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British to Singapore Citizenship

Relocating, travelling or planning to make Singapore home? Discuss the criterias, passes or visa that is required.
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Addadude
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Postby Addadude » Wed, 13 Aug 2014 1:46 pm

AoA, as others have said, I would think VERY carefully before surrendering your British citizenship. Without meaning to be condecending, at 27 you are still very young in both life and career, and a decision like this could have far reaching consequences in the future.

Over my 20 years here, I have frequently entertained the thought of taking up Singapore citizenship (and as a consequence surrendering my Irish citizenship) and I rejected it for 3 reasons.

The first is emotional - I have no intention of giving up my heritage and I dislike the 'either you're with us 100% or against us 100%' mentality that the SG government seems to have with its refusal to accept dual citizenship.

The second is practical - my Irish citizenship opens up the EU to me. While my poor linguistic ability means working in non-English speaking countries would be problematic, it does open up tempting possibilities for retirement in relatively low-cost countries with more benign climates like Spain and Greece.

The third reason is, as ZZM has mentioned, the simple fact that no matter what colour my passport is, my skin colour will forever prevent me from being truly accepted as a Singaporean. I will still have to pay 'ang moh tax' at shops that don't have fixed prices and when engaging contractors to do repairs. I will still get stared at by ignorant older (and younger) folk when I walk around my local HDB estate with my local wife. I will always be an outsider despite no longer having anywhere 'outside' to call home.

So, think hard my friend. You have all the time in the world. Don't rush into something as important as this.
Last edited by Addadude on Wed, 13 Aug 2014 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Primrose Hill » Wed, 13 Aug 2014 1:48 pm

it just hit me, durrrr :o :shock: . You cutting ties with UK for tax reasons. Are you trying to demonstrate that you will have no ties in the UK by relinquishing your BC and establishing a home in SG?
Therefore no IHT/CGT etc etc liabilities at a later date.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 13 Aug 2014 1:58 pm

Primrose Hill wrote: Therefore no IHT/CGT etc etc liabilities at a later date.


The CGT-waiver for non-residents (UK citizens or not) is closing in March 2015.

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Postby Primrose Hill » Wed, 13 Aug 2014 2:08 pm

JR8 wrote:
Primrose Hill wrote: Therefore no IHT/CGT etc etc liabilities at a later date.


The CGT-waiver for non-residents (UK citizens or not) is closing in March 2015.

Yup.
IHT is also another big hitter right

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Postby AoA » Wed, 13 Aug 2014 2:30 pm

Primrose Hill wrote:it just hit me, durrrr :o :shock: . You cutting ties with UK for tax reasons. Are you trying to demonstrate that you will have no ties in the UK by relinquishing your BC and establishing a home in SG?
Therefore no IHT/CGT etc etc liabilities at a later date.


Wow okay. I actually had to google what you referring to. I stand to inherit almost nothing. Also, whilst I do have property in the UK I didn't know I could get CG waived. In either case I don't intend to sell them. The rental pays off the mortgage and then once paid off then the rental will serve as income during my retirement (after paying UK tax). If I wanted to sell them I always assumed CG would apply regardless of citizenship status?

I really appreciate hearing the stories of Addadude and Primrose Hill - thank you!

Long story short - I don't ever expect people walking down the street to recognise me as Singaporean, I've come to terms with it. The situation within my industry sounds unique (I guess it is a old school Singaporean group) but what I'm intending to do has already been done by colleagues of mine - Caucasians included. I don't 'sell' myself in my job. I also don't represent the company publicly. Becoming Singaporean shows (internally) dedication and in a traditional environment where honesty and integrity rule, it goes a long way. They are not asking me to do it. It is a personal decision. I am emotionally invested in the company I work for and can't see myself working anyway else.

As an aside, I don't intend on retiring to Europe... If it still exists :o

Also, I remember hearing of a scheme being set up by MINDEF similar to the Territorial Army in the UK. Bit like part-time NS. I'm struggling to find it online though. That'd probably give me a taste of NS and whether I'd be willing to make the 2 year sacrifice!

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 13 Aug 2014 4:22 pm

Primrose Hill wrote:Yup.
IHT is also another big hitter right


Potentially. Though there are lot of assets are 'more mobile' than physical property.

It'll be interesting to see what happens to the UK investment property market come next year. Example: those agency salemen down at Bugis and other malls touting their 'tax-free' London property investments... are they going to start selling some tax-envelope in parallel to the bricks + mortar? :)

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Postby FaeLLe » Wed, 13 Aug 2014 4:36 pm

JR8 wrote:
Primrose Hill wrote:Yup.
IHT is also another big hitter right


Potentially. Though there are lot of assets are 'more mobile' than physical property.

It'll be interesting to see what happens to the UK investment property market come next year. Example: those agency salemen down at Bugis and other malls touting their 'tax-free' London property investments... are they going to start selling some tax-envelope in parallel to the bricks + mortar? :)


Personally I am looking forward to it so I can finally afford a zone 1 property and move out of my rental apartment the rent for which is covered by my Singapore condo being given out on rent :P

Its a vicious cycle...

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Postby curiousgeorge » Wed, 13 Aug 2014 9:32 pm

Addadude wrote:AoA, as others have said, I would think VERY carefully before surrendering your British citizenship. Without meaning to be condecending, at 27 you are still very young in both life and career, and a decision like this could have far reaching consequences in the future.

Over my 20 years here, I have frequently entertained the thought of taking up Singapore citizenship (and as a consequence surrendering my Irish citizenship) and I rejected it for 3 reasons.

