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exemption from national service

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 07 Sep 2008 12:51 pm

Good post PHK. Most of which as already been noted in this Forum but all over the place with the exception of the return of the passport as I only noted this in my last response. Why it didn't dawn on me earlier I don't know. Actually, I do know. As my son and I have always discussed this matter since he was about 6 years old, it was something that he has always had to think about as we have discussed it annually since then (he's 19 and in NAFA at the moment). As it was his future, I wanted him to have a say in it. As I am also a VN veteran, I do understand the importance of military service for the discipline it instills, and the patriotism that it requires.

As far as the fact that one never lived here, well, I always have to ask why was Singaporean Citizenship obtained in the first place? Secondly, if not by choice due to the mother being a Singaporean and the child being born here, then then law is very clear regardless where you live. Having said that, the avenues for release are also there and when the parents wait to the last minute to try to do something, I find that irresponsible to say the least.

3. Make sure the Singapore Passport expires before the 11th birthday and/or include it with the registered letter for cancellation / surrender. Personally I would not alter the passport, expired or valid, as that in itself may be regarded as a criminal offense latter.


It might be a good idea to take it to the local Singapore Consulate and have them officially cancel the Passport with their chop therefore it has been officially rendered no longer valid by representatives of the Singapore Government. This way ICA cannot say the passport is still valid but was apparently lost and returned to ICA. (lost is still valid). Just a thought and taking it one step further towards eliminating what I agree is their unreasonable demands.

It's very easy to have a Singapore Passport expire before the child's 11 birthday. Just get his passport before his 1st birthday. The passport is a 10 year passport now I think (It was a 5 year one before the biometric ones.

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Postby PHK » Sun, 07 Sep 2008 3:47 pm

Thanks much Mr. sundaymorningstaple!

I did call the Singapore Consulate in New York near the U.N. on Friday and asked them about this and they said they are only authorized to cancel when you are picking up a replacement new passport.

My son did live with us in Singapore for a while, due to an assignment, and attended International School. At the time getting the dual Singapore Citizenship seemed like a good idea, back then my wife was a Singapore Citizen. Why did I just not get the PR, I just do not know... I feel dumb... but unlike others on this forum, at least we still can get legally exempted by following a lot of real tricky (non-sense) requirements.

However, it also seems real dumb to me that any parent would obtain the Singapore Citizenship for their son's without ever really living in Singapore and additionally want the passport and/or Pink IC, and then claim ignorance.

In hindsight, I actually never realized the passport expiring after the 11th birthday could be interpreted as enjoying social economic benefits of citizenship similar to the Pink IC, it is not even on the U.S. Embassy web site, until I saw the recent postings. It is a technicality I think a parent with a savvy lawyer may in the future find worth fighting in a court of law, if that would get their kid exempted from NS. However, if they luckily won, the government would only appeal, and I doubt it would be in the papers the next day until the person was forced to do NS.

Of course, all this is a very personal matter between parents and the child to discuss. In our case we left Singapore with no intention of returning except for a vacation or two.

I am worried enough that I may send the 11th birthday intending renunciation letter and unaltered Singapore Passport for cancellation / surrender to ICA unit #06-00 (Tel# +65-6391-6316) by Fed Ex, but even that I have to think twice, maybe a non-government private courier service delivery will not count as a valid notification in a court of law. Maybe the courts will only recognize a registered letter. (I do NOT trust ICA or MinDef at all)

It looks like they are going to use every technicality in the book and invent some more in the years to come. Even a parent can be charged on a technicality in assisting your son so be very careful.

A parent only has themselves to blame for ignorance. If it looks like I am putting a lot of time and effort into this then it is because I consider my son's future freedom's to travel to be sacred. Thanks much for assisting us parents.

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Postby waz » Tue, 09 Sep 2008 8:09 am

For cancellation of passport, can we just post directly (from overseas) to ICA and request for cancellation, if the consular only do replacement?

-------------

PHK

Thanks for the info.
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888Max and Waz

Postby PHK » Tue, 09 Sep 2008 10:55 am

888Max:

Appreciate you trying to correct all my earlier positing but be mindful that you can NOT get a deferment at age 13 as you indicated, only an exit permit. At age 16.5 (or age 17?) when you register for NS, as required, a deferment request must be made that you will want to take your child to his 21st birthday when you can renounce Singapore Citizenship. My brother-in-law now living in Australia with a new citizenship found that they would only give his Singapore born son a 1 year deferment for higher education, they did not follow all the age previous vague rules exactly either, and now his son at age 19 is going to return to serve NS as they are not letting up and are threatening in listing him as an NS Defaulter.

