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hoppingcreature
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Child born in Singapore to Singaporean / American

Postby hoppingcreature » Sat, 16 Aug 2014 10:35 pm

Hi all,

I am new to this forum but I did spent a lot of time researching on this forum about the questions but haven't found the perfect answers, so really would love to get some help!:o (But if my question has been answered elsewhere, please feel free to send me the link. Many thanks!)

Situation: I am an American citizen (currently holding Singaporean PR) married to my Singaporean husband. I am pregnant and like so many others, I am not sure if I should give birth here in Singapore - for the obvious concern that my kid would have to choose between SG or US citizenship at the age of 21. We do plan to raise the kid here in Singapore for most of his/her childhood but do want to have the option to move back to the US during his/her high school age.

So from what I've read, I've gathered there are a few options but I have some questions:

Option 1) The kid will be born in Singapore, which means he/she will hold Singapore citizenship by default. But if I do not register the kid with the US embassy, can I apply for his/her permanent residence (instead of citizenship) if we do move back to the US? And is there any age limit? Would before the age of 18 be easier? (These are probably questions I have to check with US embassy but does anyone have similar experience?)

Option 2) The kid is born elsewhere (possibly Taiwan since I also hold Taiwanese passport) and then I register the kid for US citizenship at birth in Taiwan then can I bring the kid back to Singapore to apply for Singaporean PR? Or would the kid still be 'defaulted' Singaporean? And this also means I won't be able to receive the baby bonus, correct?

Is there any other way around this? And out of the 2 ways, which would you recommend is possibly the 'easier' - just out of curiosity, is it easier to apply for SG PR or US PR?

Thanks so much for your help in advance! :wink:

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Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 16 Aug 2014 11:56 pm

hoppingcreature wrote:Hi all,

I am new to this forum but I did spent a lot of time researching on this forum about the questions but haven't found the perfect answers, so really would love to get some help!:o (But if my question has been answered elsewhere, please feel free to send me the link. Many thanks!)

Situation: I am an American citizen (currently holding Singaporean PR) married to my Singaporean husband. I am pregnant and like so many others, I am not sure if I should give birth here in Singapore - for the obvious concern that my kid would have to choose between SG or US citizenship at the age of 21. We do plan to raise the kid here in Singapore for most of his/her childhood but do want to have the option to move back to the US during his/her high school age.

So from what I've read, I've gathered there are a few options but I have some questions:

Option 1) The kid will be born in Singapore, which means he/she will hold Singapore citizenship by default. But if I do not register the kid with the US embassy, can I apply for his/her permanent residence (instead of citizenship) if we do move back to the US? And is there any age limit? Would before the age of 18 be easier? (These are probably questions I have to check with US embassy but does anyone have similar experience?)

Option 2) The kid is born elsewhere (possibly Taiwan since I also hold Taiwanese passport) and then I register the kid for US citizenship at birth in Taiwan then can I bring the kid back to Singapore to apply for Singaporean PR? Or would the kid still be 'defaulted' Singaporean? And this also means I won't be able to receive the baby bonus, correct?

Is there any other way around this? And out of the 2 ways, which would you recommend is possibly the 'easier' - just out of curiosity, is it easier to apply for SG PR or US PR?

Thanks so much for your help in advance! :wink:


1) Interesting conumdrum. Your child has US Citizenship by birth. You just have to go to the embassy to have it recognized and get a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. Not doing this does not mean your kid isn't a citizen, it's just the 'official' way to put your child on the US's radar. I'm not sure if you could forego this to "only" get a green card for him/her. Parents can't renounce citizenship on their children's behalf, which is effectively what you'd be trying to do by getting him/her a green card as opposed to their citizenship.

