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Success cases: Low investment and threshold, analysis of the most popular immigration method in Singapore: Self-employed EP

To migrate to Singapore, one of the most popular methods is to set up your own company and apply for an Employment Pass (EP) as the director of your company. By doing so, you can then apply for permanent residence in Singapore through your EP status. This method is known as the self-employed EP immigration and is currently the most sought-after way of immigration in Singapore.

Compared to the Global Investor Program (GIP) immigration, which is only available to the super-rich, the self-employed EP immigration has a lower investment requirement, a lower threshold, and a higher approval rate. While it cannot be achieved in one step, it is still the best option for most people who want to immigrate to Singapore.

Mr. X successfully obtained his EP through this program.

Picture from pexels.com

01

The venturing story of Mr. X

Mr. X completed his undergraduate studies in financial management at a domestic financial university, and later pursued a master’s degree abroad. Following his graduation, he returned to China and began working in Shanghai. Over time, with the accumulation of work experience and increased wealth, Mr. X developed a desire for a larger career platform. He set his sights on Singapore, the global hub for trade and finance.

After gaining an understanding of Mr. X’s situation and requirements, Go Global Gem customized an overseas immigration plan for him. They determined that the most suitable path for him was the self-employed EP. Remarkably, his EP was approved in just five working days.

Picture: Mr. X’s EP was successfully approved, and any theft of pictures will be investigated!

02

An analysis of the Singapore self-employed Employment Pass

1. What is the Self-employed Employment Pass?

The Singapore Self-employed Employment Pass is a special way for exceptional foreign individuals who wish to establish and work in their own companies in Singapore. The applicant can come to Singapore to set up a new company and assume an executive position in a Singaporean company in the form of self-employment. Through this form of entrepreneurial self-employment, the applicant is eligible to obtain the Singapore Self-employed EP.

2. Investment requirement

Companies registered in Singapore are required to have an office address, employees, and income that aligns with the scope of their business (however, there is no strict requirement on the company’s profits).

3. Application conditions

Based on our practical experience and successful cases, applicants who meet the following basic requirements will have the opportunity to apply for the Singapore Self-employed EP:

  1. The applicant is currently employed by or holds a position in a company (not limited to Chinese companies) that has been in operation for at least 3 years and employs a minimum of 3 local Singaporeans.
  2. The applicant holds a college degree or higher, or a part-time degree or college degree or below (which must be certified by chsi.com.cn) and has investment experience or special achievements.
  3. The applicant has been a senior manager or shareholder in the company (not limited to Chinese companies) they serve or hold for at least 1 year, with an annual turnover of 5 million.

Note: For newly established companies in Singapore, the applicant may hold 100% of the shares, and the scope of operation of the Singaporean company should be related to the parent company.

4. Application process
  • Sign the service contract with Go Global Gem.
  • Complete company registration and open a bank account.
  • Finalize the leasing of office space.
  • Submit the EP application.
  • Receive the In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter.
  • Apply for a card in Singapore.

Note: The entire application process usually takes around 2 to 3 months.

Picture from pexels.com

03

Advantages of setting up a company in Singapore

1. Lower Taxes and Tax Deductions

Companies in Singapore are only required to file corporate income tax once a year, and the tax rate on profits is just 17%. Additionally, there is no capital gains tax, and shareholders of Singaporean companies can enjoy various tax advantages, such as dividend income exemption. This makes Singapore an ideal location for companies looking to expand in the Asian market.

2. Free Trade and ASEAN Advantages

As a member of ASEAN, Singapore benefits from zero-tariff free trade among the ten member states. This makes it easier for Singaporean products and services to enter the markets of China, ASEAN, and the United States, effectively breaking through international trade barriers.

3. Exemption from double taxation

The Singaporean Government has signed more than 40 Investment Guarantee Agreements (IGAs) to protect Singapore-incorporated companies from non-commercial risks in other countries and regions.

Data source: Singapore Economic Development Board

Picture from pexels.com

04

Advantages of the Singapore Self-employed EP

There are many mainstream ways to immigrate to Singapore, including global investor program, family office program, overseas art talent immigration, employer-sponsored immigration, etc. Compared with them, the advantages of self-employment EP project are as follows:

Lenient conditions:
It has no age, industry, schedule, language, or source of funds requirements, making it accessible to many.