The first is emotional - I have no intention of giving up my heritage and I dislike the 'either you're with us 100% or against us 100%' mentality that the SG government seems to have with its refusal to accept dual citizenship.

The second is practical - my Irish citizenship opens up the EU to me. While my poor linguistic ability means working in non-English speaking countries would be problematic, it does open up tempting possibilities for retirement in relatively low-cost countries with more benign climates like Spain and Greece.

The third reason is, as ZZM has mentioned, the simple fact that no matter what colour my passport is, my skin colour will forever prevent me from being truly accepted as a Singaporean. I will still have to pay 'ang moh tax' at shops that don't have fixed prices and when engaging contractors to do repairs. I will still get stared at by ignorant older (and younger) folk when I walk around my local HDB estate with my local wife. I will always be an outsider despite no longer having anywhere 'outside' to call home.

So, think hard my friend. You have all the time in the world. Don't rush into something as important as this.


AoA - let me give you a Briton's perspective on this, as my Citizenship application is pending.

1) Some people have no emotional ties. I have no allegiance to the UK where the crime, filth, congestion, expense and "rip-off Britain" culture was horrible. The act of not taking citizenship does nothing to change the "1005 with us or 100% against us" mentality of the government here. So if the act of changing also had no impact, its not really a reason to stop your application.

2) You've seen the UK immigration law in this thread, relating to reclaiming your UK citizenship in the future. So the EU is still open to you, should you want to retire in a low-cost county with benign climate.

3) Granted, being a citizen won't stop the ang moh tax and disapproving glances, but staying a PR or EP holder won't either. Again, if it has absolutely no impact on whether you are citizen or not, its not a consideration.

Now let me give you some good reasons to DO IT!

1) I bet you have old school friends still living where you grew up, working a factory or other menial job. Probably married already and some of them with more than one kid. Mortgage. Miserable government. The tube. Price of petrol. Drizzle. Tax rates. OK, now how does Singapore feel? Yay us!

2) You can always get it back!

3) Buy property here - they get to rent it for 2yrs and you get to keep the deposit! That's better than six month short tenancies in the UK and the state the place is left in. Much better to own property here.

4) The England Squad. I mean, really. Singapore is just about far enough away.

5) The rising economic climate in this region. The potential here. The opportunities Singapore alone presents.

6) freak it, they're gonna tax my UK house even if I don't live there now AND tax me on anything I make on it when I sell. I wonder if the rule about last three years always counting as the main home will still apply?

7) Hot Asians! There are way more of them here.

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Postby curiousgeorge » Wed, 13 Aug 2014 9:35 pm

8) Some people treat their citizenship like virginity. They will only give it away to their one true love. But in reality, they're all cheating on their one true love because they're here anyway, innit.

:o

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 13 Aug 2014 9:41 pm

curiousgeorge wrote: let me give you a Briton's perspective on this, as my Citizenship application is pending.


Oh so no vested interests then? lol...

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 13 Aug 2014 9:44 pm

curiousgeorge wrote:8) Some people treat their citizenship like virginity. They will only give it away to their one true love. But in reality, they're all cheating on their one true love because they're here anyway, innit.

:o



Most of us never have to consider 'giving up' or changing citizenship, because we don't have to, and there is nil advantage anyway, in doing so.

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Postby AoA » Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:14 pm

JR8 wrote:
curiousgeorge wrote:8) Some people treat their citizenship like virginity. They will only give it away to their one true love. But in reality, they're all cheating on their one true love because they're here anyway, innit.

:o



Most of us never have to consider 'giving up' or changing citizenship, because we don't have to, and there is nil advantage anyway, in doing so.


Maybe not for you. I have attempted to share with you my reasons... so has curiousgeorge. Like I said in an earlier post, everything is personal and subjective. Your opinion is valued but there certainly isn't "nil advantage" to everyone.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:21 pm

So, what's you goal, and how do you plan to achieve it?

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Postby Mi Amigo » Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:39 pm

AoA, I wish you luck with your chosen path, and far be it from me to try to deter you from making the choice that you have obviously thought about carefully. However, at the risk of coming across as patronising (not my intent), I would just like to comment on this:

AoA wrote:I am emotionally invested in the company I work for and can't see myself working anyway else.

Please keep in mind that, however great you might feel the loyalty of your employer to be, at the end of the day you really are just a row in a spreadsheet. Over the years I've seen so many examples where people (myself included) have been totally dedicated to a company and then the bean counters decide to 'cut costs', at which point all that 'loyalty' stuff goes out the window and you suddenly find yourself in a (usually one-sided) discussion about termination 'benefits'.

Clearly you feel very attracted to Singapore, but I think you should always consider how that might change if you were to lose your current employment.

@curiousgeorge - I'm hoping you weren't being serious when you suggested this:

curiousgeorge wrote:Buy property here - they get to rent it for 2yrs and you get to keep the deposit!

i.e. become a Singapore citizen, then you will have more scope to rip off tenants due to the pathetically lax laws and lack of protection of tenants' deposits, etc. - is that what you meant?
Be careful what you wish for

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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 14 Aug 2014 2:14 am

curiousgeorge wrote:3) Buy property here - they get to rent it for 2yrs and you get to keep the deposit! That's better than six month short tenancies in the UK and the state the place is left in. Much better to own property here.

I don't get this,can you explain?

curiousgeorge wrote:7) Hot Asians! There are way more of them here.


:cool:


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