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SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

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SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

Postby yca31 » Sat, 19 Mar 2016 7:43 pm

Hi guys,

Hope someone is able to help me...It's quite a lengthy story but here it goes:

At the moment I am in the process of having a temporary exchange with one of my colleagues in Singapore. In order to accommodate this, my company has applied for a temporary working permit. This application has been approved a couple of days ago by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Although this part has been arranged, there is one unresolved issue with regard to National Service (NS). Whilst applying for the TEP, MOM informed me that I used to have a Singaporean citizenship by descent (even though I was born abroad) due to the fact that my parents applied for a Singaporean birth certificate (in addition to a foreign birth certificate) as they were unsure if they would be able to acquire the foreign nationality. A couple of years later, they both received the foreign nationality and formally renounced their Singaporean citizenship.

When in my teens, my parents received a notice for me to serve for the NS, but decided to ignore it as they assumed this would mean an automatic renunciation of my Singaporean citizenship by age 22.... As I understand, this was not the way they were suppose to handle it.

So this whole Singapore citizenship thing was all unknown to me before applying for a working permit. However, it now has me worried that I inadvertently may have committed a criminal offence by SG law and that I might get arrested when arriving at the airport as I'm (so to speak) not flying under their radar anymore after applying for the working permit. (Note that I have travelled to Singapore several dozens of times to visit relatives and never had any issues entering the country.)

I've tried to contact MINDEF a couple of times this week to have everything sorted (i.e. did I do something wrong), but I'm only able to talk to their callcenter and their response is always the same: "MINDEF aims to provide you with an answer within 3 working days".... It's been around two weeks already.

I was supposed to head off to Singapore last week, but I want to have this sorted before going. However, if it takes much longer I think the company will just opt to send someone else to Singapore.... In addition, I'm really worried that this may mean that I cannot visit relatives in Singapore anymore before having all of this sorted...

What to do? Does anyone have any advice? Should I be worried?
Is there some other governmental institutions that I can contact about this?

Thank you in advance for the help.

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Re: SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 19 Mar 2016 11:47 pm

yca31 wrote:Hi guys,

Hope someone is able to help me...It's quite a lengthy story but here it goes:

At the moment I am in the process of having a temporary exchange with one of my colleagues in Singapore. In order to accommodate this, my company has applied for a temporary working permit. This application has been approved a couple of days ago by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Do you have the IPA letter? (In Principle Approval). What does it say, exactly.

Although this part has been arranged, there is one unresolved issue with regard to National Service (NS). Whilst applying for the TEP, MOM informed me that I used to have a Singaporean citizenship by descent (even though I was born abroad) due to the fact that my parents applied for a Singaporean birth certificate (in addition to a foreign birth certificate) as they were unsure if they would be able to acquire the foreign nationality. A couple of years later, they both received the foreign nationality and formally renounced their Singaporean citizenship.

Correct. See my answer to your first paragraph. I don't think you have an IPA yet, but more like a notification that they cannot go any further until you have resolved your issues with Mindef.

When in my teens, my parents received a notice for me to serve for the NS, but decided to ignore it as they assumed this would mean an automatic renunciation of my Singaporean citizenship by age 22.... As I understand, this was not the way they were suppose to handle it.

Yep. You are on CMPB/Mindef's book as a NS dodger. They know about you. They know who you are, your date of birth, your race and your parents names. Therefore, regardless of where you were born, they can flag your name, parents names with age and race and bingo. All the computer databases in the Singapore government have been linked for about 2 years now so it's easy for ICA and MOM to check with the CMPB or medical or Birth/deaths or Inland Revenue to check. How hard do you think it would be to find out how many people with citizenship of a specific race where born on only given day and cross check as to whether they are listed as deceased, or have done their NS or have properly renounced? No good. They already know you are still alive because you have contacted them.

So this whole Singapore citizenship thing was all unknown to me before applying for a working permit. However, it now has me worried that I inadvertently may have committed a criminal offence by SG law and that I might get arrested when arriving at the airport as I'm (so to speak) not flying under their radar anymore after applying for the working permit. (Note that I have travelled to Singapore several dozens of times to visit relatives and never had any issues entering the country.

