For foreigners who intend to work in Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower offers several kinds of work passes and permits in every part of the country. Every foreigner must essentially acquire a legitimate work visa before they start work in Singapore.
The Employment Pass is for foreign professionals, officers and executives with a minimum earning of SGD 3,600 per month and who are sufficiently qualified.
The Singapore Employment Pass (EP) can be understood as a work visa that enables foreign professionals to get employed in Singapore at specific positions of specialization, executive or managerial levels.
On the whole, it is classified among the 3 kinds of professional work passes that do not require employers to appoint any local staff for approval of the Singapore Employment Pass visa.
With this allowance and scope, the Ministry of Manpower has enforced rigorous yet individual conditions, considering the quality of the candidate and the backdrop of the employer qualified to appoint foreigners holding such a pass.
The other two types of employment passes are the Personalized Employment Pass (PEP), and Entrepreneurial Pass (EntrePass) which have even more stringent requirement than the Singapore Employment Pass.
A Personalized Employment Pass is for professionals who earn well and already possess a valid employment pass or they are foreign professionals from abroad.
An Entrepreneurial Pass is aimed at serial entrepreneurs, high-quality innovators or proficient investors who aspire to open a company in Singapore.
Since some years, the procedure of applying for Singapore Employment Pass has been made more stringent by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). However, well-educated a foreigner is, by way of academics with expert abilities and experience, gets a warm welcome and can be eligible for the Singapore Employment Pass (EP) work visa.
The least required monthly salary to apply for a Singapore Employment Pass at present is SGD3, 600, for aspirants who have recently graduated from university graduates. On the other hand, more income is required for candidates with higher seniority and experience.
Formerly, the evaluation of applicants was based on their educational background, professional qualifications, specialization and their salary. This has changed, now foreigners who apply for the Singapore Employment Pass are also evaluated for the social and economic influence they are likely to have on Singapore and its countrymen.
This assessment is not just confined to the candidates. The hiring firms also undergo assessments on the parameters of their regional workforce strength and the line of business. The Singapore administration will check if the company has appointed or plans to appoint any Singapore residents in their business operations.
Companies that hire an excessive number of foreign employees can have their EP applications rejected or delayed since this may be considered as a lack of dedication towards employing Singaporeans.
The analysis of companies is on the parameters of their equity composition and capacity of salary payment to EP holders. Supporting documents like salary slips and income tax declarations are needed for the authentication part. Even in scenarios with shades of uncertainty, the employment pass gets approval, though the term period may be shorter than applied for, typically for 12 months timeframe.
In companies that have a good percentage of Singaporean employees, the application procedure is trouble-free. The Singapore Employment Pass policy has been framed with the intent of encouraging businesses to employ more locals, provide chances to gain knowledge and prepare them for participation within the companies as they grow. Going forward, this helps businesses in being less dependent on overseas talent.
Nationality of applicants is not a condition for Singapore Employment Pass as the country welcomes skilled professionals from all over the world. The main concern is to check for availability of such talent within the country and the logic behind appointing candidates from abroad for a certain position.
Since 1 July 2018, it is mandatory for companies that have 10 or more employees, to advertise their vacant employment positions on the government managed website; jobsbank, for a minimum of 2 weeks before applying for the Singapore Employment Pass for foreign candidates, in case they are unable to find any local candidates with adequate qualification.
If a foreign aspirant does not have the eligibility to get a Singapore Employment Pass work visa, they can look into other categories of work passes to enable them to get employed in Singapore. These work passes are premised on the quota system that is an indication for the company to appoint a good few local employees after which such a work pass can get approval.
For instance, foreigners are likely to pass the eligibility criteria for S Pass work visa that passes a lower salary, not a strict level of education and yardstick of skills.
The S-Pass work visa intends to cater to middle-ranking skilled expatriate workers from all countries. This requires the applicant to have a minimum monthly earning of SGD2, 400 and fulfil the conditions of evaluation. There is a quota of the number of S-Pass work visas that hiring firms can apply for, according to their number of local employees.
