The Employment Pass (EP) and Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) are work visas of Singapore which allow foreigners to work there or start a Singapore company of their own. This article explains the visa requirements, renewal details, and cost of the Employment Pass (EP) and Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) in 2020.

The Singapore Employment Pass (EP) and Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) are two of the work visas which may be used by foreign professionals who plan to live and work in Singapore. These visas are issued by the government of Singapore. Although there are differences between the two, both were introduced to improve the standard of entrepreneurship in Singapore and encourage people from other countries to work there. 

Comparison between Entrepass and EP

EntrePass Information

The EntrePass was introduced in October 2003. It was intended to spur the development of businesses which would be expected to make significant contributions to Singapore’s economy. To be eligible for the EntrePass, an applicant must fulfill at least one of four requirements. They are as follows: holding an intellectual property (IP) which has been registered with an authorized institution, being an incubate at an incubator endorsed by the Singaporean government, receiving investment or funding from a third-party venture capitalist who has received approval from at least one of the Singaporean government’s agencies, or being involved in research alongside an approved institute of higher learning or research institution. Although there was once a paid-up capital requirement, such is no longer the case. Applicants who receive approval will be able to obtain a pass which is valid for one year. At some point during the first year, the new EntrePass holder’s business will be subject to an audit so that the relevant authorities can monitor its progress and growth. This way, the authorities can also ensure that the EntrePass holder will follow through with their current business idea, and so operate the business in the best way possible. 

EntrePass holders’ businesses are subject to a progressive renewal criteria framework. This framework requires EntrePass holders to create local jobs by hiring Singaporean citizens or permanent residents (PR). It also mandates that they spend at least a certain amount of money on business expenditures. This framework has to be in place for multiple reasons. The minimum amount of business spending had to be instituted so that EntrePass holders would be encouraged to help the business grow and thus contribute to the growth of the Singaporean economy. It also ensures that Singaporean citizens and PRs will make positive contributions to the country’s economy. A third reason is that it ensures the continued growth of the business, especially during its start-up phase. 


Call +65 6221 4733 if you like to stay in Singapore for more than 1 year.

Paul Hype Page also has additional information for foreigners who intend to work/stay in Singapore with a valid pass.

-How Can Foreigners Start A Business in Singapore
-Foreign Entrepreneurs Relocating to Singapore
-Foreign Individuals with a family who wants to migrate to Singapore
-A Foreigner Who Wants to Become Singapore Permanent Resident (PR)

Step 1 : Incorporation with Employment Pass (Best Choice)

Employment Pass Information

The Employment Pass is the most well-known and widely issued of all work passes in Singapore. It is primarily intended to be used by foreigners who are of the requisite skill level and have received a job offer from a company in Singapore. To be eligible for an Employment Pass, an applicant must earn a fixed monthly salary of S$4,500 every month, work in a specialized, managerial, or executive job, and have the requisite educational qualifications or skillset. Employment Pass applicants with substantial work experience will generally require fixed monthly salaries higher than the minimum if they are to have their respective applications approved. Every application is assessed by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on a case-by-case basis. This means that applicants who fulfill all the necessary criteria will not always have their applications approved, while those who do not might not necessarily be rejected. 

When an Employment Pass application is submitted, there must be certain documents that accompany the submission. These documents include educational certificates, personal details as displayed on the applicant’s passport, and the applicant’s company’s latest business profile as has been registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). It is possible to apply for the Employment Pass in two ways: online or manually. Those who apply online will have to wait approximately three weeks to learn of the result of their application, while those who apply manually must wait for around eight weeks to pass before they may do likewise. 

It is essential to understand the specific purpose and requirements for EP.

More information about EP for professionals: 

If you cannot find a job or a company to sponsor for your Employment pass application , you can always do it on your own –Incorporation with Employment Pass

Should you require any assistance with the submission of a work pass application, we at Paul Hype Page & Co will do our part to make it easier for you. Our team will work with you so that you will receive your work pass with as few problems as possible. 

