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Dual nationality, 2x NS liability - preparing for the worst

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wockwock
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Dual nationality, 2x NS liability - preparing for the worst

Postby wockwock » Thu, 25 Aug 2011 2:20 am

First, let me say how grateful I am for this forum and all the contributors who generously donate their time and share their knowledge and experience with us confused folk. Thank you!

I've read all the stickied threads and a great many of the 'please help' posts. Apologies if I appear paranoid, but I now realise how absolutely critical it is that I (we) get this right. Sorry also for how long this is, but I've tried to organise my post so that it is easy to comment on sections of it. Constructive comments on any or all of my questions will be gratefully received!

The Story
I am Singaporean. Singapore is home and I do not want to give up my citizenship. My husband has PR. I am pregnant and our son will be born in Singapore. We will move to my husband's home country when our son is about 4 months old. We do not know whether the move is permanent or if we will resettle in SG at some point.

My husband's country does not care whether or not our son takes his father's nationality, NS liability is based on his father's ethnicity. Our son will need to serve NS if we live there / if he wants to live there. This means he will potentially be liable for a double dose of NS.

This is not about taking the 'good bits' of being Singaporean and shirking the corresponding duty to serve. As mentioned, our son will leave SG as an infant and will not enjoy any socio-economic benefits unless we resettle here. If we return to SG our son will definitely serve NS here. We just want to plan ahead, keeping our son's options open.

Goals
1. I keep my citizenship.
2. The whole family is free to visit Singapore regularly while we live abroad.
3. My husband and I are free to return to live in Singapore without the worry that our son will not be able to visit/live/work here or that we will get in trouble for being parents of an NS defaulter.
3. We don't prematurely take away our son's SG citizenship before he is mature enough to decide for himself.
4. Our son will serve NS once, in the country that he chooses (that will of course be a "guided choice"! :wink:)

The Plan So Far, and Questions
(This plan is for the worst case scenario, ie. we do not resettle in Singapore before he turns 21.)

1. Our son will be an SG citizen by birth, but we will not apply for a SG passport or IC for him. He will have dual nationality, we will get the Right of Entry stamp in his foreign passport. We will immediately inform ICA when we move away. He will never attend local school. We will not claim Baby Bonus.

2. When he nears age 13, we will file his intention to renounce citizenship with ICA and Mindef.
- Any negative implications of doing this if he decides in the future to serve NS here and retain his SG citizenship? Will it go down in his record that he once had the intention to renounce?
- Would you advise enclosing a letter explaining our circumstances and telling them we are doing this preemptively but may not actually need to renounce?


3. At 13, apply for his Exit Permit.
- Are there any known problems renewing EP for subsequent 1 year 364 day periods until the child reaches 16.5?

4. At 16.5, register him for NS. Apply for a deferment until age 21 pending renunciation.
- Will we get a letter prompting us to register or are we expected to self-report?
- If he decides to do NS, must/should he decide before he turns 18 (or whatever normal enlistment age is)?
- Is there a procedure to withdraw the intention to renounce?
- Assuming he has not enjoyed any socio-economic benefits so far, can we assume he will be granted this deferment, or is there still a significant chance that it can be turned down for unstated reasons?


5. Renounce son's citizenship at 21, if he decides to do so.
- If we have followed all the "proper" steps so far, how crucial is it for my husband and me to also renounce our PR/citizenship?

Alternative: renouncing before 21?
Here it is said there is the possibility of renouncing before the age of 11 if no socio-economic benefit was gained and the child has another nationality.
- Is this still possible if the child is born in SG and therefore an SG citizen by birth?
- If this is done successfully, do you think the child is then in the same position as a child born outside SG who never took SG citizenship? IE. Future application for PR/EP/LTSVP is truly on merit basis as if he is just another foreigner?

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Postby beppi » Thu, 25 Aug 2011 4:31 pm

Do you seriously expect to get advice here on the legal situation in 13/16/18/21 years?
All you can do is follow the current rules (as you have already written in detail) to the point. But if the government changes the rules (as it well might, in the long time to come), there is nothing you can do.

The only way to safely and surely achieve all your goals is to give birth outside of Singapoore and not apply SC for him. Then he has no NS obligations and can get a visa and study/work/live here like any other foreigner. As a renounced citizen, he will not!

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Postby wockwock » Thu, 25 Aug 2011 7:49 pm

Thank you, Beppi. I am of course asking for comments on the situation as it now stands. Of course the law may and probably will change, and I will keep up with such changes, but right now I can only plan based on the status quo. Just trying to do my part as a responsible parent, as much as I can. Surely you do not disagree with that?

I made the effort to learn as much about this issue before posting. I did not ask about having the baby outside Singapore, for good reason. If my post is somehow offensive for having done my research, moderator please feel free to delete it.

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 25 Aug 2011 8:40 pm

...and here, we have the opposite of most posters; most of them can't even think five days ahead, and this thinks 21+ years ahead!

Anyway, kinda agreeing with beppi here but that's based on what I absorbed reading the threads. I don't purport to be an expert. That said, you better wait for MS to chime in.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 25 Aug 2011 9:22 pm

Speaking of which, he seems to be laying low the past week. :-k

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 25 Aug 2011 9:36 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Speaking of which, he seems to be laying low the past week. :-k


Probably just busy saving the world and such.

