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exemption from national service

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igwt
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Re: Singapore/UK dual national and NS

Postby igwt » Fri, 20 Feb 2009 9:50 pm

Johnny3 wrote:
Here is my story, hope it helps:

3 kids with me here in the US, eldest son born in Singapore, left Singapore when he was 11 months old. So he never benefitted from any Singapore education or anything else, except using his SIngapore passport. His passport expired before he is 11, of course not knowing any details, since these poilicies are not well known, I like a dum dum, extended his passport. Got 2 year extension of which he never used his passport anyway. So in 2006, we all became US Citizens. I applied for him to renounce his Singapore citizenship, denied by Mindef as they say he benefitted from being a Singapore Citizen. Hence the saga starts.

After a few e-mails and letters, found out that the passport extension was the key. Consulted some school mate lawyers, wrote back to Mindef that the "fault of ther father should not bind the future of the son". Still no cigar. I wrote and wrote and this even included the Minister of Defence.

Wife and I divorced in 2006 and she renounced her Singapore Citizenship. Sent in more paperwork and asked for appeal again for deferment to renouce his citizenship. Again denied. Then talked to few families in California undergoing similar problems. Was told that precedents have been set that if both parents give up their Singapore Citizenship, thus showing that they are severing ties with Singapore, then MINDEF will grant deferment to renounce. CAVEAT IS son must be below 18 years old when this happens.

Did not want to give up my Singapore Citizenship, since no one would take it away. Talked to ICA and they told me many Singaporeans living overseas have dual citizenships. Officially you should not, but the govt does not want to lose talented Singaporeans. Anyway asked Mindef point blank if this was the case, they of course simply said that my appeal was denied.

Finally after 2 years of tussling with MINDEF, I walked a difficult path to give up my Singapore Citizenship for the sake of my son. FINALLY, sent in my de-registration of being a Singapore Citizen to MINDEF and then they finally agreed to let him go. Letter provided to say that they attached an updated exit permit for him for 2 years. When he turns 16.5 years, they will send up paperwork for him to register for NS, at that time they will then give him an exit permit until he is 21 and then he must renounce his citizenship. Hope this helps out to those reading this board.


Hi Johnny3:

Do you have more details about this 18 years old thing? I am kind of in the same situation. It sounds like we could attempt to apply deferment if we become US citizen before the kid turns 18. How about the tricky period between 16.5 and 18? If I understand correctly, a bond has to be furnished once the kid reaches 16.5 years old. What if we become US citizen only after the kid turns 16.5? Is the bond forfeited?

Also, are there any parents living in the US actually sending their kids to do NS? How do you juggle the timing to fit the school calendar here? Ideally, the kids start serving the NS right after high school here in June/July and finish it just before Sept so that the kids enter college just in time and the disruption is simply 2 years.

Also, are there any parents living in the US as permanent residences (green card) only (not yet US citizens) sending their kids to do NS? How do you maintain the kid's permanent residence here?

I would like to get in touch with some parents here who have gone through this process. If you are kind enough to share your experience, please PM me.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Attn: MikedeLeonJones

Postby USGC » Wed, 25 Feb 2009 2:49 am

The military is not for everybody, if you are worried about NS for conscientious observer reasons or something, than why not explore legal options such as civil defense, etc. These are legal avenues available if you cooperate and make an effort.

PHK
Can you please let me know how to explore this avenues legally. I am not against NS - but for some reasons I do not want my son to be in the army. Is there a way we can opt for other civil defense services like First-aid, Nursing, health care etc.. or any other supporting roles? I am planning to give up his citizenship as soon as possible. I may be giving up my singapore citizenship before he turns 18. In this case it is no use for the country and also for him to serve in the army knowing very well he is going to snap the ties.

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Re: Singapore/UK dual national and NS

Postby USGC » Wed, 25 Feb 2009 2:54 am

I would like to get in touch with some parents here who have gone through this process. If you are kind enough to share your experience, please PM me.

Thanks in advance.[/quote]

I am also interested in this. I find SIngapore government is very sensible otherwise. Why not we take this up with the ministry as a group. I also think we can propose our sons to serve Singapore in many ways living in USA> In this cyber age there are things that can be done - also i think serving singapore consulates in US is also another way of fullfilling NS obligations. If we think we can find ways and also discuss with the ministry.Please forward me any mail you get regarding this.
Thanks

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 25 Feb 2009 7:13 am

Be careful, be very, very careful.

