smoulder wrote: ↑
Wed, 31 Aug 2022 3:13 pm
Some background -
Age - 42 years
Ethnicity and current nationality - Indian
Married - wife is Chinese and Singaporean (formerly Malaysian)
Daughter - Singaporean mixed race. Primary Chinese, secondary Indian (double barrelled race classification)
Work in IT in a local bank
Been here since 2013.
PR since 2019.
Applied for citizenship in Dec 2021, approved in principle Aug 2022.
I will try to update this thread with details of my citizenship journey as it happens.
So I received in principle approval on the 29th of Aug and I have just received the letter in pdf format in the MyICA portal.
Next step - log in to the SC journey portal. This can be done only 3 days from the receipt of email confirmation from the ICA (email received today).
4th September 2022 - Update :
I just registered myself for the community sharing session (20th September) and Singapore experiential visit (27th September) - SEV – Singapore Discovery Centre and Our Singapore Army Experience.
The SEV I've chosen is on a Tuesday, so I'll have to take leave from work. The other option was an outdoor event near Fort Canning which is conducted over the weekends. However, I picked the week activity so that I can do all my weekend family activities. The other factor is that it might be somewhat interesting to learn about the Singapore military - my dad and both my grandfathers served in the military in India. Apart from various relatives of mine. So I suppose it will be interesting.
Update - 25th September :
I completed a 2 hours long "community sharing session" aka CSS on the 20th. They are held in CCs all over the island - you are eligible to attend the events within your area. They divided us up into 6 groups of approximately 10 people, give or take a few (I didn't count). After registration, there was a buffet style dinner.
They played a few videos which spoke about the experiences of various new citizens and their contributions to various community service initiatives.
There was a talk by a lady, a new citizen from the area who also spoke about her community service.
Then we went off into our break away group activity which basically involved us reflecting on our time in Singapore, who helped us to settle down and what we expected from the future in Singapore. They encouraged all members to share their thoughts - each group had a volunteer facilitator. From what I could tell they were Singaporeans who were born here.
Finally, each group had an interaction with volunteer "INC" members. Don't recall the exact full form - something to do with integrating new citizens.
And that concluded the evening.
Note that they didn't specify dress code, so I turned up in a collarless t shirt, shorts and shoes. This is Singapore after all, right? They stopped me for a few minutes before they registered me - they had to check internally before they decided that there was no rule violation! Turns out that I was the only male dressed like that.
Also an observation on the demographics of the to be new citizens - looked overwhelmingly Malaysian Chinese, a few Malaysian Indians, a handful of PRCs, a sprinkling of Indians from India and maybe 1 or 2 Malays. This was in a group of approximately 60 people, give or take. The majority of people were at least over 35, with a handful in their 20s (those were folks who had studied here).
Update - 7th Oct 2022
Have been a bit lazy and didn't update for a while. On the 27th of September, I completed the last of 3 tasks required to complete stage 2 of the SC Journey. This was the Singapore experiential visit aka SEV. I had mine scheduled at the Singapore Discovery Center at 510 Jurong Road, just a short walk from Joo Koon mrt.
After the gaffe involving wearing shorts to the CSS, this time I wore a collared t shirt, jeans and closed shoes.
So the group of 80 people was divided up into two sub groups. Each had a guide assigned. They further divided up each of the groups of 40 into 8 groups of 5. I ended up with 3 others from India including a couple in their late 40s and one Malaysian in his late 30s.
We then had to do 4 activities.
1. They gave 2 printed cards to each group of 5. Each card contained a question and a photo. The aim was to go through the audio visual gallery set up which contained snippets of Singapore history, match the photos with the relevant events and answer the question on the 2 cards. One card had a photo of LKY sprinkling flowers over a grave - the question was "what is LKY doing and what is the significance of the event". The other had an almost caricature like depiction of a red haired Caucasian man with the question "who is this man who transformed Singapore into a modern city".
The first card was a 1973 photo of LKY sprinkling flowers over the graves of the Indonesian men who were executed by Singapore for the Macdonald house bomb blast. This was supposedly a symbolic gesture of diplomacy to make peace with Indonesia and bury the past.
The next card - no surprises. Sir Raffles.
