Singapore Expats Forum

exemption from national service

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 10 Jun 2009 3:38 pm

You take him out on a Singapore passport and bring him in on the same. You can also get him a Oz PP and enter Oz using that passport no problem. Get his passport now (and you can renew it at age 5 and he'll be good till 10 years old. Then whisk him out of the country AFTER notifying mindef. and getting the exit permits or if one is not required, be sure to remember to apply for an exit permit once he turn 13. (It might be good to send a new /duplicate letter of intent to renounce again when applying for the exit permit at 13 as well. In the old days before biometric passports you could always just have them as a riders on the mother's passport but no more. Not they have to have a passport in order to leave the country (he might have a problem leaving the country on an Aus PP without a departure card.

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Postby db1688 » Thu, 09 Jul 2009 7:37 am

I found this blog by chance and appreciate any advice regarding my situation. I have been reminiscing about my childhood home and wish to visit Singapore but also realized that, in all likelihood, I won't be able to due to not having served in National Service. I was born in Singapore in 1960. A few months after turning 12, my family immigrated to the US. I have been in the US ever since and became a naturalized citizen at 18. I know now that by accepting the ID card at age 12 I became obligated to serve NS. I also did not know until now that I had the opportunity to renounce my Singaporean citizenship at age 21. Were these laws/policies in place in 1972? I know the Singaporean government is very strict so perhaps my situation is hopeless.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 09 Jul 2009 8:58 am

It would appear that you may still be in trouble. However, as your are currently older than the military requirements here today and the fact that you left so many years ago, you might want to call the central Manpower base and have a anonymous conversation with them to see where you could possibly stand.

Following are two links to the Enlistment Act and Singapore Armed Forces Act where it looks like you could still be charged (but I still recommend calling them to find out.

Enlistment Act (Cap 93) Part VII 32 & 33

Singapore Armed Forces Act (Cap 295) Part III 23 & 24. Although I believe this one is normally for those currently on active duty.

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What should I do?

Postby May_168 » Sun, 26 Jul 2009 7:58 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote: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.


My two sons (16 and 17 of age now), left Singapore before 11, have not renewed their Singapore passport beyond 11, apply for NRIC nor study in Singapore school. My husband and I have already renounced Singapore citizenship and we are Australians. Our sons took up Australian citizenships when they were before 11 years old together with us. They do not want to return to Singapore. If Australia has compulsory conscription, they would go because this is their home.

Last year, they applied deferment for NS pending renunciation of Singapore citizenship at 21. Their application was not considered at all, even a number of letters had been written. CMPB says that they have committed exit permit offence. Only after paying a fine of $800 each, they will then "consider" their eligibility for deferment and there is still no guarantee for being deferred either.

Our boys don’t wish to be unjustly treated as NS defaulters.

What should we do? Where should we get proper legal advice in Australia or Singapore?

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Unacceptable

Postby PHK » Sun, 26 Jul 2009 8:37 pm

May_168

With everything that you have done right, the exit permit laws were only changed a couple of years ago if I remember correctly, the obscure Singapore laws sure sound more like BS to me every single day.

None of us are attorney's but it looks like it is high time you got one that is very familiar with Singapore law, etc. You are free to find your own, I have sent you a PM of one that I found useful.

Let us all know how things work out for you, my goodness!

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Re: What should I do?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 26 Jul 2009 10:23 pm

May_168 wrote:Last year, they applied deferment for NS pending renunciation of Singapore citizenship at 21. Their application was not considered at all, even a number of letters had been written. CMPB says that they have committed exit permit offence. Only after paying a fine of $800 each, they will then "consider" their eligibility for deferment and there is still no guarantee for being deferred either.

Our boys don’t wish to be unjustly treated as NS defaulters.

What should we do? Where should we get proper legal advice in Australia or Singapore?


I'm not too sure a lawyer can help but at least you will have explored all avenues that way. PHK I believe has a lawyer that they used who he's said was pretty knowledgeable.

From what you have written, it would seem that you did not file notice of intent to renounce prior to your children's eleventh birthday. You should have filed notice of intent and requested an exit permit (although you might have not had to have an exit permit under the old rulings) but you still would have had to file notice prior to their 11th birthday. At that point they may or may not have requested you to post a bond for each child. So at this juncture, the CMPB will not consider a deferment as the notice to renounce and or exit permits had not be timely filed with them. I'm not sure if you have any recourse at this point at all. As we are only assemblers of data here and not legal beagles, I would suggest strongly you get a lawyer soonest, if for no other reason than to confirm our suspicions.

