SINGAPORE: Changes to the EntrePass for Entrepreneurs

The EntrePass immigration scheme in Singapore was launched in 2004 to attract foreign entrepreneurs. The scheme is designed for foreign entrepreneurs who wish to start a business in Singapore.

From 1st September 2013, certain changes will be made to the EntrePass framework. The Singapore Ministry of Manpower has been driving to raise the quality of the profile of their foreign workforce, to ensure that they only attract foreign entrepreneurs who can inject innovation and vibrancy into Singapore”s business sector.

In order to apply for an EntrePass to start a business in Singapore, the existing requirements are that –

·         The company must be registered as a Private Limited Company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority – Singapore”s national regulator of businesses and public accountants.

·         The applicant must hold at least 30% of shares in the company.

·         The company must have at least $50,000 paid-up-capital.

·         The company must not have been registered for more than six months at the point of application.

New Entry Stage Requirements

From 1st September, in order to be eligible for the EntrePass, new applicants will have to meet at least one of these requirements in addition to the above:

  • Be receiving funding from a recognized third-party venture capitalist;
  • Hold a proprietary or licensed Intellectual Property (IP) recognized by an approved national IP institution;
  • Have research collaboration with a research institution recognized by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) or any local tertiary institution;
  • Be supported by a recognized enterprise incubator scheme supported by SPRING Singapore or National Research Foundation (NRF); or
  • Be receiving support from a Singapore Government agency.

Mid-year audit

Thereafter, within the first six months of receiving the pass, applicants will need to provide evidence of:

  • A tenancy agreement;
  • Staff employment contracts/CPF (pension fund) statements;
  • A statement of shareholding structure in respect of the registered company and date of incorporation.

Failure to present all of these documents will result in the cancellation of the EntrePass.

Renewal of the EntrePass

The pass is issued for one year and is renewable.

After the first year, EntrePass holders must have created two local jobs and spent at least $100,000 to be granted a renewal. After this, there are progressive targets for local job creation and spending.

These new renewal criteria are applicable to all new and existing EntrePass holders.

If you are interested in emigrating to Singapore, either as an Entrepreneur or via any other route, please contact us or call us on +44 (0)207 0012121 for more information.

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