THE ENTREPRENEUR PASS (ENTREPASS) SINGAPORE GUIDE:
1. What Is An Entrepass (EP) In Singapore?The Singapore Entrepreneur Pass, which is also known as the Entre pass, is a work visa granted to foreign entrepreneurs who are interested in setting up their businesses in Singapore. This also includes innovators and investors interested in using Singapore as a launch pad to penetrate ASEAN and the rest of Asia. The main elements of the Entrepass include:
- No minimum salary is required
- It lasts 1 year and can be renewed for another year; every future renewal lasts 2 years
- There is no worker levy or quota required
- You can bring your immediate family and parents (if you meet certain requirements)
2. The Enhanced Entrepass scheme 2017 – the key changes?
With effect of 3rd August 2017, the entrepass scheme will be enhanced significantly to attract global foreign talents to contribute to a more vibrant startup and high technology environment in Singapore. The changes include:
- Broadening the evaluation criteria for startup businesses to attract more talent
- Requiring documentation to show an applicant’s entrepreneurial, investment, or business track record and important accomplishments
- Extending the Entrepass validity period to 2 years after the first renewal to give entrepreneurs more time to grow their business
- Ending the requirement that entrepreneurs provide S$50,000 in paid-up capital
3. What are the new Entrepass requirements?The basic requirements for an Entrepass are that you need to be 21 years old or older and plan to start, or have already founded, a company. Other requirements include:
- You need to demonstrate that your business is innovative and likely to provide jobs to local employment
- If you already started your company, you have to register it within 6 months (you can register your company after you Entrepass application has been accepted)
- You need to own at least 30% of shares in your company
- Your company must receive at least S$100,000 from a government-funded venture capitalist or angel investor accredited to a government agency (List of approved investors are SGinnovate, SG Startup, and a list of other venture partners here);
- Your company is an incubator/accelerator or is incubated by such a company registered with the government; or
- Your company possesses a successful and long track record of performing well.
- You own unique intellectual property that gives you a competitive advantage;
- You have demonstrated exceptional skill and have achieved significant accomplishments in your field; or
- You have collaborated with research institutes or universities in Singapore
It is important to note that the following businesses are not eligible for an Entrepass:
- Coffee shops, hawker centres, and food courts
- Bars, night clubs, and karaoke lounges
- Foot reflexology practices and massage parlours
- Acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, and herbal dispensing businesses
- Employment agencies
- Geomancy businesses
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you still have any questions regarding the Entrepass requirements.
4. What are the documents required to submit for an Entrepass?
You will need to submit the following documents, all in English, that pertaining to your employment and education background to obtain the Entrepass (you may need to provide additional documents if your situation requires it):
- Completed Entrepass application form
- A copy of the personal particulars page of your passport
- A passport-sized photo of yourself taken within the past three months
- Documentation showing your employment record and past businesses ventures
- References and testimonials of current and former colleagues
- Copies of education degrees and certificates
- Your company’s latest business profile if you have already registered your company in Singapore
- A 10-page business plan stating clearly on the following points:
Section 1. Profiles of the applicant to include:
a. Applicant’s professional experience in growing business, especially startup;
b. Present any awards or recognition from a recognized national body or organization;
c. Demonstrate special skills or resources (Patent, technology, networks in business, financial, or any intellectual property)
d. Education background of the applicant
e. Applicant’s role in societies or organisations
Section 2. Business idea to include:
a. Description of produce or service that is going to be offered in the market
b. The analysis of the Market
c. Supporting documents such as license agreement, product endorsements or certifications.
Are you still unsure about what documents you need? Contact us for expert advice.
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5. How do I apply for an Entrepass in Singapore?
You have to send the application and accompanying documents over the counter at any SingPost branch. The cost to submit is $70 and the process will about 8 weeks. The Ministry of Manpower and government-partnered or government-affiliated agencies such as the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board of Singapore, Infocomm Media Development Authority, and SGInnovate, will jointly evaluate your application.
