Industry Insights

New Work Pass in Singapore for top-tier Foreign Tech Professionals to launch in January 2021!!

Posted on 19/11/2020 by Paula Formantes


A new Work Pass will be launched next year for top-tier Foreign Professionals and Experts looking to start businesses, lead corporate teams or teach here, in a bid to woo these people to Singapore and develop its high-potential tech ecosystem.

The Economic Development Board (EDB) announced on Thursday (November 12th) to launch Tech.Pass, which is planned to put Singapore ahead in the global race to attract highly skilled technology professionals in fields such as e-commerce, Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security.

Tech.Pass will be valid for 2 years, with a one-time renewal for a subsequent 2 years that will depend on certain criteria. Applications will start in January 2021, with 500 places available upon launch.

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 too. Such as adding 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.

The tech sector is poised to be a large engine of growth for Singapore, and a study was done by Temasek, Google and consultancy Bain & Company published on Tuesday found that the country's Internet economy - or business conducted online - is on track to reach US$22 billion (S$29.7 billion) by 2025.

The same report noted that Singapore houses the highest number of headquarters for companies with a valuation of over $1 billion among South-east Asian countries, including e-commerce platform Lazada and Internet platform Shopee owner Sea.

To be eligible for Tech.Pass, candidates must meet two of the three criteria:

  • A last drawn monthly salary of at least $20,000 in the past year
  • At least five years of cumulative experience in a leading role in a tech firm with a valuation or market capitalization of at least US$500 million or
  • At least US$30 million funding and beyond or
  • At least five years of cumulative experience in a leading role in the development of a tech product that has at least 100,000 monthly active users or at least US$100 million in revenue.

With the Work Pass, these individuals can perform activities like starting and operating a business, serve on the Board of Directors of a Singapore-based company or be a Shareholder or Investor in Companies here.

They can also take up lecturing roles in Institutes of Higher Learning, serve as a mentor or adviser to Companies here, and conduct Corporate Training or Workshops.

For Tech.Pass to be renewed, pass holders will need to fulfil several requirements which include:

  • Having earned at least $240,000 in assessable income over the two years or
  • Demonstrating total annual business spending of at least $100,000.

Tech.Pass builds on the Tech @ SG programme, which spells out more flexible requirements for Foreign professionals to apply for an Employment Pass (EP)-which is for Foreign professionals who have a job offer here, work in a Managerial, Executive or Specialized job, earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $4,500 and have acceptable qualifications.

Singapore is not alone in this quest to woo international top-tier talent, and many countries have their own schemes to compete for these people.

Countries like Thailand, China and France are already making their pitch for highly skilled technology professionals and cited how both France and Thailand have special visa programmes to make it easier for technology talents to work in their countries.

Both Tech.Pass and Tech @ SG allow fast-growing tech companies and established tech talent to enter Singapore and anchor themselves here, which is part of Singapore's multi-pronged approach to develop a strong base of Technology companies and Talent to ensure it remains globally competitive.

For more information on job availabilities, please contact +65 6334 4328 or email at