2) This will look fishy and Singapore will not look kindly on it. The fact that you're asking about Baby Bonus now while scheming about everything else makes me look dimly on you and assume you have ill motives. Just tell us what your end game is (Avoid NS if its a boy? Have dual-citizenship US/Taiwanese? etc) so we can better answer you

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Postby singapore eagle » Sun, 17 Aug 2014 9:23 am

I recently researched this sort of situation in the case of a British father and Singapore mother. There might be some useful information in this thread:

ftopic102868-0-asc-90.html

A couple of points:

1) " I am not sure if I should give birth here in Singapore - for the obvious concern that my kid would have to choose between SG or US citizenship at the age of 21". This is not factually correct. You need to read Article 135 of the Singapore Constitution. This explains the conundrum that your child will face at age 18 if he is born here in Singapore.

2) If you're contemplating giving birth overseas, you need to read Article 122 of the Singapore Constitution. This indicates that your child would not automatically be Singaporean. I have no idea how the Singapore government would look on applications for your child for visit passes, student passes, PR, etc. if you deliberately sought to avoid acquiring citizenship for him/her, however.

The Singapore Constitution is at:

http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/d ... %3A0;rec=0

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Postby PNGMK » Sun, 17 Aug 2014 4:14 pm

Actually because of the MOE rules we've discovered it's far more complex that previously laid out by the respected MS poster. IT depends on which schooling system you follow as well as what your future plans are (for university and where you will live). In short MOE will NOT allow a SC child to school in an International School in Singapore (with some very extreme exceptions).

Scenario 1
Have the child in Singapore - he/she has US citizenship by default and descent as well as SC through your husband.

At schooling age (or before) you come to the first threshold... do you put him in a local school or a International School? If the latter - fly back the US and revoke his Singapore citizenship with the form from ICA and by post. Then use the International School system to get him a student visa. You're good up to University graduation then and there is no NS obligation. The child, if a boy, because he is a descendant of a SC and 2nd gen PR probably will never be able to work in Singapore tho.

IF you put him the local school you need to do the above but then compete for a local school place... or decide he is a SC and then do the thing where are 11-13 YO leave Singapore and renounce SC and then try for a local place in a school BUT this closes the door for the child in the future in Singapore.

Or do you just accept he has an NS obligation and figure he can decide where and what he wants to be at 21?

Scenario 2 is where the child is born in the US and you never apply for SC. In this case you need a LTVP for the kid up to schooling age and the student visas from there on. You can do the International School thing or compete for a limited spot in a local school. The door is not really open to the kid to come back to Singapore (no guarantees and in the case of a boy child he has no chance I think without serving NS).


Personally I think Scenario 1 gives you a bit more flexibility, particularly if you are considering residing in Singapore for many many years - Scenario 2 is sort of shut door at the start. Scenario 1 gives you some time to decide and accept the reality that because your son has a Singaporean father, he has an NS obligation if he wants to ever maintain long term ties with Singapore. That's all it's about.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 17 Aug 2014 9:20 pm

PNGMK wrote:
Or do you just accept he has an NS obligation and figure he can decide where and what he wants to be at 21?



This is the scenario I chose as I was determined the child would do some form of military service to learn discipline and what real esprit de corps is. I also know that some of the networks you form while in the military will last your entire lifetime. Therefore I think it is a necessary part of gaining manhood. Sorry guys, but I came from a different era where we were still patriotic. As my son was born and educated here, he owes the country. Had he been in the US he could be killed in Afganistan, Iraq or dog knows where. Yes we have a voluntary military but the draft hasn't been abolished but just mothballed since 1975 and one still needs to register with the US selective service when they turn 18 (which he also did on the offchance he should eventually decide to go to the US as by registering and havisng a SS number he also gained employability points should he apply for a civil service job there). I reckon every male should do military service.

Interrupting the education stream? Hardly. I know many who finished their educations in the military or after they finished the 21 months of NS service.
Last edited by sundaymorningstaple on Mon, 18 Aug 2014 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby singapore eagle » Sun, 17 Aug 2014 9:44 pm

PNGMK wrote:In short MOE will NOT allow a SC child to school in an International School in Singapore (with some very extreme exceptions


This is not my experience at all.

