The complete guide to Singapore Tech.Pass
This article covers:
- What is the Singapore Tech.Pass Program?
- Is there a quota for a Singapore Tech.Pass?
- How is the Singapore Tech.Pass different from other work passes?
- When and how can I apply for it?
- Can I submit an appeal if my application is rejected?
- How Tech.Pass can help you to start your own company
- Where and how can I renew my Singapore Tech.Pass
In January 2021, Singapore’s government announced and issued a new work permit in Singapore known as Singapore Tech.Pass. The Singapore Tech.Pass was issued to attract highly accomplished and expert entrepreneurs and business leaders. By attracting such accomplished talents, Singapore will be able to recruit foreign expertise and further grow the city’s tech industry.
What is the Singapore Tech.Pass Program?
It is an extension of a program called Tech@SG, known to assist fast-growing tech companies in Singapore by providing access to business networks and talents needed to scale up their business, including the facilitation of EP applications.
To further develop Singapore’s tech industry, Singapore Tech.Pass was established and introduced in hopes that it will widen the talent pool and enhance the tech industry ecosystem in Singapore.
Is there a quota for a Singapore Tech.Pass?
Only 500 places (yearly) are available and all of it is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Tech.Pass will be reviewed based on the benefits brought into the local tech ecosystem and feedback on the programme from individuals and stakeholders.
Singapore Tech.Pass key features
The Singapore Tech.Pass is valid for two years, and it offers several key features to its holder, such as;
- Start and operate one or more tech companies
- Be an employee in one or more Singapore-based companies at any time
- Transition from (or to) employers or an entrepreneur
- Be a consultant or mentor, lecture in local institutions of higher learning, or be an investor and director in one or more Singapore-based companies
- Sponsor stay for a spouse, children, and parents in Singapore on either a Dependant’s Pass (DP) or a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP) issued by MOM
- Renew for another two years, upon meeting renewal criteria
Industries eligible for Singapore Tech.Pass
Below we have listed the industries that are eligible for Singapore Tech.Pass usage and benefits:
- Consumer Businesses
- Creative Industries
- Energy & Chemicals
- Information & Communications Technology
- Logistics & Supply Chain Management
- Medical Technology
- Natural Resources
- Oil & Gas Equipment and Services
- Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
- Precision Engineering
- Professional Services
- Urban Solutions & Sustainability
How is the Singapore Tech.Pass different from other work passes?
In comparison to the Singapore Employment Pass, Singapore Tech.Pass offers a variety of advantages that the Singapore Employment Pass doesn’t. One of the advantages is that an individual may apply for the Singapore Tech.Pass without any sponsorship from an employer company. In other words, you do not need to be employed to be able to apply for the Singapore Tech.Pass.
However, if you are an existing holder of the Singapore Employment Pass, you may upgrade it to the Singapore Tech.Pass. Of course, to be approved you will need to meet the requirements first.
Below we have prepared a table to show the difference between Singapore Tech.Pass and other work passes in Singapore.
|Employment Pass (EP)
|Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)
|– Tech experts
– Company owners
– Working professionals
– Specialised roles
– Business owners
|-Entrepreneurs with a track record
|– High earning executives
|Visa Issued Validity
Issued for 2 years.
Renewal is allowed every 2 years.
First time issued for 1 – 2 years.
Renewal: 3 years.
First time issued for 1 year.
Renewal: every year.
First time issued for 3 years.
Not possible for renewals.
With a fixed monthly salary of at least $20,000.
*For full criteria, you may read in the section below
|With a minimum fixed salary of $4,000.
|Meet the track business records.
|Meet the minimum salary of $12,000 – $18,000 a month.
Allowed to work with more than one employer.
Can easily start own tech business.
|Only allowed to work for only one employer.
|Only allowed to operate only one company.
|Allowed to work with more than one employer but must meet minimum yearly salary requirements.
When and how can I apply for it?
To apply for the Singapore Tech.Pass, you may visit the EDB official application page and download the application.
Be aware that you must complete the application form as a soft copy. After that, you will need to print it out and sign it. Then you will need to obtain the payment reference number that is automatically generated in the form.
We have written the steps briefly below to help you get an idea of how to apply for Singapore Tech.Pass:
- Prepare and attach any relevant supporting documents that are needed.
- Make your payment, and make sure to follow the payment instructions included in the form. The payment channels are Telegraphic Transfer and PayNow
- Your application will only be processed once EDB has received your payment.
- Then you will have to upload the completed form along with any supporting documents. Before uploading the application be sure to read and follow the instructions for the application form upload.
Can I submit an appeal if my application is rejected?
You can, but only do so if you can address the issue in your application rejection and only if you meet the criteria. You can submit your appeal here.
How Tech.Pass can help you to start your own company
Singapore Tech.Pass allows you to start up your own tech business and company in a straightforward way. For example, if you are already employed when you upgraded to Singapore Tech.Pass; the Tech.Pass allows you to switch status from “employee” to “entrepreneur” without needing to go through complicated procedures. In addition, since Tech.Pass does not belong or have any ties to any company, you can easily set up your company and the business without needing to apply for a different pass.
Of course, after setting up your own business, you will need a proper and efficient payment platform or channel. Especially if your team includes remote workers from different countries. You can check out, Instarem which provides a business payment platform and helps you save on FX and fees, optimising your business finances.
Where and how can I renew my Singapore Tech.Pass
Every Singapore Tech.Pass holders will need to renew their pass only every two years. However, it will be easier for you to renew the Singapore Tech.Pass if you have and run your own tech business and company. Other conditions that you need to meet to be qualified for renewal are;
- You have a yearly total earned income of at least S$240,000, either from the business income or from a salary or both.
- You have a total annual business spending of at least S$100,000 and have employed at least 1 local executive, manager, or professional with a monthly income of at least S$3,900, or 3 residents who earn S$1,400 per month and have been receiving CPF contributions for at least 3 months.
- You have achieved at least two of the following achievements, with one of them from Section A:
- Section A
- You have founded a Singapore-based tech-related company.
- You have served as a CTO, CEO, and APAC MD in a Singapore based tech-company
- You have worked in a leading role in at least two Singapore-based tech companies
- You have worked in a technical leadership role, such as a senior researcher or engineer
- You have worked in a technical leadership role in at least two companies in Singapore
- Section B
- You have worked as a director in a company in Singapore
- You have served as a mentor or an advisor of a start-up in Singapore
- You have provided corporate training or workshop classes
- You have worked as a lecturer, professor, adjunct lecturer, or adjunct professor in a Singapore Institute of higher learning
- You have invested in at least one tech company in Singapore
- Section A
Singapore Tech.Pass opens up new opportunities to aspiring tech experts and entrepreneurs; opportunities not only will be beneficial for Singapore’s tech industry growth but for themselves as well. It allows them to have the flexibility to transition from a staff member to a business owner easily. Allowing for further self and talent growth, which in turn will allow others with the same potential and talents to have the same chance as well.
*Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned.
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