What you are proposing borders on subversive behaviour. You should know that the government here as an aversion to groups trying to take on the government and when some group does that, the powers that be tend to become set in concrete.

If one will just think about it for a moment....

[rant]
Singapore has a finite number of males citizens. It is surrounded by two countries that would love to own it's harbour and it would make a shining jewel in either of those countries. The only thing between that and what Singapore is at the moment is a credible military (granted untested in the greater scheme of things - and yes, I have my druthers as well) that will give it the required 72 hour standoff capability that would be required to have it's allies arrive in force. If every male citizen didn't do their obligation as a citizen then the country as you know it would be rather short-lived. Even the Vatican has their military! As to what constitutes socio-economic benefits? Well, having a Singapore passport made it very easy for you to go to the US, Aus, UK, Canada or almost anywhere in the world. Wouldn't be quite so easy if you were holding a Myanmar passport would it? Just by having that passport you have enjoyed freedom you may not have otherwise enjoyed. It is to much to ask that for that gift, you not kick the giver in the cojones? It's called payback.

You or your son are not conscientious objectors. You are just typical Singaporeans trying to escape something unpleasant that you think is a waste of time without looking for the reasons in the first place why it is necessary. It's people like you that is the reason why Singapore doesn't have an Identity yet. It's not a nation because of the people who have been here have been mollycoddled by the government so long that they no longer have any guts of their own.

I tried to give, like PHK, lots of information here over the past 3 or 4 years and at the end of the day, you all are all alike. Give me, but don't ask anything in return. AND if that's not bad enough, you weren't smart enough to find these things out BEFORE you committed your children to being involuntary lawbreakers because of your actions. Frankly, I hope all are made to do NS or are conscripted in the US and sent to Iran or Afghanistan to help them grow up instead of being spineless like their parents.

:mad:
[/rant]

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With all do respect...

Postby PHK » Fri, 27 Feb 2009 4:06 pm

With all do respect, when my son is old enough, he can serve any military he wants to but we see no obligation to Singapore NS at all...

I was an employee of an oil company, Halliburton, when we lived in Singapore for a few short years where my son attended only Interntional School. My wife is no longer a Singapore Citizen, my son has a New York State DOH Birth Certificate, and this NS garbage is simply the result of a technicality because we made the mistake of applying for Singapore Citizenship for him while we were there and I expect him to be fully exempted within the law.

Other than that, I was there on 9/11, so if anybody wants to call us spineless, well then I have nothing to say...
Last edited by PHK on Fri, 27 Feb 2009 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 27 Feb 2009 5:35 pm

PHK, my rant was not directed at you but the poster directly above my rant, USGC. What you have contributed since you have been on this board has been above reproach. My tirade was about Singaporean families who immigrate without doing their research before leaving.

sms

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Postby PHK » Fri, 27 Feb 2009 5:55 pm

Thank you, sundaymorningstaple.

It troubles me that Singaporeans, or former Singaporeans, may want to use the excellent suggested information on this web site, provided to legally navigate the obscure rules for exemption from Singapore NS, to instead just break the law. My in-laws told me there were options to serve NS, such as civil defense, as I remember a room mate in college that actually flunked a voluntary US Army boot camp and got kicked out for being "unable to adapt to military life".

That having been said my message to all is just one:

Those who risk their lives in a sincere effort to make the world a safer place deserve the respect and need the prayers of all those that take no such risk at all.

Please use this web site wisely, at a different time in the world the Singapore Internal Security Bureau could have shut it down. If you have a legitimate legal reason not to let your son's serve NS, (and you followed the rules such as getting them out in time, applying for a ridiculous exit permit and other non-sense) then fight for the exemption to the end. However, if you did not follow the (obscure) rules or were just plain ignorant, then be prepared to serve (military, civil defense or whatever else they are willing to let you do) but do NOT let yourself or your son's be a coward.

Your word should always mean something. Thank you for your time.

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Re: Give us that facts to assist you

Postby igwt » Sat, 28 Feb 2009 12:26 am

PHK wrote:Tell us:

1. Your current age, your posting details seem beyond being just a teenager age

2. Are your parents still Singaporean, and if so, will they also be renouncing Singapore Citizenship

3. The country that you will be adopting, how long will it take from now for you to become its citizen, etc.

4. At what age did you leave Singapore and where were you born

Mind you that none of us are attorney's and none of this is legal advice.

