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Don't want to renounce Singapore citizenship

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crystalalcove
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Don't want to renounce Singapore citizenship

Post by crystalalcove » Tue, 18 Sep 2018 3:49 am

I was born a Singaporean, but have been living and working in the US for many years. I married an American, and we have three children. Two years ago, I made what in hindsight turns out to be a bad decision--I applied for US citizenship. The backstory is complicated, but basically, I was in the process of applying for a job in Singapore, and in order not to 'close the door' in the future for returning to work in the US, I thought that I should apply for US citizenship, since the US could revoke my PR status if I stayed away for too long.

A few days ago, I got a letter from ICA stating that I have 3 months from the date of the letter to let them know my decision to either renounce or retain my Singapore citizenship, since the ICA knows that I have acquired US citizenship. But for all sorts of reasons, I do not wish to renounce Singapore citizenship. Yet I cannot renounce US citizenship right now. My spouse and I have 3 young children, the youngest of which is only 4 months old. I am the primary breadwinner in the household, and if I were to travel outside of the US to renounce US citizenship (you can only renounce US citizenship in a US embassy overseas), I would have to immediately quit my job, which I cannot afford to do right now. What options do I have? Since I am currently in the US, I cannot go to the ICA in person to make an appeal. I have emailed the ICA asking for a deadline extension via the generic ICA email address, but I have no idea if or how the ICA will respond. I wish I hadn't applied for US citizenship, but simply hung on to my US permanent residency, but I had no way of foreseeing two years ago that the job application process would break down the way it ultimately did.

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PNGMK
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Re: Don't want to renounce Singapore citizenship

Post by PNGMK » Tue, 18 Sep 2018 2:40 pm

You could choose to delay (i.e. ignore ICA). At some point ICA needs either the minister or a court to sign off on revoking your citizenship, that will take a few months to a few years at a rough guess. I'm really curious to know how ICA discovered you were applying for US citizenship; did you stupidly tell them? Most dual SC nationals I know have kept both on the sly - basically the assumption is that the ICA will not get a response if they ask the British / US / UK embassy if Mrs Lee Kuan Yew is a citizen of their country.... somehow ICA must have proof of you becoming an US Citizen?. A friend in a slightly similar situation (his ex wife dobbed him in to ICA) has simply refused to engage in discourse with ICA over this - stating "prove I am British Citizen" - and ICA actually can't do that as it doesn't have the jurisdiction to do it.

Also being a US Citizen doesn't greatly reduce your chances of working back in Singapore - I assume you're not applying to be a sweeper or cleaner but at a level where you'd need an EP. You being a woman have no CMPB issued hanging over your head from NS so I struggle to see the issue here.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

crystalalcove
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Re: Don't want to renounce Singapore citizenship

Post by crystalalcove » Wed, 19 Sep 2018 12:18 am

I was careless. On my first trip back to Singapore after getting US citizenship, I accidentally packed my Singapore passport in my checked luggage because my husband and I had our hands full with our preschooler and infant. So I had to enter Singapore on my US passport. I guess that's how ICA found me out.

Familial ties and my sense of identity motivate my not wanting to renounce Singapore citizenship. I was happy and proud to grow up in Singapore, and even though I haven't worked in Singapore for many years, my self-identify is Singaporean. My family and I have summered in Singapore for 15 out of the 17 years that I have been away, and I try hard to foster a love and identification with Singapore in my two older girls who are dual citizens for now.

I do indeed have a stable and well-paying job. But the nature of my job (a tenured position in fine arts at a university) makes a lateral career move to Singapore difficult because of the extremely limited availability of commensurate positions in Singapore. (As I shared in my original post, I did try to make a move to Singapore 3 years ago, but that didn't pan out.) What I would really like to do--and this comes back to why I want to keep my Singapore citizenship-- is not to work in Singapore (I can always find work if I give up my academic career), but retire there. If my girls choose later on to study or work in Singapore, I'd like to be able to support them in ways that a non-Singaporean parent would not be able to do so.

