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P, Q, S, WP, LPR...XYZ? What kind of pass!?

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curiousgeorge
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P, Q, S, WP, LPR...XYZ? What kind of pass!?

Postby curiousgeorge » Thu, 03 Jan 2008 1:17 am

Hello,
I have recently been appointed by a UK company in the UK to work on a large IT project. The project requires six months in SG for the 'client'.

All the stuff I've read from MOM don't seem to cover this situation - my employers are in the UK.

There are 'contractor' passes for up to one month...but what kind of pass to work on a project in SG for six months if my employer is in the UK? Can the client sponsor an EP? Or LPR?

TIA,

George

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 03 Jan 2008 6:41 am

The situation you have described is one which is not well documented, and is a "no man's" land when it comes to trying to understand what should be done.

Technically, the client company that is employing you as a contractor cannot file for an EP because you do not work for them. If they did file they would need to represent you as working for them, something they may not wish to do. They would also need to pay you in Singapore, in which case you would be liable for Singapore income tax.

The other options available depend upon where you will be paid (UK or Singapore) and where your company will be paid by the client (UK or Singapore).

If all transactions are occurring in the UK (your salary paid into a UK bank, client invoiced and paid to a UK bank) then your company could set up a representative office. Technically, representative offices cannot earn income in Singapore but with all transactions outside of Singapore the company would be below the radar keeping you hear for six months.

The other option is for your company to create a wholly owned private limited company here in Singapore. It will be liable for corporate tax for income earned in Singapore (although there are breaks available).

Either of these options would get you the EP you need to work.

Short answer: Your company will be required to have some sort of legal entity in Singapore in order for you to work here.

If you are here less than 183 days your Sing income tax would be much higher (20 percent or so) than if you are here longer than 183 days.

I'd probably look at the following and set up a private limited.

a) Determine where it is more advantageous for you to be paid (UK or Singapore). Rate wise, Singapore wins hands down, possibly even with the non resident rate applied.

b) Your company sets up a private limited with you as sole director. You get your EP and can work.

c) If your company receives client billings in the UK, then the Sing private limited shows no income, only expense, and will not pay income tax.

d) If your company received client billings in Singapore then the Sing private limited has income offset by salaries, expenses, management fees, etc. It could be more advantageous to your company to pay corporate tax in Singapore if it is not double taxed in the UK.

I am not a lawyer and make no recommendation. I do think your company's lawyers and accountants should look that the tax ramifications and legal requirements and set up accordingly.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 03 Jan 2008 8:58 am

The easiest solution is the one employed by most in these situations. Your company in the UK contracts a local Recruitment/Staffing Agency. They (your company) pay the Agency your salary plus an administrative/profit margin fee and you work on an Employment Pass sponsored by the Employment Agency. Most of the contracts for terms of 1 year or less are normally run via this method. I did this for many years (contracting of staff - a lot of banks do this with their IT staff - I had about 20 Filipinos doing programming in banks back then).

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Postby curiousgeorge » Fri, 04 Jan 2008 8:11 am

thanks for the answers guys. I am sure the HR bods at work have it all figured...I just couldn't seem to find any info.

Just a quick additional question though:

If the employment pass were to come through an agency like that, would that be enough of a 'job' to complete the pre-approved PR process? You know, where they pre-approve you for PR based on your qualifications and experience, and you only need a job in-country to complete the application.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 04 Jan 2008 12:44 pm

I don't see any reason why not. If you have landed PR approval then it doesn't matter the company employing you as long. However, if you are holding landed PR then you would have no reason to go the EP route as it isn't necessary. All you need is the job offer & signed contract I believe.


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