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All immigrants with the intention of working in Singapore or starting a business there, must have a valid pass. Let us take a look at the passes that are most in demand, such as Employment Pass and EntrePass.

Work Permit Options for Foreign Professionals & Businesspeople

The Singapore government has a choice of work permits or visas in the offering. These sprawl across less-skilled workers to well-educated and seasoned professionals, who come under P1 and P2 category. For those foreign professionals who intend to work or set up businesses in Singapore, here is a short overview on the types of Singapore Work Visa, Entrepreneur Passes and other Immigration Services.

1. Employment Pass (EP)

This is the most popular type of work visa, also called Singapore EP pass or Singapore E pass. By securing this pass foreign entrepreneurs, directors, general managers, shareholders and skilled professionals can live and work in Singapore for at least a year. It is valid for up to 2 years for first timers. The Singapore Employment Pass can be renewed provided the pass holder is an employee of the company. After renewal, it is valid up to three years. For eligibility, the minimum monthly salary is S$3,600 or more.

2. Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass):

The Entrepreneur Pass, also known as the EntrePass, is a visa that facilitates foreigners to work and live in Singapore for up to 1 to 2 years. This is most convenient for foreign entrepreneurs, intending to set up a new business in Singapore. A few standards rule the application of this pass, such as the candidate must have a minimum of 30% of the total shares of the company. Likewise, the company’s share capital must have a minimum value of S$50,000. Beginning 1st September 2013, Singapore Ministry of Manpower has introduced drastic changes to the eligibility criteria for the EntrePass scheme. Provided the criteria defined by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower are adequately fulfilled, these pass holders can travel in and out of Singapore without a hitch. For them, the Singapore immigration process becomes trouble-free. The Singapore Entrepreneur Pass has to be renewed every month.

A Comparative Analysis of Employment Pass & EntrePass

Employment Pass (EP) and Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) are the most applied for and prevalent work visas among the different immigration passes or visas in Singapore. Both of these are most suitable for foreign professionals and entrepreneurs keen on moving residences to Singapore. Although these two working passes have much in common, they also have their own share of differences, based on the applicant’s requirements and needs.

What makes Employment Pass (EP) and Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) Similar

  • 1. Employment Pass (E Pass) and Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) are temporary residency work passes that facilitate foreigners to move with their immediate families (under the discretion of the authorities) to Singapore.
  • 2. Both work passes are with the proviso of review and approval by the government authorities.
  • 3. Both work passes are valid for 1 to 2 years and they are liable to be renewed, based on their respective renewal requirements.
  • 4. Both work passes schemes permit applicants and their families submit application for Singapore permanent residence in due course.
  • 5. Both work pass holders must have a paid salary from the company and should be tax-payers (For instance, if you hold a work pass valid for at least one year, straightaway you are liable to pay tax).
  • 6. Both pass holders are legally responsible to pay Singapore personal income tax based on their annual income.

EntrePass and Employment Pass – The Differences

Despite the fact that both passes are similar in many ways, they have some significant differences and variables that define which work pass is best for which applicant.

  • 1. Eligibility
    • Employment Pass: for skillful employee with sound work experience
    • EntrePass: for entrepreneurs or stakeholder with minimum 30% shares of the startup
  • 2. Timing of Application
    • Employment Pass: After incorporation of the company
    • EntrePass: Before incorporation of the company within 6 months of the incorporation
  • 3. Business concept & Business Plan Requirement:
    • Employment Pass: Needs no business plan
    • EntrePass: Inventive business deal that will give rise to maximum domestic employment and efficiency.
  • 4. Required Education level:
    • Employment Pass: A tertiary degree from a university of repute and good professional experience.
    • EntrePass: No elaborate requirement.
  • 5. Least Investment /Paid-up Capital Requirement:
    • Employment Pass: No definite requirement (However, to catch the interest of MOM, the minimum recommended amount to set up a company is at least $50,000)
    • EntrePass: No requirement (Previously, the minimum amount was S$50,000. However, in its endeavor to boost entrepreneurship, the government has in the recent years brought this down to zero.
  • 6. Local employees employment stipulation:
    • Employment Pass: No stringent condition
    • EntrePass: One of the key requisites for renewal.
  • 7. Business Outlay Requisite:
    • Employment Pass: No precise requisite
    • EntrePass: Minimum total business outlay requirement between S$100,000 to S$400,000 across the past 12 months is a must for renewal.

In conclusion, the EntrePass facilitates eligible foreigners to apply for Visa prior to Singapore company incorporation. On the other hand, the Employment Pass allows foreign entrepreneurs to obtain their working visas with less strict requirements, however, setting up a Singapore company beforehand is a must. To learn more about finding a suitable Singapore visa option for specific business plans, please contact us.

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