However, Entrepass is a highly complex visa that is assessed by 2 governmental agencies, therefore, it is important to seek for professional advice before you proceed. Learn more about our entrepass comprehensive service (includes business plan drafting).
6. What is the Singapore Entrepass business plan standard requirement?
For entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators will need to gather the following documents to apply:
- A copy of the personal particulars page of your passport
- Past employment testimonials in English (if applicable)
- The company’s latest business profile or instant information from Bizfile (this is only for registered businesses with ACRA, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority)
The business plan will need to include:
- A description your professional background, skills, awards, and academic qualifications
- An explanation of your business idea with supporting documents and market analysis
- A clearly defined plan to implement your business
Please note that all of the documents need to be in English. You will need to have any non-English documents translated. When you submit your application, you have to submit both the non-English and translated documents.We understand that this can be a little confusing. Please reach out to us for assistance.
7. How long does it take to get an Entrepass in Singapore?Once your application is approved, you will receive an in-principle approval (IPA) letter in the mail. You will then have 6 months to come to Singapore to get the Entrepass. You will receive a one-time entry visa to enter Singapore. Be sure to bring all the correct documents with you: the IPA letter, your passport, and, if needed, other documents requested in the letter. It will then take four days for the actual Entrepass card to be mailed to your Singapore address.
9. My application was turned down. What do I do if my Entrepass visa is rejected?If your application is rejected, don’t panic! You will receive a letter from MOM that will give you the reasons why it was rejected. Oftentimes these issues can be addressed and you can appeal the rejection by providing additional information to strengthen your case. One-Visa consultants can definitely help you with this. We have expert understanding of foreign manpower policies and can advise you on which additional documents you might need. If you are still unsure about how to reapply, contact us for a Free Assessment on your case.
10. What are the Entrepass renewal criteria and how do I renew it?As with the initial application, your company needs to be incorporated, active in business activities, and you need to own at least 30% of company shares. Other criteria include:
- First renewal: $100,000 in business spending; 3 full-time employees (FTE) or 1 professional manager or executive (PME)
- Second Renewal: $200,000 in business spending; 6 FTEs or 2 PMEs
- Third Renewal: $300,000 in business spending; 9 FTEs or 3 PMEs
- Fourth Renewal: $400,000 in spending; 12 FTEs or 4 PMEs
11. How to collect your Singapore Entrepass?
Collecting the pass is almost immediate. You have the option of doing so through EP Online or over the counter at the MOM EPSC. If you do it online, you first need to have a SingPass account, or your employment agent or company representative can make the request. Each pass costs $150.
On EP Online:
- Sign in and submit the required documents
- Print the notification letter after the request is approved. The letter lets you travel in and out of Singapore and informs you that you need to register your company, which may include getting your fingerprints stamped and photo taken.
Over the counter:
- Make an appointment at the Employment Pass Services Centre to get the pass issued over the counter. Be sure to bring all the required documents with you.
The card will be mailed to you in four business days after registration. You can check the card’s delivery status on EP Online.
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12. Is my family eligible for any dependent or long-term visit pass in Singapore?Yes. Family members eligible for dependent passes are your legally-married spouse and children under 21 years of age. Long-term visas are issued to parents, common-law spouses, and unmarried handicapped children older than 21. Criteria and requirements include:
- Your business must earn at least $100,000 per year to bring your spouse and/or children here, and at least $200,000 for your parents
- Dependent passes are valid throughout the validity of the Entrepass
13. What is Singapore’s company registration process for foreigners?You do not need to start business before applying for the Entrepass. But if you do, you will need to demonstrate that you not only have the desire but the right background experience and proven success as well. All of this information has to be included in your application. Starting your business in Singapore is a fairly easy process. Follow these steps:
- Register your company after receiving your In-Principle-Approval (IPA) letter. You have to do this within 30 days of receiving the letter.
- Open a bank account and deposit money into it.
