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Singapore to Issue New Work Visa to Attract Top-tier Foreign Technology Professionals

Nov 16 2020 | by OrionW

Singapore will launch a new work visa in January 2021 to attract top-tier foreign technology professionals.  The new work visa, known as Tech.Pass, is an extension of the Tech@SG programme and is part of the Government’s efforts to build and develop the country’s technology ecosystem.

The Tech.Pass will allow established tech entrepreneurs, consultants or tech experts from all over the world to come to Singapore to perform frontier and disruptive innovations.  The Tech.Pass will be valid for two years, with a one-time renewal for another two years if the Tech.Pass holder meets the renewal criteria.

The Singapore Economic Development Board will administer Tech.Pass with the support of the Ministry of Manpower.  Applications for the pass will start on January 2021 with only 500 places available upon launch.

Applicants for a Tech.Pass do not need to have pre-arranged employment sponsorship in Singapore.  Applicants will be assessed according to their track record, expertise and experience in leading a tech company or in developing a tech product with a mass adoption.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the pass, applicants must satisfy any two of the following conditions:

1.  Have a last drawn fixed monthly salary (in the last 1 year) of at least S$20,000 or its equivalent in a foreign currency.

2.  Have at least five cumulative years of experience in a leading role in a tech company with a valuation/market cap of at least US$500mil or at least US$30mil funding raised.

3.  Have at least five cumulative years of experience in a leading role in the development of a tech product (e.g., major contributions to design, development and/or deployment) that has at least 100,000 monthly active users or at least US$100mil annual revenue.

The Tech.Pass provides flexibility to holders by allowing them to participate in a variety of activities that can contribute to Singapore’s tech ecosystem.  For example, a Tech.Pass holder could operate a business while also being an investor, consultant, employee or director of a Singapore-based tech company.  They can also mentor start-ups, take up lecturing roles in local universities and conduct corporate training or workshops.

As part of Singapore’s multi-pronged approach to develop a strong tech talent pool, the Tech.Pass will allow top tech talents to enter and work in Singapore, thus ensuring that the country will remain globally competitive.

Disclaimer: This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice.