When Tech.Pass was first launched in January, the application was made available to 500 slots. And there was no set due date for it. In March this year, months after it was first launched, there were about 22 approved applications.
But as of July 2021, about 90 tech industry work passes for foreigners were approved. As compared to the 22 approvals in March, this was a considerable jump. According to the Economic Development Board (EDB), the 90 people whose applications were approved were made up of entrepreneurs, experts, investors, and those with management experience in sizeable tech companies.
Because, as we all know, Tech.Pass is aimed to draw leading tech investors and entrepreneurs to the country to further develop Singapore’s tech ecosystem. For more information on the Tech.Pass, click here. And to find out if you qualify for the Tech.Pass, click here.
So, what should you do if you don’t qualify for the Tech.Pass?
If you don’t qualify for the Tech.Pass, don’t be discouraged. There is another route for your company to apply for the Tech@SG programme. And once you are in this programme, our team at Transform Borders can help you with your Employment Pass (EP) applications.
The Tech@SG programme provides company-level endorsement to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), thus, reducing the risk of EP applications rejections. If your company is eligible for this programme, you can expect to receive up to 10 new EPs for over two years for foreign employees that will be joining your company in Singapore. You can also expect coverage for the first renewal (each renewal is valid for three years) of each new EP that you obtained under this Tech@SG programme.
The EP issued under this programme is the same as any other EP issued by MOM. EDB updated that for the Tech @ SG programme, the requirements for foreign professionals to apply for an EP will be more flexible.
How to apply for the Tech@SG programme
To qualify for the programme, your company must offer digital or technology as your core business product or service such as having software-as-a-service, e-commerce, digital media, fintech companies, and many more. But before you apply, make sure that you have:
- Incorporated a business entity with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
- Obtained a CorpPass account from ACRA
- Enabled the EDB Form SG e-service for the CorpPass account that will be submitting the application
- Checked that your company meets the programme’s eligibility criteria and has prepared the relevant information for the application form
2) Apply for Tech@SG endorsement
You can submit your application to EDB if less than 30% of your company is owned by local shareholder(s). And EDB will review your application and advise you of the outcome within 10 to 15 working days. But if your company has more than 30% of local shareholder(s), you should submit your application to Startup SG, an entity under Enterprise Singapore.
At this stage, it is recommended that you set up your EP Online account (EPOL). It will only take five working days to process and submit your EP applications to MOM.
3) Apply for individual EP(s)
Once you have received EDB’s endorsement under the Tech@SG programme, you may proceed to submit EP application(s) for your employee(s). From there, MOM will review your application(s) and advise you of the outcome within 21 working days. But EP applications must be done within two years of the company’s acceptance into the programme.
4) Updates & more resources
EDB and Enterprise Singapore provide services to assist businesses in setting up and expanding their operations in Singapore. Either after 10 successful EP applications or two years of support, whichever comes first, EDB or Enterprise Singapore will notify you at the end of support.
Singapore is a great country for tech investments considering its skilled workforce, political stability, and multiple business grants. If you qualify for the Tech.Pass or the Tech@SG programme, get in touch with us now and we will assist you in the EP application process. For more information, send in your immigration-related questions with us.