Singapore to introduce new visa to attract top global Tech talent

The Economic Development Board (EDB) announced plans on 12 November 2020 to launch Tech.Pass, a targeted programme to attract founders, leaders and technical experts with experience in established or fast-growing tech companies, so as to contribute to the development of Singapore’s tech ecosystem.

Tech.Pass will allow pass holders flexibility in the participation of activities such as starting and operating a business, being an investor, employee, consultant or director in one or more Singapore-based companies, mentoring start-ups and lecturing at local universities.

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

  • Have a last drawn fixed monthly salary of at least S$20,000 in the last year or its equivalent in a foreign currency. Candidates or business owners with annual income in excess of S$240,000 or its equivalent in a foreign currency will also be considered;
  • 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;
  • Have at least five cumulative years of experience in a leading role – major contributions to the design, development, and/or deployment of a tech product – in the development of a tech product that has at least 100,000 monthly active users or at least US$100mil annual revenue.

Tech.Pass will be open for application in January 2021, with 500 places available upon launch. The pass will be valid for two years in the first instance, with a one-time renewal for a subsequent two years. To be eligible for a two-year renewal, the pass holder must:

  • Have earned at least S$240,000 in assessable income based on the latest Notice of Assessment from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (which can be made up of salaries and / or business income); OR
  • Demonstrate total annual business spending of at least S$100,000 and employ at least ONE local professional, manager and executive (PME) who is a Singapore citizen or permanent resident that earns a fixed monthly salary of at least S$3,900 and receives Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions for at least three months or THREE Local Qualifying Salary (LQS), who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents that earn a monthly salary of at least S$1,400 and receive CPF contributions for at least three months.

Tech.Pass is an extension of the Tech@SG programme that was launched in 2019. The Tech@SG programme anchors and supports the expansion of high potential companies in Singapore. Both programmes facilitate fast growing tech companies and established tech talent to enter and anchor themselves in Singapore, bringing their networks and experience with them to benefit the local tech ecosystem.

This is part of Singapore’s multi-pronged approach to develop a strong base of technology companies and talent to ensure Singapore remains globally competitive. This will also create more opportunities for local tech talent to work in globally competitive teams alongside top tech talent from all over the world.

“Tech.Pass will add to the critical mass of established tech talent in Singapore and create a ‘flywheel effect’ to further strengthen our position as a leading tech hub for the region,” said Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.


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