Entrepreneur Pass

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Singapore Entrepreneur Pass (commonly known as EntrePass) Scheme

The EntrePass is designed to facilitate the entry and stay of entrepreneurs who are ready to start a new business and be actively involved in the operation of the company in Singapore. The EntrePass, with an initial validity period of one year, will be issued upon the approval of a sound business proposal. The EntrePass also allows the immediate family members to live in Singapore while the business develops. With the EntrePass, an entrepreneur may leave and re-enter Singapore frequently with ease. It is renewable for as long as the business remains viable.

EntrePass Eligibility Requirements

EntrePass applicants will be assessed on the credibility of their proposed Business Plan, which should include the objective or nature of the business, products or services to be offered; marketing strategies, development plans and milestones, projected sales turnover, intended amount of investment and staffing plan.

As of 28 Sept 2008, the EntrePass visa requirements have been changed to cater to genuine entrepreneurs intending to do business in Singapore. With these new changes, EntrePass applicants will be assessed on their economic strengths based on contributions they can make in terms of total business spending including their ability to employ local staff.

The new conditions and requirements are as follows:

  • The Company must not be registered for more than six months at the point of application
  • Own 30%-100% of shareholding in the company
  • Have relevant experience and track record in creating and managing a business successfully
  • Provide S$50,000 or more in paid-up capital for the new company
  • Submit a 10-page business plan detailing business goals and objectives. Renewal of EntrePass is contingent on achieving goals and objectives outlined in the business plan

Business Plan Requirements

One of the key requirements for the application of an EntrePass is a 10-page comprehensive business plan that outlines the goals and objectives of the proposed business venture.  The business idea must be entrepreneurial in nature. Coffee shops, hawker stalls, massage parlours, karaoke lounges and employment agencies are not considered entrepreneurial businesses, and therefore are not applicable for an EntrePass application.

The business plan must also include a strategy to meet the requirements stipulated by the Ministry of Manpower demonstrating that your business venture, within a 1-year period, will meet the employment requirements of a minimum number of Singaporean or local staff, and a Total Business Spending (TBS) as follows:

  • P1 Pass – 8 local employees; TBS S$300,000
  • P2 Pass – 4 local employees; TBS S$150,000
  • Q1 Pass – 2 local employees; TBS S$100,000

Subsequent renewals of the EntrePass are contingent on meeting these requirements and on achieving the goals and objectives in the business plan. It is, therefore, extremely crucial to have a well drafted business plan.

Pass issued Criteria for renewal Number of years approved
P1 - Company to employ at least eight local employees*; AND
- Company to demonstrate TBS** of S$300,000 over the past 12 months.
Two years if Net Assert Value is positive
One year if Net Asset Value is negative
P2 - Company to employ at least four local employees*; AND
- Company to demonstrate TBS** of S$150,000 over the past 12 months.
Two years if Net Assert Value is positive
One year if Net Asset Value is negative
Q1 - Company to employ at least two local employees*; AND
- Company to demonstrate TBS** of S$100,000 over the past 12 months.
One year
Approved for one year for 1st renewal only; companies must upgrade to P by second renewal

* The employees need to possess at least NTC2/NITEC or vocational qualifications obtained after at least two years of full-time studies.

** Total Business Spending (TBS) = [Total Operating Expenses – (Royalties/Franchise Fees/Know How Fees to Overseas Companies + Work Subcontracted to Overseas Companies + Remuneration to Applicant & Immediate Family)]

Most entrepreneurs can obtain an EntrePass work visa easily. The approval of the EntrePass rests largely on the business plan including the business idea, the strategies to develop the business and to meet the requirements of a Total Business Spending as well as job creation for Singaporean employees. The business idea must be entrepreneurial in nature. Coffee shops, hawker stalls, massage parlours, karaoke lounges and employment agencies are not considered entrepreneurial businesses, and therefore not applicable for an EntrePass application.

Other important factors are the amount of paid-up capital invested in the business venture (minimum S$50,000 for EntrePass applicants), current citizenship, track record in developing business ventures, and educational background.