The proposed salary must consider the work experience and educational qualification, increased salary standards for applicants exceeding the years of meaningful professional experience, as compared to fresh graduates or junior staff. Except for diplomas, technical certificates, courses for skilled technical staff members or professionals are also considered in the eligibility criteria.
Preference is given to accreditations that comprise a minimum of 1 year of full-time study. The value of the candidate’s length of service is also a consideration in the assessment procedure because this is a skill work pass.
This tops the pass category list for well-qualified and high-salaried foreigners earning more than SGD18, 000 per month. This does not require any sponsor hiring company, which is different from all other work passes.
The selected candidate is mainly a self-sponsor pass holder and has the option to work for any employer. However, this candidate cannot remain without a job for a period exceeding 6 months. The Personalized Employment Pass is a one-time issue for 3 years at the most and subsequently, the applicant needs to convert EP into another type of visa.
Existing high salaried EP holders having a monthly earning of more than SGD12, 000 can also change to PEP. At the same time, PEP holders are not eligible to be directors of or set up their own business.
True to the term, the Entrepreneurial Pass or Entrepass is a type of pass that is made for business people or entrepreneurs. This pass has no rigidity of a least salary requirement and academic qualification in this case.
On the other hand, the applicant must exhibit a proof validating his or her suitability for the Entrepass.
As this article explains, Singapore offers different varieties of work passes that are appropriate for foreigners with different requirements and capabilities.
We recommend you to share the different alternatives with us to help you apply for an employment pass in Singapore. We are professional consultants with expertise in work pass and employment pass applications in Singapore.
Contact us to expedite the application process and make approvals happen easily.
Are you a foreigner looking to relocate to Singapore to start and run a business? Then the Singapore Entrepreneur Pass or EntrePass is just the thing for you. To be eligible to apply for this work visa, the entrepreneur who intends to come to Singapore to establish a company, must display a paid-up capital of at least S$50,000. This helps entrepreneurs who have a more successful professional record, as compared to documented qualifications. The EntrePass works perfectly for foreign businesspersons who fall short of academic certifications or are not eligible according to the Employment Pass scheme, but have proved their business expertise through booming professional experience. In practice, applying for an EntrePass used to be more difficult than that for an Employment Pass (EP), due to the paid-up capital requirement of S$50,000. However, this requirement has now been removed to attract more qualified applicants worldwide. What Makes You Eligible and Ineligible for the EntrePass? A foreign entrepreneur can apply for the EntrePass if the following conditions are met: 1. The candidate has or aims to launch a private limited company, registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) in Singapore. In case the company has already been registered, it should be less than or equal to 6 months old on the date of application. 2. The applicant must be a minimum 30% shareholder in the capital of the company.Additional Provisions The applicant is required to meet a minimum of one of the listed requirements, either in the capacity of an innovator, an entrepreneur, or an investor: Innovator · The enterprise should be a holder or an intellectual property asset. · The company should have had participated in joint research with A*STAR or a university. · The company must possess excellent technical or domain expertise that is connected to the intended business. Entrepreneur · The financial support of the company must come from a Government-recognized VC or business angel. · The company should have active involvement in a Government-supported incubator. · The candidate must have a proven track record or network and bright business history of having launched very lucrative enterprises. Investor · The candidate must have a good previous experience of business investments and should be keen on expanding a new company or already existent one in Singapore. You can learn more about these requirements here. Businesses Ineligible for the EntrePass Cafés, cafeterias, massage parlors, pubs, night clubs, job placement services and others, do not qualify for the EntrePass. A full account of the businesses that do not qualify for the pass is available on the MOM website. The Application Procedure How to Apply? An applicant or a representative of the applicant is eligible to submit an application for the EntrePass. The MOM lays down the steps listed below to apply for the EntrePass: 1. An applicant must attach the EntrePass application form with necessary documents and submit the pack. 2. Once the application has been approved, as a policy, the MOM will issue an approval letter. The applicant is required to register the company (in case not already done so) with ACRA within a month of receiving the letter. 