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Singapore-born/UK nationality help

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Gentleman7
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Singapore-born/UK nationality help

Postby Gentleman7 » Sun, 06 Aug 2017 6:34 pm

Hello all,
We have a Singapore-born son. His mother is a local citizen and I am from the UK. Currently he is Singaporean. Naturally we'd like to keep his options open in terms of "final" citizenship, but I have read through official paperwork on these topics and am still confused ! Please can anyone help on any of these?

Much appreciated.

1. I haven't so much as sent a tweet home to anyone official. Is he already British anyway? (The UK births registration form, which I have not submitted yet due to cost and the need to put his birth certificate in the mail, has a disclaimer that it does not constitute citizenship, so then how does he get it?)

2. Can I get him a UK passport without registration?

3. According to Wikipedia on Singapore citizenship, a person born in Singapore is a citizen for life, no matter what, as laws governing renunciation of citizenship only apply to citizenships granted by other means. Following to the source (the constitution) it can seemingly be interpreted that way.
Link: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapo ... nality_law
Does anyone know any better?

4. Upon receiving UK citizenship, will the U.K. inform Singapore?

Thank you all

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PNGMK
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Re: Singapore-born/UK nationality help

Postby PNGMK » Sun, 06 Aug 2017 7:24 pm

Gentleman7 wrote:Hello all,
We have a Singapore-born son. His mother is a local citizen and I am from the UK. Currently he is Singaporean. Naturally we'd like to keep his options open in terms of "final" citizenship, but I have read through official paperwork on these topics and am still confused ! Please can anyone help on any of these?

Much appreciated.

1. I haven't so much as sent a tweet home to anyone official. Is he already British anyway? (The UK births registration form, which I have not submitted yet due to cost and the need to put his birth certificate in the mail, has a disclaimer that it does not constitute citizenship, so then how does he get it?)

2. Can I get him a UK passport without registration?

3. According to Wikipedia on Singapore citizenship, a person born in Singapore is a citizen for life, no matter what, as laws governing renunciation of citizenship only apply to citizenships granted by other means. Following to the source (the constitution) it can seemingly be interpreted that way.
Link: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapo ... nality_law
Does anyone know any better?

4. Upon receiving UK citizenship, will the U.K. inform Singapore?

Thank you all


1. This is a complicated question - however because of the kerfuffle going on in Australia about dual citizens sitting in parliament I found this website helpful: https://www.gov.uk/check-british-citizen

2. I'd assume not.

3. I don't agree with that. There are Singapore citizens migrating all the time who renounce Singapore citizenship. There is a specific form and process to follow and furthermore the child (boy) may have an NS obligation Plenty of other posts on this.

4. No. In fact I have a friend who has dual citizenship (Singapore/UK) and the ICA has tried to get the UK government to inform them of his status and the UK has refused (due to privary reasons only an individual can request their own status from the UK).

If you're thinking of taking up UK citizenship for your child to relieve him of NS then there is specific process outlined by CMPB to be followed and importantly the child must not take advantage of their Singapore citizenship by accessing education post primary, holding a IC etc.... In short you need to the UK while the child is under a certain age (that age varies depending on your child's circumstances but around 11 - 13).
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Re: Singapore-born/UK nationality help

Postby PNGMK » Sun, 06 Aug 2017 7:26 pm

Oh and of course if you do relieve your son of his NS burden then he cannot (most likely) ever access Singapore citizenship or PR and in some cases not even work in Singapore.
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Re: Singapore-born/UK nationality help

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 06 Aug 2017 7:36 pm

Do a search in the Strictly Speaking section of the General Forum. There are heaps of threads discussing all possible permutations of the duel citizenship conundrum as well as how to negotiate you childs way out of it without tripping in the minefield that MinDef and the Government in general has laid in order to make it difficult (but not impossible). Specifically posts by Mad Scientist (who got his sons out legally and who has a network here like you would not believe. (I think he's currently in Indonesia after having spend the last couple of years in NZ/Aust). He was in the military here and in the ministries later here before he uprooted and left. Also see the sticky posts and other posts by kraikk who I believe is in New York. Even mine (I had dual citizenship citizens as well - one of each gender). They are adults today (28 & 33).

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Re: Singapore-born/UK nationality help

Postby PeanutButterJam » Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:08 am

Gentleman7 wrote:
1. I haven't so much as sent a tweet home to anyone official. Is he already British anyway? (The UK births registration form, which I have not submitted yet due to cost and the need to put his birth certificate in the mail, has a disclaimer that it does not constitute citizenship, so then how does he get it?)

I recently obtained British passports for my two girls so I think I can help you there.

Are you British by descent? If you are not, your child is British at birth. If you are British by descent, your child is not entitled to British citizenship if he is born out of the UK.