Pass Types

There are three categories of Singapore Employment Pass:

  • P1 Pass
  • P2 Pass
  • Q1 Pass

Passes for Family Members

All Employment Pass holders can apply for Dependant Pass and/or Long-Term Visit Pass for their family members.

Dependant Pass

Both P and Q1 Pass holders can apply for Dependant Pass for their:

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried children under 21 years of age

If you are an Employment or an EntrePass pass holder, your spouse is eligible to work in Singapore as a dependant pass holder. However, the prospective employer is required to apply for a Letter of Consent (LOC) with the Ministry of Manpower. (Note: Not eligible for S pass Holders)

Long-Term Visit Pass

P Pass holders can also apply for a Long-Term Visit Pass for their:

  • Common law spouse
  • Unmarried daughters above 21 years of age
  • Handicapped children
  • Step-children
  • Parents/parents-in-law

Q Pass holders are not eligible for the application of a Long-Term Visit Pass for their immediate family members.

A Snap Shot

Pass Type Granted to Employment Pass Holder Dependant Pass Long-Term Visit Pass
P Yes Yes
Q1 Yes No

Procedure and Timeline

The Ministry of Manpower generally takes four to six weeks to process an application, since the requirements for an EntrePass application are more stringent compared to those for an Employment Pass. If there is further clarification required by the Ministry of Manpower it may extent the approval period.

Documents Required for EntrePass Application

The following documents are required for all EntrePass applications:

  • Singapore EntrePass application form 8
  • A copy of educational certificates
  • One passport-size photograph taken within the past three months
  • A copy of the passport personal particulars page
  • MOUs or contracts with potential clients for the new business, if any
  • Brochures, press releases, or any other business collaterals from previous or existing business ventures
  • A well-drafted, 10-page business plan detailing business goals and objectives (download Singapore EntrePass Business Plan form)

Collection of EntrePass upon Approval

Once the application is approved, the Ministry of Manpower will issue an Approval-In-Principle (AIP) letter. Upon the receipt of an AIP, you have not yet registered a company with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore, you must do so within 30 days.

Upon submission of a printout of a new company registration and proof of paid-up capital (minimum of S$50,000) injected into the new business, the Ministry of Manpower will issue the final approval letter, the so-called In-Principle-Approval (IPA) letter . With the IPA, you have six months to relocate to Singapore to start operating your new company.

To collect your EntrePass you will be required to present

  • A copy of the IPA letter
  • Passport size photo
  • Original passport with the disembarkation card
  • Medical exam report* (if required as stated in the In-Principle Approval letter)
  • Any other documents that are requested for in the IPA

* You may get a medical examination done in your own country through an established clinic/hospital or in Singapore. Most clinics in Singapore can provide medical examination and report within a day.

Entry Visa into Singapore

If you are overseas and require an entry visa to Singapore, your IPA letter will include a single journey entry visa. Upon your arrival in Singapore, we will make an appointment with Ministry of Manpower on your behalf for finger printing. Upon completing the procedures, your pass will be ready for collection in 4 working days.

You may collect the pass at Ministry of Manpower personally or authorize Rikvin to collect it on your behalf.

EntrePass Validity

The validity period of an EntrePass varies for:

  • First-time applicants – Up to 2 years
  • EntrePass renewals – Contingent on meeting the requirements of the Total Business Spending and employment of local workers.

Renewal of EntrePass

Renewals of the EntrePass are contingent on meeting the requirements stipulated by the Ministry of Manpower demonstrating that your business venture, within a 1-year period, will meet the employment requirements of a minimum number of Singaporean or local staff, and a Total Business Spending (TBS) as shown in the table below:

EntrePass Renewal Eligibility Summary

Pass Type Criteria for Renewal Number of Years Approved
P1 - Company to employ at least eight local employees; AND
- Company to demonstrate TBS** of S$300,000 over the past 12 months.
Two years if Net Assert Value is positive
One year if Net Asset Value is negative
P2 - Company to employ at least four local employee; AND
- Company to demonstrate TBS** of S$150,000 over the past 12 months.
Two years if Net Assert Value is positive
One year if Net Asset Value is negative
Q1 - Company to employ at least two local employees; AND
- Company to demonstrate TBS** of S$100,000 over the past 12 months.
Approved for one year for 1st renewal only; companies must upgrade to P by second renewal

* The employees need to possess at least NTC2/NITEC or vocational qualifications obtained after at least two years of full-time studies.

