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In this guide, you will learn about the Singapore Entrepreneur Pass (or EntrePass), a visa intended primarily for technopreneurs and R&D-intensive enterprises. We will help you understand the eligibility requirements and approval criteria under the enhanced EntrePass network, as well as the overall process and timeline for application.
Singapore Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) Scheme
The Singapore Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) scheme was introduced to promote entrepreneurship.
As a start-up hub, Singapore is keen to support innovative business ideas and facilitate their commercialisation through several initiatives. In September 2013, the scheme has been refined to attract technopreneurs as well as R&D-intensive enterprises including those in the cleantech and biotech sectors so that they can add value as well as inject vibrancy and innovation in Singapore.
Businesses that are involved in the development or application of innovative technology, or contribute to the flourishing of innovative ideas, stand a better chance of having their EntrePass application approved.
EntrePass Eligibility Requirements
The Entrepreneur Pass application will be reviewed by two government bodies – SPRING Singapore and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). The criteria are as follows:
Applicants must demonstrate at least one of the following:
|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 recognised research institutions such as A*STAR or a local tertiary institution||
|Is an incubatee at a government-approved incubator||
|Receives support from a Singapore Government agency||-|
- Register a Private Limited Company. The company must not be registered for more than 6 months at the point of application.
- Own at least 30% of shareholding in the company.
- Have relevant experience and track record in creating and managing a business successfully.
- Provide verification (i.e. bank statement from a Singapore-based company bank account) that S$50,000 or more in paid-up capital for the new company.
- Submit a 10-page business plan detailing business goals and objectives. Renewal of EntrePass is contingent on the fulfillment of goals and objectives outlined in the business plan.
- Tenancy contract or employees’ CPF statements; and
- Latest ACRA business profile.
EntrePass Business Plan Requirements and Renewal Criteria
One of the key requirements for the application of an EntrePass is a 10-page business plan. The plan must demonstrate that your business venture will meet the employment requirements of a minimum number of Singapore resident staff, and a Total Business Spending (TBS).
MOM has a progressive renewal criteria framework to ensure that the contributions of EntrePass holders are commensurate with the duration of their operations in Singapore. Subsequent renewals of the EntrePass are contingent on meeting these requirements as well as on achieving the goals and objectives in the business plan. It is therefore crucial to have a well-drafted business plan.
|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)]
P-level EntrePass holders may apply for Dependant Pass and/or Long-Term Visit Pass for their family members.
P Pass holders can apply for Dependant Pass for their:
- Unmarried children under 21 years of age
If you are an Employment or an EntrePass holder, and subject to your monthly salary, your spouse is eligible to work in Singapore as a Dependant Pass holder. However, the prospective employer is required to apply for a Letter of Consent (LOC) with the Ministry of Manpower.
Long-Term Visit Pass
P Pass holders can also apply for a Long-Term Visit Pass for their:
- Common law spouse
- Children of common law spouse
- Unmarried daughters above 21 years of age
- Handicapped children
Q Pass holders are not eligible for the application of a Long-Term Visit Pass for their immediate family members.
Procedure and Timeline for EntrePass Application
The Ministry of Manpower generally takes four to six weeks to process an application, since the requirements for an EntrePass application are more stringent compared to those for an Employment Pass. If there is further clarification required by the Ministry of Manpower it may extent the approval period.
Documents Required for EntrePass Submission
The following documents are required for all EntrePass applications:
- Singapore EntrePass application form 8
- A copy of educational certificates
- One passport-size photograph taken within the past three months
- A copy of the passport personal particulars page
- 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 (download Singapore EntrePass Business Plan form)
Collection of EntrePass upon Approval
Once the application is approved, the Ministry of Manpower will issue an Approval-In-Principle (AIP) letter. Upon the receipt of an AIP, you have not yet registered a company with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA), you must do so within 30 days.
Upon submission of a printout of a new company registration and proof of paid-up capital (minimum of S$50,000) injected into the new business, the Ministry of Manpower will issue the final approval letter, the so-called In-Principle-Approval (IPA) letter . With the IPA, you have six months to relocate to Singapore to start operating your new company.
To collect your EntrePass you will be required to present
- A copy of the IPA letter
- Passport size photo
- Original passport with the disembarkation card
- Medical exam report* (if required as stated in the In-Principle Approval letter)
- Any other documents that are requested for in the IPA
* 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 a day.
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 for collection in 4 working days.
You may collect the pass at Ministry of Manpower personally or authorize Rikvin to collect it on your behalf.
Rejection of EntrePass Application
In the event that your EntrePass application is rejected by the MOM, Rikvin will investigate why your application has been rejected. Based on the reasons provided by MOM, we will submit an appeal that will address the issues outlined by MOM and also include additional documents where applicable.
MOM will take a minimum of three weeks or more to review your appeal.
Why Hire Rikvin For EntrePass
The eligibility requirements for the application of EntrePasses have become more stringent. Unless you have the necessary time and experience, it is advisable that you engage a professional firm to assist you with the application.
At Rikvin, we have been helping clients with incorporating their businesses and work pass applications since 1998. Our experienced team of consultants can process your application and provide appropriate guidance so that you may avoid all the unnecessary frustration and pitfalls. We can also help create a good business plan, a crucial component in the application process of your EntrePass.
As we assist you through the process, we will conduct all follow-ups and liaise with each authority on your behalf. We can help you simplify this lengthy and complex procedure, and consequently help to maximize your chances of getting an EntrePass.
Permanent Residence Eligibility
EntrePass holders are eligible to apply for Permanent Residency. There is a designated waiting period of six months since one of the assessing criteria is to have a minimum of six months pay slips, and preferably an IRAS tax assessment can be provided.
** Should you take up our Entrepreneur Pass Package, our initial consultation fee will be waived.