However, my son was born in New York (American Citizen by birth), with my wife already having resigned her Singapore Citizenship and I my PR, (he is going to be 11 soon) and with us meticulously following all the requirements previously posted, and improperly edited by others, MinDef should give him a much more favorable deferment as everyone is processed on a case-by-case basis.

Do not be too sure of anything, never overestimate yourself and underestimate them as they will use whatever means that is politically correct. Forget common sense or morals here.

Waz:

There is one unit in ICA that handles all such matters and that is where I am mailing his 11th birthday intention to renounce citizenship letter along with his Singapore Passport for surrender / cancellation. I would never send them anything by regular mail or try to argue some sense into ICA or MinDef. Also I am not sure if in the future there will be a challenge to the 11th birthday notification and unaltered passport return, with me sending all this via FedEx instead of a registered mail, should they try to convict my son of being a NS Defaulter latter. This may give room to argue they never received it or that it was not a legal notification if done by regular mail or FedEx so I am sending every thing by registered mail with return postcard receipt requested.

The ICA renunciation unit is as follows:

ICA
10 Kallang Road, #06-00
Singapore 208718 Singapore
Tel# +65-6391-6316
Fax: +65-6293-6956


Without offending anybody, please let us be careful what we post on this web site, no one knows everything and it is not legal advice, but giving others wrong information , such as having deferment age 13, is just not right.
Also beware that Internal Security Bureau , MinDef and ICA are probably reading these postings too.

If you consider your son's future right to travel the world over freely and sacred, like I do, then be mindful that Singapore will not forgive any carelessness, neglect, or ignorance in not following its intentionally vague rules and allow your son's a renunciation of its citizenship without serving NS just as a token of goodwill no matter what the circumstances.

Thank you for your time.[/u][/b]

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 09 Sep 2008 2:08 pm

This has been my problem here for the past two years. There is little written in plain English black & white in one location to try to figure out just what is the score. The 11/13 age thing is a good example. 11 years is the magic number and if you have held a passport or NRIC you will have been deemed to have enjoyed socio-economic benefits of same. If one thinks about it rationally (I use that term loosely - very loosely) then the Passport has more power than the NRIC which is only recognized IN Singapore and not world wide. Only a Passport will suffice either in Singapore OR internationally. I would have though common sense would have prevailed here.

The reason the 13 years has come into play has everything to do with the Biometric Passports and the cost of producing them. Additionally, they are saying that was because in the past NRIC's were issued at 11 and not the 15 of today. Also, they start secondary school at 13 so therefore are enjoying socio-economic benefits (by their thought processes). Therefore the new guidelines, while still ambiguous as hell, has now had the 2 years passport relegated to history (those that have them are having them chopped to extend their validity to a full 10 years. Because of that, the exit permit being backed up to 13 years old had to come into play and the passports are now 10 years and expensive to produce.

The bond, if needed to be posted, is not necessarily 75K. It's 75K or half of the combined family's annual income. Which ever is HIGHER! So if your family income the preceding year exceeded 140K then you will pay even higher bond. http://iprep.ns.sg/exit-permit.html

Here's there reasoning: http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/news_a ... 06_fs.html

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Age and passport requirements for exemption

Postby PHK » Thu, 11 Sep 2008 2:52 pm

Today I had a cordial chat with an officer at the Central Manpower Base to confirm what they emailed me regarding the specific age cutoff and the surrender / cancellation of a Singapore Passport after immigrating.

She advised me that technically there is no specific age that a Singaporean son to have exited Singapore to avoid NS or to have the Singapore Passport canceled or surrendered. She also told me that if the child is foreign born (not born in Singapore) or both parents are no longer Singaporean, and your son did not enjoy the socio-economic benefits of Singapore Citizenship (definition is not clear cut), then that plays more favorably for an exemption. However, they also advised that information posted on the U.S. Embassy web site is data that MinDef did not it self specifically endorse.

Then I specifically questioned her in detail about the passport and she concurred with me that MinDef would not regard just having a valid Singapore Passport after immigrating in itself to mean that your son's enjoyed soci-economic benefits and deny an exemption. However, she emphasized that continuing to renew a Singapore Passport after it expires or freely travel with it after immigrating from Singapore (a complete photocopy of every page of every Singapore and Foreign Passport since birth will be required for submission without any exceptions) instead of just using your foreign passport WILL be viewed as having enjoyed soci-economic benefits. Hence I could also sumurise that a lost, stolen, defaced or altered passort, with or without a police report, would be a red flag to them.