There is no need to fill up the births registration form. You will need to submit his Singapore birth cert which will state your details.

2. Can I get him a UK passport without registration?

Yes. You need to fill up the form on obtaining a passport, and there is one question on whether he's British citizen at birth. Tick yes in that box. There is also a checklist of documents which you need to submit in ORIGINAL ; one of which is YOUR birth cert. All documents have to be sent to the UK by post and you can track your application online.

We posted all documents to the UK, and all it took was one day for the documents to be processed (as we tracked our application) and passports to be printed and on their way back to Singapore. I am utterly amazed at the efficiency something never yet experienced when I was in the country.

Allow around 3 weeks for you to get the passport from filling up the forms, posting and getting it back. You need to get a British citizen in Singapore who has known you for 2 years to verify your identity. This person has to be a professional.

3. According to Wikipedia on Singapore citizenship, a person born in Singapore is a citizen for life, no matter what, as laws governing renunciation of citizenship only apply to citizenships granted by other means. Following to the source (the constitution) it can seemingly be interpreted that way.
Link: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapo ... nality_law
Does anyone know any better?

Not sure about this. But I do know that if your child is born out of Singapore, you have to obtain Singapore citizenship for him or her within one year of birth. Otherwise, the citizenship is not automatic after 1 year.

I have two girls so NS is not a concern to me. We had to get a British passport for her due to her school exemption from local primary.

4. Upon receiving UK citizenship, will the U.K. inform Singapore?

I dont think so but well you never know.

But if assuming you go back to live in the UK, and come back to Singapore for a visit, and your son uses his Singapore passport to travel out of Singapore, the authorities will ask you for proof of residency in the UK. This was what happened to my friend, and when I came back from the UK and used the girls' British passports, the UK authorities wanted to see their Singapore passports. This is to prevent child trafficking I believe?

Thank you all
Last edited by PeanutButterJam on Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Singapore-born/UK nationality help

Postby PeanutButterJam » Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:14 am

PeanutButterJam wrote:
Gentleman7 wrote:
1. I haven't so much as sent a tweet home to anyone official. Is he already British anyway? (The UK births registration form, which I have not submitted yet due to cost and the need to put his birth certificate in the mail, has a disclaimer that it does not constitute citizenship, so then how does he get it?)

I recently obtained British passports for my two girls so I think I can help you there.

Are you British by descent? If you are not, your child is British at birth. If you are British by descent, your child is not entitled to British citizenship if he is born out of the UK.

[color=#0000BF]There is no need to fill up the births registration form. You will need to submit his Singapore birth cert which will state your details.

[/color]
2. Can I get him a UK passport without registration?

Yes. You need to fill up the form on obtaining a passport, and there is one question on whether he's British citizen at birth. Tick yes in that box. There is also a checklist of documents which you need to submit; one of which is YOUR birth cert. All documents have to be sent to the UK by post and you can track your application online.

We posted all documents to the UK, and all it took was one day for the documents to be processed (as we tracked our application) and passports to be printed and on their way back to Singapore. I am utterly amazed at the efficiency something never yet experienced when I was in the country.

Allow around 3 weeks for you to get the passport from filling up the forms, posting and getting it back. You need to get a British citizen in Singapore who has known you for 2 years to verify your identity. This person has to be a professional.

3. According to Wikipedia on Singapore citizenship, a person born in Singapore is a citizen for life, no matter what, as laws governing renunciation of citizenship only apply to citizenships granted by other means. Following to the source (the constitution) it can seemingly be interpreted that way.
Link: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapo ... nality_law
Does anyone know any better?

Not sure about this. But I do know that if your child is born out of Singapore, you have to obtain Singapore citizenship for him or her within one year of birth. Otherwise, the citizenship is not automatic after 1 year.

I have two girls so NS is not a concern to me. We had to get a British passport for her due to her school exemption from local primary.

4. Upon receiving UK citizenship, will the U.K. inform Singapore?

I dont think so but well you never know.

But if assuming you go back to live in the UK, and come back to Singapore for a visit, and your son uses his Singapore passport to travel out of Singapore, the authorities will ask you for proof of residency in the UK. This was what happened to my friend, and when I came back from the UK and used the girls' British passports, the UK authorities wanted to see their Singapore passports. This is to prevent child trafficking I believe?

Thank you all


Personally I will definitely get British passports for my girls even if not for the use of getting exemption from local pri. Looking at how the UK govt is coming up with unfair laws preventing overseas Brits to move back to the country with their children, I will not be surprised if rules change in the future to make it more difficult for one to get UK citizenship by descent.

I hope to give my girls choices; they have to decide which nationality to keep when they turn 21.