If I drag my feet with ICA, do you know which Minister would need to sign off on the order to revoke my citizenship? I have read the relevant section in the Singapore Constitution, and know that the government has grounds to deprive me and my children of Singapore citizenship. But the Constitution only says "the government can..." It doesn't specify a branch or department. My plan is to take a two-pronged approach. On one hand, I will ask ICA to give me a deadline extension. On the other hand, I would like to write an appeal to a relevan minister to plead my case, but I don't know where to start for the latter approach.

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PNGMK
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Re: Don't want to renounce Singapore citizenship

Post by PNGMK » Wed, 19 Sep 2018 2:01 pm

Probably the minister of home affairs. Retiring here is no piece of cake. Most likely your kids an grandkids will be in the USA... I see how it pulls at your heart but you might have to let this one go. I can't see the MHA making an exception for you as it causes all sorts of issues and they've been pretty clear that they won't allow Dual Citizenship.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

crystalalcove
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Re: Don't want to renounce Singapore citizenship

Post by crystalalcove » Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:47 pm

Is there a way to find out statistics about how many people have been deprived of citizenship since 2013? I know from an online news article that in 2013, the then-Minister for Home Affairs, Teo Chee Hean, said in Parliament that only 16 people have been deprived of citizenship since 1987, but given the recent rising trend of strict enforcement of NS liability rules, I don't know if that number has risen dramatically. This should be public information, but I haven't been able to find it.

Also, between the options of ignoring ICA and writing an appeal to ICA and/or MHA, do you think writing an appeal would increase the risk of MHA taking action to deprive me of citizenship?

Ultimately, I recognize that clinging on to Singapore citizenship is a matter of heart. So if matters come to a head, I will let it go. But I just don't want to go down without knowing that I tried my best to plead my case.

crystalalcove
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Re: Don't want to renounce Singapore citizenship

Post by crystalalcove » Thu, 20 Sep 2018 10:26 pm

PNGMK, can I ask what happenend to your friend whose ex-wife revealed his dual nationality to the ICA? Your earlier reply said that the friend asked ICA to prove his dual nationality. But I assume that once your friend was under investigation by ICA, he no longer travelled to and from Singapore using his Singapore passport (correct me if I'm wrong!). So at some point after the commencement of that ICA investigation, he'd have to use a foreign passport to enter Singapore. So what was the ultimate outcome of your friend's investigation?

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PNGMK
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Re: Don't want to renounce Singapore citizenship

Post by PNGMK » Fri, 21 Sep 2018 8:20 am

He avoids Singapore as he has a warrant for arrest here under some trumped up claims. Theoretically he could enter and leave on his Sing PP. I will ask him if he has renewed it. He resides in a nearby country.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

Archams
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Re: Don't want to renounce Singapore citizenship

Post by Archams » Fri, 21 Sep 2018 1:30 pm

Don't take the risk of ignoring ICA. Dual Citizenship is not allowed as per Singapore Constitution and ignoring them will lead to banning entry in Sg for lifetime. Seing your love for Singapore, I don't think you would want that to happen. Unfortunately you will have to choose between the 2.

Cohen123
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Re: Don't want to renounce Singapore citizenship

Post by Cohen123 » Thu, 27 Dec 2018 5:36 am

Hi.

Read your posting.

What happened in the end ?

Did the renunciation take place or were you able to find an alternative resolution ?

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jimmy.sanchez
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Re: Don't want to renounce Singapore citizenship

Post by jimmy.sanchez » Mon, 01 Jul 2019 2:23 am

1. Renouncing US citizenship has severe tax consequences.

2. If you renounce US citizenship, you will have a (very) hard time getting green card again. The IRS is no less strict with regards to tax evasion than Mindef is to NS evasion. Renouncing US citizenship is automatically assumed to be tax evasion by the US government.

3. You applied and received US citizenship, meanwhile still having the intention to work in Singapore under a Singapore passport ("careless"). This is illegal under Singapore law. By the way, it is illegal under US law for a US citizen to enter USA under a foreign passport.

5. Both US and Singapore have enacted strict laws regarding people who like to "keep two doors open".

6. Another thing, even if you weren't "careless" and managed to hide your us citizenship from ICA initially, as a US citizen, you have to declare that every time you open a bank account in Singapore. You also have to declare your US citizen status for your CPF and other government accounts. Failing to do so will result in confiscatory penalties from the IRS. And declaring will result in Singapore government knowing your US citizenship.

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