The Tech Pass is one of the newest Singapore Visa released by the Singapore Economic Development Board. Launched to attract tech specialists, leaders and founders, this pass can allow the holder to perform a variety of activities in Singapore. This article will be a holistic guide to the Tech Pass for any interested tech leaders/professionals interested in Singapore.
Overview of the Tech Pass
Open for application in January 2021 with 500 places available, the Tech Pass will be valid for 2 years once approved. Tech Pass holders are able to renew the pass for 2 more years based on the renewal criteria covered further below.
As of 7th November 2021, around 150 work passes have been approved.
Benefits of the Tech Pass
During the two years of validity, Tech Pass holders are allowed to carry out any or a combination of the activities listed:
- Start and Operate a Business
- Be an employee in one or more Singapore-based businesses
- Become a consultant or mentor, a lecturer at a local university, or an investor and director in one or more Singapore-based businesses.
- Conduct corporate training or workshops.
- 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
As stated in the Media Release by EDB, Tech Pass holders are encouraged to start and operate Tech businesses in Singapore. However, Tech Pass holders are not limited to only operating in the tech industry.
An example is that Tech Pass holders are able to serve on the board of directors for a Singapore Based company that is not in the tech industry. However, it is recommended that Tech Pass holders focus on tech industries in Singapore to qualify for a renewal of their pass.
Eligibility requirements and Renewal Criteria
To be eligible for the Tech Pass, you must possess any 2 out of 3 of the following:
- Have a last drawn fixed monthly salary (in the last 1 year) of at least S$20,000 (or equivalent in foreign currency
- Candidates with an annual income over S$240,000 will also be considered.
- Have at least 5 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 and beyond.
- Have at least 5 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 revenue.
In order to be considered for renewal, Tech Pass holders must have fulfilled the following:
- Have earned at least S$240,000 in assessable income based on the latest Notice of Assessment from IRAS (can be made of salaries and/or business income); OR
- Demonstrate total annual business spending of at least S$100,000 and employ at least 1 local professional, manager or executive earning over S$3,900 or local employee earning at least S$1,400. (All employees are to receive CPF contributions for at least 3 months)
Have 2 or more achievements listed below, with at least 1 from column A.
|Founded a company in Singapore, offering a tech-based or tech-enabled product or service||Served on the Board of Directors of a Singapore-based company (need not be a tech firm)|
|Served a leading role (e.g. CEO, CTO, APAC MD,) in a Singapore-based tech company||Acted as advisor/mentor to a Singapore-based start-up|
|Served a leading role in two or more Singapore-based tech companies||Served as Professor/ lecturer/ adjunct professor/ adjunct lecture in a Singapore Institute of Higher Learning (IHL)|
|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 field||Provided training in some form not covered above (e.g. workshops, corporate training classes).|
|Employed in a technical role leading a team in two orT more Singapore-based companies||Invested in one or more Singapore-based tech companies|
I am interested! Where do I start and what should I prepare?
Fantastic, to assist you on your Tech Path application journey, Crystal Clear suggests the following before submitting your application:
- Download and prepare all necessary documents – List of Documents
- Download and fill-up the forms required – Main Pass | Dependent Pass | Long Term Visit Pass
- Plan your time – It takes roughly 8 weeks to process your Tech Pass application and once approved you are required to be in Singapore within 6 months to receive your pass.
- Reach out to a professional service. We understand that it is cost saving to do it yourself. However, certain terms and information might be tricky to navigate. Thus, we recommend any interested parties to allow professionals to assist them in their Tech Pass application.
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