EDB To Launch New Work Pass To Attract Top-Tier Tech Talents To S’pore

The Economic Development Board (EDB) announced today (November 12) that it will launch a new work pass to attract highly skilled professionals to Singapore and strengthen its tech ecosystem.

Called Tech.Pass, it will be given to leading foreign professionals and experts looking to start a business, lead business teams, or teach here.

With the work card, these people can carry out activities such as starting and operating a business, serving on the board of directors of a Singapore-based company, or being a shareholder or investor in local companies.

They can also take on speaker roles in higher education institutes, serve as mentors or advisers to local businesses and organize training or workshops in companies.

According to Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, having such experts in Singapore will not only allow them to bring their capital, networks and know-how to the country’s tech ecosystem, but it will also create opportunities for Singaporeans.

“Tech.Pass will add to the critical mass of established technology talent in Singapore and create a flywheel effect to further strengthen our position as a leading technology hub for the region,” he said.

What are the eligibility criteria

Pass requests will begin in January 2021, and only 500 passes will be available at launch.

EDB will administer the applications for these passes, with the support of the Ministry of Manpower.

The Tech.Pass will be valid for two years, with a single renewal for the following two years which will depend on certain criteria.

To be eligible, applicants must meet two of the three criteria:

  • a final monthly salary of at least $ 20,000 in the last year
  • at least five years of cumulative experience in a leading role in a technology company with a valuation or market capitalization of at least US $ 500 million or at least US $ 30 million and above
  • at least five years of 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 US $ 100 million in revenue

In order for Tech.Pass to be renewed, pass holders will need to meet several conditions, including having earned at least $ 240,000 in taxable income over the two years or demonstrating total annual business expenses of at least 100,000. USD.

S’pore must step up its game to attract top talent

chan chun sing singapore
Image Credit: Gov.sg

Chan had mentioned in parliament last year that countries like Thailand, China and France are already rolling out initiatives to attract highly skilled tech professionals.

He cited how France and Thailand have set up special visa programs to make it easier for tech talent to work in their countries.

If Singapore did not attract such talent either, we would “almost certainly be left behind”, he warned.

According to EDB, Tech.Pass builds on the Tech @ SG program, which sets more flexible requirements for foreign professionals wishing to apply for an Employment Pass (EP).

He added that Tech.Pass and Tech @ SG allow fast-growing tech companies and established tech talent to enter Singapore and take root here.

This is part of Singapore’s multi-dimensional approach to develop a strong base of technology and talent companies to ensure it remains competitive globally.

“It will also create more opportunities for local tech talent to work in globally competitive teams alongside top tech talent from around the world,” EDB said.

Featured Image Credit: Ejinsight

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Jothi Venkat

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