Inside the content
- What is Tech@SG?
- What Are the Advantages of Tech@SG?
- What Eligibility Requirements Do Tech@SG Applicants Need to Meet?
- What is the Tech.Pass?
- What Are the Advantages of the Tech.Pass?
- What Eligibility Requirements Do Tech.Pass Applicants Need to Meet?
- What is the ONE Pass?
- What Are the Advantages of the ONE Pass?
- What Eligibility Requirements Do ONE Pass Applicants Need to Meet?
The world faces a shortage of talent, especially in the technology field with the advent of the digital age, and Singapore is no stranger to this problem.
According to a survey by NTUC, 9 of 10 employers in Singapore believe that there is a lack of talent with the coding skills needed despite its growing status as a technology hub in Southeast Asia.
Singapore has always highlighted the importance of attracting and obtaining talent in the tech sector. In fact, it has several work passes and programmes that aim to welcome talent in the industry across the world and convince them to enter the country and work.
It recently unveiled a new pass, the Overseas Networks and Expertise (ONE) Pass. It is a means to compete with other countries like the United Kingdom’s High Potential Individual Visa and Thailand’s Long-term Resident Programme.
In this article, we discuss how this new pass compares against the Tech@SG programme and Tech.Pass.
Related Read: Snapshot of Singapore Work Passes, Permits and Visas »
What is Tech@SG?
Tech@SG was launched in 2019 to support the development of high-potential businesses in Singapore. It is a programme launched jointly by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore.
It promotes rapidly developing tech businesses and established talent to enter the city-state, bringing their networks and expertise along with them.
Related Read: Fad or Future? Why Start a Foodtech Firm in Singapore »
What Are the Advantages of Tech@SG?
Tech@SG provides these benefits to successful applicants:
- Company-level endorsement to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), which increases their chances of successful Employment Pass (EP) applications
- The receipt of over 10 new EPs over 2 years for foreign employees hired to join your business’ core team in Singapore
- Coverage for the first EP renewal
What Eligibility Requirements Do Tech@SG Applicants Need to Meet?
Tech@SG applicants need to meet all of these requirements:
- Start a business entity in Singapore with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority in Singapore (ACRA)
- Obtained funding of any amount from a Programme-recognised investment company in the past 3 years
- Procured over US$10 million in cumulative investment funding in the past 3 years
- Your company’s core product or service must be either a digital or technology offering e.g. medtech, biotech, and fintech
What Eligibility Requirements Do EP Holders Need to Meet?
If you have successfully qualified for Tech@SG, you must make sure that your EP applicants fulfil these requirements:
- The applicant’s monthly salary must satisfy MOM’s current criteria of at least S$5,000
- The applicant must pass MOM’s background and due diligence assessments
- The applicant must be a key team member with a qualifying functional role and seniority level that matches:
- Applicants must be working in a core business function or technical function
- Applicants must be in Manager-level roles and above
What is the Tech.Pass?
The Tech.Pass is a work visa issued by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). It is an extension of the Tech@SG programme.
It is a programme that aims to attract business founders, technical experts, and leaders. They should have experience in reputable or fast-growing tech businesses to foster the development of Singapore’s tech network.
The pass has a 2-year validity for first-time applications and has a one-time renewal for 2 years. Renewal success is dependent on whether the candidate meets the renewal criteria.
Applications first opened in January 2021 with 500 available places.
What Are the Advantages of the Tech.Pass?
The pass offers these benefits:
- The flexibility to partake in activities related to starting and managing a company, being an employee, an investor, consultant, lecturer in local institutions of higher learning (IHL), or company director in at least 1 Singapore-based firm
- Pass holders can also shift between employers or transit to become an entrepreneur
What Eligibility Requirements Do Tech.Pass Applicants Need to Meet?
Applicants must fulfil any of these 2 requirements to apply:
- Prove that their fixed monthly salary in the last 1 year was at least S$20,000
- Possess a minimum of 5 years of accumulated experience in a leading position in a tech business with a valuation or market capitalisation of at least US$500 million or with at least US$30 million of funding raised
- Have at least 5 years of experience in a leading position combined in the development stages of a tech product with at least 100,000 active users per month or US$100 million in yearly revenue
What is the ONE Pass?
The Overseas Networks and Expertise (ONE) Pass is Singapore’s latest attempt at attracting the world’s leading talents. It welcomes talent from all sectors, with a particular focus on these niches:
- Science and technology
- Academia and research
- Arts and culture
This customised pass aims to cement Singapore’s position as a global talent destination and help it compete with other countries for the best talent.
What Are the Advantages of the ONE Pass?
The most outstanding benefit of the ONE Pass is the flexibility it offers to pass holders.
A pass holder can enjoy unrivalled flexibility by incorporating and operating a company, as well as working for multiple corporations in Singapore, all at once.
Here are more advantages of the pass:
- Longer validity period of 5 years that allows holders to remain for a longer duration
- Pass holders do not need to reapply for a new pass if they switch jobs
- Spouses of pass holders can work in Singapore on a Letter of Consent (LOC)
What Eligibility Requirements Do ONE Pass Applicants Need to Meet?
There are different ways applicants can apply for the pass. They may either meet the salary requirements or possess outstanding achievements.
Here are the guidelines:
- Candidates who are existing work pass holders and candidates from overseas can apply if they earn a minimum fixed monthly salary of S$30,000 or its equivalent in foreign currency in the past 1 year, or;
- If they will be earning that amount under their future employer based in Singapore
- Apart from the salary requirement, overseas candidates also need to prove that they have been employed by an established company (with a market cap of at least US$500 million or yearly revenue of at least US$200 million) overseas for minimally 1 year, or will be doing so in Singapore
- Applicants with exceptional achievements in these sectors can qualify for the pass even if they do not meet the salary requirements:
- Science and technology
- Arts and culture
- Academia and research
Comparing ONE Pass, Tech.Pass, and Tech@SG
|Type of Pass||ONE Pass (From 1 Jan 2023)||Tech.Pass||Tech@SG|
|For individuals||For individuals||For companies|
|Eligibility for New Applicants||
||Applicants must meet any of these 2 criteria:
||Applicants need to meet all of these requirements:
If you have successfully qualified for Tech@SG, you must ensure that your EP applicants fulfil these requirements:
|Attractiveness in Terms of Pass Validity||
||Benefits last for 2 years|
|Degree of Flexibility||Highest||Medium||N/A|
Based on the table, it is clear that the ONE Pass is the best choice for companies that wish to bring in foreign talent looking for a high degree of work flexibility.
It may also be ideal for those who wish to bring their families over and seek the assurance of stability. In turn, pass holders will also be encouraged to remain invested in staying in Singapore for a longer period of time.
- Applications for the ONE Pass will open from 1 Jan 2023. You can engage Rikvin’s immigration team to assist you in the process.
- Although the Tech.Pass is more niche and targeted at the tech industry, the ONE Pass may be a better option as employees can remain for a longer period of time.
- The influx of companies, manpower restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and a lack of tech experts globally have conributed to this problem in Singapore.
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Mel specializes in Employment Pass and Work Pass applications through the Ministry of Manpower. She also handles Long-Term Visit Pass applications through the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.