Singapore’s local population boasts some of the most highly educated people on earth. the Lion City’s students rank second in the world for mathematics, science, and reading, second only to China. Surely then, there is enough home-grown talent to maintain Singapore’s reputation as one of the world’s eminent finance and technology innovators.
To Singapore, that immense local talent simply isn’t enough for their ambitions. attracting the world’s brightest immigrants is integral to their ongoing success. The benefits of this are clear. As well as new perspectives and skills, immigrants often bring with them innovative businesses and ideas.
And there’s good news for entrepreneurs. Singapore’s immigration policies make it easy for startup founders to get a foothold in the city-state. The Singaporean government has been making a concerted effort to attract foreign entrepreneurs and investors for years and includes a wide array of initiatives that not only attract entrepreneurs but also encourage and foster startups created by immigrants.
Let’s take a look at how Singapore’s immigration schemes positively impact the startup scene.
Singapore Immigration Programmes Encouraging Permanent Residency
The most imposing hurdle to starting a business in Singapore is that a company must have at least one director that is resident in Singapore. That hurdle becomes easily surmountable when the company’s director is an immigrant with Permanent Resident (PR) status.
Permanent residency in Singapore comes with a bevy of benefits. The most important of which for entrepreneurs is the ability to live and work in Singapore without any additional visa requirements.
To help facilitate permanent residence, Singapore has a range of initiatives to help foreign entrepreneurs sign on to Singapore, including these three major programs.
The Singapore Entrepreneur Pass (also known as the EntrePass) is for individuals who already have a business and wish to move it to Singapore. Entrepreneur passes also allow the individuals to bring their families, which of course is a major concern for many established professionals.
The Entrepreneur Pass also allows individuals and their families to travel in and out of Singapore freely, giving them the opportunity to visit family and friends in their home countries.
If you are a well-established entrepreneur with family roots, the Entrepreneur Pass is an exceedingly attractive option, and there is no quota limiting the number of Entrepreneur passes granted in Singapore.
This visa is for one year, with extensions of up to two years possible.
Global Investor Programme (GIP)
Created in 2012, the Global Investor Programme (GIP) allows entrepreneurs to gain permanent residence in Singapore if they can demonstrate they will contribute significant capital to the local economy.
Qualifying entrepreneurs will also be connected to a local network of ex-pat entrepreneurs and businesses to help expedite their growth in a new market. Spouses and children under the age of 21 are also invited to take on permanent residence in Singapore, encouraging families to stay together as a unit.
GIP is an especially attractive proposition for entrepreneurs with a ready-made business proposition and investment capital. This visa is for five years, and can then be renewed for a further three or five years.
As Web 3.0 and the digital revolution continue to take over all facets of the industry, finding top-tier tech workers has become a problem for many countries. Singapore has taken notice, and in an attempt to stay ahead of the curve, offers a Tech.Pass program for such talent in the tech industry.
This visa is offered to individuals with specific skill sets that are in high demand within the Singaporean market. The Tech.Pass has many advantages, allowing the holder to work for multiple IT firms concurrently, start their own company, and more.
The Tech.Pass allows IT organizations to attract the finest technical talent from all over the world with the most attractive visa available. It is valid for two years, after which it can be renewed if desired.
A Forward-Thinking Culture
Beyond the official policies that Singapore uses to encourage top-tier immigration, there is an intangible mindset within Singapore’s business culture that is welcoming to new foreign talent. This mindset can be seen in the way that Singapore consistently ranks as one of the easiest countries in which to start a business, and in the way that Singapore boasts some of the most successful startups in the world, many of which are founded by immigrants.
In addition, Singapore has a number of accelerators and incubators that are open to foreign entrepreneurs, and the Singaporean Government provides significant funding and resources to help these startups get off the ground.
Singapore’s combination of official immigration policies and a forward-thinking culture makes it an ideal place for immigrants with entrepreneurial ambitions. The city-state has a wide range of visas available that cater to all types of entrepreneurs. Singapore also offers a wealth of resources to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses, making it the perfect place for startups.
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