Further to the email reply they sent me, as well as the phone conversation, they stressed that they handle each boy on a case-by-case basis. She did listen to my circumstances and put me at ease by saying that the exit permit is intended more so for those Singaporean young men that go overseas to study. If the whole family migrated at a young age and you request an exit permit, as required, (have or will be getting foreign citizenship by age 21 for your son), then you should get it without worrying (I only hope?).

So write to them, don't just accept my posting, they never asked me for my identifying information either, the address is: cmpb@starnet.gov.sg

Take everything they say with a grain of salt, but talking to them nicely, it costs nothing to be civil, and perhaps somehow you can get through it without your son having to serve or be an NS defaulter...

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Exemption from Singapore NS critical information (Revised)

Postby PHK » Sun, 14 Sep 2008 1:35 pm

I am not an attorney, this is not legal advice, but if you would like to know-

Exemption from Singapore NS critical information (Revised):


1. Get you son's out of Singapore before their 11th birthday (age 13 is unconfirmed). These ages are recommended by the U.S. Embassy Singapore as a guide. MinDef advises there is no specific age, however, each young man is handled on a case-by-case basis and it is just safer to observe these ages so that your child is judged to have left Singapore at a young enough age.
a. Immediately document the departure date for each individual by mailing in the ICA change of address form for persons residing overseas: http://www.ica.gov.sg/data/resources/do ... orm_A1.pdf
b. Otherwise, the Singapore Overseas Consulates also have a special form for this purpose: http://www.mfa.gov.sg/newyork-consul/FormP28.pdf

2. On or before the 13th birthday send a registered letter, with postcard return receipt for yourself, to ICA and MinDef declaring intention to renounce child's citizenship at age 21. Include a photocopy of your child’s birth certificate, citizenship certificate (if applicable), proof of foreign school enrollment / attendance, proof of departure date from Singapore along with a copy of every page of the Singapore and Foreign Passport. The addresses for this notification are as follows:

Central Manpower Base
3 Depot Road, #02-07
Singapore 109680
Tel# +65-6373-3132

ICA Renunciation Unit
10 Kallang Road, #06-00
Singapore 208718
Tel# +65-6391-6316

3. Do NOT renew a Singapore Passport after its expiry. You must NOT use the Singapore Passport after immigrating, as soon as a foreign passport has been obtained, even to enter Singapore for any reason whatsoever, or your son’s will be judged to have enjoyed socio-economic benefits and have to serve NS. You may have to submit photocopies of every page of the Singapore and Foreign Passport again at age 21 for exemption from NS and renunciation of citizenship.

4. Never ever collect a Pink IC or renew a Singapore Passport past the 11th birthday. A Singapore Passport obtained or renewed before age 6, or at an overseas consulate, will not contain the fingerprint in the biometric data. Never ever allow a passport to be altered, defaced, lost or stolen, with or without a police report, as this likely take away the evidence you need to collaborate your claim and may be a red flag latter.

5. Apply online for an Exit Permit within 3 months of the 13th birthday (even though you have allowed the Singapore Passport to expire or had it canceled / surrendered before the 11th birthday)

6. Register for NS at age 16.5 and ask for a deferment to age 21 when renunciation can be made.

7. If either parent is a PR or Singapore Citizen, assuming that you too have left Singapore, then it would be beneficial for the purposes of your son’s exemption for NS, to also renounce your PR or citizenship as soon as possible and collect their hard earned CPF savings.

8. Renounce the son's Singapore Citizenship on the 21st birthday making sure that a foreign citizenship has been secured first using their special renunciation form that needs to be notarized with certified photocopies and is not available on the ICA web site. Unless absolutely necessary, do NOT allow your son's to visit Singapore even on a foreign passport until you have the renunciation acceptance letter.

9. Keep up with changes in the law. Never ever trust ICA or MidDef, do not communicate with them in writing in any way that could be construed as assisting a potential NS defaulter in a court of law latter, beware as they will use all technicalities available. I am sure they are reading this too. Good luck!
Last edited by PHK on Fri, 26 Sep 2008 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Ukkired » Tue, 16 Sep 2008 4:29 am

Hi, this thread has been very helpful. Thanks to all!

Question: My son will be applying for his PR status soon, and will need a clean criminal record. He has defaulted NS; will there be any record at CID (warrant of arrest or the like), which will obviously affect his success of attaining PR status?

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Postby Plavt » Tue, 16 Sep 2008 5:40 am

Ukkired wrote:Hi, this thread has been very helpful. Thanks to all!

Question: My son will be applying for his PR status soon, and will need a clean criminal record. He has defaulted NS; will there be any record at CID (warrant of arrest or the like), which will obviously affect his success of attaining PR status?


