EntrePass – a Special Visa for Technopreneurs
Singapore is an ideal business hub for 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 registering a company in Singapore.
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) 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.
Related Read: 40 Tips for Starting a Business »
It is jointly administered by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board (SPRING) of Singapore. SPRING alongside the other two agencies, assesses the viability of the proposed venture and MOM issues the EntrePass for successful applicants. EntrePass is granted to foreigners based on the feasibility and growth prospects of the proposed business. The EntrePass allows successful applicants’ families to live in Singapore. Dependant passes granted to immediate family members allow them to live, study and work and study in Singapore. This is subject to conditions such as EntrePass holders meeting the Year 2 renewal criteria of minimum annual business spending of $100,000 and employment of 3 local FTEs or 1 PME.
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
- EntrePass applicant must meet at least one out of the following seven criteria:
- Has funding from a government accredited VC or business angel
- Holds an intellectual property
- Holds significant business experience/network and promising entrepreneurial track record
- Has exceptional technical/domain expertise in an area related to proposed business
- Holds good track record of investing in businesses and want to grow new or existing businesses in Singapore
- Has research collaboration with A*STAR or a university
- Is an incubate at a government-supported incubator
- Submit a 10-page business plan detailing the applicant’s professional profile, business idea and implementation plan
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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
Related Read: Employment Pass vs EntrePass Comparison »
Procedure and Timeline
The MOM generally takes a period of 8 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 collect your EntrePass. 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.
EntrePass Validity and Renewal
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 below:
|No. of years you have held an EntrePass||Total business spending** must be at least||Must employ at least|
|2*||$100,000||3 FTES** OR 1 PME***|
|4||$200,000||6 FTEs OR 2 PMEs|
|6||$300,000||9 FTEs OR 3 PMEs|
|8 or more||$400,000||12 FTEs OR 4 PMEs|
*Hold a minimum of 30% shares in the Company from Year 2
**Total Business Spending (TBS) refers to total local business spending excluding renumeration to EntrePass holder
***Full-time Employees (FTEs) refer to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who earn a monthly salary of at least $1,400
****PMEs refer to professionals, managers and executives who are Singaporeans or Permanent Residents and earn a monthly salary of at least $3,900
Note: 1 local PME = 3 local FTEs
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.
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 governing 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.
Passes for Family Members
EntrePass holders may apply for Dependant’s Pass and/or Long-Term Visit Pass for their family members, if they meet the following criteria:
- EntrePass holder must have held EntrePass for 1 year and family would have to undergo Dependant’s Pass and Long Term Visit Pass assessment before applying for either upon EntrePass renewal
- In addition, EntrePass holders can only bring their family in if they meet the requirements for total annual business spending and local employment:
|To bring your||Your total annual business spending must be at least||You must employ at least|
||$100,000||3 local FTEs OR 1 local PME|
|Parents||$200,000||6 local FTEs OR 2 local PMEs|
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.
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