Singapore Expats Forum

Need some serious advice

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

JR.
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue, 16 Feb 2010

Need some serious advice

Postby JR. » Tue, 16 Feb 2010 11:25 pm

Hi guys ...

I hope some of you can provide me with some answers or/and advice.

I am 45 years old, was born and bred in Singapore and have served National Service full-time for 2 1/2 years.Two years after my stint as a serviceman (1989), I left Singapore for Europe and eventually went to university in Switzerland and worked there and in Holland thereafter. During that period I have diligently applied for and obtained an Exit Permit, which Ive renewed annually.

However in 2003 I inadvertently overlook this matter (due partly to an uncertainty in my employment and also the fact that I was moving around in Europe. On top of that my girlfriend and I were expecting our 1st baby). I did email CMPB about the matter and they told me that I would be arrested should I fly home cos Im an EP defaulter. Due to my predicament at that time with my girlfriend and the impending birth of our 1st child, I panicked and chose not to return home even though my passport was due to expire in 2004.

So now we're in 2010 and since I do not have a valid Singapore passport anymore, I cant renew my Permanent Residenceship in Switzerland (where I am at the moment). Ive been living in limbo since 2004 and I'd like to know what my options are. Now that my 2 kids have grown up I feel that it's time to return home and face the consequences cos I really would like to get married in Switzerland and I cant cos I dont have a passport and I cant renew my PR here cos of the same reason. Apart from that, my employment opportunity is very limited in view of my status here.

So I have several quick questions:

1. What are the likely consequences for my actions? Do I have to go to prison? Or will they fine me? And what is the limit of that fine?

2. Do you know of any case similar to mine and if yes, what was the punishment which was handed down?


PS... I was a Pes E during full-time NS due to some heart condition (which I still have) but I did serve 2 1/2 years with an excellent service conduct, which Im sure is in my dossier. And I do not have any previous record (criminal or otherwise) in Singapore.

And I do not know anyone in Singapore cos Ive severed all ties with my family/relatives eversince I left the country. Heck I dont even have an address in Singapore.


Thank you in in advance for your advice and suggestions.

utopia
Regular
Regular
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed, 03 Feb 2010

Postby utopia » Wed, 17 Feb 2010 7:27 am

It's a pretty impressive hole you have dug there & I can't answer your two questions.

However, since you are about to be an illegal alien in Switzerland, I would advise
1/ that you attempt to apply for citizenship on the basis of your de-facto relationship and family/children. - consult their immigration experts there.

2/ If that is not an option for you, and you -need- to return to SG so that you can enjoy what the citizenship+passport has to offer, then you are best off hiring a lawyer to represent you in this process.

Good luck.

mondaymorningquarterback
Regular
Regular
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri, 07 Dec 2007

Postby mondaymorningquarterback » Wed, 17 Feb 2010 10:52 am

Whats your girlfriend's citizenship and status in Switzerland?

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby ksl » Wed, 17 Feb 2010 1:06 pm

You need to contact your nearest Embassy or rep office and renew your passport! You cannot be sent home without valid documentation, the Embassy I'm sure will not arrest you they will however explain the trouble you are in, they will not withhold your application for a new passport, they may help to put in a good word, but the crime is committed don't make it any worse than what it is!

If you have to send it back to Singapore, then do that. To overstay the residence document, will only lead to breaking the law in Switzerland.

Alternative is to beg Switzerland to give you Citizenship, though the residence requirements must be met, I would think 7 years or more, not sure
Last edited by ksl on Wed, 17 Feb 2010 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

merichan
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu, 14 May 2009

Postby merichan » Wed, 17 Feb 2010 1:18 pm

mondaymorningquarterback wrote:Whats your girlfriend's citizenship and status in Switzerland?


One thing is... to be able to arrange anything procedure wise in Switzerland... whether it's marrying, getting his permit renewed the bottom line is he needs a valid passport, and others documents in case of marriage from Singapore...

Switzerland is one of those countries that love bureaucracy about as much as Singapore ( I'm swiss... :wink: )

In my opinion you have no other choices left but to approach Singapore ( start with the CMBB and the ambassy... cos' you're anyway going to need a valid passport to get on the plane... unless you wait until the point the swiss put you on the charter back... which they will have no second thoughts about doing.