3. As a rule, the EntrePass should be issued within 6 months of the approval letter. 4. Once the EntrePass has been issued, the fingerprint and photo registration of the candidate is required. 5. MOM will send the card to the address indicated in the application. Essential Paperwork The following documents must be attached and submitted along with the application for the EntrePass: 1. Copy of the individual information page of applicant’s passport; 2. Previous service testimonies in English; and 3. A plan of action that mentions the enterpriser’s business strategy, market research, market plan, products or services in the offering, etc. Bear in mind that at the time of applying, if the business is already registered with ACRA, the following must be submitted: 1. A copy of the company’s recent profile (as can be seen on the ACRA website) How to Renew, Cancel and Replace the EntrePass? EntrePass Renewal The EntrePass that is issued for the first time has a validity of 1+1 years. This means that one year after its issue, the EntrePass must be renewed. If all eligibility requirements for renewal are fulfilled, the validity is extended for one additional year. From then on, all the EntrePass renewals that follow will have a 2-year validity. An EntrePass holder can put forward an application to get his pass renewed, 3 months before it expires. Among the renewal requirements is that the EntrePass holder must retain the initial business plan submitted to the Ministry when applying for the first time. For renewal of the pass, the holder needs to make sure that his business creates employment in Singapore. For more information on the renewal of an EntrePass click here. Cancelling the EntrePass In case an EntrePass needs to be cancelled, it can be done by the pass holder, a company agent or an employment agent. The cancellation should happen and the pass must be returned in a week’s duration after the closure of the business. Replacement of the EntrePass In case of theft, loss or damage to EntrePass, the holder of the pass, or an agent appointed by the company, or an employment agent can submit an application to have the pass replaced, not later than 7 days since the loss. Additionally, in case an EntrePass holder’s card is stolen, the incident must be reported to the police. Notification of Changes If any one or more of the following changes are to be done to an EntrePass, the pass holder must notify the MOM: 1. Line of business; 2. Candidate’s personal information, home address, office address; 3. Salary; 4. Company name and account info and 5. Line of work To know more about notifying these changes and the related timeframes visit the MOM website. Family Onboard There are two passes that enable EntrePass holders to call their families to Singapore and be with them; the Dependant’s Pass orthe Long Term Visit Pass. The eligible family members comprise: 1. Spouse. 2. Common-law spouse 3. Unmarried and lawfully adopted children, below 21 years of age 4. Unmarried differently-abled children, above 21 years of age 5. Unmarried step-children below 21 years of age 6. Parents EntrePass holders can get their family members on board in Singapore, once they have successfully renewed their passes. In other words, EntrePass holders are not allowed to get their family members after they apply for the pass the first time. Also, to get a family member to Singapore the EntrePass holder must ensure that he or she meets the total business expense and employment generation conditions as ruled by the MOM. Conclusion An EntrePass is a necessity for a foreign entrepreneur who intends to set up and operate a business in Singapore. Do not forget that the MOM carefully scans all applications, as well as the business plans that are submitted along with them, to check if the submissions conform to the requirements of the Ministry. With our help, your chances of getting the Singapore EntrePass are much higher and free of troubles. Contact us today so that we can evaluate your eligibility and come up with ways that increase your hit rate. This is your chance to live and do business in Asia’s most desired city.read more
About Reinsurance Reinsurance is a contract under which a reinsurer agrees to indemnify a ceding company against all or part of the primary insurance risks underwritten by the ceding company under one or more insurance contracts. Market Trends Singapore is not only Asia’s largest international financial center but also one of Asia’s largest international reinsurance centers. The Singapore insurance market remains very competitive. As of the end of 2016, the market had gross premiums total receipt of about over S$3.97 billion and a total asset worth of about S$11.14 billion. Statistics collected over the seven-year period between 2010 and 2016 indicate a growing market. Total gross premiums and retention ratios have increased year on year, indicating good growth prospects for the market as a whole. In particular, the Singaporean general insurance sector registered a compound annual growth rate of 23.1% from 2010 to 2016 in respect of gross written premiums. Since 2011, statistics show that the offshore insurance market has maintained its retention ratio at about 60% and increased its total assets up to S$22.2 billion. The Singapore