Please let us know how it turns out as we are trying our best to collect as much data and actual real life cases as possible to forestall others from stumbling blindly into the same traps with their mail offspring.

sms

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Postby kraikk » Mon, 27 Jul 2009 10:13 pm

Yes May I think your case is one of those which we haven't seen much of: acquiring another citizenship before 11 and not enjoying any benefits, with the only transgression of the minefield of rules being failure to file notice of intention to renounce before 11 and obtaining exit permits. It would certainly be helpful if you could continue to update this forum.

It appears ICA may be willing to budge if you pay the $800 as a fine for failing to apply for the required exit permits from 11 till now. It is useful to remember that deferment till 21 and subsequent renunciation for early emigrants is a fully administrative measure at the discretion of the executive (Mindef, ICA). As far as the written law is concerned, the Enlistment Act subjects any citizen aged 16.5 to its provisions and the Constitution prohibits renunciation before 21. So it is significant when ICA says it will "consider" your application when it can just as easily tell your sons to either come back to serve, or never come back at all.

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Re: What should I do?

Postby Delgro » Wed, 29 Jul 2009 6:29 pm

May_168 wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote: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.


My two sons (16 and 17 of age now), left Singapore before 11, have not renewed their Singapore passport beyond 11, apply for NRIC nor study in Singapore school. My husband and I have already renounced Singapore citizenship and we are Australians. Our sons took up Australian citizenships when they were before 11 years old together with us. They do not want to return to Singapore. If Australia has compulsory conscription, they would go because this is their home.

Last year, they applied deferment for NS pending renunciation of Singapore citizenship at 21. Their application was not considered at all, even a number of letters had been written. CMPB says that they have committed exit permit offence. Only after paying a fine of $800 each, they will then "consider" their eligibility for deferment and there is still no guarantee for being deferred either.

Our boys don’t wish to be unjustly treated as NS defaulters.

What should we do? Where should we get proper legal advice in Australia or Singapore?



I am in a similar situation and like to know what further steps you have taken or intend to take.

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Re: Unacceptable

Postby Delgro » Sat, 01 Aug 2009 7:59 am

PHK wrote:May_168

With everything that you have done right, the exit permit laws were only changed a couple of years ago if I remember correctly, the obscure Singapore laws sure sound more like BS to me every single day.

None of us are attorney's but it looks like it is high time you got one that is very familiar with Singapore law, etc. You are free to find your own, I have sent you a PM of one that I found useful.

Let us all know how things work out for you, my goodness!



My boy is exactly in the same predicament as one of the forums posted herein recently. CMPB quoted that we have breached the Enlistment Act, all male Sgporeans are liable for NS. It has come to our knowledge that some managed to get NS deferment and no fine, pending renunciation. Although CMPB quoted the Act but I understand they process each case on a "case by case" basis. As always, law in Singapore is ambiguous and retrospective. Any one know of a lawyer who can advise or advice from anyone who are in same situation would be greatly appreciated. My main concern is if the boy has to go back and serve NS at age 17, it would be very disruptive for his education.

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Postby PHK » Sat, 01 Aug 2009 8:57 am

Delgro,

I sent you a PM of the same attorney referral that I sent May_168. There are many other lawyers out there, for some reason they do not like to advertise that they specialize in NS matters, probably another one of those Singapore quirks.

In my experience, if either parent decides to hold on to the Singapore citizenship or PR, for any reason, then all hope is lost for deferment and / or exemption from Singapore NS.

In one recent case I know of personally, both parents submitted proof of new foreign citizenship along with their 2 son's but the mother refused to formally renounce with ICA, I think it was because she still jointly owned a flat in Singapore, and that was enough for MinDef to declare that they must serve as mother is still technically Singaporean. The Singapore government, via the report to MinDef knows of her new citizenship, yet they allow her to continue to jointly own the flat with her relative, keep money in the CPF, etc..

So the entire family flew to Singapore to fight it in person at MinDef and that was when parents and child were separated and videos taped interviews were taken and then MinDef had enough evidence against the parents that they were assisting the 2 son's from evading NS which is also a crime.

