Singapore offering Employment Pass - Visa for Foreign Entrepreneurs

Singapore, Sept 24, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) The Singapore Employment Pass is a visa for foreign entrepreneurs, shareholders, and investors who want to setup a Singapore company. In addition, this is also a work visa for foreign professionals, managers, supervisors, and other high-ranking employees who want to relocate in the country.

This type of work pass has the most stringent requirements especially in terms of educational attainment. According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), this visa requires applicants to have at least a college degree from a reputable school.

Aside from college education, this visa also requires these following qualifications: at least a monthly salary rate of S$2,500, entrepreneurial skills (only for businessmen), and related professional qualifications and skills.

Meanwhile, MOM may also use other factors when issuing Employment Pass and these are the company’s paid-up capital, the reputation of the company (if it already exists outside Singapore), the age of the applicants, and their current citizenship.

For professionals and high-ranking employees, they can apply for this visa even when they are not in Singapore as long as they are represented by their employers who are staying in the country.

On the other hand, foreign businessmen who are applying for this visa because they are planning to form a Singapore company are generally advised to hire a professional firm that will secure all the documents and compliance matters on their behalf. It is important to note that under the Singapore Companies Act, foreign entrepreneurs are not allowed to self-register their company which means they should hire a business registration firm that must be accredited by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

The Employment Pass, which is valid for two years for first-time applicants and three years for renewals, can be renewed as long as the applicants continue their employment or their business still exists and remains viable.

Two months before the expiration of this visa, foreign professionals and entrepreneurs will receive a notification letter from MOM stating that they should submit their renewal application four weeks before the date of expiration.

Most Employment Pass holders are eligible for permanent residence status just six months of staying in the city-state. However, most immigration lawyers believe that it is advisable for foreigners to wait at least two years in order to have a greater chance of being approved.

One of the advantages of this work pass is that holders can bring their “direct family members” (e.g., spouse and children aged under 21 years old) to Singapore through the Dependant Pass.