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Obtaining an Epass and Entrepass in Singapore

June 18, 2014


The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) requires foreign highly skilled professionals, Managers, Executives, specialists or entrepreneurs who wish to work in Singapore need an Employment Pass to commence employment. To be considered for an Employment Pass, you must have a fixed monthly salary of at least S$2,800.  The subtypes of employment passes (P1, P2 and Q1) are defined by the salary level, skills, related work experience and qualifications of the foreign nationals.

The processing time for employment pass application takes about 5 weeks. Processing time may take longer during peak periods or when additional information is required. It has to be renewed upon the expiration of the approved period.

The Employment Pass (“EP”) comes with a valid stay visa for up to two years. The immediate family of the applicant will also be provided with a Dependent Pass to live, work and study in Singapore.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) allows the foreigner to apply for a Singapore Employment Pass after they have incorporated their Singapore Company to enable them to live and work in Singapore. The EP does not fall under any quota system nor is there a monthly levy charge for EP.  However, while incorporating a company a local Nominee Director is a prerequisite until the application is approved.

The application of Singapore Employment pass can only be submitted after the incorporation of a company.

If you are a foreign individual who wish to incorporate a Singapore company and relocate to Singapore, the following needs to be done:

  • Incorporate the company using a local resident Nominee Director on temporary basis until you secure your employment pass.
  • Apply for your employment pass.
  • Transfer the directorship upon securing your work pass.
  • Relocate to Singapore and start your business.

Once you have obtained your Singapore Employment Pass, you can act as the local resident Director, subject to compliance of a residency requirement in Singapore.


The Entrepreneur Pass, commonly known as EntrePass, is a type of employment pass for foreign entrepreneurs who would like to start and run a company in Singapore.

You may apply for an EntrePass if you are a foreign entrepreneur who lacks the appropriate educational qualification or does not qualify under the Employment Pass scheme, but have proven track record and successful business ventures or unique business ideas with potential economic development.

For an Entrepass the educational qualification is of little consideration while the applicant is assessed on the credibility of his proposed Business Plan and his business experience.  Following are the criteria in applying for EntrePass:

  • Entrepreneurial track record.
  • The credibility of your business idea and the business plan.
  • Viability of the plan.
  • Efficacy of the management team.
  • Salary expectations (adequate to cover living costs).
  • Minimum paid-up capital of S$50,000.
  • Applicant to hold at least 30% of shares in the company.
  • Current citizenship.
  • How Singapore will benefit from your business.
  • Number of staffs you will be employing, etc.

Thus, a well prepared Business Plan which includes the above criteria and the accompanying testimonials will play a significant role when officials determine the outcome of the application. The key requirement for the application is a 10-page comprehensive business plan that outlines the goals and objectives of the proposed business venture plan and include a strategy to meet the requirements stipulated by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). The drafting of the business plan and the submission of application can be processed regardless of the client’s presence in Singapore. The business venture must demonstrate, within a one-year period, that it will meet the requirement of employing a minimum number of local employees and a specified Total Business Spending.

There is no stipulation on the minimum capital injections or minimum turnover. No local Director or Shareholder is required to form your Company in Singapore, if your application is successful. Upon receiving the approval of the EntrePass application from the Ministry of Manpower, the client may proceed to incorporate the Singapore company.

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