2. The 2nd activity was just going back through the same gallery, this time guided.
3. After a short break we started the 3rd part which consisted of the following -
A. Kahoot quiz consisting of 7 questions. Apart from answering correctly, you also get more points for answering as fast as possible. No prize, but I won the quiz, answering all 7 questions correctly.
B. They showed us a typical SAF back pack and it's contents.
C. Then they gave us a chance to taste a SAF packaged food supply. It was basically a slightly pasty chicken rice with pieces of potatoes. Not high on flavor - just a little bit of ginger taste in it. Not too bad in my opinion for a vacuum sealed food supply intended for a war like situation. My dad was a naval officer, his father was in the air force and my mother's father was in the navy as well. Additionally, we had a relative who was a chief of army staff - so I have quite a lot of exposure to the Indian armed forces. My dad used to always say that the Indian army is probably the only one in the world that has cooks preparing hot and spicy food whereever they go, even at 20k feet in the Himalayan mountains! That said, I thought the SAF food was quite palatable, despite what the Malaysian guy in our group thought.
D. Then they gave each group a box of Lego and asked us to get creative and make something that we felt was representative of Singapore. We made something that looked like MBS, complete with the Sky pool and with Gardens by the Bay on the side.
4. Finally, to cap it off, we got into a bus and they took us around the SAF training institute aka SAFTI on a guided tour. Again a bit of a special moment for me because my dad had done his fair share of conducting officer training in India so that was something I grew up with.
So after each of the 3 assignments in Stage 2 of the SC Journey, you take a survey. After all that is done, within a few hours they auto generated an ICA letter and create an appointment for oath taking at the ICA Building. Mine was auto generated on the 3rd of January. However, I managed to reschedule online to the 8th of November.
So now the next thing I have to do is to schedule an appointment around 2 weeks prior to the 8th of November at BLS international to submit an application for renunciation of my Indian citizenship. Thanks to Gold spot and Jalan Jalan for answering my queries on this in another thread. So anyway, I am patiently waiting to apply for an appointment with BLS which apparently can only be done up to 5 days ahead of the day on which you plan to submit your application. And yes, there is a high possibility that I will be stateless for a few days prior to oath taking. Slightly unnerving to be honest.
Update - 18th Oct 2022
Since my oath taking at the ICA Building is coming up on the 8th of November, I worked backwards to fix my Indian citizenship renunciation date. It takes 8 working days. So adding a bit of buffer and factoring in the holiday on the 24th, I decided that I should submit my application at BLS international on the 21st of October.
So they have appointments that can be booked online within 5 days from the planned visit. The window in which to book your appointment is between 10 and 10.30 am every day. So I managed to get an appointment for the 21st at their Tanjong Pagar office.
Second part is to submit an online application for renunciation on this site :
Take a print out of the application. Next step is to take the application print along with supporting documents and show up at BLS on the 21st. Fingers crossed that there are no surprises. BLS always seem to turn up something unexpected whenever I go there.
Update - 23rd Oct 2022
The trip to BLS - it ended up being what I feared it would be. I feared that there would be room for uncertainty and I was proved right.
Long story short - whover is reading this, make sure that you bring along the ICA letter confirming that you have completed stage 2 of the SC Journey. They do not consider the in principle approval letter. This is the stage where you would have completed all 3 tasks (e learning, Singapore experiential visit and community sharing session) and completed the online surveys. Additionally, you would have also uploaded a photo and made a payment for your pink IC. This will auto generate a letter stating that you have an appointment for oath taking. The letter you need to bring along. Finally, the date on this letter must match the date of obtaining Singapore citizenship in the online form that you submit to the Indian passport site. If it is different, then you will have to redo that online submission and print it out again.
So anyway, I managed to get things done after a few nervous moments and about 4 hours at BLS. They now have my Indian passport which will be couriered to me in approximately one to two weeks confirming that I am no longer an Indian citizen. In time for my Singapore oath taking.
Also, this is the frustrating thing about BLS - even though I had an appointment, I still had to queue up with everyone else who did not! I have no freaking idea if that appointment made even the slightest difference.
And general rant about BLS - I wasn't the only one who had to spend a really long time there - pretty much everyone else had to as well. I could hear grumbles about things not clearly stated in the website. Many of those present were non indian citizens trying to get visas - many had to wait as long as I had to. If this is their first impression of the country before they even get on the flight, then they already have a sour taste in the mouth.