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Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

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MarcoPolo
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Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

Post by MarcoPolo » Sun, 14 Feb 2021 7:18 am

My father is a Singaporean with PR in the States, and my mother is a pure-bred American. I’m a frequent visitor to Singapore (on account of relatives), but I was never registered as a Singaporean, only hold US citizenship, and have lived most of my life in the UK and Hong Kong. I’m currently working in the US, where I also attended university, but intend to leave quite soon.

Now, the issue: my father is nearing retirement and will soon apply for American citizenship, thereby renouncing SG citizenship. Before he does this and all my rights expire, I’d like to register for SG citizenship. I’m aware that I’d have to renounce my US citizenship; I don’t mind. He has agreed to hold off on the application until I’ve resolved everything.

Am I eligible, or did my rights expire because I wasn’t registered as a child? Will I be deemed to have illegally avoided NS? I’m 38, turning 39 this year. Also, would my children and wife (Polish) be eligible for citizenship or PR?

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Re: Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 14 Feb 2021 12:52 pm

Where were you born?

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PNGMK
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Re: Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

Post by PNGMK » Sun, 14 Feb 2021 10:30 pm

My guess is that you were born overseas and hence cannot do this:
A person born outside Singapore before 15 May 2004 will be a Singaporean citizen by descent only if his or her father was a Singaporean citizen by birth or by registration at the time of birth.

If the parent from whom the child derives citizenship is a Singaporean citizen by registration, the child will be granted Singaporean citizenship by descent only if they do not acquire citizenship of the country of their birth.

Registration maybe an option but residency is required:

Registration is the term used in the Constitution to refer to the process commonly known as naturalisation. A person can apply for registration as a Singaporean citizen if he or she has been a Permanent Resident for at least two years and is gainfully employed or married to a Singaporean citizen.[6] A male Permanent Resident may also apply upon satisfactory completion of full-time National Service, as may children of Singaporean citizens resident in Singapore.[7] Each application is considered on its own merits.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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Re: Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 14 Feb 2021 10:31 pm

Depends on where you were born. I doubt you will be considered as having illegally avoided NS, since you never lived in Singapore while holding any sort of citizenship. If I’m not mistaken, once you become a citizen, both your wife and children will be eligible to apply for citizenship as well. I suggest you check the ICA website for more detailed information.

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Re: Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

Post by malcontent » Tue, 16 Feb 2021 6:55 pm

PNGMK wrote:
Sun, 14 Feb 2021 10:30 pm
My guess is that you were born overseas and hence cannot do this:
A person born outside Singapore before 15 May 2004 will be a Singaporean citizen by descent only if his or her father was a Singaporean citizen by birth or by registration at the time of birth.

If the parent from whom the child derives citizenship is a Singaporean citizen by registration, the child will be granted Singaporean citizenship by descent only if they do not acquire citizenship of the country of their birth.
Reading the second paragraph as a caveat to the first...

If his father was a Singapore citizen by REGISTRATION, then he won’t be granted Singapore citizenship by DESCENT since he (presumably) acquired US citizenship at birth.

However, if his father was a Singapore citizen by DESCENT, then he will be a Singapore citizen by DESCENT. In that scenario... would he not be considered a NS defaulter?

Seems to boil down to how his father acquired Singapore citizenship, but for his citizenship it sounds like either a no (which means naturalization is still possible, but he probably won’t have it easier than anyone else) or a yes with problems (which means he probably won’t want to reveal that fact, ever).

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Re: Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

Post by PNGMK » Tue, 16 Feb 2021 10:15 pm

Actually I read the constitution after I posted for that section. OP has timed out for SC by registration as it should be 12 months from birth. He will be no different to anyone else at this time I think.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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Re: Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

Post by malcontent » Wed, 17 Feb 2021 9:36 am

Might be a blessing in disguise

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Re: Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

Post by therat » Wed, 17 Feb 2021 1:06 pm

BTW, OT has not visit this forum after he done his post.
Guess, he is not interested any more.