Want to Start business in Singapore
Want to Start business in Singapore

Advantages and Disadvantages of the EntrePass

Owning an EntrePass grants its holder certain advantages. If an EntrePass holder has lived and worked in Singapore for a sufficient timespan, the EntrePass holder is allowed to apply for permanent resident (PR) status. There is also no minimum salary requirement for those who intend to apply for an EntrePass. It is not difficult to apply for an EntrePass because applicants may directly approach the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to apply. Eligible EntrePass holders may also use the Dependant’s Pass or Long Term Visit Pass, which allow their family members to join them in Singapore. 

However, not every detail about the EntrePass is necessarily positive. If the minimum amount of total business spending in a year is not met or too few Singaporean citizens or PRs are employed, an applicant’s EntrePass renewal will be rejected. Only EntrePass holders who have a minimum of 30% of their company’s shareholding may have their EntrePass renewed. There are also certain types of businesses in which business owners are never allowed to receive an EntrePass, even if they have fulfilled all the necessary criteria. Among these ineligible businesses are food courts, bars, employment agencies, night clubs, and hawker centres. 


Advantages and Disadvantages of the Employment Pass

The Employment Pass also has certain inherent advantages and disadvantages. Just like EntrePass holders, Employment Pass holders who have lived and worked in Singapore for the required timespan may apply for Singapore permanent residence. Eligible Employment Pass holders, like their EntrePass counterparts, may bring their family members to Singapore by using the Dependant’s Pass or Long Term Visit Pass. Some Employment Pass holders may also be entitled to medical insurance. This is the case if their employers choose to provide them with medical insurance. 

Perhaps the primary disadvantage of the Employment Pass is its fixed monthly salary requirement of S$4,500. As has already been mentioned, the minimum salary requirement is even higher for those who have more experience. The Singaporean government also recently tightened the criteria for one to receive an Employment Pass. Although this move was made to increase the standard of Singapore’s foreign workforce, it also means that future Employment Pass applicants will find it more difficult to receive the pass. Furthermore, unlike the EntrePass application process, the Employment Pass applicant’s employer or an employment agent must apply on the applicant’s behalf. An Employment Pass applicant may not directly approach the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for the purposes of application. 

Who Should Use the EntrePass

The EntrePass is to be used by certain foreign professionals in Singapore. Foreign professionals who are eligible for the EntrePass are those who are planning to start and operate a business in Singapore. These foreign entrepreneurs may be of any nationality. Entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators who fulfill any of the criteria specified by MOM may apply for an EntrePass. The more criteria the applicant fulfills, the more likely the applicant’s EntrePass application will be accepted. All EntrePass applications are overseen by MOM. EntrePass applicants must also have started or be planning to start a Singapore-based private limited company. This company is to be registered with ACRA. If the company has already been registered, it must not have been in existence for more than six months on the date of application. If it has not yet been registered, the applicant may register after approval of the EntrePass application. 

Who Should Use the Employment Pass

The Employment Pass is also targeted at certain foreign professionals in Singapore. Those who should use the Employment Pass are foreign executives, managers, or professionals who earn at least S$4,500 per month and have qualifications which MOM considers to be acceptable. Applicants who have outstanding track records or unique skill sets are likely to have their application approved. Those who graduated from a university with a high global ranking or well-regarded enrollment standards should also consider using the Employment Pass. This is because applications made by such people are also very likely to be accepted. Applicants who have used the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) and found that they are eligible for the Employment Pass should proceed to apply for one, as they too will probably be accepted. 

No matter which work pass you may need, we at Paul Hype Page & Co are able to help you with any issues you might face. We will ensure that you receive your work pass as soon as possible while at the same time following all official regulations. 

Why One Should Avoid Using the EntrePass 

Thus far, the pros and cons of both the EntrePass and Employment Pass have been discussed. On the surface, they seem relatively similar. However, after taking a closer look, it becomes evident that owning an EntrePass can be much more problematic than owning an Employment Pass. 

