As an attempt to attract more foreign skilled IT workers and experts, the Lion City unveiled the Singapore Tech.Pass. What is this Tech.Pass and how does it differ from the regular employment passes?
Singapore is long-known to be one of the countries at the forefront of technology and innovation, especially in the Asean region. However, the talent pool when it comes to IT is severely lacking. Therefore, as an attempt to attract more foreign skilled IT workers and experts, the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) unveiled the latest work pass, known as the “Tech.Pass.”
Unveiled in January 2021, the goal of the Singapore Tech.Pass is to attract brilliant and established individuals working in technology to work in Singapore. With the Tech.Pass, these experts can work in any Singapore-based company or start and operate tech companies there.
How Does the Tech.Pass Differ from Employment Pass?
The Tech.Pass currently has a limited quota of 500, whereas the traditional employment pass has no quota restrictions. Moreover, employment passes require you as the applicant to secure a job first before relocating to Singapore; a Tech.Pass applicant can apply on his own accord without securing a job offer first.
The Requirements for a Tech.Pass
According to the EDB, there are three high-level requirements that need to be met for those who wish to gain the Tech.Pass:
- Have a last drawn fixed monthly salary (in the last 1 year) of at least S$20,000.
- Have at least five cumulative years of experience in a leading role in a tech company with a valuation/market cap of at least US$500mil or at least US$30mil funding raised.
- Have at least five cumulative years of experience in a leading role in the development of a tech product that has at least 100,000 monthly active users or at least US$100mil annual revenue.
The Benefits of a Tech.Pass
As a Tech.Pass holder, you’re entitled to several benefits that are unavailable for traditional work pass holders. They include the following:
- 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
- Renew for another two years, upon meeting renewal criteria
How to Renew Your Tech.Pass?
Your Tech.Pass must be renewed every two years. Several criteria need to be fulfilled in the renewal process. You have two options as follows:
- Earned at least S$240,000 yearly income based on the latest assessment of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS),
- Have a total business spending of at least S$100,000 and have one local employee with a monthly salary of at least S$3,900, or three local employees with a monthly salary of at least S$1,400.
Moreover, you must be performing two of the following roles. At least one role must be from Column A.
|COLUMN A||COLUMN B|
|1. Established a company in Singapore offering a tech-based or tech-enabled product or service.||1. Served on a board of directors for a Singapore-based company.|
|2. Performed a leadership role (e.g. in a Singapore-based tech company.||2. Acted as mentor/advisor to a Singapore-based start-up organisation.|
|3. Performed a leading role in two or more Singapore-based tech companies.||3. Become a lecturer or professor in an institute of higher learning.|
|4. Been employed by a Singapore-based company in a technical role leading a team, e.g. senior engineer or senior researcher.||4. Given training in some form.|
|5. Been employed by two or more Singapore-based companies in a technical role leading a team.||5. Have invested in one or more Singapore-based tech companies.|
The Tech.Pass is a new route for those interested in working in Singapore who have an extensive background and expertise in the tech sector, enabling Singapore to keep its place as a tech hub in today’s world.
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