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Re: Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

Post by malcontent » Wed, 17 Feb 2021 2:05 pm

It’s possible to view the thread without logging in... but nevertheless, I am puzzled by the allure of the red passport since according to the OP he hasn’t lived in Singapore, only visited - - unless he is a one percenter, but even then, the US won’t let him go so easily. Maybe he is another one who is disenchanted by the election and wants to get out before the Dems finish what they have started.

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Re: Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 17 Feb 2021 3:37 pm

For the record, he posted from a Comcast IP Addy in Hollywood, Florida (between Fort Lauderdale and Miami). Maybe he doesn't want to see if BBCDoc's prognosis about FL is correct.

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Re: Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

Post by MarcoPolo » Fri, 19 Feb 2021 1:15 pm

Sorry, I’ve been too busy to log in and respond, but I have lurked. Thanks for all the replies.

The reason I’m after the SG passport is that I’ve lived abroad most of my life, and as a US citizen, I have to file taxes and forms. For most, this is just a bother, but for me it has had real-world consequences. A few years ago, before I was married, I sold a property I had in the UK and had to pay capital gains taxes in the US despite the sale being tax-exempt in Britain. I have a few other examples I won’t get into. Needless to say, I have my reasons; I’m not making millions a year, but it’s enough to feel the pinch.

If I can’t get citizenship, am I eligible for PR through my father? If I am, is registration/naturalisation once you’re a PR relatively easy?

Just to make things clear, my dad was born in Singapore and has never held any other citizenship. Well, I guess he was Malaysian for a bit, but so was everyone. I was born in America.
malcontent wrote:
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 2:05 pm
It’s possible to view the thread without logging in... but nevertheless, I am puzzled by the allure of the red passport since according to the OP he hasn’t lived in Singapore, only visited - - unless he is a one percenter, but even then, the US won’t let him go so easily. Maybe he is another one who is disenchanted by the election and wants to get out before the Dems finish what they have started.
Frankly, this isn’t out of patriotic devotion to Singapore. I just want to get out of the American tax web, but I’d also like a good passport. My kids are Polish-American dual citizens, but I don’t have that benefit. This is perhaps a very mercenary attitude, but I don’t even expect to live in Singapore long-term. It’s just something I’d do if I need to put in two years towards citizenship.
sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 3:37 pm
For the record, he posted from a Comcast IP Addy in Hollywood, Florida (between Fort Lauderdale and Miami). Maybe he doesn't want to see if BBCDoc's prognosis about FL is correct.
Haha, the location is a bit off. Please, please - and I mean no disrespect - don’t share my info.

But no, I came back to the States because the pandemic brought me a wonderful offer, however macabre that sounds. I expect to be out of here soon, likely before EOY 2021, and that’ll mean a return to my lovely IRS forms.

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Re: Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 19 Feb 2021 1:58 pm

MarcoPolo wrote:
Fri, 19 Feb 2021 1:15 pm

Haha, the location is a bit off. Please, please - and I mean no disrespect - don’t share my info.
No worries MarcoPolo, that info doesn't reveal any identity at all, just a general location. (We need IP addies due to the proliferation of trolls & spammers which are a headache) Otherwise, we're like the three monkeys No Hear, See or Speak. But we do get a lot of single poster/trolls/spammers world wide who will post a single post and then leave it until it get buried a bit and then come back and edit it or their signature link to post spam links, etc.

You might want to do some investigation into the tax consequences of giving up your US Citizenship. It can be rather expensive so I've heard. I've been a PR for over quarter of a century and still haven't given up my US passport but both of my Children were born here had dual citizenship till 21 and opted for SGC at that point. Both married local spouses and now I've got 3 G.kids. Also retired 2 years ago. Been working on my US return the past couple of nights! :x

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Re: Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

Post by malcontent » Fri, 19 Feb 2021 2:19 pm

It seems like anything north of around US$200k is when US taxes start to become a real pain (for Americans living abroad). Anything less than that is usually well covered by exclusions, deductions & credits.

However, in places like the UK or EU where taxes are generally higher than the US, it can be beneficial to forgo the exclusions and use the foreign tax credit - which I’ll be the first to admit is a real pain in the rear!