Might be an idea if you read this thread from the beginning. ............your son is in the 'dog house' is the only way I can put it. :(

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Postby waz » Sun, 21 Sep 2008 6:43 am

Hi PHk and the rest.

Thanks for the advise guys.

My son is now 8 and his passport will expire before the 11th birthday.
He has already acquired a foreign citizenship, Oz and we have moved permanently. So PHK advise is very relevant to my requirement.

I am going back to Sg in two weeks time for a two weeks holiday.
Should I drop by CMPB to talk to someone about this?
Can I just walk in or do I need to make an appointment.

Like PHK said, do it the proper way.

Thanks
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Do let us all know if we missed something please...

Postby PHK » Sun, 21 Sep 2008 10:20 am

Hi waz!

Enjoy your holiday I say... the phone and email worked great for me... just never use the Singapore Passport ever again and follow the suggestions given and you should be all set... please do let all of us know if we missed something...GOOD LUCK :)

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Postby waz » Tue, 23 Sep 2008 6:57 am

Hi PHK

I am afraid I have to use his Singapore passport for the visit to Singapore.
Probably the last time using the Singapore passport. Did not have time to make the new (foreign passport).

Well, he is 8 and passport expires few days after after his 10th birthday.

I will visit the manpower base at depot road.

Thanks
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Postby PHK » Tue, 23 Sep 2008 10:59 am

Hi Waz!

I am no expert but how do you intend to return with your child to your home country then, on a Singapore Passport too?

If you do that here at JFK New York after having become an American Citizen, you would then have to hire an attorney and it would take years to smooth things over with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services and / or Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Strictly speaking as a father of a child in the same boat, suggest you think things through... I am sure there are ways to properly expedite your new foreign passport... do you really want this on the back of your mind and ruin your vacation to Singapore... ofcourse, it is all up to you...

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Reservist question

Postby greg.vaugh » Thu, 02 Oct 2008 12:26 am

Hi,

I want to get you guys' opinions.

I finished my NS before leaving and was studying abroad. I tried to renew my exit permit after 5 years because I had to find work but they told me I had to come back. WTF, I have no extra money etc... so I just say Screw it.

After 8 years after my exit permit expires and I'm still living in the US as a PR. I want to renew my passport, is there any way I can?

I mean this is absurd that they think that I can take 1 or 2 weeks off from work to go back for reservist and have the $$ , give me a break! I did my 2 years... or wasted 2 years of my life already.....

I will pay a fine if I have to but I can't take the chance of going back and never come back. I would like my passport renew... any idea?

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Postby waz » Sun, 16 Nov 2008 11:29 am

Hi PHK

YOu are RIGHT!

I just realised this when I was about to fly back to Singapore. I did not read your posting until now. I was busy at work and had only managed to pack 2 days prior to the travel back to Singapore.

I only realised when I was reading Oz Immi website about returning back to Oz. .......... My kids need the OZ passports!!

One reason I overlooked was the fact that two months back I flew to SG and return back to Oz on my SG passport, although I was already an Aussie. That time, my Oz passpost did not arrive in time, and I had not renounced yet.

I was able to reenter Oz without any problem because my Resident Return Visa on my SG passport was still valid (although technically, I should only used Oz passport to return). As far as the Immigration in Oz in concerned, I am still a PR with valid return visa.

The different with my kids is that their PR Visa has expired. You can leave but cannot return. I realised this on the weekend before my travel. And to make matter worst, the Monday was a public holiday and my flight in on the same night. DIMA (Immi) office was closed.

I decide to fill in the passport application form for my kids, got a witness to sign on the day itself before travelling, and brought all documents (Citizenship certs, birth certs) to Singapore.

At the Oz airport, the immi officer did highlight that my kids visa had expired and may have problem to reenter. I told him I was aware of it and will contact the HiCom in SG.

Went to the HiComm on the second day. Initially I was contemplating of obtaining a DECLARATION from the HiComm to confirm that my kids are Aussie Citizen. That would be instant but cost $240+ each. (I got 3 kids).

Passport was the cheaper option (~$130 each) but will take 10 days to process. I am supposed to be there for 3 weeks, so might as well although the feeling of insecurity was there. I had to admit my fault at the HiComm official for the oversight. BTW, 10 days does not include travel time as the passport is supposed to be made in Canberra.

I had even show them my itinerary (flight Schedule) as I really need the passports soon. I was actually prepare to extend my stay if the passports were not ready.

SURPRISINGLY, got my Kids new Oz passport in 6 days.

Phew!!!!!

Lesson learnt.
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