We know lots of SC kids with mixed nationality parentage (US/Singapore, Aus/Singapore, UK/Singapore) whose parents have obtained permission for the kid to study in International Schools (Stamford, Australian International, Dulwich, Tanglin).

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Postby PNGMK » Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:12 am

singapore eagle wrote:
PNGMK wrote:In short MOE will NOT allow a SC child to school in an International School in Singapore (with some very extreme exceptions


This is not my experience at all.

We know lots of SC kids with mixed nationality parentage (US/Singapore, Aus/Singapore, UK/Singapore) whose parents have obtained permission for the kid to study in International Schools (Stamford, Australian International, Dulwich, Tanglin).


How long ago? The advice from the director of the school my daughter goes to has had 3 applications turned down last year for mixed parentage children. This comes back to the recent recommendations from the Compulsory Education Review that insists all SC children attend Singapore schools. The MOE website is quite clear on the limited exemptions and the only one I think that might apply above is if the kids spent some time outside of the Singapore school system - there is no other criteria.

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Postby singapore eagle » Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:11 pm

PNGMK wrote:How long ago?


Mostly in the last 1-2 years. All the kids I'm thinking of were enrolled in the International School by at least the start of K1.

This isn't something I have first-hand knowledge of myself, so I don't know what hoops they had to jump through to obtain permission.

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Postby PNGMK » Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:58 pm

singapore eagle wrote:
PNGMK wrote:How long ago?


Mostly in the last 1-2 years. All the kids I'm thinking of were enrolled in the International School by at least the start of K1.

This isn't something I have first-hand knowledge of myself, so I don't know what hoops they had to jump through to obtain permission.


K1 is not the issue. P1 onwards is. If the kids have SC (either singly or dual) that appears to be an issue now, at least in my personal experience.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 18 Aug 2014 1:36 pm

It depends on whether the parents can show that the odds of staying in Singapore are short or long term. If they can show reasonable cause that they will be going to the other country in the foreseeable future, usually MOE will give permission. Additionally, it is possible for special needs children with local citizenship to get Int'l school permission if that school has a good relevant special needs program that is better than the few that Singapore offers. Other than that, it's pretty much off the table.

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Postby PNGMK » Mon, 18 Aug 2014 2:03 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:It depends on whether the parents can show that the odds of staying in Singapore are short or long term. If they can show reasonable cause that they will be going to the other country in the foreseeable future, usually MOE will give permission. Additionally, it is possible for special needs children with local citizenship to get Int'l school permission if that school has a good relevant special needs program that is better than the few that Singapore offers. Other than that, it's pretty much off the table.


That's not the current situation I have to say (as of late last year or early this year). If the kid has SC (even dual SC), the MOE wants them in a Sinkie school. At least that's how the admissions director explained it and she appears to have the hard data to back this up. I wish it weren't this way.

Now. let's say the OP waits until the kid is about to enter P1 and tries to get ME permission and fails? Then "all" she has to do is get on a plane to the USA, renounce the kids Singapore citizenship and she can bring the kid back in on a student visa if she wants the kid in the FSS.

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Postby taxico » Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:13 pm

PNGMK wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:It depends on whether the parents can show that the odds of staying in Singapore are short or long term. If they can show reasonable cause that they will be going to the other country in the foreseeable future, usually MOE will give permission. Additionally, it is possible for special needs children with local citizenship to get Int'l school permission if that school has a good relevant special needs program that is better than the few that Singapore offers. Other than that, it's pretty much off the table.


That's not the current situation I have to say (as of late last year or early this year). If the kid has SC (even dual SC), the MOE wants them in a Sinkie school. At least that's how the admissions director explained it and she appears to have the hard data to back this up. I wish it weren't this way.

