How do the changes to the EntrePass scheme affect you?
Launched in 2003, the EntrePass was devised as a work visa for foreign entrepreneurs to establish their business here in Singapore. On 3 August 2017, changes were made to the scheme by the Ministry of Manpower (MoM), paving the way for entrepreneurs to establish innovative businesses Singapore. The enhanced scheme is a part of Singapore’s Smart Nation Initiative.
If you are an entrepreneur looking to apply or are already an EntrePass holder, here is what you need to know about the changes. Firstly, two of the three basic eligibility criteria have been reformed:
- S$50,000 paid-up capital requirement scrapped (new). Applicants no longer need to seek capital before applying for an EntrePass. This is to recognise the importance of expertise and talent and allow entrepreneurs in the early stage of their business to still apply.
- EntrePass renewal is now deferred until the end of the first year (new). The EntrePass holder will need to prove the progress of the business at the end of the first year before being granted an extension for another year. Thereafter, EntrePass renewals will be valid for 2 years to provide more certainty for global entrepreneurs in scaling up their business.
- The company must be less than 6 months old on the date of application, if registered. If the company has not been registered, this can be done after EntrePass approval has been given.
Assessment criteria changes were introduced to allow global start-up talent to enter Singapore on government support during the exploration stage. Whether the applicant is an entrepreneur, innovator or investor, they must meet one of the following seven conditions:
- Have funding from a Government-recognised VC or business angel
- Hold intellectual property
- Have a research collaboration with an IHL or research institute in Singapore
- Be an incubatee at a Government-recognised incubator/accelerator
- Have business network and entrepreneurial track record (new)
- Have extraordinary achievements in key areas of expertise (new)
- Have investment track record (new)
New Partner agencies for application evaluation. In addition to SPRING Singapore, the enhanced EntrePass scheme will see the inclusion of two new partner agencies, Infocomm Media Development Authority and the National Research Foundation, supported by SGInnovate. These will work with the Ministry of Manpower to evaluate the applications in their respective sectors.
Changes to business spending and number of locals employed. In this area, entrepreneurs will see their business spending requirements reduced and favourable changes regarding the number of locals employed.
Renewal. Entrepreneurs must abide by these changes in order to obtain EntrePass renewal, in addition to providing proof of business activities such as payment receipts, CPF contributions and shareholding information.
Changes to Dependant’s Pass (DP) have also been revised with EntrePass holders able to qualify for DPs for their spouses/children upon meeting Year 2 renewal criteria.
If you have any general questions about the changes to the EntrePass or you would like to enquire about how we can help you with your work pass matters, then please do get in contact.