I really hate it when this crap happens because parents don't think things through or do the research before they do something that could screw up their children's live for good. Did your father do NS? If he should have known better or at least realized he should ask to do it correct. Once a citizen there is always an obligation unless proper protocol is followed to get out of it.

I've tried to contact MINDEF a couple of times this week to have everything sorted (i.e. did I do something wrong), but I'm only able to talk to their callcenter and their response is always the same: "MINDEF aims to provide you with an answer within 3 working days".... It's been around two weeks already.

I was supposed to head off to Singapore last week, but I want to have this sorted before going. However, if it takes much longer I think the company will just opt to send someone else to Singapore.... In addition, I'm really worried that this may mean that I cannot visit relatives in Singapore anymore before having all of this sorted...

What to do? Does anyone have any advice? Should I be worried?
Is there some other governmental institutions that I can contact about this?

Thank you in advance for the help.


Yes you should be worried. You are automatically listed as a draft dodger and could be fined, jailed, or both. You did not mention you age but I am assuming you are over the age of 22 based upon your mention of 22 in your post. As Mindef already has you on their radar, you are officially marked as a NS dodger. You may have mitigating factors which might keep you out of jail, but a fine is almost for sure. MOM's response was probably something like "you have unresolved issues with Mindef which need to be sorted before a working visa can be issued" (or something to that effect).

Yes, you are correct in that it may cause some grief with regard to visiting relatives as you may well be picked up at immigration even coming in on a UK passport as your name is known to them and would have been flagged. You may fly under the radar as well, but it's not likely. Good Luck. You may need some.

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Re: SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

Postby yca31 » Sun, 20 Mar 2016 12:36 am

Thanks for your response.

I've already accepted that my parents were a bit careless. I don't like to put blame on them and prefer to look forward and how to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

About your question on the IPA letter and working permit approval. There was quite some issues involved to get this approved as the MOM indicated that I used to have a Singaporean citizenship and asked me to submit a soft copy of my sg birth cert and foreign birth cert. In addition, I also acquired an ICA confirmation letter on citizenship status, which states that I'm not a sg citizen and a confirmation of my foreign citizenship. After uploading these docs, my company received a confirmation email where is stated that the permit was approved and the Approval Letter may be printed. Wouldn't MOM and/or ICA inform me that there was a pending issue with Mindef when applying for these docs?

Anyways, do you have any idea whom I can speak to have this ordeal sorted? Kind of fed up speaking with the Mindef callcenter peeps (although they are quite friendly).

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Re: RE: Re: SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

Postby ecureilx » Sun, 20 Mar 2016 9:47 am

yca31 wrote:Thanks for your response.

I've already accepted that my parents were a bit careless. I don't like to put blame on them and prefer to look forward and how to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.


I may say they weren't careless but more likely just couldn't give a hoot about Singapore, once they migrated.

And never realized Junior may have to go to Singapore to work.

If your parents were born in Singapore it is impossible for them to have not known about NS and how Mindef treats NS dodgers.

Do let us know if Mindef did decide to go soft, in your case.

I know a guy who came here when he was below 30 and still got pushed into the system to do his national obligation. Because what his parents did, carelessly. But in this case he admitted his father left Singapore knowing they never have to step foot into this Godxxxxn country.. things took a turn when junior grew up and the greener pastures were in Singapore.

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Re: SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

Postby x9200 » Sun, 20 Mar 2016 10:46 am

yca31 wrote:I also acquired an ICA confirmation letter on citizenship status, which states that I'm not a sg citizen.

I wonder how did you lose your Singapore citizenship.

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Re: SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

Postby PNGMK » Sun, 20 Mar 2016 1:11 pm

yca31 wrote:Thanks for your response.

