• Tech Pass in Singapore

Tech Pass Overview

Who can apply? Top-notch e-commerce, AI, and cybersecurity foreign professionals and experts

Validity: 2 years, can be renewed one time for a subsequent two years (Terms and conditions apply)

Quota: 500

When to apply? From January 2021

The rationale for introducing Tech Pass:

  • Inject capital into Singapore
  • Share networks and skills to Singapore’s tech ecosystem
  • Create opportunities for Singaporeans
  • Establish tech talents in Singapore
  • To reinforce Singapore position as a major tech hub for the region

Eligibility Criteria

  • A last drawn monthly salary of a minimum of $20,000 in the previous year
  • At least 5 years of accumulative experience in a chief position in a tech firm with a valuation or market capitalization of a minimum of US$500 million or a minimum of US$30 million funding and beyond, or
  • At least 5 years of cumulative experience in a leading role in the development of a tech product that has at least 100,000 monthly active users or a minimum of US$100 million in revenue.
  • View Infographic

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What can I do with Tech Pass?

  • Incorporate a company and launch a business in Singapore
  • Be the board of directors of a Singapore-based company or become an investor or shareholder in Singapore’s companies
  • Be a lecturer in universities in Singapore
  • Be an adviser or mentor to a Singapore company, conducting corporate training or workshops.

Other things to consider if you are planning to start a tech business in Singapore

1. Opening the right corporate bank account

Nowadays, it is not easy to open bank account in Singapore. Gone are the days where you can easily open a bank account by filling in a form. The Bank compliance team’s objective is unlike sales banker – they are more risk adverse. There will be no special treatment so you need to give them a good reason to open the bank account opening.

Hence, the best method is to open account with 1 bank at a time and not rush to submit application with too many banks. Not all service providers will inform you about this. Here at Paul Hype Page, we are a Chartered Accounting firm and follows a rule book of ethics.

By letting the banks know that you are applying for Tech Pass, this will proof your intention to stay in Singapore and forms a part of Tax Substance.

2. Choosing the right provider for your Tech Pass

Make sure you choose the right provider for your Tech Pass! Tech Pass is a newly introduced work pass by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Thus, it is best to have a work pass expert to step in to smooth your application! Paul Hype Page & Co, established in 2008, has worked closely with MOM to provide work passes in Singapore for expatriates for more than a decade.

Do I need to renew my Tech Pass?

After 2 years, pass holders can apply to renew their Tech Pass if they meet the renewal criteria as follows:

  • Have earned at least S$240,000 in assessable income based on the latest Notice of;
  • Assessment from IRAS (can be earnings from salaries and/or business income); or
  • Demonstrate total annual business spending of at least S$100,000 and employ at least 1 Singaporean/Singapore Permanent Resident Professional, Manager or Executive with a monthly salary of at least S$3,900, or 3 Singaporeans/Singapore Permanent Residents with a monthly salary of at least S$1,400.

Additionally, pass holders must be performing at least 2 of the following roles (one of which must be in Column (A) at the time of their renewal application:

(A)

(B)

1. Founded a company in Singapore, offering a tech-based or tech-enabled product or service1. Served on board of directors of a Singapore-based company (which need not be a tech company)
2. Served a leading role (e.g. CEO, CTO, APAC MD) in a Singapore-based tech company2. Acted as advisor/mentor to a Singapore-based start-up
3. Served a leading role in 2 or more Singapore-based tech companies3. Served as professor/lecturer/adjunct professor/adjunct lecturer in a Singapore Institute of Higher Learning (IHL)
4. Employed in a technical role leading a team in a Singapore-based company, e.g. senior engineer or senior researcher leading a team in a particular tech field4. Provided training in some form not covered by B2 or B3 above (e.g. workshops, corporate training classes).
5. Employed in a technical role leading a team in 2 or more Singapore-based companies5. Invested in one or more Singapore-based tech companies
Angela

Tip:
As Tech Pass holder has restrictive quota basis of 500 visa and promoted by EDB, it is considered as King Jewel of all working visa in Singapore. Within the first year, you can apply for Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) visa. Hence, you don’t need to worry about your visa renewal and entitle you the freedom to roam around the world and take up any business role.

Comparison of Tech Pass with Entrepass visa

Having a Tech Pass is like a self-sponsored work visa where it offers you greater flexibility to participate in more than one company business or position.

Benefits of a Tech Pass

As a Tech Pass holder, you enjoy benefits such as:

  • Start and operate one or more tech companies;

  • Be an employee in one or more Singapore-based companies at any time;

  • Be a shareholder or investor in Singapore companies;

This will give you all the freedom to explore, invest and mentor in the industry of Technology.

Successful applicants are encouraged to contribute to the local startup ecosystem through activities such as:

  • Hosting or speaking at workshops or webinars
  • Organizing deal-making or networking sessions
  • Providing mentorship for other startups.
EP & Visa checker

FAQs

How does the Singapore government select talents if there are more than 500 expats apply for Tech Pass?2020-11-13T12:56:25+08:00

The approval of a Tech Pass is on a first-come-first-serve basis. The first 500 eligible applicants who applied will be granted a Tech Pass.  

Is there a quota for Tech Pass?2020-11-13T12:55:59+08:00

Yes, only 500 Tech Pass available at launch. 

Can I bring my family to relocate to Singapore with a Tech Pass?2020-11-13T12:55:42+08:00

Yes, as a Tech Pass holder, you can bring along your spouse, parents, and children. 

If I am not eligible for a tech pass, what other options do I have to work in Singapore?2020-11-13T12:53:25+08:00

It depends on your background. Besides Tech Pass, Singapore has a range of work visas (Employment Pass/ S Pass/ Work Permit) for foreigners who are keen to work in Singapore. Talk to a Paul Hype Page specialist today to find out which suit you the best. 

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