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NS (and more) for a PR who wants to leave SG.

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Mal_Ganus123
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NS (and more) for a PR who wants to leave SG.

Postby Mal_Ganus123 » Sat, 10 May 2008 4:22 am

I am a PR (of US Citizenship by birth, British blood, and Filipino-Chinese blood) who is going to be 17 in June and has finished his high school education.

But I wish to leave Singapore to pursue my lifetime career plans (from college and beyond).

I know the benefits from staying a PR, and the benefits of NS from countless friends, but I don't wish to do it, and plan to leave, and relinquish my PR status (which my parents put on my passport without a word to me before this year).

I wish to avoid being drafted into the army (I know how to shoot and drive from my years spent in the Philippines, and am admittedly unfit, undisciplined except in studies, and emotionally problematic when it comes to not following my ambitions), and was wondering if I did go for NS, would my US Citizenship be jeopardized (?

I was also wandering if the Singaporean Government would hold a grudge against me?

I also know that if I wish to stay here as a non PR I am able to stay till 90 days, without a visa.

So my other real questions are:
1.If I wish to avoid NS and go to the US, will relinquishing my PR get me into any trouble?
2.
Will I be able to visit Singapore without problems with the government?

3.Is this a viable route to avoiding being drafted into a foreign army that I wish not to serve?

Thank you for any answers, and you must get hundreds of questions like this.

P.S. I'm sorry if I'm racy about this, but I want to resolve this issue with my parents, and avoid the trouble ASAP.

I also wish not to jeopardize my US Citizenship, my career plans and ambitions (2 years without fulfillment will leave me dead, if not depressed, and unwilling), my chances of visiting Singapore (as I love this country, but I'm not willing to serve as a drafted army man), and my pride (I can't stand being turned into a vassal of military training, unless my home country demands it, in which case, Singapore isn't).

Edit: Added "by birth" to US Citizenship.

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Re: NS (and more) for a PR who wants to leave SG.

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 10 May 2008 10:18 am

Okay, where to start. Guess I'll just start by answering your question in order below. I'm an American Citizen who has an 18 yo son with dual citizenship as opposed to PR (I'm a PR). However, due to these facts I or my own son have been faced with similar problems as well - not actually true as we sorted it out many, many years ago with ongoing conversations between us.

Mal_Ganus123 wrote:I am a PR (of US Citizenship by birth, British blood, and Filipino-Chinese blood) who is going to be 17 in June and has finished his high school education.

Absolutely no relevance what so ever with the exception that you are a US Citizen by Birth. That's all that is important.


But I wish to leave Singapore to pursue my lifetime career plans (from college and beyond).
All want to do the same thing BUT nobody should burn any bridges doing so. My son wants to leave as well but also knows at some time in the future - who knows, he might want to return. Why kill that option?

I know the benefits from staying a PR, and the benefits of NS from countless friends, but I don't wish to do it, and plan to leave, and relinquish my PR status (which my parents put on my passport without a word to me before this year).

I wish to avoid being drafted into the army (I know how to shoot and drive from my years spent in the Philippines, and am admittedly unfit, undisciplined except in studies, and emotionally problematic when it comes to not following my ambitions), and was wondering if I did go for NS, would my US Citizenship be jeopardized (?

Okay, From reading the above paragraphs, I'd say you have bigger problems that just NS. I thing maybe professional help would be in order.

However the answer is "no". Doing NS in Singapore will not jeopardize your US Citizenship provided, as you say, you are a Citizen by Birth and not a Naturalized citizen (not sure that that matters or not). Unless. It can jeopardize your Citizenship if you were to serve in a foreign military as an Officer as opposed to an Enlisted Man. However, from your mental problems you noted above, I think there is slim chance of that.


I was also wandering if the Singaporean Government would hold a grudge against me?

Yes. You would never be allowed to work in Singapore and quite possibly if even caught here on a tourist visa you could be picked up and incarcerated as a deserter as you have enjoyed the benefits of PR & therefore owe the country something.

I also know that if I wish to stay here as a non PR I am able to stay till 90 days, without a visa.

Not if you desert your duties as required by law.

You claim you did not know your were a PR? I believe you probably have a Blue NRIC? Which means you should have known that from that point on. How long have you been in Singapore?


