Everything you need to know about Singapore’s Entrepreneur Pass

November 3, 2020

Commonly asked Questions about Singapore's Entrepreneur Pass

With its progressive infrastructure and affinity for technology, Singapore is a major attraction amongst savvy and ambitious professionals. If you’re an entrepreneur who has been eye-ing this island state as a potential locale for your next international business venture, you may just be the perfect candidate for the Entrepreneur Pass.

This article addresses some of the most common questions regarding the EntrePass application process such as:


What is an Entrepreneur Pass?

An Entrepreneur Pass is a scheme that allows foreign entrepreneurs to start a new business and relocate to Singapore. It is part of Singapore’s effort to attract international talent to establish itself as a business hub. It is also commonly referred to as a EntrePass.


Do I qualify for an Entrepreneur Pass?

In order to get EntrePass eligibility, you must fulfil several criteria. The EntrePass is open to individuals of to all nationalities who meet the following conditions:

  • Aged 21 years and above
  • Willing to relocate to Singapore to run their business
  • Have a business proposal that is entrepreneurial in nature and able to create employment opportunities
  • Business must be registered with ACRA as a Singapore private limited company
  • If business is already registered, it must be no older than 6 months old from the day of the application
  • If business is not yet registered, you can do so upon learning about the results of your application

The applicant for the EntrePass should fit into either one of the categories below to qualify for an EntrePass:

Entrepreneur

  • Have funding of at least $100,000 from a VC or angel investor that is recognised by the Singaporean government
  • Is incubated by a government-recognised incubator or start-up accelerator
  • You must have a business network and entrepreneurial track record

Innovator

  • You hold intellectual property
  • You have research collaborations with a Singaporean research institution or institute of higher learning
  • You possess a record of extraordinary achievement in your field of expertise

Investor

  • You have a track record of investing in businesses and have plans to grow either new or existing businesses based in Singapore

Businesses not eligible for EntrePass

There are several types of businesses that do not qualify for the EntrePass. You can see the full list below

  • Coffee shops, hawker centres, food courts
  • Bars, night clubs, karaoke lounges
  • Foot reflexology and massage parlours
  • Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture, and herbal dispensaries
  • Employment agencies
  • Geomancy businesses

What documents do I need to apply for the Entrepreneur pass?

If you’ve already gone through the above points and managed to check all the necessary boxes, you’re one step closer to getting an EntrePass. Now is the time to start compiling all the documents you will need to file your application.

These are the complete set of documents you will need:

  • A passport size photo taken in the last three months
  • A copy of the personal particulars page inside your passport
  • A completed EntrePass application form
  • A business plan with a maximum of 10 pages containing information on: product and service offered, market analysis, operation plan, profile of management team, any supporting documents such as; patents, licensing agreements and etc
  • Any documentary evidence of your previous and employments and business ventures that can be used to vouch for your achievements, awards and so on
  • Any documentary evidence to support your fulfilment of either the entrepreneur, investor or investor categories such as shareholder certificates, media publications, IP registration and more)

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower website features a detailed breakdown of the necessary documents required for each EntrePass applicant category.

For documents that are not provided in English, you must submit a copy of the original document along with a translated version.


What is the application process like?

Once you’ve managed to compile all the necessary documents, you can file your application with the Ministry of Manpower (MoM) at any SingPost branch or you can do it online by following the steps below:

  1. download the application form on their website ( for online submissions),
  2. complete the application form online to generate a bill reference number
  3. print out and sign the application form,
  4. make a payment for each application using PayNow (application will be processed after payment has been made
  5. submit the application online via Singpass.

Your application must include the following:

  • Completed and signed application form
  • Screenshot of banking page confirming your payment
  • Supporting documents listed in the application form

The application will be jointly assessed by the MoM and Enterprise Singapore.


How long will it take?

The application process can take up to eight weeks during which you may check your application status online. Upon approval, you will receive an email containing the in-principal approval (IPA). The IPA gives all approved applicants a total of six months to come to Singapore to claim the pass.


I’ve been approved as an EntrePass holder. How do I collect my pass?