reinsurance market remains extremely competitive. Total gross premiums for the reinsurance industry were S$4.9 billion in 2016 and retention ratio has been 69.1%. Regulatory Framework The Insurance Act (Cap 142) governs insurance and reinsurance activities in Singapore. Regulatory Bodies Insurance and reinsurance activities are regulated by the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore), established by the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act (Cap 186). MAS is responsible for the licensing, authorization and supervision of insurance and reinsurance activities. Authorized Reinsurer Overseas insurers may apply for authorization to carry on life and/or general reinsurance business in Singapore. Authorized Reinsurers: - Do not have a physical presence in Singapore and provide insurance services from overseas to persons in Singapore. - Are subject to limited oversight by MAS compared to licensed insurers : Not required to set up and maintain separate insurance funds for policies taken out by persons in Singapore : No need to comply with solvency margin requirements Admission Criteria MAS assesses applications for authorization of reinsurers based on these criteria: - Domestic and international rankings of the applicant by factors such as premiums and assets - Past and present credit ratings by international rating agencies (i.e., Standard and Poor's, A.M Best, Moody's and Fitch) - Track record, financial soundness and reputation of the applicant MAS will consult the applicant's home supervisory authority to check the applicant’s compliance with its home regulations. - Risk management systems and processes aligning with the size and complexity of the business - Fitness and propriety of the applicant and all persons having control of the applicant Documents To Be Submitted Along With The Application Form 1) A certified true copy of the license issued by the insurance supervisory authority in the country in which the company is carrying on insurance business 2) A copy of the annual report and financial statements of both the applicant and its ultimate parent company for each of the last three years Processing Time It will take approximately 6 to 8 weeks after submission of complete application to process and approve an application. As each application will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, processing time depends on the circumstances of each application and the completeness of the information submitted. Annual Fee Every authorized reinsurer shall pay an annual fee of S$10,000 to the Authority before 1st January of each year. License For Reinsurer Applicants need a license to carry on life and/or general reinsurance business in Singapore. Admission Criteria MAS assesses applications for life and/or general reinsurance licenses based on these criteria: - Same as admission criteria for authorized reinsurer - Well-developed business strategy and detailed plans reflecting the risk profile of the business Documents To Be Submitted Along With The Application Form 1) A certified true copy of the license issued by the insurance supervisory authority in the country in which the company is carrying on insurance business 2) A certified true copy of the letter from the insurance supervisory authority in the country granting the company to establish insurance operations in Singapore, if such approval is required. (If approval is not required, a statement to this effect should be provided.) 3) A copy of the annual report and financial statements of both the applicant and its ultimate parent company for each of the last three years 4) A copy of the feasibility study conducted in respect of the proposed Singapore operations (including financial projections for the proposed Singapore operations). Taxation Of Insurance And Reinsurance Providers Under the Income Tax Act, all companies are generally taxed at the rate of 17% on their chargeable income. However, some insurers may be subject to different tax rates depending on the type of insurance business carried on. ∙ Life Insurance Business Insurers carrying on life insurance business are subject to a tax rate of 10% on life insurance surplus of any life insurance fund apportioned to policyholders for each year of assessment. ∙ Marine Hull and Liability Insurance/Reinsurance Business Tax is payable at the rate of 5% on chargeable income derived by an approved marine hull and liability insurer for each year of assessment. ∙ Offshore General Insurance/Reinsurance Business An approved insurer carrying on offshore life insurance business and insuring/reinsuring offshore risks will be taxed at the rate of 10% on chargeable income for each year of assessment. ∙ Captive Insurers Captive insurers are exempt from tax on any underwriting income derived from insuring offshore risks. Singapore Insurance Market Trends Source: MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) Life insurance valuation results for the year ended 31st December 2018 - Professional Reinsurer Source: MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) If you have any questions about Singapore company incorporation and investment in Singapore, please contact us via Contact Us page. We will provide you with a variety of solutions for efficient business operations as well as practical advice on legal requirements.read more