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Singapore citizen and British citizen ?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 1:40 pm

Yeah, and this is a conundrum that has stimied local ICA officials for years as Singapore has no "additional" ground because the child was born here to a Singaporean mother as the child acquired US citizenship automatically at the same time if the other conditions are met in the as in the 2nd example. I'll leave it there as............ :wink:

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Postby PNGMK » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 6:56 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Yeah, and this is a conundrum that has stimied local ICA officials for years as Singapore has no "additional" ground because the child was born here to a Singaporean mother as the child acquired US citizenship automatically at the same time if the other conditions are met in the as in the 2nd example. I'll leave it there as............ :wink:


I know of one parent (K Steele) who many years ago somehow signed away his Singaporean born/mothered kids right to SC while retaining their UK citizenship at Birth. Not quite sure how it happened or whether it's still practised. He had to indicate on something (a BC application?) what citizenship they would be taking I think and that was enough to close the door on ALL prospects of the sons ever working in Singapore.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 8:54 pm

singapore eagle wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:A couple of comments. Regardless of what it says about foreign passports, the application for a Singapore passport requires you to swear that

I / The child have/has have not/has not acquired the citizenship of another country.


Until the age of 21, this doesn't matter but after 21, you will have suppressed a material fact if a Singapore passport is applied for and you check this box in the negative.


Thanks Strong Eagle for a very helpful post.

I'm not sure about this, though. I would take 'acquire' to mean that you have done something to get a foreign citizenship (e.g. as set out in Article 134 of the Singapore Constitution) that you did not previously have. I'm not sure you have 'acquired' British citizenship if you were simply born British.

I'm also not sure what difference it makes if you are 21 or not?

(Of course, none of us are constitutional lawyers and we all know that the government here can do whatever it wants.)


In all my reviews of citizenship, I conclude you acquire citizenship at birth, if qualified to do so. For example, while you call British citizenship "automatic", acquiring it is actually a gated process where certain qualifications must be met.

As for age 21, Singapore law permits dual citizenship until age 21, at which time the person with the dual citizenship must renounce one or the other.

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Postby singapore eagle » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:20 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:In all my reviews of citizenship, I conclude you acquire citizenship at birth, if qualified to do so. For example, while you call British citizenship "automatic", acquiring it is actually a gated process where certain qualifications must be met.


Interesting. I should imagine that thousands of parents whose kids have dual citizenship by birth have answered this question incorrectly in their passport applications. I know my wife did!

(If this was a country in which the law could be tested in court, I think there is a reasonable argument that "acquire" means acquire by registration, naturalisation or other voluntary and formal act - i.e. the language used in Article 134 of the constitution. But it's not, so the point is moot.)

Strong Eagle wrote:As for age 21, Singapore law permits dual citizenship until age 21, at which time the person with the dual citizenship must renounce one or the other.


This is going to sound pedantic - because it is! - but I don't believe that this statement is correct. It is perfectly conceivable that a person could retain dual citizenship after the age of 21 provided that they do not do the things listed in Article 135 of the constitution.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:56 pm

Another one who wants to test the system and get bitten in the arse in the process. Their ballfield, their ball, their rules. Guess who is going to lose..... :roll:

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Postby singapore eagle » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:59 pm

Not at all. My kids are 5 and 3 years old!

I just want to be clear about the facts here. And I don't think it is factually correct to say that dual citizenship is not permitted or that a person has to renounce one of the citizenships he/she acquired at birth at the age of 21.

You're very welcome to correct me if I am wrong!!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:02 pm

I don't have to. Old saying, you don't have to stick your hand in the fire to get burned. Others have already done that. I'll take their word for it. A search on this forum might turn up one such a number of years ago who wanted to test the system as well. He disappeared without letting us know whether he was successful or not. As he didn't come back to gloat, I can only assume he was unsuccessful. Good Luck.

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Postby singapore eagle » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:07 pm

I'm genuinely not trying to play the system!! Seriously.

But it's an important matter and I don't think it's unreasonable to want to clarify what the law is in this country.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:20 pm

singapore eagle wrote:This is going to sound pedantic - because it is! - but I don't believe that this statement is correct. It is perfectly conceivable that a person could retain dual citizenship after the age of 21 provided that they do not do the things listed in Article 135 of the constitution.


You're tilting at windmills, mate.

Reference link for those who are interested. http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/d ... %2522#P1X-.