** Total Business Spending (TBS) = [Total Operating Expenses – (Royalties/Franchise Fees/Know How Fees to Overseas Companies + Work Subcontracted to Overseas Companies + Remuneration to Applicant & Immediate Family)

The EntrePass renewal form will be sent to the employer about three months before the pass expiry date. The renewal form must be submitted with the following documents at least two months before the pass expires.

Documents Required for Renewal of EntrePass

These documents are required for EntrePass renewal application:

  • Latest audited accounts;
  • Central Provident Fund statements of applicable employees;
  • Highest educational certificates of employees;
  • Tenancy agreement; and
  • Company registration information Profile from ACRA the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

The following optional documents can be submitted in support of the renewal application:

  • Corporate bank statements for the past three months;
  • Referral letters from customers; and
  • Recent invoices issued/contracts awarded.

Renewal Criteria before 28 Sept 2009

EntrePass holders who applied for the EntrePass before 28 September 2009, and have not opted to be assessed under the latest EntrePass renewal criteria, will be assessed on the following criteria for renewals:

A. First Renewal

  • The business is in commercial operations and/or company has secured third party funding; and
  • The business venture is conducting business based on the original business plan.

B. Subsequent Renewals

  • Evidence of turnover/sales activities;
  • Employment creation (above and beyond main applicant);
  • Corporate taxes paid for at least one of the last three years; and
  • The business venture is conducting business based on its original business plan.

All EntrePass holders are encouraged to renew their passes under the latest EntrePass renewal criteria in order to be assessed for upgrade to a higher pass e.g. from Q1 to P2 EntrePass.

Please note that once you have successfully opted to be assessed under the latest EntrePass renewal criteria, you will no longer be eligible for assessment under the old criteria.

EntrePass holders who have not upgraded their passes can only apply for Dependant Passes for their spouses and unmarried or legally adopted children under 21 years of age. EntrePass holders who have their passes upgraded can also apply for Long Term Visit Passes for their common law spouse, unmarried daughters and handicapped children above 21 years of age, step-children and parents/parents-in-law in addition to the Dependant Passes.

Processing Time

It will take at least five weeks to process a renewal application. Processing time might take slightly longer during peak periods or when additional information is required from the various economic agencies. The outcome of the application will be sent to the EntrePass holder.

Rejection of Application

In the event that your EntrePass application is rejected by the MOM, Rikvin will investigate why your application has been rejected. Based on the reasons provided by MOM, we will submit an appeal that will address the issues outlined by MOM and also include additional documents where applicable. MOM will take a minimum of three weeks or more to review your appeal.

Why Hire Rikvin

As of September 28, 2009, the new eligibility requirements for application of EntrePasses have become more stringent. The application process has, thus, become more complex. Unless, you have the necessary time and experience, it is advisable that you engage a professional firm to assist you with the application.

At Rikvin, we have been helping clients with incorporations of their businesses and work pass applications since 1998. Our team of experts is highly experienced and we can process your application and provide appropriate guidance so that you may avoid all the unnecessary frustration and pitfalls. We have business plan writers on staff to help create a good business plan, which is a crucial factor in the application process of your EntrePass.

As we assist you through the process, we will conduct all follow-ups and liaise with each authority on your behalf. Even in the rare event that your application is rejected, we will thoroughly review why your application was rejected so that we can file an appeal. The comprehensive services we provide can help you simplify this lengthy and complex procedure, and consequently help to maximize your chances of getting an EntrePass.

Permanent Residence Eligibility

EntrePass holders of P1, P2 and Q status are eligible to apply for Permanent Residence. There is a designated waiting period of six months since one of the assessing criteria is to have a minimum of six months pay slips, and preferably an IRAS tax assessment can be provided.

 

source: rikvin

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