Singapore Entrepreneur Pass Scheme
EntrePass – a Special Visa for Technopreneurs
Singapore as a business hub will top the list of any foreign entrepreneurs, looking for a commercially viable location in the South East Asian region, to domicile their venture. Entrepass is a boon for such foreign entrepreneurs who wish to expand or debut their venture by forming a Singapore registered company.
The Singapore Entrepreneur Pass, popularly known as EntrePass, is designed for technopreneurs and R&D-intensive enterprises seeking to establish a presence in Singapore. Foreigners who meet either one of the key criteria (see below), have a proven business track record, and hold at least 30% shares in a newly registered company in Singapore, may apply for an EntrePass.
Applications are reviewed against a set of criteria that gauges the effective economic benefits that the proposed venture will bring to the country. Besides job creation for the locals another significant aspiration behind EntrePass is to foster innovation. Singapore as an enterprise hub is extremely receptive towards innovations and facilitates the commercialization of such ideas through several initiatives. Therefore, promoters of ventures that involve application of innovative technology or complement any existing technical innovation, or contribute to the growth of innovations stand a better chance of approval.
It is jointly administered by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board (SPRING) of Singapore. SPRING assesses the viability of the proposed venture and MOM issues the EntrePass for successful applicants. In 2009 the investment threshold and certain other conditions were revised to raise the standard of applicants. EntrePass is granted to foreigners based on the feasibility and growth prospects of the proposed business. The EntrePass allows successf ul applicants’ families to live in Singapore. Dependant passes granted to immediate family members allow them to live, study and work and study in Singapore.
EntrePass Eligibility Requirements
To be considered for an EntrePass, you must fulfill the following conditions:
- EntrePass application must be made within 6 months of the New company’s incorporation date or even before incorporation
- Own 30%-100% of shareholding in the company
- Possess relevant experience and track record(s) in creating and managing successful business(es)
- Provide S$50,000 and above in paid-up capital for the new company
- Submit a 10-page business plan detailing business goals and objectives
Enhanced Eligibility Requirements
Under the enhanced criteria, EntrePass applicants must:
- Be funded by a recognised third-party venture capitalist or business angel;
- Hold a nationally-recognised proprietary or licensed Intellectual Property (IP);
- Has research collaboration with a recognised by research institutions such as A*STAR or a local tertiary institution;
- Be an incubatee at a government-approved incubator; or
- Receive support from a Singapore Government agency.
Upon approval, applicants must submit the following within 6 months of receiving the EntrePass:
- Tenancy contract;
- Employees’ CPF statements; and
- Statement of company’s shareholding structure and date of incorporation.
For more information, click here.
Documents Required for EntrePass Application
The following documents are required for all EntrePass applications:
- EntrePass application form
- A copy of educational certificate
- One passport-size photograph taken recently
- A copy of your passport details
- MOUs or contracts with potential clients for the new business, if any
- Brochures, press releases, or any other business collaterals from previous or existing business ventures
- A well-drafted, 10-page business plan detailing business goals and objectives
Procedure and Timeline
The MOM generally takes a period of 4 to 6 weeks to process an application because the requirements for EntrePass application are more stringent and complex. If there is further clarification required by Ministry of Manpower, it will delay the process of approval.
The IPA letter is valid for 6 months from the date of notification of approval which allows you that much time to relocate to Singapore to start business operations. The IPA letter must be produced upon collection of the EntrePass at the Work Pass Division at Ministry of Manpower.
To collect your EntrePass, you will be required to present the following documents:
- A copy of the IPA letter
- Passport size photo
- Original passport with the entry embarkation cards
- Medical exam report* (if the In-Principle Approval states that you require one)
- Any other documents that are requested in the approval letter
* You may get a medical examination done in your own country through an established clinic/hospital, or in Singapore. Most clinics in Singapore can provide medical examination and report within one day.
The validity period of an EntrePass varies:
- Validity period for first-time applicants is up to two years
- Validity for renewals depends on meeting your total business spending and minimum local employment as outlined in your business proposal
Entry Visa into Singapore
If you are overseas and require an entry visa to Singapore, your IPA letter will include a single journey entry visa. Upon your arrival in Singapore, we will make an appointment with Ministry of Manpower on your behalf for finger printing. Upon completing the procedures, your pass will be ready in 4 working days.
You may collect the pass at Ministry of Manpower personally or authorize AsiaBiz to collect it on your behalf.
Renewal of EntrePass
Renewals of the EntrePass are contingent on meeting the two main requirements stipulated by Ministry of Manpower. These are (as shown in the table below) related to employing certain minimum number of Singaporean or local workers and the Total Business Spending (TBS):
EntrePass Renewal Eligibility Summary
|No. of years after award of EntrePass||Local jobs created*||Minimum TBS**||Type of Employment Pass issued|
|5 or more||10||S$400,000||P1|
*The employees need to be full-time staff (citizens or PR) and engaged under a contract of service. They must receive monthly salaries of at least S$1000 on time as well as have CPF contributions.
** Total Business Spending (TBS) = [Total Operating Expenses – (Royalties/Franchise Fees/Know How Fees to Overseas Companies + Work Subcontracted to Overseas Companies + Remuneration to Applicant & Immediate Family)]
Rejection of Application
In the event that your EntrePass application is rejected, AsiaBiz will lodge an inquiry with MOM. Based on the reasons provided by the Ministry, we will submit an appeal that will address the issues outlined by the government body and also include all additional documents, if any, that they request for. The MOM will take a minimum of three weeks or more to review your appeal.
Permanent Residence Eligibility
EntrePass holders of P1, P2 and Q status are eligible to apply to become a Permanent Resident. There is no designated waiting period. However, you are required to submit 6 months of salary record, and preferably, your IRAS tax assessment. Therefore, you could plan your application at least after receiving your tax assessment.
Passes for Family Members
All Employment Pass holders can apply for Dependant Pass and/or Long-Term Visit Pass for their family members.
|Pass type granted to EP holder||Dependant Pass||Long-term Visa Pass|
|P Pass type|| |
|Q1 Pass Type|| |
Those wishing to explore the application for a Singapore Entrepreneur Pass in greater detail can contact Asiabiz at +65 6320 1877 for expert consultation and advice.