In which case you're going to get in even more trouble cos Switzerland won't let you come back

Arrange your arrival here as smooth as you can but you really don't have any other choices now...

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35179
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 17 Feb 2010 1:21 pm

Request asylum in Switzerland?

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby ksl » Wed, 17 Feb 2010 1:24 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Request asylum in Switzerland?


I was thinking that too, though his life is not in any danger! Though from a human rights point of view, it maybe an option I'm sure the Swiss know how hard the Singapore government is.

mondaymorningquarterback
Regular
Regular
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri, 07 Dec 2007

Postby mondaymorningquarterback » Wed, 17 Feb 2010 1:27 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Request asylum in Switzerland?


Doesnt look like he has any valid grounds for asylum. Best thing to do is get an immigration lawyer in singapore first.

merichan
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu, 14 May 2009

Postby merichan » Wed, 17 Feb 2010 2:06 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Request asylum in Switzerland?


LOL no chance...

even the ones that have a valid reason get kicked out...

and given that Switzerland has a it's own equivalent of NS they would NOT look kindly on defaulting

Refusing to serve in Switzerland can lead you in jail just as efficiently as in Singapore ( although for shorter terms)

User avatar
Mad Scientist
Director
Director
Posts: 3459
Joined: Thu, 03 Dec 2009
Location: TIMBUKTU

Re: Need some serious advice

Postby Mad Scientist » Thu, 18 Feb 2010 7:31 am

[quote="JR."]Hi guys ...

have served National Service full-time for 2 1/2 years.Two years after my stint as a serviceman (1989),


However in 2003 I inadvertently overlook this matter (due partly to an uncertainty in my employment and also the fact that I was moving around in Europe. On top of that my girlfriend and I were expecting our 1st baby). I did email CMPB about the matter and they told me that I would be arrested should I fly home cos Im an EP defaulter.my passport was due to expire in 2004.

So now we're in 2010 and since I do not have a valid Singapore passport anymore, I cant renew my Permanent Residenceship in Switzerland (where I am at the moment). Ive been living in limbo since 2004 and I'd like to know what my options are. I dont have a passport and I cant renew my PR here cos of the same reason. Apart from that, my employment opportunity is very limited in view of my status here.

So I have several quick questions:

1. What are the likely consequences for my actions? Do I have to go to prison? Or will they fine me? And what is the limit of that fine?

2. Do you know of any case similar to mine and if yes, what was the punishment which was handed down?


[b]PS... I was a Pes E during full-time NS due to some heart condition (which I still have) but I did serve 2 1/2 years with an excellent service conduct, which Im sure is in my dossier. And I do not have any previous record (criminal or otherwise) in Singapore.

JR.

Need more info please answer my questions .

You said you serve NS which year ?
After that did you serve any reservist call up?
How many time b4 you flew to Switzerland ?
Now, are you currently PR in Swiss which has limited validity period or Work Permit to PR OR no, you have no work you are considered illegal ?

Now.... to answer your other questions. Let me clarify a few
1. All Singapore Missions DOES NOT Issue passport.
2. Only ICA SG does that. They will collect on behalf and send it over to SG
3. In case of emergency , they will provide you the right of passage for a SIngaporean back to SG. This is a piece of paper to identify you when boarding the plane and entering border control in both countries
4. Most countries that has link with SG Gahmen does not allow nor recognise SG citizen as asylum seekers even if you are under political refugees .BUT they do not stop them from living in their country if all documents are legal according to their law of the land. Most self exiled Sgers have a back up PR or 2nd citizenship in their back pocket. There is to say you live under your own self exiled status on your own accord but it is not recognise by the country that you are living in exile as asylum seekers be it political , economic , war or anything.

I can only answer your questions on your options after you reply to me.

Mad Scientist :cool:

JR.
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue, 16 Feb 2010

Re: Need some serious advice

Postby JR. » Thu, 18 Feb 2010 3:59 pm

Thanks guys for your responses. And yes Ive consulted an immigration lawyer in Switzerland and he said that I have no grounds for asylum there and I cannot apply for PR here unless I have a valid Singapore passport despite my de-facto relationship with my girlfriend (who is Swiss btw). And I cant marry her now cos of my situation.


Mad Scientist wrote:
Need more info please answer my questions .

