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working for new UK company in Singapore

Relocating, travelling or planning to make Singapore home? Discuss the criterias, passes or visa that is required.
richter22
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working for new UK company in Singapore

Postby richter22 » Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:22 pm

I'm currently working in Singapore on an EP, and living with my Singaporean girlfriend of four years.
A newly formed British start up would like to employ me to work remotely in Singapore, but they are not registered in Singapore.
Would I be able to leave my current job with the Singaporean company and work for the UK company under some kind of visa/pass? Would we need to register a Singaporean company to sponsor an EP? Is there any kind of pass I can get as a dependent of my girlfriend?

Thanks for any help or ideas

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Re: working for new UK company in Singapore

Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:49 pm

richter22 wrote:I'm currently working in Singapore on an EP, and living with my Singaporean girlfriend of four years.
A newly formed British start up would like to employ me to work remotely in Singapore, but they are not registered in Singapore.
Would I be able to leave my current job with the Singaporean company and work for the UK company under some kind of visa/pass? Would we need to register a Singaporean company to sponsor an EP? Is there any kind of pass I can get as a dependent of my girlfriend?

Thanks for any help or ideas


  1. You cannot get any kind of pass in conjunction with a girl friend. You need to be married to acquire a LTVP.
  2. If the startup has no legal presence in Singapore, and does not provide any goods or services in Singapore, then you can work for that company without the need to acquire any kind of work permit. You pay local income tax on your personal earnings. But note that a work permit is also what gives you rights of residence, so unless you have a LTVP from a), above, you can't do this because you have no legal right to reside in Singapore.
  3. If you want to work for the UK startup with an EP in Singapore, then the startup must form a company in Singapore, and apply for an EP for you. I have written many times on this topic... do a search. This is the only way you can keep an employment pass... get one from your new company, give up the one you currently have with your employer, unless you get the LTVP as in a), above.

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Re: working for new UK company in Singapore

Postby richter22 » Mon, 13 Nov 2017 11:32 pm

Thank you!
I read somewhere that the UK company could also apply for an EP through a sponsor Singaporean company. Is there any advice for what is required of the sponsor?

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Re: working for new UK company in Singapore

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 14 Nov 2017 1:04 am

richter22 wrote:Thank you!
I read somewhere that the UK company could also apply for an EP through a sponsor Singaporean company. Is there any advice for what is required of the sponsor?


I have no idea of what a "sponsor" company is. Any company wishing to obtain an EP for an employee must justify that foreign hire. They must advertise for locals to fill the job first, only then can they approach foreigners.

Thus, any company applying for an EP for you would expect something... a cut of the profits or a goodly hunk of your salary for keeping you on board. I suppose you could hunt around and find a company in the same line of business... but then I'd expect a 50 percent override on anybody I hired in this manner.

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Re: working for new UK company in Singapore

Postby richter22 » Tue, 14 Nov 2017 8:39 am

I'm referring to the following section on the mom page about EPs:

If you are an overseas employer that does not have a registered office in Singapore:

You need to get a Singapore-registered company to act as a local sponsor and apply on your behalf.
The local sponsor must apply manually.
The candidate will still need to meet the Employment Pass criteria.


Have you heard of this before?

Thanks again for all the help

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Re: working for new UK company in Singapore

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 14 Nov 2017 10:02 am

richter22 wrote:I'm referring to the following section on the mom page about EPs:

If you are an overseas employer that does not have a registered office in Singapore:

You need to get a Singapore-registered company to act as a local sponsor and apply on your behalf.
The local sponsor must apply manually.
The candidate will still need to meet the Employment Pass criteria.


Have you heard of this before?

Thanks again for all the help


Yes - a headhunter, employment agency, or other outfit does this for money as I have stated. Nobody is going to do this for free. The local sponsor is still responsible for the EP... making sure you pay your taxes, paying your wages, filing change of address, etc. It is possible that your wages can be paid directly to your account by your overseas employer but that does not change the responsibility for EP oversight.

And, the local sponsor is going to have to prove up that your "overseas employer" can't find the talent to do the job locally. Maybe not such a hard thing to do if you're part of the founding partners and are going to execute the business plan... but again, nobody is going to get an EP for you and manage your salary for nothing... I can't see anything less than a 50 percent override on your salary, given the administrative work and the legal responsibilities entailed in keeping you on an EP.

I will add that I (my company) was approached by a person who wanted to freelance project management services in Singapore, and since we provided project management services, wanted to know if we could set him up. I would have to file for his EP... and on what basis? Additional skill sets?

And then there was the matter of payment of salaries and invoicing. Who paid the salary? Who invoiced the local client... did you know that there are withholding taxes immediately payable for certain types of overseas services rendered? How was I going to get paid? I had to file the IR8A's. I had responsibility for the EP's behavior. How did I protect myself if the freelancer did a runner?

In the end, I rejected the whole deal. The freelancer thought a 10 percent override was too much, I wanted 50, might have considered 25 with the right deal... and... sniff around... you'll find it's damn expensive to get someone to be a "sponsor".

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Re: working for new UK company in Singapore

Postby richter22 » Wed, 15 Nov 2017 12:06 pm

Might a PEP be an option?
My current salary is 18k SGD a month, and the new one would be over 12k. Could the salary requirement for a PEP be fulfilled by a foreign company?

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Has anyone acted as a sponsor for EP applicant before?

Postby monie_bunnie » Thu, 23 Nov 2017 1:00 pm

Hi there,

Has anyone acted as a sponsor for EP applicant before?
My employer being a distributor had agreed to sponsor principal's employee to apply for EP during the term of this employee secondment in Singapore. All salaries, living expenses, taxes are borne and paid by principal/EP holder. No monetary terms had been discussed in the sponsorship.

Does anyone has a sample contract or agreement between sponsor and principal/EP holder to indemnify sponsor liabilities?

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Re: working for new UK company in Singapore

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 23 Nov 2017 3:45 pm

They wont be a sponsor if they have a letter of indemnity would they. That the reason for a sponsor. =D> ](*,)


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