Virginia, US

Nov 17 2020

New Work Pass Available for Professionals in the Technology Industry in 2021

Singapore

At a Glance

  • Effective January 1, 2021, qualified foreign nationals in technology roles will be eligible for a new work authorization program called Tech.Pass.
  • The Tech.Pass will be valid for an initial period of two years with the possibility of an extension for another two years, subject to the applicant’s eligibility.
  • Tech.Pass holders will be eligible to perform activities such as investing in companies, starting or operating businesses and lecturing in institutes of higher learning in Singapore.

The situation

Effective January 1, 2021, 500 spots will be open for qualified foreign nationals in the technology sector in Singapore under a new work authorization program called the Tech.Pass.

A closer look

  • Eligibility. Foreign nationals who meet any two of the following criteria are eligible for the Tech.Pass:
    • a last drawn (gross) monthly salary of at least SGD 20,000;
    • at least five years’ cumulative experience in a leading role in a technology firm with a valuation or market capitalization of at least USD 500 million or at least USD 30 million funding; or
    • at least five years’ cumulative experience in a leading role in the development of a technology product that has at least 100,000 monthly active users or at least USD 100 million in revenue.
  • Duration of stay. The Tech.Pass will be valid for an initial period of two years and will be available for extension for another two years, subject to the applicant’s eligibility. Foreign nationals are eligible to apply for a one-time extension for another two years if they earned at least SGD 240,000 in assessable income over the two-year stay in Singapore or if they can demonstrate total annual business pending of at least SGD 100,000.
  • Types of activities. Tech.Pass holders will be eligible to perform activities such as investing in companies, starting or operating businesses and lecturing in institutes of higher learning in Singapore, among other activities.

     

Impact

This work authorization program will allow a new pathway for a specific group of foreign nationals’ entry into Singapore. The two-year duration of the permit is on par with other work authorization programs, but the Tech.Pass has fewer administrative hurdles during the application process.

Background

The Singaporean government has introduced the new Tech.Pass to attract highly skilled technology professionals in various fields such as e-commerce, artificial intelligence and cyber security, among others in order to boost the country’s economy and continue its tech-friendly environment. The new Tech.Pass is in line with the [email protected] program that was launched in 2019 that aimed to help fast-growing companies access talent needed to grow and scale their business in Singapore and the region.

Looking ahead

It is likely that the Singapore government will continue to provide technology professionals and companies incentives such as migration and employment opportunities in order to establish Singapore as a technology hub in the Asia Pacific region.

Fragomen will report on future developments.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].