In an attempt to boost the already developed technological ecosystem of Singapore, the Economic Development Board (EDB) on 12th November 2020 announced the official launching of Tech. Pass specifically targeting the founders, leaders and technical experts with proven experience in globally reputed and established high growth technology companies.
Tech. Pass is a Singapore work permit for foreigners that allows established global tech professionals to come to Singapore for spearheading technical innovations and training the local Singaporeans on the latest technologies. The Tech. Pass is an extension of the Tech@SG programme which was launched in 2019 as part of Singapore’s efforts to attract smart Industry 4 technical talents to promote Singapore’s position as one of the top technological hubs.
Tech. Pass is now included in the Singapore work pass schemes in Singapore, which include the Employment Pass in Singapore and Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) however with some differences in administering bodies, validities and fees.
Since the time of launch, the Tech@SG programme has been providing best in class technical talents to many companies in potential growth areas including digital, biotech, cleantech, agritech, fintech, medtech.
This programme has also been providing necessary access to business networks and facilitating employment pass in Singapore (EP) applications for the core technical team members comprising highly accomplished entrepreneurs, business leaders, or technical experts.to Singapore and provides them with flexibility in participating in a variety of activities that can contribute to the tech ecosystem.
However a Tech. Pass holder cannot be automatically eligible for the Tech@SG Programme unless their company meets the separate company eligibility conditions to qualify for the programme.
Tech. Pass offers multiple benefits over other Singapore work passes with greater flexibility in their participation in certain activities in Singapore including
- Start and run one or more tech companies;
- Become an employee in more than one Singapore-based companies
- Become a board of director
- Be a shareholder or investor
- Engage in Singapore companies as advisor or mentor
- Become a Lecturer/ Professor in a Technical Institute
- Work as a corporate trainer
- Bring a spouse, children, and parents on either a Dependant’s Pass (DP) or a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP).
Singapore has come up with a set of Criteria for Tech. Pass programme with a validity of two years allowing the holder to
- Start and operate one or more tech companies
- Be an employee in one or more Singapore-based companies at any time
- Transit between employers or to an entrepreneur
- Be a consultant or mentor, lecture in local institutions of higher learning, or be an investor and director in one or more Singapore based companies
- Sponsor stay for spouse, children, and parents in Singapore on either a Dependant’s Pass (DP) or a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP) issued by MOM
Eligibility Criteria for Tech. Pass has been defined by EDB and to be eligible for the pass, applicants must satisfy any two of the following conditions:
- Drawn a minimum fixed monthly salary (in the last 1 year) of SGD 20,000 or equivalent foreign currency
- Possess minimum 5 cumulative years of experience and in a leading role in a tech company with a valuation/market cap of at least USD 500 million or at least USD 30million funding raised
- Have at least five cumulative years of experience in a leading role with major contributions in the design development and deployment of a tech product with a minimum of 100,000 monthly active users or at least USD 100 million annual revenue generation
- Business owners and any other candidates with annual income over SGD 240,000 or its equivalent in a foreign currency
Tech. Pass is renewable only one time for two years subject to fulfilling the following conditions
- 1. An assessable income of SGD 240,000
- 2. Assessment is done by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore for salaries and/or business income
- 3. Proof of Annual business spending of minimum SGD 100,000
- 4. Employing at least 1 local PME4 or 3 LQS5 and
- 5. Performing a minimum of two roles mentioned in the two below columns and one of which should be from the first column as a minimum
- Founded a company engaged in tech-based or tech-enabled products or services
- Served a top role in a Singapore based Tech company such as Asia Pacific MD, CEO, CTO
- Worked in at least two Singapore based Tech companies
- Employed in a Singapore Tech company as a technical team leader and a particular tech field
- Employed as a Technical Team leader in two or more Singapore based companies
- Served a Board of Director in a Singapore based company and not necessarily a Tech company
- Worked in Singapore-based start-up as a mentor/advisor
- Employed in Singapore Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) as a professor or lecturer or adjunct professor/lecturer
- Engaged as a trainer in some form not covered by 2nd and 3rd points mentioned above such as workshops, corporate training classes etc.
- An Investor in one or more Singapore based Tech companies.
The Tech. Pass Application Process involves
- 1. Pre-application activity include verification of eligibility and preparation of supporting documents
- 2. Applying for Tech. Pass by downloading the Tech. Pass application form for yourself and dependents if applicable
- 3. Filling up the soft copy of the application form and obtaining an auto-generated payment reference number
- 4. Taking print out of the application form and getting the form signed with relevant supporting documents specified in the application form
- 5. Making Payments of SGD 105 for each application via PayNow or Telegraphic Transfer
- 6. Uploading completed and signed application form with the following documents
- Payment receipt
- Travel documents and
- Supporting documents for dependants confirming your relationship with the DP/LTVP applicant, verification of Vaccination Requirements document issued by HPB, as appropriate
- 7. Getting the Pass Issued
It usually takes around 8 weeks to process Tech. Pass applications unless there are requirements for additional documents and information.
Once approved, you will receive an IPA letter by email providing 6 months for coming and getting the pass issued for the start work or business activities in Singapore.
The Fees involved is SGD 225 for each pass and SGD 30 for each Multiple Journey Visa, whenever applicable. No extension to the IPA is granted.
The Tech. The pass has come into effect from January 2021 with a quota available for the first 500 applicants on a first come first serve basis.