You said you serve NS which year ?
After that did you serve any reservist call up?
How many time b4 you flew to Switzerland ?
Now, are you currently PR in Swiss which has limited validity period or Work Permit to PR OR no, you have no work you are considered illegal ?

Now.... to answer your other questions. Let me clarify a few
1. All Singapore Missions DOES NOT Issue passport.
2. Only ICA SG does that. They will collect on behalf and send it over to SG
3. In case of emergency , they will provide you the right of passage for a SIngaporean back to SG. This is a piece of paper to identify you when boarding the plane and entering border control in both countries
4. Most countries that has link with SG Gahmen does not allow nor recognise SG citizen as asylum seekers even if you are under political refugees .BUT they do not stop them from living in their country if all documents are legal according to their law of the land. Most self exiled Sgers have a back up PR or 2nd citizenship in their back pocket. There is to say you live under your own self exiled status on your own accord but it is not recognise by the country that you are living in exile as asylum seekers be it political , economic , war or anything.

I can only answer your questions on your options after you reply to me.

Mad Scientist :cool:


Thanks you for replying. My answers to your question ...

1. I completed 2 1/2 yrs of fulltime NS in July 1987.

2. I wasnt called up for anything after that. They told me that since Im Pes E the chances of me being called up is slim.

1989 - 1992 : Europe
1992: Returned to Singapore for 1 month
1992 - 1999: Europe
1999: Returned to Singapore for 1 month
1999 - Present: Europe

During the period of stay in Europe till 2003 I had an EP which I renewed annually without fail.

3. I did have a PR in Swizerland which was renewable annually but after 2003 I couldnt cos I did not have a valid passport to show them. So my status in Switzerland is in limbo at the moment as well. Im self-employed in Switzerland and my work permit expired the same day my last PR expired, which is 2003. No PR = NO WORK PERMIT.

(Btw I read about a similar case like mine which took place in 2007. I cant post the link so I'll just paste it. Do you think the same punishment would be handed down to me. This man even had previous convictions for theft and other crimes.On the other hand I have a clean record. That man was away for 13 years whereas Im away for 7 years as of today.
A man who remained in America for 13 years without a valid exit permit was fined $4,000 on his 41st birthday.

After the permit expired, he failed to return to Singapore and remained there for 13 years, one month and six days.

He only did so on July 27 this year with his document of identity.

Three days later he reported to the investigation unit of the Central Manpower Base.

A second similar charge was taken into consideration.

Lim, who pleaded for leniency, had previous convictions for theft, mischief and using criminal force to deter a public servant.

He could have been fined up to $5,000 or jailed for up to three years or both.


Thank you very much for asking. I look forward to reading your reply.

Regards.

JR.
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue, 16 Feb 2010

Postby JR. » Thu, 18 Feb 2010 4:07 pm

ksl wrote:You need to contact your nearest Embassy or rep office and renew your passport! You cannot be sent home without valid documentation, the Embassy I'm sure will not arrest you they will however explain the trouble you are in, they will not withhold your application for a new passport, they may help to put in a good word, but the crime is committed don't make it any worse than what it is!

If you have to send it back to Singapore, then do that. To overstay the residence document, will only lead to breaking the law in Switzerland.

Alternative is to beg Switzerland to give you Citizenship, though the residence requirements must be met, I would think 7 years or more, not sure


That is exactly what Ive been thinking. I know the embassy wont have me arrested in Switzerland and they will issue me with an emergency travel document for my tripp to Singappore.

I could have gone back in 2003 when my EP expired and it wouldnt have been that serious but I couldnt cos my girlfriend was expecting and I made the decision to stay until my kid is a bit older. So now is the time. Besides that my situation in Switzerland is in a mess cos I cant renew my PR and Ive missed on several job opportunities cos I dont have my work permit anymore. And I would also like to marry my girlfriend finally.

The only thing I'd like to know is if I will be sent to prison or just fined.

And will I be tried in a court martial or a civilian court?

Thanks and regards.

User avatar
Mad Scientist
Director
Director
Posts: 3459
Joined: Thu, 03 Dec 2009
Location: TIMBUKTU

Postby Mad Scientist » Thu, 18 Feb 2010 6:06 pm

JR. wrote:Hi guys ...

So I have several quick questions:

1. What are the likely consequences for my actions? Do I have to go to prison? Or will they fine me? And what is the limit of that fine?

