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Getting a Business Visa to Singapore

Getting a Business Visa to Singapore

Being a business hub, Singapore attracts many people who desire to invest there. Singaporean laws promote business and protect intellectual properties with great support by the government. There is also the availability of various financing options and a well-developed infrastructure that make business favorable in this city-state. The country also embraces diverse cultures, being a multicultural nation, and so, foreign investors are attracted to set up business there. Singapore trades significantly at international markets which means that a Singapore entrepreneur will get great returns in terms of profit and growth of business.

Foreign investors looking to open a business in Singapore are required to obtain a visa. There are various types of visa and each comes with certain requirements, benefits, and restrictions. If you intend to start a business in Singapore, you need to apply for a Singapore business visa after analyzing the various things that are related to it. The most suitable visa for entrepreneurs is the EntrePass.

EntrePass Business Visa

This visa permits the applicant to initiate their business in Singapore. EntrePass is the best option for investors and entrepreneurs. The validity period for EntrePass is one year, and the procedures to apply for it are enlisted under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, Singapore.

 Eligibility for EntrePass

EntrePass is applicable for all foreigners irrespective of their home country. The following are some of the requirements that you need to meet to qualify for EntrePass:

  • You have set up or intend to set up a private limited company registered with ACRA
  • If you have already started a company, six months must not have passed since the company was registered on the date that you apply for EntrePass
  • Your company’s paid-up capital must not be less than 50,0000 SGD
  • You should have at least 30% shareholding in the business
  • The applicant must have a business plan ready (10 pages) that expounds on the innovative approach, objectives, and their impact on the economy and employment in Singapore.

Businesses That Do Not Qualify for EntrePass

The businesses listed below do not qualify for an EntrePass:

  • Coffee outlets, hawker’s centers, and courts for selling food
  • Nightclubs, karaoke joints, and bars
  • Parlors that offer massage services, places for foot reflexology, businesses offering traditional medicine from China, herbalists centers, and acupuncture
  • Agencies for employment services
  • Geomancy businesses

Documents Required to Apply for EntrePass

The following documents are required when applying for a business visa (EntrePass):

  • The passport of the person applying – the passport must be not less than six months to the expiry date and with at least one blank visa page
  • Testimonials from past employers in English (where applicable)
  • IMM form 14A – suitably filled out in English
  • Photograph of the applicant – one passport-size color photograph that meets the specifications given
  • ACRA printout – owners of businesses that are already registered need to provide a set of the company profile issued by Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) dated at most six months from the date of applying.
  • Form V39A (Letter of Introduction) – one original set of Form V39A must be duly filled by a representative from Singapore’s registered company who can avail a Singapore NRIC/FIN number. Invitees by the government or universities or those invited to exhibitions or conventions do not need to produce Form V39A, but instead, are required to present the original invitation letter addressed to them.

The application documents may be submitted in person, or through a proxy (bearing a letter of authorization from the applicant), or through an authorized visa agent. After making the requisite payments, it takes about six weeks to process the business visa. You must hand in a completely filled out application form, register the business to obtain the in-principal approval letter, and complete the biometrics until eventually, you get your pass.

The EntrePass normally has a one-year validity period for a new pass (first-time applicants), with the validity extended to two years after the initial renewal. Renewal is subject to meeting the necessary conditions.

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by Rebecca Jones // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.