Free passage:

Singapore passport holders can visit 192 countries and regions visa-free, which is highly valuable.

No immigration supervision:

EP holders face no residence restrictions and can enter and exit Singapore conveniently with a Singapore identity.

Short application period:

The EP application process is simple, has a short processing time, and has a high approval rate.

Easy naturalization:

After two and a half years of residence in Singapore within five years of obtaining permanent residency, applicants can apply for naturalization.

Quality education:

Singapore offers excellent bilingual educational resources, with IB program scores among the world’s top.

Family immigration:

Dependent’s Passes are available for spouses and children, and parents can apply for a Long-Term Visit Pass.

Convenient and worry-free::

Go Global Gem provides comprehensive company operation solutions, ensuring a smooth process.

Strong sense of belonging:

Singapore’s majority population is Chinese, and English is the official lingua franca.

Simple renewal:

There are no turnover or profit requirements for Singapore companies, as long as they operate normally.

Picture from pexels.com

05

Who is the self-employed EP for

1. People who want to expand their business overseas while doing domestic business

Singapore’s excellent geographical location and largest free trade network in Asia make it an ideal place for businesses. It serves as the best launchpad for businesspeople who aspire to expand abroad.

2. People looking for a simple tax system

Singapore offers a simple and low regional taxation system. Corporate income tax rates top at 17%, while individual income tax rates top at 22%. There is no tax on foreign income, no estate tax, no capital gains tax, no shareholder dividend tax, and zero tariffs on most goods! Many high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) choose to immigrate to Singapore with their families and relocate their assets to Singapore to reduce their operating costs.

3. People who travel frequently

Singapore citizenship requirements are simple. You can apply for citizenship after two years of permanent residence status, with no immigration supervision! The Singapore passport allows visa-free travel to 192 countries and regions, including Europe, America, Japan, Korea, China, and more.

After successful approval of the Singapore EP, you can stay in Singapore indefinitely within the validity period of your EP. Your family members can also enjoy the same. When entering and leaving the country, you can use the electronic channel with your EP and Chinese passport. Self-service customs clearance without queuing!

4. People who cannot meet the order of supervision requirements in major countries

Many entrepreneurs whose businesses are based mainly at home cannot meet the requirements of immigration supervision in major countries. However, there is no immigration supervision in Singapore and no legal residence requirement for either EP or permanent residence through EP. We generally advise EP or permanent resident holders to maintain a certain amount of work or study in Singapore as a foundation and those who set up companies in Singapore to manage their time in their Singapore companies.

5. People who value their children’s education

Singapore offers bilingual education combining Chinese and English, allowing children to learn both languages from an early age. This provides them with a solid foundation in English while retaining their mother tongue. Singaporean institutions follow the Anglo-Cambridge system of education, providing children with an international standard of education, making it easier for them to apply to prestigious schools in the UK and the US.

6. People who are not proficient in foreign languages and seek a stress-free living environment

As the majority of Singapore’s population is Chinese, there are no language barriers. Chinese is the primary language of communication, and it is easy to find Chinese-speaking communities. Living in Singapore is like being at home for Chinese speakers.

7. People who wish to move to Singapore quickly

The EP application process takes no more than three months. You can apply for a Long-Term Visit Pass for your family members at the same time, allowing your entire family to settle in Singapore quickly. EP holders can also apply for a Singaporean Green Card after meeting certain criteria.

Picture from pexels.com

Over the past three years, Singapore has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a significant loss of foreign population and a decline in the fertility rate of local residents. As a result, in May of this year, Singapore lifted its entry control and entered a “recruitment mode,” which has significantly increased the approval rate and shortened the processing time for EP applications. In fact, most EP applications have been approved within only three working days in our experience.

At the same time, Singapore is also optimizing its EP distribution criteria, and as of September 1, 2023, all EP applications submitted must pass the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS), which may exclude applicants with a college degree or less. Therefore, it is crucial to seize the opportunity to plan for identity and apply for an EP as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:Ho Kah Chuan
Email: kahchuanho@goglobalgem.com