2. Do you know of any case similar to mine and if yes, what was the punishment which was handed down?


PS... I was a Pes E during full-time NS due to some heart condition (which I still have) but I did serve 2 1/2 years with an excellent service conduct, which Im sure is in my dossier. And I do not have any previous record (criminal or otherwise) in Singapore.

And I do not know anyone in Singapore cos Ive severed all ties with my family/relatives eversince I left the country. Heck I dont even have an address in Singapore.


Thank you in in advance for your advice and suggestions.


JR

Let me cracked my brain juice based on current practise and MINDEF SOP

1. If you have served the NS but no reservist since you are PES E since they did not upgraded you. Since you are an NCO and I believe you will be in the Admin or Clerical end during your NS.Your chances are getting brighter.
2. It is standard SOP for Mindef personnel to talk you about NS defaulting but do not be cowed by this.
3. There are many cases like yourself since 1980s . I can named afew . Most cases involved are for those who serve the NS are not considered as NS defaulter per se. You overstayed your Exit Permit.
4. You will be charged in the sub court under the Exit Permit Jurisdiction of MINDEF . The fine will be at max $10,000.00 or three years jail or both . Jail term is for person who has an "exceptional" track record with the law.I will find it shocking if the judge posed you are jail term.A lawyer will do the trick to be on the safe side.
5. I believe you have your Pink IC. GO to SG Mission in Swiss and get the paper sorted to return to SG.
6. If you can bring your GF and your kids will be best back to SG.
7. Call CMPB prior to your arrival . Have them notified that you are coming back. When you return with the family, your chances gets better for leniency under compassionate ground
8. Register your marriage in SG if possible so that your child can get SG birth cert. DO NOT APPLY FOR SG Passport unless you intend to have your kids educated here . This will show the judge that you are sorry for your error in judgement and asked the court for leniency as you have family to support. Capisce ??
9. Apply for your SG passport asap once this is over.
10. However I must warned you that the new biometric with IRIS has all your data including your offence with the law.
11. Once this is done go back to Swiss and get the Swiss passport or EU or whatever that is possible if you wish to stay there.
12. Since you are OVER 45, please get a release letter from Mindef stating that you are not required to serve the NS enlistment Act . This will clear you from applying exit permit anymore. You can check this using NS portal. If you are release , your data is NOT in MINDEF database

Phew !! I hope this will help you :D :D

JR.
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue, 16 Feb 2010

Postby JR. » Thu, 18 Feb 2010 11:12 pm

Mad Scientist wrote:
JR

Let me cracked my brain juice based on current practise and MINDEF SOP

1. If you have served the NS but no reservist since you are PES E since they did not upgraded you. Since you are an NCO and I believe you will be in the Admin or Clerical end during your NS.Your chances are getting brighter.
2. It is standard SOP for Mindef personnel to talk you about NS defaulting but do not be cowed by this.
3. There are many cases like yourself since 1980s . I can named afew . Most cases involved are for those who serve the NS are not considered as NS defaulter per se. You overstayed your Exit Permit.
4. You will be charged in the sub court under the Exit Permit Jurisdiction of MINDEF . The fine will be at max $10,000.00 or three years jail or both . Jail term is for person who has an "exceptional" track record with the law.I will find it shocking if the judge posed you are jail term.A lawyer will do the trick to be on the safe side.
5. I believe you have your Pink IC. GO to SG Mission in Swiss and get the paper sorted to return to SG.
6. If you can bring your GF and your kids will be best back to SG.
7. Call CMPB prior to your arrival . Have them notified that you are coming back. When you return with the family, your chances gets better for leniency under compassionate ground
8. Register your marriage in SG if possible so that your child can get SG birth cert. DO NOT APPLY FOR SG Passport unless you intend to have your kids educated here . This will show the judge that you are sorry for your error in judgement and asked the court for leniency as you have family to support. Capisce ??
9. Apply for your SG passport asap once this is over.
10. However I must warned you that the new biometric with IRIS has all your data including your offence with the law.
11. Once this is done go back to Swiss and get the Swiss passport or EU or whatever that is possible if you wish to stay there.
12. Since you are OVER 45, please get a release letter from Mindef stating that you are not required to serve the NS enlistment Act . This will clear you from applying exit permit anymore. You can check this using NS portal. If you are release , your data is NOT in MINDEF database

Phew !! I hope this will help you :D :D


Thank you Mad Scientist for your detailed reply.

