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Singapore Entrepass vs Employment Pass

Differences between the Employment Pass and the Entrepass

If you want to start working in Singapore, usually you will need to acquire some sort of visa or employment pass. That’s why it’s important to understand what visa is crucial when you try to work in the country, and what you have to focus on. In order to work in Singapore, you either need the Employment Pass Singapore, or the Entrepass. Both of them are crucial because they will allow you to work within the country. However, there are differences between the two, so you want to make sure that you understand what each one does and which is the right option in your particular situation.

What is the employment pass Singapore?

The Employment Pass Singapore is a permit and it allows business professionals from other countries to work in Singapore. If you want to be eligible for this pass, you must receive a job offer from Singapore. On top of that, there are certain requirements like earning at least S$5000 a month, along with having acceptable qualifications.

Depending on the age, the salary requirements might be a little higher, so that’s definitely a thing you must take into consideration. The employer is also the one that will apply for the pass, you won’t be eligible to do that as an employee. And obviously, you will have to go through a comprehensive approval process.

But after the pass is approved, you will be able to work in Singapore for up to 2 years. But if you renew the employment pass, then you can increase the duration with 3 years per each renewal. There’s no quota or foreign worker levy that you need to abide by, which makes this system very reliable and comprehensive.

Another thing to note is that if an employee receives the employment pass, that extends to the family members. You can come to Singapore with the entire family with the Long Term Visit Pass or the Dependent Pass, depending on the situation. The thing to note here is that you must meet the minimum salary requirement and any other specific requirements that the employer might have.

What is the Entrepass?

When you are asking what is Singapore e Pass, most of the time you will be quite confused. But the interesting thing to note about the Entrepreneur Pass is that it helps foreign investors and serial entrepreneurs to try and start a business in Singapore. During this process, those persons are also relocating to Singapore, which is something to keep in mind.

The reason why the Entrepass exists is because the government from Singapore wanted to find a way to attract entrepreneurs to the country. There’s no minimum salary stipulated, and you can stay here up to a year with the Entrepass. Then, you can renew it every few years, for now the renewal process takes place every 2 years.

In case you have a family, you can get some of the members to join you if they meet the minimum business spending requirements. There is no quota, so that is a good thing to consider and keep in mind for this process.

What’s the minimum criteria to get the Entrepass?

If you come as an entrepreneur in Singapore, then you will need for the company to receive at least S$100000 in funding or investment. This needs to come from an accredited source. The company can also be incubated by an incubator or accelerator, this has to be recognized by the government as well. Plus, you should also have an established business network along with a good track record.

If you arrive as an innovator, you need to have intellectual property in your name. The applicant also needs to reach collaborations with an institute based on Singapore as well. And on top of that, you should have a record of achievements in your area of expertise.

Things are easier for an investor, mainly because investors just need to have a good investment record. If that’s the case, you just need to fulfill any other regular Entrepass requirements.

Similarities between the Employment Pass and the Entrepass

  • Both of them are designed to be temporary residency schemes. If you want to work in Singapore or even start a business here, you are allowed to do that via these programs. They are designed in a different way, but the focus is to help you work in Singapore. But, of course, each one has its own guidelines and restrictions to keep in mind.
  • These passes are both subject to a review from the authorities. So even if you abide to all the requirements, it’s still possible that you might not pass all of those requirements. And that’s a thing that can become an issue, depending on the situation.
  • You can renew both these passes. The timeline depends, for some cases it will be a 3 year renewal time, in other cases 2 years. That being said, both passes will allow you to bring a family member with you, which can be extremely helpful and a major part of the process.
  • There’s no scheme here that will require you a paid-up capital. Yet if you have the option to contribute with capital, that will be an advantage. Yet it’s not mandatory, and you have to take all of that into consideration.

Differences between the Employment Pass and the Entrepass

Differences between the Employment Pass and the Entrepass

What you have to realize with these programs is that they are all designed from the ground up to help you enter Singapore and work there. But as we know, there are significant differences between these. Depending on the program, you will have a set of pros and cons, but also requirements.

