WORK VISA AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES


Singapore is one of the most attractive markets in Southeast Asia for both foreign companies and workers.  It’s no surprise that foreign entrepreneurs rush to this “little red dot” in pursuit of business possibilities, as this country was ranked first in KPMG’s annual survey on being a technology hub in 2020 and second in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index.

Even though the population is at 5.9 million, only 64 percent of the population is citizens, with the remaining 36 percent being non-resident foreign workers or Permanent Residents as of 2021.  This is also one of the reasons why Singapore’s government provides a choice of work visa options for foreign nationals who want to work or start a business here.

To do so, you’ll need to know about the Employment Pass (EP) and the Entrepreneur Pass (EP) (EntrePass).
Both passes are legitimate work visa options for foreign business owners or working individuals who plan to relocate to the  country.  These options, however, differ in several ways, making them suitable for different categories of foreign nationals.

What Exactly Is An Employment Pass?

A Singapore Employment Pass (EP) is a work permit for company employees and executives who want to  work or have been offered a job position in Singapore.

It’s worth noting that if you own at least 30% of the company’s shares, then you’ll need to apply for the Entrepreneur Pass instead.  The EP holder is also permitted to bring members of their family into the country.

To be eligible for the EP, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum fixed monthly salary of S$3,600 (for young graduates) and S$4,500 for professionals
  • Hold at least managerial or executive positions
  • A tertiary degree from a reputed university, as well as a solid professional background are required

Applicants will typically apply for an Employment Pass if they are:

  • Getting a job in a company located in Singapore
  • Establishing a local branch of a foreign company in Singapore
  • Relocating to Singapore later to work for a company which they built from the overseas
What Exactly Is An EntrePass (Entrepreneur Pass)?

Another type of work visa for foreign entrepreneurs  who want to start a company in Singapore is the Entrepreneur Pass, or EntrePass.
These businesses, in particular, should be  entrepreneurial and innovative in nature.

Foreign entrepreneurs must own at least 30% of the company’s shares in order to be eligible for the EntrePass. Such work visas are also commonly applied by the company’s owner and are open to people of all nationalities.

It’s worth noting that if you own at least 30% of the company’s  shares, you’ll have to apply for the Entrepreneur Pass.  Members of the EP holder’s family are also granted entry passes.

You must meet the following criteria to be eligible for  the EntrePass:

  • At least 30% ownership of the company is required
  • Present a business plan that shows entrepreneurial and innovative ideas, as well as future plans for local hiring
  • Your company should not have been set up for longer than six months (otherwise, you should apply for an EP)
What do an EP and an EntrePass have in common?

Foreign business owners moving to Singapore can use  both of these work visa options, therefore an EP and an EntrePass are functionally comparable.

The following are some of the similarities:

  • Both work visas allow the applicants and their immediate family to relocate to Singapore as temporary residency schemes.
  • Both work visas must be reviewed and approved by government officials of Singapore
  • Both are renewable and valid for 1-2 years depending on your personal qualifications and other specific requirements.
  • With official government approval, both work visas allow the applicant as well as their family to apply for Singapore Permanent Residence (PR)
  • Both work visas expect pass holders to receive salary from their employer. As a result, the pass holder must pay personal income tax on an annual basis based on his or her wage.
Which Work Visa To Choose?

Applicants will typically apply for an Employment Pass if they are:

  • Getting a job in a company located in Singapore
  • Establishing a local branch of a foreign company in Singapore
  • Relocating to Singapore later to work for a company which they built from the overseas

Applicants usually consider an EntrePass if they are:

  • Thinking of starting a business in Singapore
  • In the process of incorporating a six-month-old company in Singapore
  • Having a mindset of entrepreneurship and innovation as the most important aspects of their business

There are other cases whereby an Employment Pass or an EntrePass might be the best option for a foreign  individual seeking employment in Singapore.

In any case, you should seek advice from an experienced and qualified  service provider to determine which choice is best for you.
Every situation is unique and may require a solution  that is customized to your needs.

After learning the basics about the Employment Pass and Entrepass, you should be able to identify which work visa is best for you.  It all comes down to whether you’re a qualified / skilled professional or an entrepreneur.

Clearly, there are other requirements and criteria that you need  that aren’t listed above, but answering that question will put you on the right route when applying for a Singapore work visa. Both the Employment Pass and the Entrepreneur Pass are good options; the only question is which is appropriate for you.

At ApacTrust, we can help with your application including:

  • Employment Pass
  • Personalised Employment Pass
  • S Pass
  • Dependent’s Pass
  • Singapore Permanent Residence
  • Employment Pass Rejection and Appeals

We are licensed by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and we help foreign entrepreneurs to open their business and move to Singapore for years. We also help them to navigate Singapore’s immigration regulations and gain employment passes for their employees to work here legally.  You can rely on our professional team for the right advice and to support your visa application quickly and affordably.

Call us to enquire more today.

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