I can tell you that we're on the same page on a lot of stuff that you've mentioned.

1. Yes I wasnt called up for any reservist duty after I ROD in 1987. I forgot to inform you that I was posted to a unit as a clerk right from the very first day of enlistment and I ROD as a Corporal. I didnt even do any BMT due to my medical condition. I was told back them that I would not be upgraded at all because of it.

2. I do NOT intend to bring my girlfriend and my 2 boys when I return to Singapore and I also do NOT intend to have them educated in Singapore. I'd rather solve this by myself without their involvement but I willl provide documents to support my case for eg my kids' birth certicates etc. They are perfectly fine in Switzerland, which has an excellent educational system. And I certainly wouldnt want them to serve NS. They will never forgive me for that lol!

3. And yes I certainly will make a new passport once this whole fiasco has been solved. This is the primary reason why Im taking responsibilty for my actions. I intend to marry my GF in Switzerland once I have my passport and everything will be fine Im sure.

Since you've mentioned that you're familiar with MINDEF SOP with regard to cases like mine I'd like to ask you further. Let's say once Ive landed in Singapore and have arranged to report to CMPB or whichever authority, what do you think they'll do? You mentioned that my case will be handled by a Sub court; does that mean that I'll be issued a summon to appear in court at a given date or will they lock me up in some detention/remand centre until that court date? And how long does this process usually take ... between the day I surrender to CMPB and the court date?

Thanks again for your insight.

User avatar
Mad Scientist
Director
Director
Posts: 3459
Joined: Thu, 03 Dec 2009
Location: TIMBUKTU

Postby Mad Scientist » Fri, 19 Feb 2010 3:44 am

JR. wrote:
Mad Scientist wrote:
Since you've mentioned that you're familiar with MINDEF SOP with regard to cases like mine I'd like to ask you further. Let's say once Ive landed in Singapore and have arranged to report to CMPB or whichever authority, what do you think they'll do? You mentioned that my case will be handled by a Sub court; does that mean that I'll be issued a summon to appear in court at a given date or will they lock me up in some detention/remand centre until that court date? And how long does this process usually take ... between the day I surrender to CMPB and the court date?

Thanks again for your insight.


No worries, mate !!

Let me highlight to you afew things b4 I missed out

1. To register your kids SG Citizenship by descent go to www.ica.gov.sg. It will tell you quite abit on how to do it. One of it you have to supply marriage cert. and taxable income for the past three years if you did not register your kid on the first year the child was born. Hence if you find this cumbersome, forget it , However you are giving your kids an opportunity and a choice if they grew up and decided to come back to SG. A minor can hold dual citizenship b4 the age of 21.
This is totally up to you to make that call.
2. When you landed since you do not have any passport to begin with only temporary right of passage back to SG unless you are a person of "special" interest to SG Gahmen, yeah , you will be "welcome" with red carpet. They may or may not wait for you, this is protocol I am not sure . If they did not stop you, have a rest for aday, engaged a lawyer if you wish to do so to be on the safe bet and then surrender yourself to CMPB.
3. Remand are for "special and dangerous person" with an EXCELLENT CV , if you are not one then you should not be held in the remand. Anyway where can you go, you cannot skip town as you are stateless without the passport !!!
4. The summons to be called up depends, there are three cases where it was done immediately , there are those may take a week or two to process. I cannot answer you this as this is their protocol
5. I realised you want to get it over asap but this is beyond our control. Top of my head you can get all this sorted within a month .
6. BTW please bring all docs relating to your heart condition and anything to mitigate your sentence.
7. If you can get married and registered anywhere other than Swiss do that. It will help in your mitigation
8. I believe you do not hold any bank account in SG, so don't open one as it will link to IRD. Wire into one of your trusted friend here SG will be easier. Try not to carry so much cash with you on the flight back.
You do not want to be having another problem arise from that . do you ?
Remember , get all docs b4 you come back. Even photos of your kids and your GF

So........basically I have hand hold you for quite sometime and it is time to let go. If they change some of their protocol , forgive me and this was what being practise and done b4, I can only provide what I know. :) :)


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests