Asia Business Centre (Asia Business Centre (AsiaBC) [HK+SG Bank Account Opening / Company Formation / Company Secretary / Accounting & Tax]) 1:12 PM Tue, Feb 14

EntrePass and Employment Pass : Your Ticket to Building a Business in Singapore

Singapore authorities hope to attract foreign talents to contribute to the Singapore economy and community, such as creating local jobs and transferring skillsets to the local workforce. Having no family tie in Singapore, foreign entrepreneurs can apply for EntrePass to enter on the ground that they are going to built businesses in the nation.
EntrePass was a shortcut of relocation to Singapore a few years ago.

Before 2015, the EntrePass scheme was attractive for foreign entrepreneurs who planned to move to Singapore. This scheme is a renewable 1-year entry visa scheme for a foreigner to stay in Singapore on the ground that they are going to start and run a new business here. EntrePass serves as a convenient gateway for foreigners who have no family tie in the country to bring in capital and technology for both social and economic advancement. Therefore, the holder of EntrePass is eligible to apply for Singapore Permanent Resident statue and the Singapore Citizenship subsequently for sinking their root in Singapore.

During that period, Singapore welcomed foreigners to immigrate because the considerations for approval were straight forward. The applicant’s capacity to employ residents and pay the business invoices were on the top of the checklist, in addition to the applicant’s business plan, experience, credentials and relevance to this industry (there was a requirement that the startup must settle at SG$50,000 paid-up capital in Singapore).

In 2015, a sudden surge of disapproved entrepreneurs seemed that EntrePass scheme is much tighter. Entrepreneurs faced more stringent considerations of approval. In 2017, the Singapore government officially modified the EntrePass scheme criteria; According to the EntrePass requirements by the Ministry of Manpower, the applicants must be either an entity working with a government-recognized Incubator or a funded body by a government-approved Venture Capitalist (“VC”). The criteria include the applicant’s entrepreneurial track record, business networks, and achievements to areas of expertise (It also removed the SG$50,000 paid-up capital requirement and extended the period of stay to 2-year by the second renewal).

Now EntrePass is designed for high-tech and creative talents.

Based on two years of working experience in the Singapore immigration business, we can say the EntrePass scheme is creative business and technology-centric, it is bound for innovative startups.

From the lates EntrePass requirements, we see that:

  • The scheme explicitly rules out a handful of traditional service industries, such as catering and restaurant.
  • The government-approved VC and incubators are actively backing the information technology-related startups.

Consequently, foreigners seeking EntrePass should have already built their presence in the startup’s ecosystem because they are working with the semi-official startups supporting institutions. In other words, the foreign talents should have kick-started their innovation projects and achieved satisfactory results to the jury of the recognizing parties.

EntrePass is not a way to move to Singapore for the person carrying on the general business in traditional fields.

Employment Pass allows foreigners to expand entrepreneurship to Singapore.

Employment Pass (EP) is an alternative to EntrePass, for the business persons outside the innovation and creative industries.

EP is a feasible alternative to stay in Singapore for doing business. This entry permit document is a visa for foreigners, precisely the high-income kind, to work and stay in Singapore.

However, the EP application process must start at the employer. So, according to the MOM’s EP requirements, it need the applicants having secured a job of Singapore company which can pay at least SG$3,600 monthly salary and able to present a sound qualification and experience relevant to the job position and the company’s business.

When you want to apply for the EP, you need to secure a job in Singapore first. Being an entrepreneur like you, you are not going to search for recruit advertisements. Instead, you are going to register a Singapore company, which is your wholly-owned subsidiary, then you will work as the directing manager of your Singaporean company. It makes sense since you are the shareholder, director and manager of your Singaporean subsidiary, you are technically an employee in Singapore. You now have the reason to stay as you are working an entrepreneurship expansion of your foreign business to this nation, and you are the best-fit foreign employee of your Singapore company to take this job. Your skills are unique to Singapore workforce; these are proven by your experience which you have been doing this business in other countries long enough for a living. Also, you need to possess the qualification of higher education because of Singapore’s EP criteria.

AsiaBC offers full-fledged company service and immigration service in Singapore. Foreigners who have no tie in Singapore can register their Singapore private limited company, open bank accounts for their companies in Singapore and other countries, and establish of presence in Singapore for immigration including application of Employment Pass, Permanent Resident statue and Singapore Citizenship statue.