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Dual Citizenship working in US

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vangoh
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Dual Citizenship working in US

Post by vangoh » Fri, 05 Mar 2010 4:09 am

I'm a Singaporean by birth living and working in the US for about 20 years. I'm married with 2 beautiful kids. I'm 47 years old and I'm done with Singapore National Services 7 years ago.

Three years ago, when it was time to renew my green card, I decided to apply, and was granted US citizenship. Since US allow dual citizenship, I thought that would work out best for me instead of having to renew my green card every so often.

Recently, I found out that my Singapore passport ( which I used to get into US 10 years ago) is expiring in October. I cannot renew my passport because I no longer have a green card as I'm a citizen of the US. I also have to declare the I'm not granted citizenship by another country. Should I let my Singapore passport expire and if I need to, fly home with my US passport or should I risk losing my Singapore citizenship and renew my passport? What are the pros and cons.

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Re: Dual Citizenship working in US

Post by john_nyc_71 » Fri, 05 Mar 2010 8:50 am

vangoh wrote:I'm a Singaporean by birth living and working in the US for about 20 years. I'm married with 2 beautiful kids. I'm 47 years old and I'm done with Singapore National Services 7 years ago.

Three years ago, when it was time to renew my green card, I decided to apply, and was granted US citizenship. Since US allow dual citizenship, I thought that would work out best for me instead of having to renew my green card every so often.

Recently, I found out that my Singapore passport ( which I used to get into US 10 years ago) is expiring in October. I cannot renew my passport because I no longer have a green card as I'm a citizen of the US. I also have to declare the I'm not granted citizenship by another country. Should I let my Singapore passport expire and if I need to, fly home with my US passport or should I risk losing my Singapore citizenship and renew my passport? What are the pros and cons.
To the best of my understanding, you only lose Singapore citizenship if the Singapore government officially sends you some kind of notification. If the Singapore consulate refuses to renew your passport when you declare that you have acquired the citizenship of another country, it doesn't necessarily mean you are no longer a citizen (although without a passport you might end up only being a citizen in name).

I don't know if the immigration officers in Singapore will try to determine if someone entering on a foreign passport is also a Singapore citizen or not. There is a 2007 law that says that Singapore citizens have to enter Singapore on a Singapore passport. (http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/ ... 934-001856). Curiously enough, the law seems to acknowledge that there are plenty of Singapore citizens with dual citizenship. I don't know how/if this is enforced.

Either way, you run the risk of the Singapore government finding out about your US citizenship and deciding to take away your Singapore citizenship. I am guessing that this is less likely to happen entering Singapore on a US passport as opposed to trying to renew your Singapore passport and declaring that you have US citizenship. But it is only a guess.

From this and other boards, I've heard all sorts of rumours and I have no way of determining how authentic they are. These include
(1) being allowed to renew one's Singapore passport even if one declares that one has acquired another citizenship
(2) being forced to renounce one citizenship or the other and/or fined when caught entering Singapore on a foreign passport
(3) accidentally presenting a foreign passport when leaving Singapore, leading to confusion (immigration officer cannot find entry stamp). When the Singapore passport was produced, person was simply let through with no action taken
(4) showing up at ICA in Singapore with a foreign passport and being told there is no deadline to renounce one's Singapore citizenship

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Post by vangoh » Sat, 06 Mar 2010 5:40 am

Thanks for your reply. I also read this on another board earlier:

" I wouldn't enter Singapore with a US passport especially if you have Singapore under Place of Birth. A Singaporean with Italian citizenship was found out this way when she entered Singapore with her Italian passport (because the Singapore one had expired). She had to make a choice and decided to renounce her Italian citizenship at the Italian embassy in Singapore. Was told that if ever they should catch her out the next time, they would cancel her Singapore citzenship automatically. "

What do you think?

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Post by john_nyc_71 » Sat, 06 Mar 2010 10:33 am

That was the case I was thinking of in scenario (2). As you can tell, this scenario, as well as the others I listed, are all reported on various boards in the third person ("my friend ..."). They are also not consistent with one another. So I don't know about the accuracy of any of the reports, favourable or not.

If your Singapore passport has not expired, by all means use it to enter Singapore. If it has, you don't really have a choice, do you? You could try seeing if the Singapore consulate will renew it, but you will have to declare your US citizenship.

As far as I know, there is no Singapore law that prohibits dual citizenship or the possession of a foreign passport. All the law says is that if you have another citizenship, the Singapore government can take away your Singapore citizenship (i.e. it is up to the government - we know for one that the government will not do this if you are a minor or a male who has not served NS).

