Employment Pass vs EntrePass Comparison
08-04-2015 CO-EASY BIZSERVICE
Foreign business professionals and entrepreneurs who plan to relocate to Singapore are often not clear whether they should apply for an Employment Pass or Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass). The purpose of this guide is to provide a general guidance on the difference between the two relocation schemes.
How are EntrePass and Employment Pass similar?
Both work passes are essentially temporary residency schemes that allow the applicant and his/her immediate family to relocate to Singapore.
Applications for both work pass schemes are subject to review and approval by government authorities.
Both work pass schemes are issued for 1-2 years and renewable, subject to their respective renewal requirements.
Both work pass schemes allow the applicant and his/her family to apply for Singapore permanent residence in due course, subject to approval by authorities.
Both work pass schemes expect that the pass holder will be paid a salary from the company. The pass holder will be liable to pay Singapore personal income tax based on the salary on an annual basis.
How are EntrePass and Employment Pass different?
Although there are many similarities as described above, the two passes also differ in many ways.
If the applicant holds more than 30% of the shareholding, they will likely need to apply under the EntrePass scheme. Nevertheless, it is still possible to apply under the Employment Pass scheme.
Timing of Application
If you wish to apply for work pass before incorporating the company:
You would only have the option to apply for EntrePass (because an Employment Pass can only be applied after the company is set up). If your EntrePass application is approved, you will be required to incorporate the company within 30 days.
If your company is incorporated but less than 6 months old:
You can apply for either EntrePass or Employment Pass subject to meeting their respective shareholding and other eligibility requirements.
If your company is incorporated and more than 6 months old
You can only apply for Employment Pass. When applying for an EP under a company that is more than 6 months old, the authorities may ask to demonstrate positive developments in the company such as contracts, revenue, business expenditure, etc, to ensure you are running a viable business.
Business Idea & Business Plan Requirement
When applying for the EntrePass, the business idea must be entrepreneurial and innovative in nature. A business plan of approximately 10-pages will need to be submitted as part of the application. It must have the potential for good growth, and result in the increased hiring of local employment. Routine business ideas such as travel agency, staffing agency, etc, do not qualify for EntrePass applications.
Employment Pass applications typically do not require a business plan submission; however, authorities may ask for such details on a case-by-case basis.
Educational Qualifications Requirement
Educational qualifications are less important for EntrePass applications because the business idea and the applicant’srelevant background both carry more weight. In the case of an Employment Pass, on the other hand, the applicant must have a tertiary degree from a reputable university and good professional experience.
Paid-up Capital Requirement
When applying for EntrePass, the company is required to have a minimum paid-up capital of $50,000. There is no such official requirement when applying for Employment Pass, although the amount of paid-up capital will likely be a contributing factor in the review of EP application.
Local Employees Hiring Requirement
The EntrePass has local staff hiring requirements that will be taken into consideration during renewal application. Depending on the type of EntrePass (P1, P2, Q1) approved initially, the company must have employed a certain minimum number of full-time local staff (starting from two local employees) for the past 12 months at the renewal time. Hiring local staff is one of the key requirements for EntrePass renewal. For more information on this, refer to the EntrePass Renewal Guidelines Section of our EntrePass Guide.
Business Spending Requirement
EntrePass renewal has certain minimum Total Business Spending requirement ranging from S$100,000 to S$400,000 over the past 12 months and depends on the type of EntrePass (P1, P2, Q1) approved initially.
Application Processing Time
Employment Pass applications are processed slightly faster (1-5 weeks) than EntrePass applications (4-6 weeks).
Below is another side-by-side comparison of the EntrePass and Employment Pass schemes. For detailed information about the each, refer to Employment Pass Guide and EntrePass Guide pages.