- Inform the Ministry of Manpower that you have registered your company.
|Must be new company setup < 6 months||No requirement for how long the company has been established|
|A business plan is enough as proof of business||Need concrete business activities as proof of ongoing business|
|No salary required||Must be paid a monthly salary|
Main Evaluation Criteria
|Proposed business idea and the applicant’s business track records||Company sponsors business activities and applicant’s credential (education, relevant working experience etc.)|
|Need to achieve certain business milestones for your renewal to be granted.||Your company must show proof of business activities for your renewal to be granted.|
|8 – 10 weeks||3 – 8 weeks|
Dependant Pass Eligibility
|Must achieve the business milestones set by MOM before you can apply for Dependant Passes for your family.||Must be making a minimum salary of 6,000 SGD per month before you can apply for Dependant Passes for your family.|
|Issued for 12 months and can be renewed on a 12 month basis||Issue for 12 – 24 months and can be renewed for 24 to 36 months.|
15. I have my Entrepass and want to enjoy the benefits of a permanent resident. How do I convert my Entrepass to Singapore Permanent Residency (PR)?
You should definitely consider becoming a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) if you want:
- More stability for your family and business
- Less restrictions working and living in Singapore such as:
- No need to hold a work visa
- Family members can have SPR status as well
- You will receive a 5-year reentry permit, allowing you to leave and reenter Singapore without having to get a entry visa each time.
Given the benefits of becoming a Permanent Resident, it is really worth your while to enlist the help of One-Visa professionals to help you with the process.
To obtain SPR status you must:
- Submit salary slips for the past six months and other relevant documents that show you have substantial ties to Singapore. The application takes around 6 months to be processed.
It has been our experience that authorities consider other factors as well, such as how long you have been working in Singapore. In order to submit the best application possible, we strongly recommend that you seek help from us. We will provide you with the necessary forms to fill out and tell you which other documents you need. Asking us for help will definitely boost your chances of success. Don’t put it off any longer. Why wait? If you want to become a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR), apply with us.
Learn more about Singapore Permanent Residency and how we can help you get it here.
16. What other types of Singapore work visas are available (S-pass, Employment Pass & Work Permit)?
If you don’t qualify for the Employment Pass, you still have other visas that can possibly better match your work experience and skill level.
- For medium-skilled foreign technicians in important industries such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, aerospace engineering, electronics, etc.
- The employer or employment agent must apply for the applicant.
- Workers must have several years of experience and a either a degree, diploma, or certificate to demonstrate that they received the necessary education for their chosen field.
- Workers must earn a minimum monthly salary of $2,200; those with more experience should earn more according to their experience and skill level.
- The S-Pass lasts for 2 years and can be renewed up to 3 years.
- The S-Pass has quota and levy requirements. The number of S-Pass employees can’t exceed 15% of the company’s service staff or 20% in all other sectors. As for the levy, employers must pay a monthly levy for each S-Pass worker to cover their healthcare costs.
2. Employment Pass:
- The Employment Pass is available to skilled, well-educated professionals who have been offered a job in Singapore.
- No minimum salary is required.
- It is valid for 1 year and can be renewed for another year; every future renewal lasts 2 years
3. Singapore Work Permit:
- The Work Permit is for foreign semi-skilled workers from selected Asian countries who work in the construction, manufacturing, marine, or process or service sectors (as well as foreign domestic workers, nannies, and performers).
- It is valid for up to 2 years and can be renewed.
- There is no minimum salary required.
17. Why should you get help from professional Entrepass agents or consultants?
Getting an Entrepreneur visa in Singapore (and other work visas) has become harder. The government regulates the flow of foreign workers into the country to increase job prospects for Singaporeans. Click here to learn more about the government’s immigration policies.
Although this policy has reduced the number of foreigners in the country, doing business in Singapore for foreigners is still a great choice. There are plenty of opportunities for highly skilled and experienced foreign professionals.
With that in mind, don’t let these new rules stop you from considering to apply for the Entrepass. Our experienced consultants will guide you through every step of the process. We have over eight years of experience and a proven track record of over 10,000 successful cases, which translates into a 90% success rate. Learn more about our entrepass service or contact us today and let us help you achieve your personal and professional goals!
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