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Changing Nationality for EP holders

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galaxynexus
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Changing Nationality for EP holders

Postby galaxynexus » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 1:56 am

Hello,

I'm wondering if anyone have tried changing their nationality with ICA/MoM, e.g. currently I hold EP with passport from country X, but am going to change citizenship to country Y (traveling to country Y from Singapore to do the legalities -- when that happens I'll get a new passport from country Y).

How do I do this properly? Which passport do I use to re-enter Singapore afterwards? I notice that MoM have an amendment of personal particulars form, which allows for changing nationality, but I guess this needs to be done when I'm back in Singapore?

Thanks!

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Re: Changing Nationality for EP holders

Postby BBCWatcher » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 7:53 am

Are you changing citizenships or acquiring another citizenship?

If the latter, you don't need to do anything except continue using the passport you have always used to leave/enter Singapore. Optionally, you can switch your Employment Pass to your newly acquired citizenship if you wish.

If the former, there are a couple options. If you still have possession of your original country's passport, and if it has not been revoked or suspended, you can enter Singapore using it, then change your Employment Pass citizenship with the Ministry of Manpower. (Caution: Your new country of citizenship might not like your behaving as that other country's citizen, even for this purpose, even for a moment. So don't do this if your new country of citizenship does not legally tolerate multiple citizenships. As an aside, it's quite "odd" that you're a resident of Singapore and able to acquire Country Y's citizenship. Most countries require residence in their country to acquire citizenship. There are a very few exceptions, but one exception that I know about doesn't require a trip to that country to complete formalities.) If you don't still have your original country's passport (or if your previous passport has been suspended or revoked), then you'll have to stop by the ICA counter when you arrive, before the electronic gates and passport control desks, to explain that you have changed citizenships. Present your EP card and new passport -- and previous passport if you still have it. If your new passport requires a visa to visit Singapore then you might have some trouble at airline check-in if there's a particularly sharp eyed agent who sees your EP card's nationality doesn't match your new passport. Rare, but it happens. To avoid that potential problem, if it could be a problem, you'll need some sort of other evidence you're likely to be admitted to Singapore, such as a letter from the Ministry of Manpower.

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Re: Changing Nationality for EP holders

Postby galaxynexus » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 9:25 am

Thanks for the answer. Actually it is technically "changing" citizenship. Country Y don't care, but country X's passport technically becomes invalid (it's not suspended or impounded and I'll still have it with me -- I don't want to "use" it anymore if I can help it) once I make the pledge during the formalities trip (I applied for citizenship before I moved to Singapore with an EP, so the EP will be very new e.g. less than 1 month old). Both X and Y don't need visas to enter Singapore. So I guess I'll do the stop-by-ICA-counter thing then?

Another alternative is to do this changing thing before coming to Singapore, but I ideally don't want to wait to apply for EP until I have country Y passport... (that will be a month delay of me doing nothing) will it be a problem if I apply, get an IPA as X national, bring it to Singapore and then present Y passport when exchanging IPA -> EP?

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Re: Changing Nationality for EP holders

Postby BBCWatcher » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 10:09 am

galaxynexus wrote:Country Y don't care, but country X's passport technically becomes invalid (it's not suspended or impounded and I'll still have it with me -- I don't want to "use" it anymore if I can help it) once I make the pledge during the formalities trip (I applied for citizenship before I moved to Singapore with an EP, so the EP will be very new e.g. less than 1 month old).

Still a bit dodgy with most Country Ys and their naturalization requirements. You established residence in Singapore (and as a citizen of Country X no less), outside Country Y, before completing Country Y's formalities. (A few Country Ys even require you to stay for at least some period of time after completing formalities.) But that's between you and Country Y.

So I guess I'll do the stop-by-ICA-counter thing then?

That'd be reasonable. Travel on your Country Y passport. Present both passports and your EP card at the ICA counter (the "help desk" before the electronic gates and regular passport control desks). Tell the ICA counter officer you would like to enter Singapore on your Country Y passport and that, the next business day, you will notify the Ministry of Manpower to update your EP card and particulars. Then do exactly that. You'll need a new EP card with your new nationality printed on it.

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Re: Changing Nationality for EP holders

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 10:13 am

Actually, not so odd at all, BBCW. It could be someone like myself or hundreds of other foreigners who are permanent residents of some other country and have applied for citizenship in that country after having lived there the requisite amount of time. Applying for and receiving an EP in another 3rd country would still be granted on his actual citizenship, not where he's been a PR for donkey's years - in fact it's not even relevant to the EP. So, yeah, would be easy to have his citizenship application approved in Country B before coming to Country C for employment.

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Re: Changing Nationality for EP holders

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 10:18 am

It would just be a matter of informing MOM. But it would be easiest to come in and just explain to MOM the details. After all, he's not applying for PR but only an EP.

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Re: Changing Nationality for EP holders

Postby BBCWatcher » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 10:45 am

BBCWatcher wrote:But that's between you and Country Y.

