Singapore Tech.Pass

Singapore started up a tech.pass program this year, with a pretty straight forward eligibility and renewal requirements. 2 years initially with 2 years renewal.

Singapore taxes are much lower than Taiwan (no capital gain taxes, tax breaks for startups that just incorporated, more friendly corporation taxes). For high earners it’s actually much cheaper to live and work in Singapore despite higher costs of living. Anyone thinking of applying?

The tax exemption for startups are:

YA 2020 onwards

  • 75% exemption on the first $100,000 of normal chargeable income*; and
  • A further 50% exemption on the next $100,000 of normal chargeable income*.

Personal income tax in Singapore caps out at around 22% vs 40% in Taiwan

If you’ve tried to apply for the Entrepreneur visa or dealt with the immigration offices you’ll know that it’s a bureaucratic mess. I hope Taiwan keeps revising their tax/business incentives to attract more businesses from Hong Kong and Singapore, currently it is not very competitive to either countries so I’m not surprised they’re not coming to Taiwan en masse despite the HK situation.


"To be eligible for the pass, applicants must satisfy any two of the following conditions:

1.Have a last drawn fixed monthly salary (in the last 1 year) of at least S$20,000

2.Have at least five cumulative years of experience in a leading role in a tech company with a valuation/market cap of at least US$500mil or at least US$30mil funding raised.

3.Have at least five cumulative years of experience in a leading role in the development of a tech product that has at least 100,000 monthly active users or at least US$100mil annual revenue "

20000 SGD is around 420000 NTD.

Seems like a good program, I don’t qualify but I’m not worried about that. Singapore is one of few places I enjoy but would never like to live.

I think 2 & 3 are much easier to attain, and you only need 2 of them. Though they could be subjective. Maybe something as simple as Tech Lead at Mcdonalds or Costco would qualify.

This is true but will trigger a lot of Forumosans :laughing:

Can you attain number 2 but not 1?

Yeah I was pretty excited when I first heard about this. But then I saw the fairly high qualifications. Oh well.

Singapore is also territorial taxation vs Taiwan which is residency-based which means Sing doesn’t tax any foreign income of its residents. This can make a big difference, although I’ll add that I don’t know if Taiwan is very strict on enforcing its AMT.


Sure, but depends on what they mean as a leading role. Many junior new grad PMs are given leading roles at startups with at least $30m funding which is not a lot.

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That’s true! I’m old school so I automatically think a leading role is a leading role and you get paid like a leader.

Wow. Are there so many people here with that kinda salary? Good for you !


A “leading role in a tech company with a valuation/market cap of at least US$500mil or at least US$30mil funding raised” does not mean a mid-level “tech lead”. Also, companies like McDonald’s and Costco generally don’t allow tech staffers to work remotely from anywhere in the world.

I’d live there for a few yrs if I could

I don’t make that much, I’m just asking if there’s anyone who would qualify for number 2 who isn’t paid more than 420k.

Right, and you were probably referring to the western world, not just Taiwan specifically.

Speaking very broadly, I think you’re right that most people who fit #2 would also qualify for #1. But that may be the point. That these are the standards, they are more or less equal in nature, and if you meet two of them then it’s probably not a fluke.

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Our destinations to move to Asia later this year came down to Taipei or Singapore. One of the significant factors that ultimately tipped in Taipei’s favor was that immigration should be much easier there. We shall see. Not that we’ll change our minds and switch to Sing, but this news was particularly intriguing as a result. Of course, like I said above, we don’t qualify anyway so the point is moot.