Can I Apply for Employment Pass as a Company Shareholder

Can, if you are already a company shareholder.

However, if you are the shareholder of a newly established company it is crucial for the company to show that they are able to generate enough revenue to support the salaries and expenses in the near future. since a new company may not have existing clients, it should able to exhibit projections based on past experiences in other countries, potential ability of shareholders to sustain the company via the initial non-generating revenue phase, or track record of the senior management in the company.

If it is an existing company, a track record of profit generation is required.

Conversely, as a foreigner, if you want to be a shareholder, you will need to apply for Employment Pass. In the process of incorporating a company, two key parties are involved, a shareholder and a director. Shareholders are basically owners of the company and whatever is owned by the company including its property, cash, stock and profit it makes, ultimately belongs to the shareholders.

Directors are the one who run the company, like managers. So, whatever happens in the company is the responsibility of the director and not the shareholder. But in most cases, a director and shareholder are the same people.

So, if you are a foreign professional, only by incorporating a company in Singapore you can become a shareholder and once you are the shareholder, you may become the foreign director of the company along with owning the shareholding in the company.

Which means that once you are the shareholder and since shareholder and director can be the same person, you will need an Employment Pass. One requirement here is when you form a company, you will need to appoint a locally resident director and you can have this director apply for your Employment Pass for the company. Do note that only a citizen or Permanent Resident (PR) can be the initial director.

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Benefits of Employment Pass

An Employment Pass allows you to work and stay in Singapore and is directed to foreign professionals. Along with that, having an Employment Pass brings you few benefits which includes:

  1. Employment Pass is valid for 2 years and can be renewed for an additional 3 years
  2. Having an Employment Pass makes it easier for you to apply for a Permanent Resident (PR) status and once you become a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR), it is possible for you to become a citizen.
  3. Allows you to open bank account, apply for credit card, rent an apartment, and telco services/cable contract.
  4. Having an Employment Pass automatically places you on an integrated system where it lets you to pay taxes and resolve immigration issues promptly.
  5. You can bring in your immediate family members (parents, spouse, children) to Singapore but you need to earn a minimum of $6000 per month. And for the family members, they will be required to submit other visas for each member; the Long-Term pass for parents and Dependent Pass for children. These additional passes applications should be submitted along with your Employment Pass application.
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