communication with your employer, and comply with any legal requirements to ensure a hassle-free departure and potential return.

Can You Keep Your Bank Account If You Leave Singapore?

Yes, you can generally keep your bank account in Singapore even after you leave the country. However, it's advisable to check with your bank regarding their policies and any specific requirements for maintaining an overseas account. Keeping your bank account active can be helpful for managing any remaining financial matters or receiving refunds, if applicable.

However, a few key points need consideration to ensure a smooth continuation of your banking activities:

  • Bank Policies: Different banks may have varying policies regarding maintaining accounts for non-residents.

  • Contact Your Bank: It's advisable to contact your bank and inform them of your intention to keep the account while abroad.

  • Update Contact Details: Make sure your bank has your updated contact information to reach you if needed.

  • Access Methods: Confirm the methods available for accessing your account, such as online banking or international transactions.

  • Fees and Charges: Inquire about any fees associated with maintaining an overseas account and currency conversion charges.

  • Review Terms: Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions related to non-resident accounts.

Having a Singaporean bank account can be beneficial for managing ongoing financial matters, receiving any refunds, or conducting international transactions. By staying informed about the bank's policies and keeping them updated, you can maintain your account seamlessly even after leaving Singapore.

Can Your Employer Refuse to Cancel Your EP?

In most cases, your employer is responsible for initiating the cancellation process of your Employment Pass. While the process may involve cooperation from both parties, it's generally not within the employer's discretion to outright refuse the cancellation if you, as the employee, have a valid reason for requesting it. The cancellation process follows specific guidelines set by the Ministry of Manpower. However, it's important to understand the dynamics involved:

  • Guidelines and Regulations: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) sets clear guidelines for EP cancellation, ensuring a fair and transparent process.

  • Employee's Intent: If you, as an employee, have a valid reason for requesting cancellation, your employer typically cannot outright refuse the request.

  • Communication: Open and clear communication with your employer about your intent to cancel is essential for a smooth process.

  • Employer's Role: Your employer initiates the cancellation process through the EP Online system, complying with MOM's regulations.

  • Consideration: While your employer's cooperation is necessary, the focus remains on adhering to legal requirements.

In cases where there might be disputes or concerns, it's advisable to seek guidance from the Ministry of Manpower or relevant authorities. The cancellation process should be conducted in accordance with the established guidelines, reflecting the commitment to fairness and adherence to regulations.

What If You Want to Change Jobs While You Are on an EP?

If you're currently holding an Employment Pass and wish to change jobs within Singapore, you will need to apply for a new pass under your new employer. The new employer will need to submit an EP application on your behalf. Once the new pass is approved, you can seamlessly transition to your new job. Remember that you can only start working for the new employer once the new pass is issued.




Job Offer: Receive a job offer from a new employer in Singapore.


New EP Application: The new employer applies for a new EP on your behalf through the EP Online system.


Approval: Wait for the new EP application to be approved by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).


Notification: Once approved, you and your new employer will be notified of the outcome.


Inform Current Employer: Inform your current employer of your resignation, adhering to any notice period mentioned in your employment contract. Current EP needs to be cancelled before new EP can be issued


Cancellation of Previous EP: Your previous EP is automatically canceled once the new EP is issued.


Handover: Complete any necessary handover tasks and ensure a smooth transition.


Collection of New EP: Collect the new EP card from the designated collection point.


Transition: Begin your new job with the new employer once the EP is issued.

Changing jobs within Singapore while on an EP involves coordination between your new and previous employers, as well as following the guidelines set by the Ministry of Manpower. By following these steps, you can transition to a new job seamlessly and continue your professional journey in Singapore.

How Long Can EP Holder Stay Out of Singapore?

Employment Pass holders can stay out of Singapore for a period of up to six months without affecting the validity of their pass. However, any prolonged absence could impact your pass's status. It's recommended to consult with your employer and the Ministry of Manpower if you anticipate an extended stay abroad. . Here's what you need to know:

  • Maximum Absence Period: EP holders can stay out of Singapore for up to six consecutive months without affecting the validity of their pass.

  • Pass Validity: Your EP remains valid during this absence, provided it doesn't expire during your time abroad.

  • Additional Permits: If you plan to be away for more than six months, you might need to apply for additional permits or passes.

  • Re-Entry Permit: Ensure that you have a valid re-entry permit if you plan to return to Singapore after your absence.

  • Communication: It's a good practice to inform your employer about your extended absence and any travel plans.

  • Residency Implications: Prolonged absence might have implications on your residency status and eligibility for certain benefits.

Maintaining regular communication with your employer and adhering to any guidelines set by the Ministry of Manpower is essential during your time abroad. Staying informed about the regulations surrounding EP holders' absences will help you plan your travel while ensuring the smooth continuation of your employment in Singapore.


Q: Can I cancel my Employment Pass without my employer's involvement?

A: While you can express your intention to cancel, the actual process typically involves your employer's cooperation.

Q: Can I leave Singapore immediately after canceling my Employment Pass?

A: After cancellation, you're usually granted a Short-Term Visit Pass, giving you a limited window to finalize your affairs before departing.

Q: Can I keep my Singapore bank account after leaving the country?

A: Yes, you can usually keep your bank account, but check with your bank for any specific requirements.

Q: Can my employer deny my request for EP cancellation?

A: Employers must follow established guidelines; if you have a valid reason, your request should be considered.

Q: Can I change jobs while holding an EP?

A: Yes, you can change jobs, but you'll need to apply for a new Employment Pass under your new employer.

Q: How long can I stay out of Singapore without affecting my EP?

A: EP holders can stay out for up to six months, but extended absence might have implications.


Navigating the process of Employment Pass cancellation in Singapore involves understanding the roles of both the employee and the employer. With the right steps and communication, you can smoothly transition from one phase to another. Remember to stay informed, follow guidelines, and seek assistance from the appropriate authorities if needed. Your journey in Singapore is marked by growth, and even the process of ending one chapter should be undertaken with optimism and preparedness. Do work with your employer and consult with HR consulting company if unsure.

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