I just finished my 2020 taxes, will be printing and snail mailing it shortly... and don’t forget the FBAR.

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Re: Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

Post by MarcoPolo » Fri, 19 Feb 2021 2:55 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Fri, 19 Feb 2021 1:58 pm
No worries MarcoPolo, that info doesn't reveal any identity at all, just a general location. (We need IP addies due to the proliferation of trolls & spammers which are a headache) Otherwise, we're like the three monkeys No Hear, See or Speak. But we do get a lot of single poster/trolls/spammers world wide who will post a single post and then leave it until it get buried a bit and then come back and edit it or their signature link to post spam links, etc.

You might want to do some investigation into the tax consequences of giving up your US Citizenship. It can be rather expensive so I've heard. I've been a PR for over quarter of a century and still haven't given up my US passport but both of my Children were born here had dual citizenship till 21 and opted for SGC at that point. Both married local spouses and now I've got 3 G.kids. Also retired 2 years ago. Been working on my US return the past couple of nights! :x
No worries. I’m just slightly paranoid. I can’t imagine there are too many people around these parts who fit my description. Congratulations on retirement, by the way.

Anyway, the tax consequences are exactly why I’m planning to do it now or in the next few years. In five years’ time, assuming everything goes well, I’ll be facing a hefty exit tax. The only thing that could potentially keep me from renouncing is the fact that as a non-citizen, I’d face estate taxes when my parents pass away, but I can always get around that by having my children, who will remain American, inherit.

Whatever happens, there’s an 85% chance I’ll end up renouncing. Singapore would just be the easiest, which is why I’m now wondering if I can get PR through my dad, move to Singapore for two years, apply for citizenship and then leave. I’d probably keep my family on temporary passes, if that’s even possible. For long-term living, I’m actually looking at Portugal.

If Singapore doesn’t work, I’ll have to find another country. Brazil and Argentina basically gift you citizenship if you have a child born in their territory. I guess I need to get to work! That or buy citizenship in Saint Lucia.
malcontent wrote:
Fri, 19 Feb 2021 2:19 pm
It seems like anything north of around US$200k is when US taxes start to become a real pain (for Americans living abroad). Anything less than that is usually well covered by exclusions, deductions & credits.

However, in places like the UK or EU where taxes are generally higher than the US, it can be beneficial to forgo the exclusions and use the foreign tax credit - which I’ll be the first to admit is a real pain in the rear!

I just finished my 2020 taxes, will be printing and snail mailing it shortly... and don’t forget the FBAR.
At risk of being crass, I fall into the group of people who actually feel the pinch. I used to run my non-employment income through a company to defer, but not avoid, taxes. That’s no longer possible; I was actually harmed by Trump’s tax cuts.

And don’t mention FBAR. It’s the bane of my existence. I know this is unheard of in the US, but Euro banks often assign you new account numbers when something happens. I once lost my debit card and for some reason went through several different account numbers that year—all reportable as separate accounts to the IRS. My accountant charged me more than usual, and it just caused me a great deal of stress.

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Re: Citizenship by descent (born abroad) as an adult

Post by malcontent » Sun, 21 Feb 2021 8:25 pm

It sounds like the main source of the pinch you are feeling could be from the accountants you have hired to manage your tax situation.

Filing an FBAR is extremely simple and easy, even if you have a dozen accounts... all that you need is a few basic pieces of information, like the account numbers, highest balances, names and addresses of the institutions. If you do slip up, there is a 6 year statute of limitations, so anything in the past is past.

I’m also surprised that you would want to defer any tax if you were based in a high tax country in Europe, the tax credits you could potentially reap from the higher tax rates vis-à-vis the US should not only wipe out US tax but potentially build up a reserve of tax credits which can be used up to 10 years into the future.

If you want a second opinion, you might want to buy 30 minutes with a trustworthy tax accountant. If you Google “James Dance” - this guy would be able to give you proper advice on the matter. I credit him for saving my IRA many years ago when nobody else could (after making years of illegal contributions, I was able to file amended returns to legalize them).

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