With MindDef armed with new ammunition against the parents, I hear both boys are getting ready to serve now without further dispute, one is a college freshman and the other is graduating high school, and both boy's will seize being Singapore citizens shortly after completing their NS. When things go that far, even if the mother now renounces her Singapore citizenship the boys are still obligated to serve. Its also interesting that the Singapore government allows the mother to hold dual nationality for over a year now, they must prefer that she keeps her money in CPF too.

So you have to follow all their rules...do not expect the Singapore government to follow any of the rules though as they get to make them up along the way... I hope this helps...
Last edited by PHK on Sat, 01 Aug 2009 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Delgro » Sat, 01 Aug 2009 2:59 pm

PHK wrote:Delgro,

I sent you a PM of the same attorney referral that I sent May_168. There are many other lawyers out there, for some reason they do not like to advertise that they specialize in NS matters, probably another one of those Singapore quirks.

In my experience, if either parent decides to hold on to the Singapore citizenship or PR, for any reason, then all hope is lost for deferment and / or exemption from Singapore NS.

In one recent case I know of personally, both parents submitted proof of new foreign citizenship along with their 2 son's but the mother refused to formally renounce with ICA, I think it was because she still jointly owned a flat in Singapore, and that was enough for MinDef to declare that they must serve as mother is still technically Singaporean. The Singapore government, via the report to MinDef knows of her new citizenship, yet they allow her to continue to jointly own the flat with her relative, keep money in the CPF, etc..

So the entire family flew to Singapore to fight it in person at MinDef and that was when parents and child were separated and videos taped interviews were taken and then MinDef had enough evidence against the parents that they were assisting the 2 son's from evading NS which is also a crime.

With MindDef armed with new ammunition against the parents, I hear both boys are getting ready to serve now without further dispute, one is a college freshman and the other is graduating high school, and both boy's will seize being Singapore citizens shortly after completing their NS. When things go that far, even if the mother now renounces her Singapore citizenship the boys are still obligated to serve. Its also interesting that the Singapore government allows the mother to hold dual nationality for over a year now, they must prefer that she keeps her money in CPF too.

So you have to follow all their rules...do not expect the Singapore government to follow any of the rules though as they get to make them up along the way... I hope this helps...


PHK, Thanks for the Attorney referral. I know of a case where the boy obtained deferment and without any fine. One parent still retained citizenship and the other parent a Singapore PR had given up the PR status and emptied CPF account totally. The boy left Singapore when he was in primary one. Look at May_68, both parents renounced citizenship and yet they are in this unfortunate predicament. The law does not spell out black and white and each case is reviewed individually under different circumstances. As such no one knows exactly what will happen until they have applied to CMPB.

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Postby PHK » Sat, 01 Aug 2009 6:01 pm

Delgro,

Deferment is different than exemption, you still have to come back and serve.

Interesting outcome if you meant deferment to age 21 and then exemption from NS and acceptance of renunciation of Singapore citizenship.

Perhaps we all do not so much, as the Indians say, it could just be a person's "karma" (your luck).

Hey please do let us know how you make out so we can all learn from each other. Thanks!

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Postby maysha » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 12:00 am

PHK / SMS

Firstly - thank you both so much for all your voluntary time and effort in helping to provide some clarity on this sensitive and complex issue.

Your suggested guidelines are clear on whats needed but, at risk of repetition for you, I have few points of detail i would like to test your non-legal opinion on a tad further given our particular circumstances.

Background:
Father: british national - no sing PR of any kind ever
Mother: singapore national
Three children: two young girls (5 yrs and 2yrs), one boy 6 months old.
All 3 children born outside of Singapore.
All 3 children have British passports and Singapore passports.
We live overseas and have never lived as a family or married couple in Singapore.
Wife has CPF funded property
Wife and kids (including boy) visited singapore last month on their singapore pps for holiday.
We have accepted singapore cash grants for new children that relates to older girls but not for the boy.

Reason for getting singapore passports? emotional connection + stupid ignorance. We wanted kids to decide their own future (i.e. singapore or Uk) when they got older. Now we know it aint that simple for the boy.

I have 3 questions:
Given the very limited sing connection and early stage

1. - how important is it that the mother (and daughters i assume) rescind her/their singapore citizenship to get the consent? (the hardest pill in all this).

