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ExpatSingapore Message Board 22 October 2018, 3:05:54 AM *
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Author Topic: singaporean or british nationality  (Read 32813 times)
expat yorkshire
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« on: 12 March 2002, 15:56:00 PM »
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Dear all ,

Me and my Singaporean wife are expecting a baby in september . If i opt for a Singapore passport for my child , does it mean that they can never get a british passport or can they give up the nationality in the future and take a britsh passport .( or both if dual nationality is accepted by then )

We are here in Singapore for at least the  the medium term ..


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alanh70
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« Reply #1 on: 12 March 2002, 20:00:00 PM »
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I think all that it comes down to is "National Service". As a Singaporean, your child will have no option but to do National Service - even if he is not resident in Singapore he will have to return to do so. Another issue would be how many countries can you visit without the need for a Visa?
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heard
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« Reply #2 on: 12 March 2002, 20:01:00 PM »
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I heard the Sg govt closes its eyes to dual nationality (similar to the US).
So, why not have baby here, get the Sg pass (legally it'll be the only one then), then go to British high comission (or Passport office near Victoria in London) and get second passport.
I know at least three Singaporeans with two passports. What's the bad thing of having them?
When law stays behind reality at first the authorities "close their eyes", then, hopefully, changes happen.
Recently the US officially adopted a policy that a person, born with the right of several, incl. US nationalities, can have them all, incl. US (and pay tax to US later, or not have pass renewed).
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alanh70
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« Reply #3 on: 12 March 2002, 20:05:00 PM »
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Sorry, forgot to mention - if it is a Girl then I guess no worries!!
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heard
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« Reply #4 on: 12 March 2002, 20:09:00 PM »
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And, yes, all three Sg guys mentioned got second pass to avoid military service. One actually came back years later, his pass got renewed. No call for service. Typical story all over the world.
If the govt doesn't close eyes to this, then they'd lose these "local talents" who manage prety well abroad anyway. In France some international work is considered military service - once you reach abroad, it's tough for the army to "collect" you. Why lose you, then? Better use you - the army service is only with French companies, who use it to underpay French tallents.
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Connie
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« Reply #5 on: 12 March 2002, 20:19:00 PM »
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Congratulations Marty. I was told to look surprised when you told me, so assume that I'm very surprised   Presumably being from Yorkshire, your plan is to avoid paying for the UK passport?
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« Reply #6 on: 14 March 2002, 18:53:00 PM »
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Whether your child holds a Br passport or a Sg passport or both, your child is a citizen if he/she is born in Sg. As far as I know,the Br Govt doesn't really have an issue if one wishes to have 2 passports.
When he reaches the age of 21, he will have to choose 1 as the present laws do not allow dual citizenship. If you have a boy, he has to do NS first before renouncement.
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not quite right...
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« Reply #7 on: 14 March 2002, 19:54:00 PM »
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My son was born in singapore last year and myself and my husband are both british. However, when he was born it clearly stated on his birth cert that " the child is not a citizen of singapore at the time of birth". we had to register his birth to get his cert and then straight away apply for his british passport and dependent pass and register him as  a british citizen at the high comm. At no time was he ever considered a singaporean citizen unless we wanted him to be and then we would've had to apply for his citizenship, which would've meant he'd have to have completed his national service later on.
Hope this is of some help..!!
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DD
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« Reply #8 on: 14 March 2002, 21:21:00 PM »
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One point on the British nationality, which I think your baby will get by descent from you (as opposed to by birth which he/she would acquire if born in the UK) -
this is a "watered down" form of nationality in that he/she will not be able to pass it on to his/her children if they are born outside the UK and the other parent is not a UK citizen by birth.
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fifa
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« Reply #9 on: 14 March 2002, 21:42:00 PM »
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Only a child born in Singapore to citizens is automatically a Singapore citizen. All others will have to arrange to take on the citizen of the parents through their home country.

Singaporeis not the US where citizenship is conferred at birth.

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Professor
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« Reply #10 on: 15 March 2002, 3:42:00 AM »
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Since your baby boy is born in Singapore (SG), you need to register his birth with the Registry of Births and Deaths at the Singapore Immigration and Registration (SIR) office (http://www.sir.gov.sg/).

By registering his birth with SIR, your child does not automatically become a Singapore citizen. Only children of Singapore citizens can be Singapore citizens at birth.

If one of the parents is a Singapore citizen (in this case, your wife) and the child is born in Singapore, you need to be very careful with your choice. I am quite puzzled that you are given a choice. By SG law, your child should be an SG citizen by birth. It does not apply if both parents are British citizens, as some here have pointed out. However, the law is very specific in that it addresses the male child, whether he is born in SG or overseas, as an SG citizen if he is born to a father who is an SG citizen by birth. So, perhaps, in your case, you are given the choice since you are not an SG citizen despite the fact that your wife is one. (The SG law is gender-biased here.)

In the context of National Service (NS), here are the rules of SG law (taken from http://www.mfa.gov.sg/consular/faq/citizenship.html  on the question "Who can renounce their Singapore citizenship?":

"Since 5 Mar 79, the Government has been empowered under Article 128(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore to withhold registering a declaration of renunciation by a person who is subject to the Enlistment Act unless he has:
- discharged his liability for full-time NS;
- rendered at least 3 years of Operationally Ready National Service; or
- complied with other conditions laid down by the government.
For male citizens who left Singapore before the age of 11 and have not enjoyed significant socio-economic benefits in Singapore, i.e. have not applied for an NRIC, extended their Singapore passport validity beyond the age of 11 or studied in Singapore school beyond 11 years old, we will not object to their renunciation of Singapore citizenship if they do not wish to fulfil their NS obligations. However, they should still register for full-time NS with CMPB at the age of 17½ and apply for deferment from enlistment till the age of 21 (under Singapore law, a citizen could only renounce at the age of 21) pending their decision on their Singapore citizenship status. Those who subsequently renounce their citizenship at the age of 21 will not be required to serve NS. Those who retain their Singapore citizenship will be enlisted for NSF.

Generally, those who left Singapore after the age of 11 will be deemed to have enjoyed the socio-economic benefits of Singapore. They will not be allowed to renounce their Singapore citizenship without fulfilling NS obligations."

In the context of dual citizenship, here is the excerpt from the same url:

"It is not our Government's policy to allow dual nationality. Any Singapore citizen who has formally acquired the citizenship of another country may be deprived of his Singapore citizenship under Article 134 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore."

In the context of renunciation of SG citizenship, especially when it is related to males reaching 21 years of age, here's the excerpt:

"A Singapore citizen over the age of 21 years and of sound mind and who is about to become the citizen of another country may apply to renounce his Singapore citizenship.
However, the Government may withhold the registration of a declaration of renunciation –
a) if the declaration is made during any war in which Singapore is engaged; or
b) if the declaration is made by a person subject to the Enlistment Act unless he has
discharged his liability for full-time service under section 12 of that Act;
rendered at least 3 years of reserve service under section 13 of that Act in lieu of such full-time service; or
complied with such conditions as may be determined by the Government."

Considering all the above excerpts from SG law (and regulations), there are catch-22 situations when your child reaches 11, 17½, and 21 years. If your child is registered as an SG citizen at birth, which is possible by nature of your spouse's SG citizenship and the child's birthplace, he will be required to register for NS at age 17½ and seek for deferment from NS till age 21 when he is given the choice to denounce his SG citizenship, i.e. if he has opted for or is already a British citizen then. Of course, the Age 11 criterion plays a role here if you decide to leave SG before he reaches his 11th birthday. But once he is registered as an SG passport holder as a child (i.e. an SG citizen), he is liable to fulfil the requirements of the Enlistment Act even though he may spend most of his life (Age 11 criterion) outside of SG. The unknown (and risk) is that the SG authorities may turn down his renunciation request at age 21 if he failed to comply with the Enlistment Act requirement of registering for NS at age 17½ and seeking deferment from 17½ to 21 years. That he may be required to return to SG to serve full-time NS at the age of 18 is another point of concern for you, i.e. if his deferment application is unsuccessful.

Simply put, the 17½ to 21 year period of his life is in SG legal limbo if he is registered as an SG citizen at birth, even though he may be holding a British passport before or after age 11.

Although SG law does not permit dual-citizenship (as indicated above in one excerpt), it contradicts itself or more appropriately makes itself contradictorily-convenient by word-craft and subtlety to hide the fact that a male can effectively become both a citizen of SG and a citizen of another country up to the age of 21.

Hope this helps.

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Professor
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« Reply #11 on: 15 March 2002, 3:45:00 AM »
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Caveat: I'm presuming that the baby is a boy and he is born in SG. If she is a girl, ignore my legal advice.
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« Reply #12 on: 15 March 2002, 7:48:00 AM »
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yes that's true. singapore doesn't really bother about dual citizenship before age 21.

many singapore children are born abroad and thus hold both the citizenship of that country plus a singapore citizenship certificate (by descent, as they call it) and it doesn't bother singapore immigration.

a word of advice when entering singapore - it's wiser to use the singapore passport because then there is no limit on the amount of time your child can stay in singapore. the foreign passport only allows a 30 days stay (unless you make a special trip to immigration to sort that out) .

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« Reply #13 on: 15 March 2002, 7:55:00 AM »
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Agree with fifa: S'pore does not grant citizenship by birth, say, as the US.
Now, my question: if I want to take up on S'porean citizenship, do I still have to do NS, though I'm 40? Tks a lot!
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expatmother
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« Reply #14 on: 15 March 2002, 11:58:00 AM »
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A couple of years ago my son was at school (Tanglin Trust) with his friend whose father was a kiwi (New Zealander) and his mother an Indian Singaporean. Just before their son's 11th birthday the family moved to Nelson, NZ which co-incided with the start of the new academic year.

They moved at this time so their two sons would get the benefit of having NZ and Singaporean passports. However, they said that the main reason for their timing was that if they had left after their son's birthday, they would have had to post a huge bond with the Sing. govt. which would have been for many thousands of dollars (rather like one pays with the maid security bond). I can't remember the amount that it was, but I think it may be up to S$40,000. If the son does not subsequently register or abstain from National Service, the bond would be forfeited. However, since they left before his 11th birthday, they didn't need to take out the bond.  

I don't know if the procedures have altered in the last couple of years, but Yorkshire guy, I would check into it if you're going to be here for a few years! Maybe someone who reads this thread might know about how much this bond costs.      

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