Just my own personal opinion.

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Re: Singapore-born/UK nationality help

Postby Gentleman7 » Sun, 13 Aug 2017 4:53 pm

Thank you all for your help. You've been very helpful.

One question comes up from the bit about travelling...

Is it true you have to enter the country with the same passport you departed with? I.e.if leaving U.K. with U.K. Passport, you'd have to show that passport at Singapore customs?
Then, does it ever become necessary to fly in two stages to use the relevant passport at entry and exit?

Thank you

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Re: Singapore-born/UK nationality help

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 13 Aug 2017 5:15 pm

No you don't, but you have to enter and leave the country you are a citizen of using that country's passport. e.g., if you are a UK and a SG citizen you have to leave the UK using your UK passport and enter Singapore on your SG passport. You need to leave SG using the SG passport and enter the UK using the UK passport.

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Re: Singapore-born/UK nationality help

Postby PNGMK » Sun, 13 Aug 2017 7:19 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:No you don't, but you have to enter and leave the country you are a citizen of using that country's passport. e.g., if you are a UK and a SG citizen you have to leave the UK using your UK passport and enter Singapore on your SG passport. You need to leave SG using the SG passport and enter the UK using the UK passport.


Correct - in fact it's illegal to enter Singapore with a foreign passport if you're under 21 and hold dual citizenships which one of includes Singapore.
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Re: Singapore-born/UK nationality help

Postby PeanutButterJam » Mon, 14 Aug 2017 8:07 am

PNGMK wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:No you don't, but you have to enter and leave the country you are a citizen of using that country's passport. e.g., if you are a UK and a SG citizen you have to leave the UK using your UK passport and enter Singapore on your SG passport. You need to leave SG using the SG passport and enter the UK using the UK passport.


Correct - in fact it's illegal to enter Singapore with a foreign passport if you're under 21 and hold dual citizenships which one of includes Singapore.


That's right. Which is why I thought I had better raise this issue about using the two passports concurrently. I have friends who have been caught out at Singapore customs, in fact one family was brought into a room for investigation and subsequently reminded of their sons' NS obligations when they discovered the boys have dual nationalities. They were careful but the guy on Singapore side checked the passports for travel stamps, and with the help of some carefully crafted questions, got the parents to admit the boys have dual passports.
Last edited by PeanutButterJam on Mon, 14 Aug 2017 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Singapore-born/UK nationality help

Postby Gentleman7 » Mon, 14 Aug 2017 8:19 am

PeanutButterJam wrote:
PNGMK wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:No you don't, but you have to enter and leave the country you are a citizen of using that country's passport. e.g., if you are a UK and a SG citizen you have to leave the UK using your UK passport and enter Singapore on your SG passport. You need to leave SG using the SG passport and enter the UK using the UK passport.


Correct - in fact it's illegal to enter Singapore with a foreign passport if you're under 21 and hold dual citizenships which one of includes Singapore.


That's right. Which is why I thought I had better raised this issue about using the two passports concurrently. I have friends who have been caught out at Singapore customs, in fact one family was brought into a room for investigation and subsequently reminded of their sons' NS obligations when they discovered the boys have dual nationalities. They were careful but the guy on Singapore side checked the passports for travel stamps, and with the help of some carefully crafted questions, got the parents to admit the boys have dual passports.


Did they have to give anything up after that or was it just a slap on the wrist?

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Re: Singapore-born/UK nationality help

Postby PeanutButterJam » Mon, 14 Aug 2017 8:31 am

They kept both passports. But I guess they have it down on record the two boys have dual passports. I cannot remember how old the boys were when they were caught but definitely still minors then.

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Re: Singapore-born/UK nationality help

Postby PNGMK » Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:17 pm

PeanutButterJam wrote:They kept both passports. But I guess they have it down on record the two boys have dual passports. I cannot remember how old the boys were when they were caught but definitely still minors then.


my kids are dual SC and US/OZ. We have accidentally presented the wrong passport and not had an issue.
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Re: Singapore-born/UK nationality help

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 14 Aug 2017 1:18 pm

The danger is that if you go into the a country with the wrong passport you could theoretically end up an overstayer, not realizing that even though you are a citizen, you entered as a non-citizen on another passport. It's happened and it isn't pleasant. It can usually be worked out but it something you don't want to make a habit of.

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Re: Singapore-born/UK nationality help

Postby PNGMK » Mon, 14 Aug 2017 3:31 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:The danger is that if you go into the a country with the wrong passport you could theoretically end up an overstayer, not realizing that even though you are a citizen, you entered as a non-citizen on another passport. It's happened and it isn't pleasant. It can usually be worked out but it something you don't want to make a habit of.

Yes.
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