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Post by vangoh » Thu, 11 Mar 2010 4:01 am

Well, my Singapore passport will expire soon. My question is should I cross my fingers and renew my passport here in the States or should I let it expire and use my US passport when I need to get into Singapore. What are your thoughts?

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 11 Mar 2010 7:04 am

There will be the little matter of perjury if you renew your Passport as if you don't lie on the Application form, you won't get one. If you do lie, you might get one, but could also be guilty of perjury on the application.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by john_nyc_71 » Thu, 11 Mar 2010 10:29 am

Here is the way I see it.

If you renew your passport in the US and declare truthfully that you have acquired the citizenship of another country:
(1) There is a small chance based on rumours that your passport may be renewed anyway.
(2) Mostly like your passport will not be renewed. In that event one of two things can happen.
(a) The SG govt does nothing further. You remain legally a Singapore citizen but without a passport it is of not that much use. There is also a question of whether you are breaking the law if you subsequently enter Singapore on a US passport.
(b) The SG govt takes active action to revoke your SG citizenship.
I do not know which of (a) or (b) is likely to happen.

If you travel to SG on your US passport, here are the possible scenarios.
(1) ICA does not realize you are a SG citizen. Nothing happens.
(2) ICA realizes you are a SG citizen but lets you enter using your US passport anyway. No further action is taken.
(3) ICA realizes you are a SG citizen and takes action that may comprise one or both of the following.
(a) You are forced to choose between SG and US citizenship. (If you don't choose, the SG govt takes active action to revoke your SG citizenship.)
(b) You are fined (or subject to some other penalty) for being a SG citizen and not entering on your SG passport.
I do not know the relative likelihood of the various scenarios. If you were not born in Singapore, (1) may be likely, but this doesn't seem to be the case for you.

I wonder if it actually possible to make a phone call to someone (perhaps anonymously - eg call the SG consulate in the US) to find out what the policy is. Like maybe ask if it even makes sense to submit a passport application with the declaration that you have acquired the citizenship of another country.

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Post by girlPower » Tue, 30 Mar 2010 10:59 pm

Just a crazy idea, and I may not have thought this through.

What happens if you fly back to Singapore to renew your passport? It may cost a bit of money and time, but this might get round some of the questions you will have to answer if you renew it in the US. And buy you another 10 years of time.

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Post by john_nyc_71 » Wed, 31 Mar 2010 1:35 pm

You get asked fewer questions, but you are still asked if you have acquired another citizenship.
And it's now 5 years instead of 10 (no matter where you renew).

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Post by Mad Scientist » Fri, 02 Apr 2010 5:36 pm

john_nyc_71 wrote: To the best of my understanding, you only lose Singapore citizenship if the Singapore government officially sends you some kind of notification. If the Singapore consulate refuses to renew your passport when you declare that you have acquired the citizenship of another country, it doesn't necessarily mean you are no longer a citizen (although without a passport you might end up only being a citizen in name).

Incorrect. Having dual passport after the age 21 is an offense under the immigration law. SG Gahmen only allow you to have UNO citizenship.ie SG. The onus is for you to renounce SG passport and keep US so that you will not fall into the wrong side of the law
Hence you have to decide and renounce which one when caught at border control.
Renewal of passport is a privilege for a citizen NOT a right under the consitution. So if you are not allowed to have your passport renewed, you have some boxes cross out.
BTW SG consulate do not do any renewal or issuance of passport. All submission are posted back to ICA SG for process
Yes you are a citizen of SG unless proven otherwise


I don't know if the immigration officers in Singapore will try to determine if someone entering on a foreign passport is also a Singapore citizen or not. There is a 2007 law that says that Singapore citizens have to enter Singapore on a Singapore passport. (http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/ ... 934-001856). Curiously enough, the law seems to acknowledge that there are plenty of Singapore citizens with dual citizenship. I don't know how/if this is enforced.


Correct on this issue. Please read the PDF downloaded form from ICA on application of passport under "Declaration and Consent" section whereby you have to declare if you have gained another citizenship. If you lied , you are committing a perjury.
Enforcement will be at border control or if you have being flagged for other offense which in turn lead to bigger issues


Either way, you run the risk of the Singapore government finding out about your US citizenship and deciding to take away your Singapore citizenship. I am guessing that this is less likely to happen entering Singapore on a US passport as opposed to trying to renew your Singapore passport and declaring that you have US citizenship. But it is only a guess.