2. does it make that much difference in outcome to act now when the boy is so young or should we wait another 8 years and hope the law changes in our favour in the meantime (and obviously not renew passport, etc as per protocol)?

3. have you ever heard of an instance where parents beg, plead mercy, pay fines and claim parental stupidy/ignorance and they then say - what the heck - the baby cant even crawl, is british, never born or lived here so does not have to keep citizenship at all (do i sound desperate)? If i was to try this long shot - which agency would be best to first approach?

4. finally - mention is made from time to time of decent lawyers on the matter - can you suggest any contacts?

many thanks again.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 7:19 am

maysha wrote:PHK / SMS

Firstly - thank you both so much for all your voluntary time and effort in helping to provide some clarity on this sensitive and complex issue.

Your suggested guidelines are clear on whats needed but, at risk of repetition for you, I have few points of detail i would like to test your non-legal opinion on a tad further given our particular circumstances.

Background:
Father: british national - no sing PR of any kind ever
Mother: singapore national
Three children: two young girls (5 yrs and 2yrs), one boy 6 months old.
All 3 children born outside of Singapore.
All 3 children have British passports and Singapore passports.
We live overseas and have never lived as a family or married couple in Singapore.
Wife has CPF funded property
Wife and kids (including boy) visited singapore last month on their singapore pps for holiday.
We have accepted singapore cash grants for new children that relates to older girls but not for the boy.

Reason for getting singapore passports? emotional connection + stupid ignorance. We wanted kids to decide their own future (i.e. singapore or Uk) when they got older. Now we know it aint that simple for the boy.

I have 3 questions:
Given the very limited sing connection and early stage

1. - how important is it that the mother (and daughters i assume) rescind her/their singapore citizenship to get the consent? (the hardest pill in all this).

There is no reason for the girls to renounce until they reach the age of majority (21). After that, if they hold dual passports they are breaking the law in Singapore.

2. does it make that much difference in outcome to act now when the boy is so young or should we wait another 8 years and hope the law changes in our favour in the meantime (and obviously not renew passport, etc as per protocol)?

As long as the child doesn't have a valid Singapore Passport or NRIC after the age of 11 (possibly 13 but it's safer to use the old age of 11), hasn't attended Secondary School in Singapore, Has filed the necessary letter of intent as per guidelines with the various government agencies (via registered return receipt requested mail preferably so you have a record of delivery). Filed for the necessary exit permits and if necessary the bond (probably not required in this case) then again at the age of 16.5 go through the letter of intent AGAIN then you should be good to go. It seems like a lot, but if you really think about it, the only thing one really need to do is filing the letter of intent timely. The rest (provided the passport was gotten early enough, it should expire before the 11 birthday unless you made the mistake of carrying the kids the first couple of years on your Singapore passport. If that is the case then you would have to cancel his passport at the nearest Singapore Counsulate/Embassy before the age of 11 to be on the safe side - even if he doesn't travel on it, having it means he could.

3. have you ever heard of an instance where parents beg, plead mercy, pay fines and claim parental stupidy/ignorance and they then say - what the heck - the baby cant even crawl, is british, never born or lived here so does not have to keep citizenship at all (do i sound desperate)? If i was to try this long shot - which agency would be best to first approach?

The best way, is to follow protocol. Anything less is asking for grief. I can tell you are a Singaporean (no offense meant) but you are still wanting to gamble! After all you have read on these threads that we have accumulated you still want to treat it like a toto draw to see if the government changes the law? It's your kids future were are talking about. :???: You have to decide if you want to hamstring his future movements by unilaterally deciding to renounce his Singaporean Citizenship or he will have to do NS because he is a Singapore Citizen. Whether or not the laws will change? Good Guess.

4. finally - mention is made from time to time of decent lawyers on the matter - can you suggest any contacts?

I think PHK may be able to help you there.


many thanks again.

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Postby maysha » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 10:35 am

Thanks SMS

Two points of clarification.

Re question 1 - what about the mother's citizenship in this particular case. does this have to change?

Re question 3 - my original text was not clear, when i wrote "they then say" i did not mean the parents saying it, i meant the authorities saying it. I know the very probably reaction to this idea but i would still like to know which agency might be most suitable to explore this with first - albeit anonymously.


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