I've already accepted that my parents were a bit careless. I don't like to put blame on them and prefer to look forward and how to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

About your question on the IPA letter and working permit approval. There was quite some issues involved to get this approved as the MOM indicated that I used to have a Singaporean citizenship and asked me to submit a soft copy of my sg birth cert and foreign birth cert. In addition, I also acquired an ICA confirmation letter on citizenship status, which states that I'm not a sg citizen and a confirmation of my foreign citizenship. After uploading these docs, my company received a confirmation email where is stated that the permit was approved and the Approval Letter may be printed. Wouldn't MOM and/or ICA inform me that there was a pending issue with Mindef when applying for these docs?

Anyways, do you have any idea whom I can speak to have this ordeal sorted? Kind of fed up speaking with the Mindef callcenter peeps (although they are quite friendly).


The forum contributor with the most knowledge would be Mad Scientist. I was curious how you cannot have Singapore citizenship and yet have an NS or Mindef obligation but on reflection this can happen to second gen PR's as well. I don't know how this will resolve or how long it will take. Either way I don't think your company can wait - you have a very unfortunate situation here but this will not be the first time an employer finds out they cannot bring in or obtain a work permit for an employee because of unresolved NS issues. I have a friend who 3 sons have all been offered extremely high level positions here but cannot obtain work permits as they were opted out of Singapore citizenship by their ignorant father. My very personal view is the following is that you should keep pushing towards an understanding of whether or not you have a NS obligation regardless of how long it takes. This will be an interesting test case for the forum - I hope you do keep us informed.
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Re: SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

Postby yca31 » Sun, 20 Mar 2016 1:35 pm

x9200 wrote:
yca31 wrote:I also acquired an ICA confirmation letter on citizenship status, which states that I'm not a sg citizen.

I wonder how did you lose your Singapore citizenship.


If you don't take the Oath within 12 months after turning 21, it's automatically renounced.

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Re: SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

Postby PNGMK » Sun, 20 Mar 2016 1:37 pm

yca31 wrote:
x9200 wrote:
yca31 wrote:I also acquired an ICA confirmation letter on citizenship status, which states that I'm not a sg citizen.

I wonder how did you lose your Singapore citizenship.


If you don't take the Oath within 12 months after turning 21, it's automatically renounced.


Yes I forgot that. However this does not vacate an NS obligation. If you lost your SC by the above mechanism I suspect you still have an NS obligation that needs to be argued away.
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Re: SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

Postby yca31 » Sun, 20 Mar 2016 1:41 pm

PNGMK wrote:
yca31 wrote:Thanks for your response.

I've already accepted that my parents were a bit careless. I don't like to put blame on them and prefer to look forward and how to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

About your question on the IPA letter and working permit approval. There was quite some issues involved to get this approved as the MOM indicated that I used to have a Singaporean citizenship and asked me to submit a soft copy of my sg birth cert and foreign birth cert. In addition, I also acquired an ICA confirmation letter on citizenship status, which states that I'm not a sg citizen and a confirmation of my foreign citizenship. After uploading these docs, my company received a confirmation email where is stated that the permit was approved and the Approval Letter may be printed. Wouldn't MOM and/or ICA inform me that there was a pending issue with Mindef when applying for these docs?

Anyways, do you have any idea whom I can speak to have this ordeal sorted? Kind of fed up speaking with the Mindef callcenter peeps (although they are quite friendly).


The forum contributor with the most knowledge would be Mad Scientist. I was curious how you cannot have Singapore citizenship and yet have an NS or Mindef obligation but on reflection this can happen to second gen PR's as well. I don't know how this will resolve or how long it will take. Either way I don't think your company can wait - you have a very unfortunate situation here but this will not be the first time an employer finds out they cannot bring in or obtain a work permit for an employee because of unresolved NS issues. I have a friend who 3 sons have all been offered extremely high level positions here but cannot obtain work permits as they were opted out of Singapore citizenship by their ignorant father. My very personal view is the following is that you should keep pushing towards an understanding of whether or not you have a NS obligation regardless of how long it takes. This will be an interesting test case for the forum - I hope you do keep us informed.


Well, the funny thing is that my working permit has been approved..... Just worried about the NS obligation thingie.
So noone has any idea who to discuss this issue with, besides Mindef (callcenter)?

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Re: SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

Postby yca31 » Sun, 20 Mar 2016 1:49 pm

PNGMK wrote:
yca31 wrote:
x9200 wrote:I wonder how did you lose your Singapore citizenship.


If you don't take the Oath within 12 months after turning 21, it's automatically renounced.


Yes I forgot that. However this does not vacate an NS obligation. If you lost your SC by the above mechanism I suspect you still have an NS obligation that needs to be argued away.


Wouldn't you think they would have contacted me about the consequences for "dodging NS" in the same fashion as to letting me know on the automatic renunciation of my SC?

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Re: SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

Postby PNGMK » Sun, 20 Mar 2016 1:52 pm

1. When in my teens, my parents received a notice for me to serve for the NS.


You have an NS obligation by my reading. The obligation needs vacating.

2. Wouldn't MOM and/or ICA inform me that there was a pending issue with Mindef when applying for these docs?

Not at all. Different entities and Singapore is notorious for separation of ministries and departments. The department with the authority is the CMPB under Mindef as you have summarized. Like you mention it may be surprising that you have not received an enlistment advice but if you have not updated your addresses that is also not surprising.

You've shown to ICA and MOM the status of your citizenship which clears your for MOM/ICA but has little do with NS.
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Re: SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

Postby yca31 » Sun, 20 Mar 2016 2:03 pm

PNGMK wrote:
Not at all. Different entities and Singapore is notorious for separation of ministries and departments. The department with the authority is the CMPB under Mindef as you have summarized. Like you mention it may be surprising that you have not received an enlistment advice but if you have not updated your addresses that is also not surprising.


My parents haven't moved in ages, so that can't be the case.

Guess I'll have to keep on chatting with the people of mindef callcenter..... ](*,)

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Re: SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 20 Mar 2016 2:14 pm

PNGMK wrote:1. When in my teens, my parents received a notice for me to serve for the NS.


You have an NS obligation by my reading. The obligation needs vacating.

2. Wouldn't MOM and/or ICA inform me that there was a pending issue with Mindef when applying for these docs?

Not at all. Different entities and Singapore is notorious for separation of ministries and departments. The department with the authority is the CMPB under Mindef as you have summarized. Like you mention it may be surprising that you have not received an enlistment advice but if you have not updated your addresses that is also not surprising.

You've shown to ICA and MOM the status of your citizenship which clears your for MOM/ICA but has little do with NS.


Actually, if MOM was aware of his previous citizenship with Singapore (which I'm assuming the OP informed them in the original application) they would have contacted Mindef/CMPB to ascertain the current situation AND that would have been reflected on the notice from MOM. I know this first hand and have seen one of these letters on the day it was received and the referral to clearing one's position regarding NS. It sounds like he may well have escaped as on hindsight/reflection, he was born overseas, never lived in Singapore, received citizenship at birth from the country he was born in, so he's a naturalized Singaporean by birth but not first claim (which belongs to the country where he was born). The means test normally used is whether or not the child has ever received any socio-economic benefits from being a SG citizen. In his case, the answer is no. He's never lived in SG, Never had a SG passport nor an NRIC, therefore, he should be clear and that is probably why he's not received any response from Mindef and DID get issued with an IPA from MOM. I'd now have to say I'm pretty sure he's actually clear to go. Hopefully MS will see this and maybe concur as well.

sms

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Re: SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

Postby PNGMK » Sun, 20 Mar 2016 2:19 pm

Excellent news for OP. You're right about being born overseas (and not raised in Singapore)... I had missed that.
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Re: SG citizen by descent; NS defaulter?

Postby yca31 » Sun, 20 Mar 2016 3:01 pm

I have the same feeling as you guys that everything should be in order, but unfortunately I need to have it in black and white from Mindef otherwise the company won't let me go (pre-cautionary stuff).

Time to keep on harassing Mindef callcenter.....
Will let you guys know once I have an outcome.


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