Article 135 states:

Deprivation of «citizenship on exercise of rights of foreign nationals, etc.
135.—(1) The Government may, by order, deprive a citizen of Singapore of his «citizenship if the Government is satisfied that —

(a)
he has, while of or over the age of 18 years, at any time after 6th April 1960 voluntarily claimed and exercised any rights (other than any rights in connection with the use of a passport) available to him under the law of any country outside Singapore being rights accorded exclusively to the citizens or nationals of that country;

(b)
he has, while of or over the age of 18 years, at any time after 6th April 1960 applied to the authorities of a place outside Singapore for the issue or renewal of a passport or used a passport issued by such authorities as a travel document; or
(c)
he is of or over the age of 18 years and has, whether before or after attaining the age of 18 years, been ordinarily resident outside Singapore for a continuous period of 10 years (including any period of residence outside Singapore before 2nd January 1986) and has not at any time —
(i)
during that period or thereafter entered Singapore by virtue of a certificate of status or travel document issued by the competent authorities of Singapore; or
(ii)
during that period been in the service of the Government or of an international organisation of which Singapore is a member or of such other body or organisation as the President may, by notification in the Gazette, designate.
(2) For the purposes of clause (1) (a), the exercise of a vote in any political election in a place outside Singapore shall be deemed to be the voluntary claim and exercise of a right available under the law of that place.
(3) Where the Government has made an order under this Article depriving a citizen of Singapore of his «citizenship, he shall cease to be a citizen with effect from the date of the order.


Bottom line: It's 18 years, not 21... and so long as your children don't acquire a British passport, vote, and the most open catchall phrase of all, hasn't "voluntarily claimed and exercised any rights available to him under the law of any country outside Singapore being rights accorded exclusively to the citizens or nationals of that country".

That last phrase opens up a can of worms. For example, you get Certificates of Entitlement for your children's passports which guarantees them the right of abode. You have claimed a right exclusive to citizens of that country... OK until your children turn 18... then what?

What Article 135 is saying is that if you NEVER exercise any rights under your alternate citizenship, ie, you don't visit except under terms normally granted to Singaporeans, you don't vote, you don't avail yourself of any program, you don't seek anything from the British High Commission available only to citizens, your Singapore citizenship is safe.

Thus, your children will be British Citizens in name only, unable to exercise any rights. So... I suppose you are technically correct... your children can have dual citizenship with the British citizenship being rather worthless.

This clause is Singapore's way of dealing with circumstances like yours... children who acquire additional citizenship at birth.

And finally, after more than 10 years of moderating this board, I have amassed enough anecdotal evidence to know that Singapore is serious about not allowing dual citizenship.

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:37 am

Strong Eagle wrote:
What Article 135 is saying is that if you NEVER exercise any rights under your alternate citizenship, ie, you don't visit except under terms normally granted to Singaporeans, you don't vote, you don't avail yourself of any program, you don't seek anything from the British High Commission available only to citizens, your Singapore citizenship is safe.

Thus, your children will be British Citizens in name only, unable to exercise any rights. So... I suppose you are technically correct... your children can have dual citizenship with the British citizenship being rather worthless.

This clause is Singapore's way of dealing with circumstances like yours... children who acquire additional citizenship at birth.


At least it can work for the children to have an "Oh sh!t - Plan B" to gtfo and go somewhere else? The kind of button they can push if something truly bad happened in SG which would make it worthwhile to dump the SG Citizenship and take up the British one.

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Postby Mad Scientist » Wed, 23 Jul 2014 6:40 am

[quote]
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Postby singapore eagle » Wed, 23 Jul 2014 8:11 am

zzm9980 wrote:At least it can work for the children to have an "Oh sh!t - Plan B" to gtfo and go somewhere else? The kind of button they can push if something truly bad happened in SG


Exactly. What got me thinking about all this is MH17, which made it apparent that nationality seems to be very important (overly important?) in a time of crisis.

Strong Eagle wrote:Bottom line: It's 18 years, not 21... and so long as your children don't acquire a British passport, vote, and the most open catchall phrase of all, hasn't "voluntarily claimed and exercised any rights available to him under the law of any country outside Singapore being rights accorded exclusively to the citizens or nationals of that country".

That last phrase opens up a can of worms. For example, you get Certificates of Entitlement for your children's passports which guarantees them the right of abode. You have claimed a right exclusive to citizens of that country... OK until your children turn 18... then what?