So my other real questions are:
1.If I wish to avoid NS and go to the US, will relinquishing my PR get me into any trouble? Short answers - YES
2.
Will I be able to visit Singapore without problems with the government? - NO

3.Is this a viable route to avoiding being drafted into a foreign army that I wish not to serve? - NO - unless you never want to return to Singapore.

Thank you for any answers, and you must get hundreds of questions like this.

P.S. I'm sorry if I'm racy about this, but I want to resolve this issue with my parents, and avoid the trouble ASAP.
As said earlier, your race is not relevant to the issue.

I also wish not to jeopardize my US Citizenship, my career plans and ambitions (2 years without fulfillment will leave me dead, if not depressed, and unwilling), my chances of visiting Singapore (as I love this country, but I'm not willing to serve as a drafted army man), and my pride (I can't stand being turned into a vassal of military training, unless my home country demands it, in which case, Singapore isn't).

Just for your information, the US Selective Service still requires by law that you register for the US Military one you turn 18 if resident in the US. So if you go the the US you would still be required by law to register for the Military - worse yet, one that might get you killed in a real war. While the Military Draft has been mothballed since 1975 after the VN war, it is still very much available and all that has to be done is a simple act to reinstate it should we find ourselves spread too thin in multiple flashpoints around the world (read IRAN & IRAQ & N.Korea). This means it's very possible that being in the US as opposed to here in Singapore (your location has a lot to do with whether or not you would generally get a call-up as does your age at that point in time) is a safer bet as here it's only training and pampered by your family while if you get stuck in the US Military it could be definitely a combat zone or worse (no future at all). Or, would you just run away to Canada like so many cowards did back in the 1960's?

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Re: NS (and more) for a PR who wants to leave SG.

Postby Mal_Ganus123 » Sat, 10 May 2008 5:43 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Mal_Ganus123 wrote:
But I wish to leave Singapore to pursue my lifetime career plans (from college and beyond).
All want to do the same thing BUT nobody should burn any bridges doing so. My son wants to leave as well but also knows at some time in the future - who knows, he might want to return. Why kill that option?Yeah true.


P.S. I'm sorry if I'm racy about this, but I want to resolve this issue with my parents, and avoid the trouble ASAP.
As said earlier, your race is not relevant to the issue.
Racy meaning speedy, I just wanted to know speedily.



Sorry I made a mistake with what I said about being informed about my PR, I found out a long time ago, but didn't know anything about service until this year.
That ruined my plans, and I just can't have it.
Maybe I will serve NS, but I just don't think I'm right for it, both mentally and physically.
I admit it is cowardly, but I really feel more American than I do Singaporean.
I lived in California till I was 3, then moved to SG for 10 years of school (with hundreds of trips to the US, back to my house in the states), followed by my moving to the Philippines for my high school education.

When I came back here, I was thinking of staying here until I was ready to move and pursue my career this coming year (I'm taking crash courses, practicing at home, and have always been strong in this field of study, as well as find it to be a hobby).

Maybe I should defer until I sort all my issues out, and at least get my diploma.
Would that be a wiser choice? I believe you have a lot more experience in this, and I'd rather do something that allows me to have good relations with both countries, while fulfilling my ambition, and prepare my mind and body for Service, despite not wanting to be a PR of SG in the first place.

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Postby cutiebutie » Sat, 10 May 2008 7:12 pm

Or, would you just run away to Canada like so many cowards did back in the 1960's?


You call them cowards? I would have expected better from you. :?
- Thank God for Darwin -

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Postby taxico » Sat, 10 May 2008 7:40 pm

i've got both an american and singapore passport. (this post is meant to teach you how to keep both passports. not how to avoid national service and still be welcomed in singapore.)

i was born in the united states then studied in singapore for a while (7-16 yo).

my parents (in their mid 60s) are now retired in singapore. they are also singapore citizens now, a move which i encouraged them to take.

i completed my national service (18-20 yo) mid-way through college in NYU by taking academic leave after a few semesters. i was an army lieutenant.

now, i can only recommend you COMPLETE your NS early (before 21 yo) if you want to return to singapore, ever! (also remember to register with SSS)

then hang onto both passports by going overseas (which i did, to finish college) when you're done with your obligation.