Here is my situation:
1. Boy age = 15, still holding valid SG passport only and exit permit now
2. Both parents = Singapore citizens (not by birth, but by immigration)
3. US green card now. Eligible for US citizen when boy reaches 17.5. At that time, both parents and boy will become US citizens (but not sure if naturalization paperwork will complete before boy turns 18).
4. Born in SG. Left before 1 year old.

Application for deferment rejected. Any legal means to get out of this?

Thanks.

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Postby PHK » Sat, 28 Feb 2009 9:52 am

igwt,

Firstly none of us are attorney's and this is not legal advice. However, based on what you wrote I think you have a good chance as it resembles my brother-in-law living in Australia. They too were rejected but eventually got an exemption.

Concentrate on expediting the naturalization application with USCIS. Here in New York the whole process takes 6 months from the date of filing. Suggest you find an immigration attorney who can find a way to make it happen before your son's 18th birthday. If you do not have an attorney then send me a PM and I will send you the name and phone number of a very experienced attorney (semi-retired now) who can do this for you for a very low nominal fee.

You and your wife will be issued a Certificate of Naturalization and your son will then latter be issued a Certificate of Citizenship. You can then fill out a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request form and get copies of the internal USCIS record which will have an additional certified record showing that your son received his citizenship via parents naturalization before the child's 18th birthday. Due to a backlog with USCIS your son will most likely only receive the Certificate of Citizenship after his 18th birthday but there will be 2 dates stated on the certificate. The first date will be the date you and your wife were Naturalized, he will technically became a citizen effective that date, and the second date will be the actual certificate issue date. That is why it will help to also get the FOIA records too after everyone is a citizen and there is no fee to get the FOIA record for your son either, the form must be notarized though.

Once you have all this then the parents should immediately resign Singapore citizenship with ICA. Simultaneously start the paperwork with CPF to withdraw funds. This will shorten the process from 6 months down to just 3 months to resign and have all your CPF money refunded to you.

Then send a registered letter to MinDef will photocopies of both parents USCIS Naturalization Certificates, your son's USCIS Citizenship Certificate and the sons's FOIA record that clearly states that his citizenship was based upon the child parents becoming citizenship prior to his 18th birthday along with copies of everyone's new US passports. Indicate in your letter that your son only lived in Singapore for 1 year (never benefited) and that you are all US Citizens now and you are requesting an exemption to Singapore NS and are prepared to hire legal counsel if it refused.

Please let us know how it works out for you. Good luck!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 28 Feb 2009 11:36 am

The only sticking point I can see will be the fact that the boy HAS enjoyed socio-economic benefit from Singapore as he is still using a Singapore Passport, which is the same has holding an NRIC. In reality, from the Singapore government's POV it's even better than the NRIC as it allows worldwide travel under the protection of the Singapore government.

What is not indicated here is 'when' the exit permit was obtained and at what age his passport was obtained/renewed and if the letter of intent to renounce had been timely filed. If these are within protocol then I think he has a chance, otherwise, I think they will find him in violation of Singapore's law again holding passports of more than two countries as both parents were/are Singapore Citizens at the time of the child's birth. This make the child a Singapore Citizen, full stop, regardless of whether or not the parents were naturalized or by birth. The only provision for dual citizenship under Singapore law is in the case of one parent having different citizenship and then it is only allowed until the child reaches majority under Singapore law. I doubt very seriously that naturalization of the parents as US Citizens and subsequent inheriting of Citizenship under Parent/minor child provisions will hold much water with the Singapore Government. What will probably happen is that he will be classified as a deserter and should he ever return to Singapore for any reason, he may be picked up for desertion. So, any trips to Asia to see relatives will result in the relatives having to meet him in Johor as he'll not be allowed to enter Singapore (well, they will allow him to enter, but will pick him up).

He is going to need some luck I think.

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Postby PHK » Sat, 28 Feb 2009 12:16 pm

I concur with you sundaymorningstaple.