Now. let's say the OP waits until the kid is about to enter P1 and tries to get ME permission and fails? Then "all" she has to do is get on a plane to the USA, renounce the kids Singapore citizenship and she can bring the kid back in on a student visa if she wants the kid in the FSS.


it was just as sunday described, when i was schooling here some 20+ years ago. i've also known SC kids with no other citizenships who went to int'l school (SAS)...

but it would appear that due to some abuse by singaporean parents, the system has been tightened for SC kids. do not give up and keep appealing with everything you've got.

finally... what if the OP's kid doesn't get the student pass app approved after snubbing ICA/singapore? (young as he/she may be)
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Postby PNGMK » Thu, 21 Aug 2014 1:23 pm

taxico wrote:
PNGMK wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:It depends on whether the parents can show that the odds of staying in Singapore are short or long term. If they can show reasonable cause that they will be going to the other country in the foreseeable future, usually MOE will give permission. Additionally, it is possible for special needs children with local citizenship to get Int'l school permission if that school has a good relevant special needs program that is better than the few that Singapore offers. Other than that, it's pretty much off the table.


That's not the current situation I have to say (as of late last year or early this year). If the kid has SC (even dual SC), the MOE wants them in a Sinkie school. At least that's how the admissions director explained it and she appears to have the hard data to back this up. I wish it weren't this way.

Now. let's say the OP waits until the kid is about to enter P1 and tries to get ME permission and fails? Then "all" she has to do is get on a plane to the USA, renounce the kids Singapore citizenship and she can bring the kid back in on a student visa if she wants the kid in the FSS.


it was just as sunday described, when i was schooling here some 20+ years ago. i've also known SC kids with no other citizenships who went to int'l school (SAS)...

but it would appear that due to some abuse by singaporean parents, the system has been tightened for SC kids. do not give up and keep appealing with everything you've got.

finally... what if the OP's kid doesn't get the student pass app approved after snubbing ICA/singapore? (young as he/she may be)


Look guys - it just isn't happening although I know you think it is - my info is first hand - not second or third hand and my info is up to date as of two weeks ago. The CER (Compulsory Education Review) recommended a year or so back that all Sinky kids go to Sinky schools and the MOE from last year (i.e. Nov or so) is following that to the letter with a limited number of very tight exceptions (which probably will not apply to OP and don't apply to me). It doesn't matter how many times you appeal - the school my daughter goes to has tried multiple times for multiple parents (of all the combinations - SC/PR, PR/PR with SC kids etc).... it doesn't happen. For us in particular this is frustrating as our SC child is ADOPTED - i.e. she isn't a SC because of her parents - rather an accident of birth.


As for your second point I raised this with the admissions director - she said Singapore views education as one of it's export businesses and that it would be very unlikely they would not issue a student pass for a paying student. If our SC child - once she is a only a USC at 5 and no longer a dual USC/SC - doesn't get a Student pass - it just means it's time for us to leave.

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Postby singapore eagle » Thu, 21 Aug 2014 1:46 pm

PNGMK, have you tried speaking with one of the other International Schools to get their take on this matter?

I appreciate that none of the second-hand / out-of-date experiences that I and others have posted on this thread trump your contact, but something doesn't sound right here. Leaving aside kids that are already in primary schools, I know of half a dozen parents with SC kids in International Schools that are fully expecting to more up to what Singapore calls P1 in 2015 or 2016, and they are all blissfully unaware of the predicament that you are describing.

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Postby PNGMK » Thu, 21 Aug 2014 3:43 pm

singapore eagle wrote:PNGMK, have you tried speaking with one of the other International Schools to get their take on this matter?

I appreciate that none of the second-hand / out-of-date experiences that I and others have posted on this thread trump your contact, but something doesn't sound right here. Leaving aside kids that are already in primary schools, I know of half a dozen parents with SC kids in International Schools that are fully expecting to more up to what Singapore calls P1 in 2015 or 2016, and they are all blissfully unaware of the predicament that you are describing.


IF you could speak to your friends I'd appreciate an update. Maybe even ask them to double check with their admin directors.


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