but before flying off, reapply for a fresh passport (which was what i did when i "damaged" my singapore passport in the laundry - got a new 10 year one).

also make sure you've complied with all NS overseas reporting requirements (can be done over the internet these days - easy).

cos if you finish your NS after you turn 21, they'll forcibly arrange for you to give up your american citizenship.

but the good news is you can reapply for your american passport at a later time (even after renouncing it). tedious process but it can be done!

the US govt can't take away the right for you to be an american citizen as long as you're born there. my immigration attorney friend told me about it.

my singapore passport is up for renewal soon (nearly 10 years since i finished my NS) and i'll be declaring falsely i have no other citizenships in hand - i doubt i'll be in trouble.

the singapore government's now beginning to turn a SLIGHTLY blind eye to such cases wherein the male has completed NS.

nevertheless, it's a real tedious requirement as i have to always apply for "exit permits" and now my american passport is only for me to enter the united states (i'm based out of US now).

this is because i've told the military where i've been using their internet reporting service, so i'm unsure if i returned to singapore with a blank passport whether i'll get in trouble or not - i don't want to find out!

the procedure is easily done over the web, but it's the calculation of date periods and remembering to keep it updated that is annoyingly tedious.

everywhere else i use my singapore passport and it's not a big problem because it's really widely accepted and in these days of anti-american sentiment, a safer option than my blue passport.

i've also not been called up for any reservist duties since my 2.5 years of army as i'm always overseas. i do go back regularly to visit my parents every year.

as long as you don't stay in singapore for more than 6 months, the army won't call you up for such service.

even if they do call you up mistakenly, just furnish reasons/proof of your overseas job/school at their manpower base and they'll put you off the list again.

why do i do it? i do this is because my wife is singaporean (and refusing to be american) and my parents are retired in singapore: i don't want to be barred from the country.

especially since i intend to have kids and i may want my parents and in-laws to be involved in their grandkids lives next time.

the problem now is that the new singapore passport is only valid for 5 years, which means i shall have to declare falsely on the form with more regularity than before...

and i've not done it before (will be doing so before the year is out to keep it current) so... wish me luck!

military service helps mature a young man. suck it up and take it like a man. there're ways to avoid combat vocations and the duty is the price to pay if you want to keep your red passport and visit the "little red dot" in future.

also, if you want to WORK in singapore in the future, then you'll have to contend with reservist duties. there's no way around it, honestly...

even i am not sure if i want to work in singapore because of that.

but hey, our (american) preseident said freedom isn't free, right?
Last edited by taxico on Sat, 10 May 2008 9:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby taxico » Sat, 10 May 2008 7:51 pm

taxico wrote:military service helps mature a young man.


i forgot to mention... it's not as tough as what you think. when i was in the army, life was pretty good.

and it was good compared to the soldiers 10 years before me. so the life 10 years after me ought to be even better!

there're even guys who completed advanced diplomas or degrees during their NS period.

you get free healthcare for WHATEVER ILLNESSES YOU HAVE. you make some really good friends that can only be forged out of the crucible that is the singapore NS.

lastly, you learn some skills and discipline that will prove invaluable in the future.

i served for 2 years and 4 months. if you bucked up on your fitness now, you can also knock 2 months off your liability (i think it's 2 years now instead of 2.5 years, right?) too!

go in with a positive attitude and be open to learning new things and making new friends.

it's not as bad as people make it out to be. tossing grenades. getting machine guns shot over your head. learning about leadership. travel abroad. shooting rifles and rockets and mortars. all in a safe controlled environment! (that only singapore is capable of churning out)

but if you keep thinking "it sucks it sucks it sucks. i hate it i hate it i hate it" then you're better off just never returning to singapore and beginning your life elsewhere.

cos your attitude will reflect and people will hate you if you go through it like that.

i've served my time with graduates (and even a handful of mature post graduates!) - and out of those who came back from overseas just to complete their obligation, i could tell who were the haters and they were annoying and unmotivated as hell; jsut dragging everybody down and making everyone's life suck.

p/s: i forgot to mention that it also makes you healthier. and as a result, a happier person who will probably live longer. also, you will fit in better than a white boy would, during NS.

i also didn't add that i didn't go through NS voluntarily. my dad made me - he threatened to cut me off if i didn't do it.

