HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Labour ministry enhances foreign entrepreneurs' work visa

This is to further attract global startup talent in Singapore.

The Ministry of Manpower announced that the EntrePass scheme, the work visa for foreign entrepreneurs, will be enhanced to facilitate the entry and stay of promising foreign startup talent who are keen to establish innovative businesses in Singapore.

"This enhanced scheme will strengthen and add vibrancy to our tech startup ecosystem to position Singapore as a leading startup location," MOM said.

One of the key changes is the broadening of the evaluation criteria for global startup founders. Applicants will now be assessed on factors beyond the existing four innovation criteria to allow global startup talent to enter Singapore during the business exploration stage.

Examples of new criteria include entrepreneurial and investment track record, business network and key achievements in their areas of expertise.

Other key enhancements to the EntrePass scheme include the removal of the $50,000 paid-up capital requirement to recognise the non-monetary contributions of global startup talent such as expertise and relevance to industries.

To recall, this was first announced by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI)’s Committee of Supply (COS) debate in March 2017.

Additionally, the validity period of each EntrePass will be extended from one to two years, after the first renewal to provide more certainty for global entrepreneurs in scaling up their businesses.

"Enhancements to the EntrePass scheme will attract a larger pool of skilled global startup talent at an early stage of idea exploration. They complement our local startups by catalysing more innovative businesses and creating good jobs for Singaporeans," MOM said.

In addition to SPRING Singapore, the enhanced EntrePass scheme will see the inclusion of two new partner agencies: the Infocomm Media Development Authority and the National Research Foundation, supported by SGInnovate. Together, these agencies will work with the Ministry of Manpower to evaluate the applications in their respective sectors.

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