You must be in Singapore upon the pass being issued. You can either collect it yourself if you have a Singpass or you can appoint a company representative or employment agent to do it on your behalf.

The pass can be issued online via EP Online (for SingPass holders or if you have an employment agent) or over-the-counter. For the latter, you will need to make an appointment with the Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC).

These are the documents you will need to collect your EntrePass:

  • Your passport details.
  • Details of your current Short Term Visit Pass or immigration pass.
  • Your residential address in Singapore
  • A local address for your card to be delivered
  • Contact details of at least one authorised recipient

You should also have copies of these on hand:

  • Disembarkation / Embarkation card (immigration white card).
  • Completed medical examination form or health declaration form.
  • Completed declaration form attached with your IPA letter.

If required, you will need to register your fingerprints and photo with the EPSC. You will receiver your EntrePass card within four working days of registering and getting your documents verified.


Does the EntrePass allow me to bring my family to Singapore?

There are two different types of passes that can be used by the families of EntrePass holders to relocate to Singapore. They are:

Dependant Pass Long Term Visit Pass
  • Spouse (legally married)
  • Unmarried children under 21 years of age, including those legally adopted

  • Common-law spouse
  • Unmarried handicapped children above 21 years old
  • Unmarried step-children below 21 years old
  • Parents

 

The validity of these passes are similar to that of the EntrePass and can also be renewed along with the EntrePass.

However, in order for an EntrePass holder to be eligible for either the Dependant or Long-term Visit Pass, they must fulfil the below requirements.

To bring in your To bring in your Company must employ
Spouse (legally married or common law)

Children
At least $100,000

At least 3 full-time employees or

1 local PME (professional, manager or executive)

Parents At least $200,000

Àt least 6 full-time employees

Or

2 local PMEs

 

To apply for either of the above passes, you will need to fill in the Assessment of Eligibility Form and mail it to the MoM along with:

  • copies of your company’s latest audited annual accounts
  • 3 months of CPF statements showing that you have been making payments to employees.
Forms submitted without the accompanying documents will not be processed.

It will take up to 8 weeks to find out if are eligible to apply for the Dependant or Long Term Visit Pass.

Once your eligibility is confirmed, you may submit your application manually.


How much will it cost?

The fee is $105 for each application on an EntrePass. Upon a successful application, the fee is $225 for the EntrePass.


Do I need to register my company in Singapore before applying for an Entrepass?

Simply put. No you don’t. You can begin registering your company once your EntrePass application is successful. Once you have received your IPA letter, you can register your company with ACRA, open a corporate bank account and bank in any necessary share capital. Be sure to do this within 30 days of your application being approved. Upon registering your company, be sure to get in touch the MoM to ensure that these details will be updated into your EntrePass status before the final EntrePass card is handed over to you.

For applicants who have successfully registered and are in the midst of growing their team, our hiring solutions portal is a great way to get started on your talent acquisition journey here in Singapore.


Am I eligible for a Singaporean permanent residency with an EntrePass?

After a period of time, EntrePass holders may be eligible for a Permanent Residency via the Professionals/Technical Personnel and Skilled Worker scheme. Viable candidate can apply for this through the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA).

The EntrePass holder should be able to provide evidence that they are operating an innovative business that is capable of adding value to Singapore’s economy.

All candidates will be evaluated according to a series of criteria that can include things such as their age, qualifications, how long they have been in Singapore as well as the company’s financial well-being.


What should I do if my EntrePass application is rejected?

If your application for the EntrePass has been rejected, you’re allowed to file an appeal within 90 days of the rejection notice. The appeal will usually take up to 8 weeks to be processed. You might be able to enlist the help of a professional firm to help you with your appeal.


Get expert advice on EntrePass applications from Airswift

The EntrePass application process can be a complex one and if you find yourself at a standstill on how to proceed, Airswift is here to help you. Our global employment and mobility team come fully equipped with all the information you need to ensure a seamless process.

Reach out to us today to learn more about the different types of services we offer expats who are looking to relocate and expand their business on an international level.

This post was written by: Leanna Seah, Content Marketing Coordinator