  • A major difference comes in the form of the eligibility criteria. For example, for the employment pass you need to have a salary of at least S$5000 in order to qualify, and also accepted degrees. In addition, the qualifications matter, along with the unique skill sets. In the case of the Entrepreneur Pass, you must be funded by a recognized third party or hold your own IP, have exceptional experience in your niche, a good track record of investing or be an incubate at an approved incubator.
  • For the Employment Pass, you need the company to pay up a $1 capital, whereas there is no such requirement for the Entrepass.
  • However, the Entrepass will require you to have at least 3 local employees after 2 years, and every 2 years you need to add 3 more employees. It’s expected that after 8 years you have 12 local employees.
  • The MOM processing time is also different. For the Employment Pass it can take anywhere from 1 day to 8 weeks. But in the case of Entrepass, it can take 3 weeks to 3 months, something to keep in mind.
  • The Employment Pass is renewable as long as the company meets the employment criteria. However, for the Entrepass the renewal framework needs to ensure that the contributions are in line with how much time the company has been in Singapore. So in this case, you want the total business spending to increase, and as we said, you also need to add more and more local employees as time goes by.
  • The Dependant pass is granted to the legally married spouse or unmarried kids under 21 if the Employment Pass holder earns S$6000 or more a month. For the Entrepass, you need to have this pass for at least a year, and the dependant pass assessment needs to be undergone. And of course, you also need to be in line with the Entrepass business require ents, which can be their own challenging thing.
  • Also, the application time can be a bit different too. For example, the Employment Pass can be applied at any time after the incorporation of the company. But the Entrepreneur Pass needs to be applied before the incorporation or within 6 months of the incorporation process.


Are there any education-related requirements?

We know that the Employment Pass holder must stay in Singapore, but is it necessary to have education related qualifications? What you will notice here is that education requirements will appear at times, and those are more valid to the Employment Pass. Someone can get the Entrepass without having tons of knowledge in a specific niche, as long as they have a good background and investors.

But in the case of the employment pass, things are a bit different. You need to have a degree from a reputable university and professional experience valid to that particular niche. That’s why it can get quite difficult to make sure that you get past any employment hurdles and you address those firsthand. With that being said, you always want to make sure that you improve your knowledge and expertise, as it will increase the chances of getting the Employment Pass.

Recruitment requirements

Obviously, this is not applying to the Employment Pass because you are an employee. But in the case of the Entrepreneur Pass, that is important. You are expected to hire at least 3 local people as full time staff every 2 years. That means in 8 years, you should have at least 12 locals working within your company.

The reason behind that is simple, Singapore’s government encourages foreigners to come to the country, but they also encourage them to hire locals. That helps, and it goes to show the uniqueness of the process, along with the ability to renew the pass and push it to the next level.

And aside from that, you also need to do business spending here as well. So you need to have at least S$100000 in expenses over the past 12 months. That’s important to keep in mind, because the amount continues to grow in the long run as you ask for a renewal. Making sure that you work with a legal expert to avoid any problems and stay up to date with the latest regulations and legal changes is extremely important.


Are there difference when it comes to the healthcare benefits?

You can have healthcare benefits if you are a holder of any of these 2 passes. With that in mind, you must be a permanent resident to access healthcare benefits. Only the permanent residents have MediShield support, so if you are not a permanent resident, you must opt for private medical insurance.

In general, private medical insurance is usually the right way to go, and it can be extremely helpful. With that in mind, MediShield would not cover all the expenses all the time. So even if you have one of the passes, you still want to make sure that you go for a private insurance system as well. That way, you are protected in case anything might happen, so use that to your advantage.

Is a visa needed if you have any of these passes?

These passes are actually work visas. However as we said, both of them have different categories that they focus on. The Employment Pass is suitable for people with great track record in their niche who have an employer in Singapore. The Entrepreneur Pass is for those people that want to create a company in Singapore, even if they are not from there.

In general, these passes are designed to streamline the process, make it as simple as possible, while also implementing a much better and more consistent approach. The main focus is to help people invest in Singapore, while also encouraging new talent to come here. And for those that create new companies, they also have to hire locals, which is the best of both worlds.



As you can see, the Singapore Employment Pass and EntrePass are quite different between each other. What you need to realize is that the scope and requirements of each pass will differ, but in the end, they both allow you to legally work in Singapore. Yet in one case, you get to create your own business, while in the other you are hired by someone else to work for them. Regardless, both passes offer extraordinary opportunities for talented people to work in Singapore, and it’s a great idea to check them out!

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