One issue with the EntrePass is the fact that immense business spending is required for renewal of the pass. With each passing year until the eighth year, this figure increases. It hits its maximum at the eye-popping sum of S$400,000. No other work permit in Singapore has such a strict expenditure requirement. 

Another potential issue regarding EntrePass applications is that MOM’s acceptance of the application often depends on how many of the criteria are fulfilled. Although the official rules say that only one of the criteria must be fulfilled before one may receive an EntrePass, the reality is that in most cases, more than one, if not most, of the criteria must be fulfilled before MOM will become willing to issue the EntrePass. This is not the case for the Employment Pass or any of Singapore’s other work visas. 

The fact that owners of certain businesses are ineligible for the EntrePass is also worth noting. Those who have plans to open a bar, food court, night club, acupuncture business, or any other business ineligible to receive an EntrePass will find themselves ultimately disappointed. In contrast, none of the other work visas in Singapore place such restrictions on the type of business which can be started. 

Of course, this does not mean that it is impossible to use the EntrePass for the purposes of working in Singapore. However, given the fact that doing so comes with many potential problems, it is reasonable to say that using the EntrePass is the least viable option. Only if all other options, such as the Employment Pass, Personalised Employment Pass, or S Pass, have had a rejected submission attempt should one even consider using the EntrePass. Obviously, though, this is the exception rather than the rule. Therefore, using the EntrePass is generally a poor choice. 


Comparison between Entrepass and Employment Pass FAQs

What status is considered locally resident? Is Employment Pass Holder or Work Permit Holder sufficient? What about dependent pass and permanent resident?2020-06-23T10:43:32+08:00

We recognize the followings as “locally resident” – Singapore citizens, Singapore PRs, Employment Pass Holders & Dependant Pass Holders.

What does a foreigner have to do if he wants to register a business firm in Singapore?2020-06-23T10:43:14+08:00

A foreigner needs to apply for an Approval-In-Principle EntrePass if the foreigner wants to register a business and act as a local manager of the business firm. The foreigner must also have a Singapore residential address in the above cases. After obtaining the AIP-EP, the foreigner will have to approach a professional firm or a service bureau for submitting the BizFile transaction on his behalf to register a new business.

I am an EntrePass holder. Can I register a business?2020-06-23T10:43:01+08:00


If I am holding a valid EntrePass for the company that currently employs me but wish to leave the current post to start my own business venture, must I cancel my existing EP before applying for AIP EP?2020-06-23T10:42:38+08:00

Yes, you will need to cancel your existing EntrePass before applying for AIP EP.

If I am holding a valid EntrePass (EP) for the company that currently employs me and at the same time, wish to start my own business without resigning from my present job, must I cancel my existing EP before applying for AIP EP?2020-06-23T10:42:18+08:00

No, you need not cancel your existing EP. Rather, you should apply for AIP EP along with a letter of no objection from your current employer. Your AIP EP will be treated as an application for an additional EntrePass to work for another company.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Just keep reading…

Join our PHP Community SG Forum - Expert Tips & Resources

2 Discussions

  1. Martial October 21, 2019 at 10:56 am

    I wish to open our branch in Singapore. We are women garment manufacturer in India.From 2nd year onwards I have to give job for 2 local people and my total business spending should be minimum S$ 2lac .Will MOM will compromise on this matter or will strictly follow the rules.How I can overcome this.Give suggestions.

    • angela ng October 29, 2019 at 3:46 am

      Hello Martial,

      If you are interested in opening a branch of your company in Singapore, we at Paul Hype Page & Co provide company incorporation services. Please contact us for further details on our incorporation package.

      The Ministry of Manpower does not make any exceptions when issuing work visas; thus, you and your company are bound by all rules as stated.

      We specialize in work pass application, contact us today to let us help you


Go to Top