Besides, as shareholder and more importantly co-founder, I need to attend board meetings, meetings with investors, government agencies, etc. And I happen to be the PI for the government funding that the company receives. So there's that.
Anyhow, this forum appears to be filled with not-so-knowledgeable keyboard warriors that LOVE to argue instead of simply answering the question. I asked about the appeal process.
It really is uncharitable of you to so quickly judge the people who have responded to you, and I'd ask why you feel it necessary to be so "prickly" just because you're not getting the answers you think you should be getting.
You have already been supplied with the appeals "process", such as it is, by ecureilx. I'd add that you need to set an appointment, bring your documentation, and attempt to explain that what you were doing was not in violation of any Singapore immigration laws.
I estimate your chances of a successful appeal at somewhere between zero and nothing. Your rejection has nothing to do with you being Iranian.
Your comments about your "very prestigious" scholarship serve only to obfuscate the fact that you have been running a business in Singapore without authorization, a business that should have been set up and run in a completely different manner. Consider these facts that you have posted about yourself.
- You have not mentioned who the managing director of the company is. Are you renting a nominee director who is filling out all the paperwork?
- You are a co-founder, the brains, the inventor, the face of the company, the one with the ideas and not simply a passive shareholder.
- You are attending meetings with "investors, government agencies, etc". Shareholders are passive, they don't attend meetings, they wait for their investments to grow and their dividend check to arrive. Therefore, you are working in an active capacity as either an employee or a director without an employment pass.
- It would seem quite clear that rather than coming in to "attend meetings", you are actively flying in on a regular basis to manage the affairs of your company. This is not the purposes of a business visit pass.
And here's why you won't get your appeal approved.
- With your statements that the Singapore government is supporting you through investment, that you apparently have a working relationship with NUS with respect to the invention/product, you should have filed for an Entrepass. Seems like you would have qualified under multiple categories. You would have had an employment pass, the ability to travel at will, and the ability to carry on all your business activities. Why didn't you form the company in this manner? Even if not an Entrepass, why didn't you form a Pte Ltd? Your chances of approval would have been very good.
- And if you don't/didn't have NUS involved with your company, and what you are saying is that you are both attending NUS on a scholarship and running your business, then you have violated the terms of your student pass.
- Finally, the Singapore ICA is going to view your past history as evidence of violation of the rules. See, they won't see it as you simply taking advantage of what was legal, they will see it as a case where you got away with it for as long as you did because they didn't catch up with you soon enough.
I have to agree with the others. You're not attending business meetings. It's a fuzzy line, admittedly, but a business meeting is something like flying in for a quarterly financial review, or to finalize the details of a big contract that has been put together and _previsously_ negotiated. Or perhaps you are flying in to replace a key employee.
But you yourself state that you've been in 50 times in 3 years... that's about 17 times per year, 1.5 visits per month, of a duration which you haven't mentioned. You're meeting with investors, you are attending board meetings, and you're meeting with government agencies. You're running a business and I would be very interested in how you are going to convince ICA that you are not running a business.
Since I had to make an edit for spelling: If you are ONLY a shareholder in the company, your actual participation is limited to voting on resolutions within an AGM/EGM. That's it.