(and i had begun my relationship with my then-gf (now wife) only after i went back to singapore to serve NS - so that wasn't a factor!)

i didn't think it was necessary for me to do NS since i didn't owe the country anything - i went to an independent school, never used government's services, etc etc (insert all the reasons here).

but now in retrospect, i can't imagine if i was forbidden to return to the country where i had spent my formative years. all my friends are here.

i know where to go for good mee pok and how to take all the side entrances at taka and where in lido to make out without being caught.

i know how to speak singlish and where to buy cheap toiletries in ang mo kio or toa payoh.

i enjoy catching up with friends at zouk or holland village at night, or over lunch at maxwell (all despite being somewhat lost on the new NEL tracks).

each time i return to changi airport (at least twice a year), it truly feels like home, despite declaring new york my "home". i can't describe it.

i don't feel the same way when i land in newark/jfk... i'm glad i'm singaporean.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 10 May 2008 10:35 pm

Thanks taxico. :wink:

You sound like you almost had me for a parent. It sounds like you turned out extremely well!

I "could" offer even more insight on the US/Sing dual citizenship but I won't in open print as it come from a source I'd rather not divulge. But you are right but the "blind" eye is only applicable for US citizens at this point in time as long as one parent is a US Citizen. Read "FTA" and the US State Department. I am aware of the US State Department test case that took place about 4 ~5 years ago.

I was also under the impression that the new biometric passports were for 10 years now, no longer using the 5 or 2 year ones due to the cost of processing them. My son's is a 2yr one that was upgraded to 10 years last year (via stamp in the old 2yr passport).

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Postby taxico » Sun, 11 May 2008 7:13 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I "could" offer even more insight on the US/Sing dual citizenship but I won't in open print


oh, please do share! i can't use the PM function yet, so you could drop me a line at NOSPAMhenry@vodafone.net.nzNOSPAM if you like!

i'm actually wondering if i could openly (blatantly?) travel on my american passport once i'm out of singapore...

will the lack of stamps on my singapore passport be of any issues? or is it best to keep it legit? or... a little mix of both?

i always wonder what will happen if i had a blank passport because the singapore customs officer likes to tap through their systems; but i never recall them flipping through the passport much (or i was busy poking through the candy bowl).

i REALLY hope the new passports are for 10 years - that would help lots in terms of um... a singapore felony (false declaration)??

i was read some time ago MINDEF made it easier for kids (preenlistees) to have a standard full (10/5 year) passport as part of supporting NS.

in the past, before i went off overseas for studies, my singapore passport was only valid for 6 months! this meant i had to extend it before it expired very very regularly if i wanted to travel with my folks.

lastly, i totally understand what your son's going through. i can't imagine the number of times this topic comes up and the gamut of emotions expressed and felt by both parties.

but if he had grown up in singapore like i had, i think it should be an easier pill to swallow compared to the kids who had largely grown up overseas (especially the ones with parents who are quite "uninformed" and indignant) and had to leave everything behind to come back to serve.

but i don't suppose there's much you can do, so long as you march him to wherever he's suppose to go on reporting day, you've done your job!

and you'll be glad you did, as you see him turn into a man and you'll be proud of him as he accomplishes various small (not to him) feats inside.

meanwhile, i can only advise you keep him fit (IPPT gold/silver) so he shaves 2 months off his time and get him to keep an open mind!

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Postby Mal_Ganus123 » Mon, 12 May 2008 12:27 am

I've decided on what to do. I'll start my course in August and finish in a 3 year time period (I've already enrolled for the school, its a local one, but the 3rd year of the course takes me to the UK), at which point, once I receive my diploma, I will do NS.

After that, I'll move to the States to continue my studies and find a job (I've already got offerings from family friends who work in the industry, and who are looking for new employees), and enjoy the benefits of having my PR without destroying any bridges.

In the 3 year time period I'll prepare myself physically and mentally for NS, as well as enjoy my studies.

Thanks, sundaymorningstaple and taxico, I appreciate the information and encouragement to do NS.

Edit: grammar fixes...