A biometric passport, also known as an e-passport or ePassport, is a combined paper and electronic passport (hence the e-, as in e-mail) that uses biometrics to authenticate the identity of travelers. It uses contactless smart card technology, including a microprocessor chip (computer chip) and antenna (for both power to the chip and communication) embedded in the front or back cover, or center page, of the passport. Document and chip characteristics are documented in the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) Doc 9303[1][2][3]. The passport's critical information is both printed on the data page of the passport and stored in the chip. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is used to authenticate the data stored electronically in the passport chip making it virtually impossible to forge when all security mechanisms are fully and correctly implemented.

The currently standardized biometrics used for this type of identification system are facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, and iris recognition. These were adopted after assessment of several different kinds of biometrics including retinal scan. The ICAO defines the biometric file formats and communication protocols to be used in passports. Only the digital image (usually in JPEG or JPEG2000 format) of each biometric feature is actually stored in the chip. The comparison of biometric features is performed outside the passport chip by electronic border control systems (e-borders). To store biometric data on the contactless chip, it includes a minimum of 32 kilobytes of EEPROM storage memory, and runs on an interface in accordance with the ISO/IEC 14443 international standard, amongst others. These standards ensure interoperability between different countries and different manufacturers of passport books.Please read and understand. Since SG is under US Waiver Program, the IRIS has been added onto the embedded chip of your passport


From this and other boards, I've heard all sorts of rumours and I have no way of determining how authentic they are. These include
(1) being allowed to renew one's Singapore passport even if one declares that one has acquired another citizenship
False. this is not true

(2) being forced to renounce one citizenship or the other and/or fined when caught entering Singapore on a foreign passport
(3) accidentally presenting a foreign passport when leaving Singapore, leading to confusion (immigration officer cannot find entry stamp). When the Singapore passport was produced, person was simply let through with no action taken
(4) showing up at ICA in Singapore with a foreign passport and being told there is no deadline to renounce one's Singapore citizenship
Basically it is risk that you take when you try to outrun SG Gahmen.
P

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Post by john_nyc_71 » Sat, 03 Apr 2010 3:08 pm

"Incorrect. Having dual passport after the age 21 is an offense under the immigration law"

I am really curious about this - I have been unable to locate any law in SG that actually says dual citizenship or dual passports is illegal. The only law I could find was one that says that the SG govt may choose to take away your SG citizenship in this case.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 03 Apr 2010 3:50 pm

The way I read it, if it wasn't illegal, then they wouldn't have needed to put that phrase in there at all, now would they. :-|
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by john_nyc_71 » Sat, 03 Apr 2010 7:02 pm

I agree that the final effect (dual citizenship not allowed) is the same, but the way the law is written (to the best of my understanding) means no offence is committed if you have acquired another citizenship/passport (and you have not lied on any SG passport renewal application). This would for example, be consistent with rumour no 4 above, where someone was effectively told that there was no hurry to renounce SG citizenship.

I am not a lawyer, but my understanding is that not all countries write their laws this way. For example the old Australian nationality law stated that one loses AU citizenship upon acquisition of another citizenship even if the AU govt does not know about it. Such a law, for example would have made the continued use of an AU passport an offence. (Note that AU now allows dual citizenship). Or the current Indian practice, in which apparently every Indian passport has a notation stating that the holder has to turn in his/her passport to the Indian authorities upon acquisition of another citizenship. Neither Singapore or Malaysia, as far as I know, are this explicit about things.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 03 Apr 2010 11:16 pm

They don't need to be specific. They only need to be pragmatic. That way, the ball is always in their court. By NOT being specific, they hold the upper hand as they can enforce it any time that they like or they can overlook it at their pleasure. There is nothing the individual can do, because at the end of the day, they have covered the bases. If they feel like making an example out of someone, they have all they need in order to do so. They do the same thing at MOM when rejecting EP/WP's and ICA when rejecting PR applications. By not divulging the reasons for rejection, they eliminate the applications being "written" for approval. Gives them the upper hand. Makes sense to me.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by john_nyc_71 » Sun, 04 Apr 2010 6:45 am

Exactly my thoughts. The laws as written gives the govt discretion to take away citizenship from some an yet close their eyes to others. It's a pretty stark contrast to the UK and the US, where the guidelines from work permits, PR and citizenship are a lot more clearly spelt out. But it is perfectly consistent with the way the SG govt behaves.

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