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Setting up in Singapore. EP vs Entrepass. Worth sharing

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vealshank
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Setting up in Singapore. EP vs Entrepass. Worth sharing

Postby vealshank » Mon, 27 Sep 2010 9:51 am

Hi folks, just thought I would tell you about our recent experience bringing our company to Singapore in the hope that it may well help someone and save them the time wasting and the grief we went through.

Because we were based in a country in a very different timezone, we decided to use a visa agency in Singapore. They incorporated a company for us very fast and gave us great service. We were impressed.

They then said, because we would be payed high salaries and had good quals and loads of industry experience, that it would be best to apply for EP. We questioned them at length as all of our research pointed to Entrepass. They insisted it was our best chance.

One month later we were rejected. We appealed. Another month passes. Rejected again.

Immigration company tells us we need to apply for Entrepass and should have all along.

So, we do an MOM friendly version of our business plan in record time. Put the Entreepass application in. Then we fight with he immigration company to not have to pay their outrageous fees twice.

Finally they tell us we don't have to pay for EP.

7 weeks later, Entrepass is approved.

So, all in all we wasted about 4.5 months. Not to mention the stress and the angst we went through not knowing if we were going to be able to trade.

I know there is always debate about EP vs Entrepass. Hope the above helps someone else decide which road to take.

The approval is sweet though :)

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BillyB
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Postby BillyB » Mon, 27 Sep 2010 11:03 am

I'll support you in a non-direct way as I am not too clued up on the Entrepass scheme, but can relate to the whole agency EP application route for companies looking to establish presence in SG and set up an office. We also had endless problems using a local agency who are supposed to be experienced with the paperwork and processes etc, but instead made a complete mess of our EP applications.

My advice to any prospective businesses looking to relocate here would be to find a company / agency that come highly recommended or simply do it yourself. Not so much an issue if you are employed but for new companies unfamiliar with the process, these so called agencies are potentially jeopardising your move because they don't actually know what they are doing but will tell you that its your fault if the applications are unsuccessful.

One of my staff had 8 years relevant exp and a solid degree had their EP rejected, and was told by the agency who looked after our EP applications that his exp was not good enough and that he wouldn't ever get a job in Singapore so use the application on someone else. They said they had spoke to the MOM numerous times and also to the case officer who assessed the application. After trying to get to the bottom of this as we thought it was very bizarre, we visited the MOM who, incidentally, have always been really helpful in my experience, who simply informed us that the reason the EP was rejected was because the agency did not tick a vetting box to state the application was for a Rep Office. The visa agency we used had never made any contact to the MOM or case officer!!

Its frustrating and can potentially wreck opportunities through lies and incompetence.

Maybe there is a great business opportunity here for someone to explore??!!.........and ranting over for the week!!

vealshank
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Postby vealshank » Mon, 27 Sep 2010 12:35 pm

Sounds very much like our experience.
I have to say though, they are very efficient at writing invoices. Not a hiccup there!!!
Last edited by vealshank on Mon, 27 Sep 2010 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

4hour
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Postby 4hour » Mon, 27 Sep 2010 1:09 pm

OP: Mind sharing the agency name :D ?

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ksl
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Postby ksl » Mon, 27 Sep 2010 3:25 pm

4hour wrote:OP: Mind sharing the agency name :D ?
Cannot has defamation maybe a court case!

I agree with everything said on the thread, most agencies do not have a clue, and that is also why the DP holders also have problems. They are just ripping money out of people, Though I would see a case for negligence and attempted fraud, if the agency MOM have not been contacted. They the agency involved would get a hefty fine and no doubt have to pay compensation too, for undue stress.

No matter who you deal with in Singapore, I would question their ability, I've been here long enough to know, that Singapore needs cleaning up in many areas of business. The government rely of feedback has they do not have the resources to monitor these people full time. Though good luck with the business, you may wish to inform us, what kind of businesses we are talking about here, just for the sake of networking opportunities. :wink: Advertising is not allowed :cry: Though Dubai maybe interesting for me :)

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 27 Sep 2010 3:40 pm

Thanks for sharing your experiences... both with the agency and MOM.

Prior to November of 2009, it seemed to be fairly common to be able to circumvent the Entrepass scheme by forming a company and then applying for an EP.

Now, it seems to have become much tighter. I do know of one or two that have create a business in this manner but they were essentially moving an established business to Singapore, so hard to call the business 'new'.

vealshank
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Postby vealshank » Mon, 27 Sep 2010 4:33 pm

Strong Eagle, we moved a 10 year old business to Singapore and put significant capital into the account. Still a no go.

There is no need to name the agency. I did not post to tell you not to use an agency or to damage their business. (In fact the guy that I was dealing with in the end was actually very helpful - just took as way too long to find him!!!)

I posted to tell you to please do your own research and don't take everything they say as gospel. That is all.

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 27 Sep 2010 5:33 pm

I wrote to MOM a while back after they changed the Entrepass requirements to include a capital requirement (not an unrealistic change) and a hiring requirement (could be unrealistic for some businesses). I asked them if it was their intention to exclude successful individuals such as traders and professional consultants since neither would normally hire locals in the required ratios (hell, my project management business doesn't!).

The answer was that each application would be taken on a case by case basis, on its own merits. A slippery answer, and it does leave the door open to one man shows.

Glad you have your Entrepass... and thank you for sharing... it provides a much clearer understanding of where MOM is coming from these days.

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Postby morenangpinay » Tue, 28 Sep 2010 10:05 pm

i think that if you go via the EP route...there is a higher chance of getting rejected because there is a local director. just thinking

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ksl
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Postby ksl » Wed, 29 Sep 2010 1:24 am

From Friday Investors through the Global Investor Program for entrepreneurs PR route, will be hit. Instead of 10million revenue turnover. and the initial investment allowing 50% invested in property.

It will now be a minimum 2.5 million investment with no allowance for property. the turnover from 10m is now upto 30 million yearly turnover and the housing investment scrapped to cool the property market. Yesterdays paper. Though they say it will not hit those that really want to come, its really to sort the men from the boys in regards to growth performers. Not play boys.

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Postby morenangpinay » Wed, 29 Sep 2010 8:01 am

according to the gov. if they are really interested to invest in singapore, it wont matter if the investment requirement is over 1 million ...although in my opinion, this adjustment on this programme/scheme would turn away real investors who can help the country. Unlike some of those who are applying for PR under the normal route.

the only advantage of this GIP is they dont need to stay in Singapore before they can apply for a PR. but very few of them i think would want to take up PR since they dont stay in singapore most of the time.so it doesnt help to tighten the criteria for this programme.


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