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Postby taxico » Mon, 12 May 2008 2:06 pm

like any preparation, starting earlier is recommended. if you went to a university, they have gyms for free or at low cost.

it's a good healthy choice and makes the final year preparation a lot easier. i'm sure there're forums all over the place to help ease people into NS life.

also if your parents earn alotta money, you might want to let them know the bond that's necessary if you go overseas before serving NS.

they might have to make certain adjustments if they don't want to pay more than the minimum amount - provided they can do so properly.

and good for you on your choice! i'm sure it has finally help ease the load off your mind. feel free to contact me if you need whatever assistance...

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Postby Turtle » Wed, 14 May 2008 10:25 am

Hi taxico, I'm in about the same situation as you - finished my NS, planning to live overseas for the forseeable future on a different passport, but not wanting to shut the door permanently (hence served NS). So if you do figure out what the best way to do it is, with regards to how actively the government here goes after secondary passports, whether they check to see if you have all the stamps and so on, and when you should use which passport - kindly let me know!

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Postby taxico » Fri, 16 May 2008 7:02 pm

i'm not exactly sure how the immigration system works, to be honest... BUT...

i have GONE THROUGH passport control WITHOUT doing my exit permit or overseas notification already done in the past.

(i either call up someone to help me do it or use the SMS system which i can't remember how anymore - always before boarding the plane cos i only realise i forgot AT THE IMMIGRATION BOOTH!)

i have never been stopped. so i think the system (last i know) is not hooked up that way.

in recent years (last 5-7 years) i also, have never noticed the immigration officer ever flip through my singapore passport to look at the stamps.

persnoally, i THINK it's safe to skip the stamps on some trips, but i don't think it's a smart move to keep your singapore passport empty.

since your NS has been served, i guess as long as you do your EPs properly (a real bitch of a job), i think it should be relatively safe.

when i first left singapore after NS, i actually went to malaysia on my singapore passport, then out again on my american passport.

this only works for short trips as you can't stay in malaysia indefinitely. still, it's a thrill... ; )

my take is: since traveling on a singapore passport is no big issue (it's as good as the blue one, really), i don't think it's worth tempting the system by being bold.

better safe than sorry. but, if you intend to go to israel, i would use the blue one. malaysia immigration have kicked people with permanent israeli stamps out before.

wait: i used the red/blue comparison because i presumed you're american also. subs blue with whatever your other passport is, otherwise! :wink:

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Postby fallingfirst » Thu, 05 Jun 2008 9:36 am

Here are some facts

If you're a Singaporean Citizen, you CANNOT be exempted from NS, as the law doesnt permit you to renounce your citizenship until you're 21 yrs old (not sure the age, pls check). If you happen to do so at any point, you've committed an offense under the enlistment act and will be arrested at the airport, even for transits. You'll be fined a huge sum and/or sentenced to a 3 year jail term.

If you're a 2nd generation PR (in your case), you can renounce your PR prior to the enlistment age. If you do so, you're still considered an NS defaulter, but you have not commited an offense under the law. This means you will still be able to visit singapore in the future as a foreigner and not get arrested. You will be treated as a "NS defaulted foreigner", and getting an EP, or even extension of SVP in the future will be quite tough, although still possible. You aren't a criminal, but you're an undesirable.

So there you go, if you consider singapore home, and want to come back to work/study in the future. Its best to just do NS and get it over and done with. Singapore is a great place to live, plenty of law and order. In my opinion though, too much law and order.

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Postby bruinbear » Mon, 16 Jun 2008 11:09 pm

Yah with NAPFA Silver, NS now only 22 months. (i.e. 24 - 2 months)

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Postby penguin23 » Sun, 29 Jun 2008 2:40 am

So it seems that the only way to get your (male) children out of Singapore NS liability is to give up your own SPR status before they are born, and just go on Employment Pass all the way. The child will also be need to be registered as a foreigner, and be on LT SVP / Dependant/Student Pass all the way until he completes his studies and gets a job, at which point he can apply for PR status on his own merit (as a first generation SPR)

I wonder though if there are practical issues with this approach, as this involves renouncing your SPR status. I read from other blogs that this can involve job loss (?)

I hope fellow forumers can comment on both my points above


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