What Article 135 is saying is that if you NEVER exercise any rights under your alternate citizenship, ie, you don't visit except under terms normally granted to Singaporeans, you don't vote, you don't avail yourself of any program, you don't seek anything from the British High Commission available only to citizens, your Singapore citizenship is safe.


I agree, this is a can of worms. For example, the Certificate of Entitlement thing is not a right that is exclusively available to a UK citizen. In fact, given Britain's place in the EU and the Commonwealth, I should imagine that there are very few rights that are exclusively available to UK citizens.

That said, I fully understand the view that you don't go getting all clever with the government here and expect to win!

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Postby singapore eagle » Wed, 23 Jul 2014 8:24 am

Mad Scientist wrote:There are three terms you must come to grip.
Constitutional Law
Guidelines
Penal Code

I leave it to that for you to ponder


I can see that I am testing the patience of some of the older hands here - which wasn't my intention, so apologies - but let me set things out as I understand them in case I have got something wrong.

1) A child born to a Singapore citizen and a British citizen (by birth) automatically has Singapore and British citizenship from birth.

2) Singapore's current policy stance is disapproving of dual citizenship. However, there is no law which requires a dual citizen (by birth) to renounce one of his/her citizenships at age 21 or any other point in their life. The relevant law is Article 135 of the Singapore Constitution which states:

Deprivation of citizenship on exercise of rights of foreign nationals, etc.
135
(1) The Government may, by order, deprive a citizen of Singapore of his citizenship if the Government is satisfied that:
(a) he has, while of or over the age of 18 years, at any time after 6th April 1960 voluntarily claimed and exercised any rights (other than any rights in connection with the use of a passport) available to him under the law of any country outside Singapore being rights accorded exclusively to the citizens or nationals of that country;
(b) he has, while of or over the age of 18 years, at any time after 6th April 1960 applied to the authorities of a place outside Singapore for the issue or renewal of a passport or used a passport issued by such authorities as a travel document; or
(c) he is of or over the age of 18 years and has, whether before or after attaining the age of 18 years, been ordinarily resident outside Singapore for a continuous period of 10 years (including any period of residence outside Singapore before 2nd January 1986) and has not at any time -
(i) during that period or thereafter entered Singapore by virtue of a certificate of status or travel document issued by the competent authorities of Singapore; or
(ii) during that period been in the service of the Government or of an international organisation of which Singapore is a member or of such other body or organisation as the President may, by notification in the Gazette, designate.

(2) For the purposes of clause (1) (a), the exercise of a vote in any political election in a place outside Singapore shall be deemed to be the voluntary claim and exercise of a right available under the law of that place.

(3) Where the Government has made an order under this Article depriving a citizen of Singapore of his citizenship, he shall cease to be a citizen with effect from the date of the order.


3) There is a view that you have to be wary of the declaration on a Singapore passport application form which states: "I/The child* have/have not/has/has not* acquired the citizenship of another country". Knowingly making a false statement is an offence under section 39 of the Passports Act, which can result in a fine or imprisonment.


Like I say, there's no sinister intention here. I just want to get the facts straight in my head.

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Postby Saint » Wed, 23 Jul 2014 9:17 am

My twin boys are both Singaporean and British by birth, fact and there's no denying them that. They now have their Singapore Passports (Applied Monday afternoon, approved by Wednesday morning, ready to collect Friday!!). On collecting the boy's passports the ICA officer specifically reminded the issue of dual nationality and the decision that needs to be made by the time they reach 21 years old.

I will be applying for the boy's British Passports (I'm still trying to find out the best way of doing this so if anyone on here has been through this experience recently please let me know?)

However, I'm convinced that by the time this becomes an issue, Singapore Gahmen would have realised that dual nationality should be allowed, whether initially only when obtained through birth like my boys and the OP's would be a good first step.

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 23 Jul 2014 9:49 am

singapore eagle wrote:For example, the Certificate of Entitlement thing is not a right that is exclusively available to a UK citizen. In fact, given Britain's place in the EU and the Commonwealth, I should imagine that there are very few rights that are exclusively available to UK citizens.


I wouldn't push your luck on that. My guess is it would be interpreted to mean anything that was accorded to them by claiming British citizenship, but wouldn't have been accorded to them by claiming Singaporean citizenship. For example, if her Majesty decided to give free ice cream cones to everyone in the world except Singaporeans and North Koreans, they'd run afoul by collecting their free ice cream.


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