OK, I should expand on this thought, a bit. The scenario I'm about to describe is unlikely, even improbable, but it's not altogether impossible.

The vast majority of Country Ys have some sort of residence requirement to naturalize. Residence might be defined as mere physical presence in the country (with acceptable limits on absences) or as something more complicated. Some countries (the U.S. for example) tolerate absences but are substantially more tolerant if you explicitly apply for advance parole. Some Country Ys do not tolerate establishing residence elsewhere before (and even occasionally right after) taking their oath of citizenship. Once granted, a Country Y's citizenship is typically hard to lose, with one typical, notable exception: if you didn't follow Country Y's rules in the acquisition of their citizenship and/or if you materially misrepresented yourself in that acquisition.

OK, so let's assume for sake of argument that what you did (move to Singapore) is indeed dodgy per Country Y's naturalization laws and regulations, but you go ahead and naturalize on Date B. Fast forward a year or two. You get in trouble in Singapore. "Galaxynexus, a citizen of Country Y and a foreign resident of Singapore since Date A, allegedly 'sexted' within 20 meters of a primary school, a Class 7B felony. He is seeking consular assistance from Country Y...."

Except, "ooops." Date A is before Date B. Country Y might ask, "Galaxynexus, would you like to explain that?" And suddenly you're not Country Y's citizen any more, with retroactive effect (e.g. previously born children).

....Not a likely scenario, to be sure, but hypothetically it's possible with some Country Ys, when a citizenship status gets put to the test. So I would make sure you understand exactly what Country Y's naturalization requirements are, particularly its residence requirements. If you've stepped over the line, if you can correct that problem with an EP cancellation and reapplication, that might be a good idea. Or, if you can't fix the problem, then it'd be nice to keep Country X's citizenship "in your back pocket" if at all possible.
Last edited by BBCWatcher on Thu, 14 Jul 2016 10:54 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Changing Nationality for EP holders

Postby BBCWatcher » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 10:47 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:So, yeah, would be easy to have his citizenship application approved in Country B before coming to Country C for employment.

That's not what happened in this case, or not necessarily what happened. I believe I've explained the potential problem adequately in the follow-up post. If it's not a problem, great! Out of an abundance of caution I mention it.

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Re: Changing Nationality for EP holders

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 10:59 am

All that needs to be done, I believe, is filling out the M19 - Notification On Change Of Owner Particulars form and presenting it at immigration along with his old passport and new passport and a copy of his renunciation application/certificate for his previous Citizenship.

Sadly, the above is from LTA and not ICA. I've been dealing with something like this for the past week for a Kiwi friend who is working in VN but 'was' a PR here when he bought his car (which we are scrapping in two weeks). The form M19 is an LTA one, so I'm pretty sure there is a similar form for ICA but I've not been able to spend too much time looking this morning due to work requirements. :-/

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Re: Changing Nationality for EP holders

Postby BBCWatcher » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 11:31 am

No, for an Employment Pass holder it goes through the Ministry of Manpower. MoM then pushes the new passport details electronically to ICA (to turn the electronic gates on for the new passport). This form gets the job done, and it can be submitted through iSubmit. A change in nationality requires getting a new EP card, from MoM again.

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Re: Changing Nationality for EP holders

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 11:36 am

And it's a lot cleaner and simpler than the M19 as well. My typing error regarding ICA/MOM. (in my friend's case he was a PR and not an EP holder)

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Re: Changing Nationality for EP holders

Postby galaxynexus » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 12:08 pm

BBCWatcher wrote:The vast majority of Country Ys have some sort of residence requirement to naturalize. Residence might be defined as mere physical presence in the country (with acceptable limits on absences) or as something more complicated. Some countries (the U.S. for example) tolerate absences but are substantially more tolerant if you explicitly apply for advance parole. Some Country Ys do not tolerate establishing residence elsewhere before (and even occasionally right after) taking their oath of citizenship.


Nothing dodgy as far as I'm aware of. Country Y's requirement is at the time of application, which has been done and approved months ago. It's just that between then and the supposed ceremony my employer sort of do "hey galaxynexus, would you mind moving to Singapore? ASAP?"... :???: Now the question is figuring out what ASAP means, whether I can go before changing or must wait until after changing.

Technically even if some dodgy-ness is going on after the day of conversion, it is in contravention to international convention and country Y's law to remove citizenship for non dual-nationals (which will be the case as Country X don't want me anymore when I take the pledge).

Again, thanks. I'll weight the complications of waiting vs changing. But I guess changing between getting IPA and landing in Singapore is out of the question...?

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Re: Changing Nationality for EP holders

Postby BBCWatcher » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 12:47 pm

galaxynexus wrote:But I guess changing between getting IPA and landing in Singapore is out of the question...?

No, not out of the question (if that's your situation). You'd use that MoM form linked above, and your (prospective) employer would submit it, along with a copy of your new passport's data page, through iSubmit. Updated passport particulars, including a change of citizenship, can be submitted at any time.


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