Unfortunately, even the USCIS laws can be perplexing at times. There is 14 year old girl from Guatemala here that was adopted and brought to the U.S. when she was 2. In the last 12 years her adopted parents have been unable to obtain her legalization because USCIS wanted them to locate the biological mother to verify the kid was not trafficked and the adoption agency they used went out of business. Hence this 14 year old Junior High School student may someday be deported from the U.S. despite having lived here with native American adopted parents. It makes me sick to think that a kid has to face that kind of stress...

We can not solve all problems, it is nice that we can suggest to them the legal avenues, if this boy's parents have made up their mind that they will forget Singapore for ever than they should go for the American dream and become naturalized and try to make every effort to get him exempted from Singapore NS or serve.

Perhaps by the time their son matures the laws will allow for flexibility in his case, or he will serve NS (Military or civil defense) or he will be a deserter. That will be up to them. Thanks!

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Re: Give us that facts to assist you

Postby igwt » Sat, 28 Feb 2009 10:12 pm

Thanks, PHK.

Here is some further information.

1. Current exit permit obtained shortly after boy turned 13.
2. Passport was renewed before boy turned 11. New passport was valid for 2 years old at issuance and so it was subsequently extended until and beyond now.
3. Intent to renounce SG citizenship was communicated in the same letter attached to the "application for deferment of NS until the age of 21".

Questions:
1. Is my "intent to renounce" considered properly filed? If not, any advice?
2. From 16.5 to 18, do I have to place a bond (i.e. S$75,000) with the SG govt?

I do have access to immigration lawyer through my company (if I still work there in a few year time). Are you suggesting that some better lawyers make the naturalization process faster than others?

I understand none of this is legal advice.
Thanks in advance.

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Postby PHK » Sat, 28 Feb 2009 11:01 pm

1. The Singapore government does not want to make it easy to get an exemption and there is no official site that talks about the intent to renounce letter except suggested by us on this web site but it is a very good thing to do. Now my brother-in-law did it when his son was 16 and at first they said his son would have to serve. However, when both parents and child that were Singapore born became foreign citizens before the child's 18 birthday, eventually their exemption was approved. They engaged in a lawyer in Singapore to assist them... writing to them otherwise was a waist of time.

2. Do NOT extend his Singapore passport anymore. Do not travel, just stay in the U.S. until both of you are naturalized before his 18th birthday. On that very day both of you are naturalized, you can take him to a Passport Center or post office that processes passport applications and apply for a US passport for him even though it will take him a while to still get the USCIS Certificate of Citizenship. You will have to give them both your naturalization certificates, his birth certificate and PR (green) card to show that he entered the country legally. There is much information on this on the US Department of State web site. Note: You will still have to apply for renunciation of Singapore Citizenship and CPF withdrawal for yourself and wife, apply for his USCIS Certificate of Citizenship and then PA/FOIA records to show how his new citizenship was earned, etc.

3. I suggest you call MinDef on the phone or email them as they are very keen and try to assist. However, do not make the mistake of visiting them in person as they separate you from your child and take sworn statements from both of you to lock you into him serving, etc.

4. Yes, with the right type of experienced immigration attorney your naturalization application can and does go faster from personal experience.

It is important that you stay ahead and knowledgeable on this topic so you can make the right informed decisions. Let us know if you need anything else and let us know how you make out too.

Good luck!

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Postby igwt » Sat, 28 Feb 2009 11:37 pm

How about the bond part? From 16.5 to 18, assuming that the US citizenship comes just before 18, do you think I still have to place a bond?

Thanks.

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Postby USGC » Sun, 01 Mar 2009 3:13 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:PHK, my rant was not directed at you but the poster directly above my rant, USGC. What you have contributed since you have been on this board has been above reproach. My tirade was about Singaporean families who immigrate without doing their research before leaving.

sms


Sundaymorning staple - thanks for all your advise. If you have mistaken my post sorry. For all reasons, i have never said i don't want my son to serve singapore. (Read all my posts). for your info. i have served my part in singapore and for community service got medal for two consequtive years. For personal reasons we migrated to US when my son was 1 year old. This forum is very useful and people share their ideas - nothing wrong. Every individual circumstances are different. As chinese proverb goes, when the river flows it cannot retrace its path. Before making comments please understand other's view. I have never complained about singapore nor did i praised my present location. Most of the forum members want to do their duty and obey the law.
Sorry for the long post. This is not ranting.


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