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Postby beppi » Fri, 26 Aug 2011 12:40 am

I wasn't criticizing you, just made the point that in terms of citizenship and NS, you're at the mercy of the Singapore government, which, as we all know, does not like (male) citizens avoiding NS and is very vindictive about this issue. You can expect that the few loopholes that currently exist won't be there forever, so whatever you do and however cautious and planning you are, there is a chance your son will end up with NS obligations anyway.
The only way to avoid that with any certainty (in fact, with 100% certainty!) is not having Singapore citizenship. Then he can have the best of both worlds!

Edit: I am speaking from experience - our baby would have been born abroad if if had been a boy, since we prefer our kid not to learn how to kill others. Thanks to my wife's dominant genes, this wasn't necessary in the end.

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Postby wockwock » Fri, 26 Aug 2011 2:05 am

Thanks for all the replies so far. :) I am also hoping MadScientist will see my post.

Beppi, thank you for explaining. I tried not to go into unnecessary detail so it might have come across as shortsighted that we are going to have the baby here despite knowing these complications. We had hoped to settle here permanently, thus SG citizenship and NS were not big issues earlier in my pregnancy. Both of us coming from NS countries, we see the value of it and between serving here or in my husband's country, conditions are miles better here!

The only way to avoid that with any certainty (in fact, with 100% certainty!) is not having Singapore citizenship. Then he can have the best of both worlds!

Thing is, I want my children to be Singaporean. We have more ties here than anywhere else. This is home. How you feel about NS is your prerogative, and I'm not judging, but we feel that NS is a positive thing overall. We have just decided to move away (I am not entirely happy about this but it has to be done) and the possibility of our son having to serve 4 years' NS for 2 countries is keeping me up at night.

Leaving aside the technicalities, we're not sure how that even works, how do you pledge loyalty to two armies? I know, each country has its own laws, everybody else sod off, but aren't there national security implications here? My nephew is going through NS now as a PR, and he reports that PRs are grouped together and generally not allowed near the "sensitive" stuff. Our son could go through NS twice as citizen of both countries and potentially be privy to sensitive information on both sides. <--- These are not actual questions, I'm just thinking aloud. It does surprise me that, especially with the increase in intermarriages, the government has not found a more... nuanced way to deal with those born with dual nationalities.

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Postby OkLah » Fri, 26 Aug 2011 1:38 pm

"It does surprise me that, especially with the increase in
intermarriages, the government has not found a more... nuanced way to
deal with those born with dual nationalities."

Oh, I am pretty sure they have thought about it. It is not the nature of the Singapore government to leave anything to chance. Don't forget that there are NS enlistees who get SPF and Civil Defence postings.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 26 Aug 2011 2:01 pm

OkLah wrote:"It does surprise me that, especially with the increase in
intermarriages, the government has not found a more... nuanced way to
deal with those born with dual nationalities."

Oh, I am pretty sure they have thought about it. It is not the nature of the Singapore government to leave anything to chance. Don't forget that there are NS enlistees who get SPF and Civil Defence postings.


What does SPF & Civil Defense have to do with it? They put you where they want you. It's not your choice.

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Postby beppi » Fri, 26 Aug 2011 3:01 pm

If "NS is a positive thing overall", then why isn't four year of this goodness better than just two?
Possibly because it isn't really "a positive thing overall"?!? (Just thinking out loud.)

Well, now you have a choice of giving your son ONE NS obligation (in your husband's country - I don't know the feasibility of getting him only Singapore citizenship/NS and not the other), TWO obligations (in Singapore and the other country) or a third way that is complicated, unsure and MAYBE gives him one or maybe two obligations.
Choose wisely, and good luck!

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Re: Dual nationality, 2x NS liability - preparing for the wo

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 26 Aug 2011 4:17 pm

wockwock wrote:The Story
My husband's country does not care whether or not our son takes his father's nationality, NS liability is based on his father's ethnicity. Our son will need to serve NS if we live there / if he wants to live there. This means he will potentially be liable for a double dose of NS.


Can you go into this a little bit deeper? How can a country make someone liable for NS because of their ethnicity? If the child doesn't take up the father's citizenship, and doesn't take up PR there, then the child is not liable for that country's NS. Can you tell us what country the father is from that says it doesn't matter where you are from or what your citizenship is, if you live here you will have to do NS. I wouldn't venture or hazard any guesses at the moment without knowing which country your husband is from.

I say this because my son is also liable to two countries but fortunately, one doesn't have mandatory NS any longer. (well, they do, but it's been mothballed since the late '70's but could be reinstated at any time if necessary). My son is currently doing his NS here in Singapore even though he has dual citizenship as well.

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Postby wockwock » Sat, 27 Aug 2011 12:59 am

Beppi, I meant "positive thing overall" after balancing the time cost with everything else. Four years definitely tips that balance the other way!

SundayMorningStaple - my husband is from Cyprus (not "Northern Cyprus").
All those who are not Cypriot citizens but are of Cypriot descent on the male side (i.e. their father or grandfather was of Cypriot descent even if they had not acquired Cypriot citizenship), were born in 1960 or after, and reside in the Republic are obliged to do military service. (Source)

U.S. citizens whom the Republic of Cyprus considers to be Cypriot citizens may be subject to compulsory military service and other aspects of Cypriot law while in Cyprus. U.S. citizen males between the ages of 16 and 26 years who reside in the United States and whose parents or grandfather were Greek Cypriots or have Greek Cypriot names should get written confirmation that they reside permanently outside of Cyprus from the Cypriot Embassy in Washington, D.C. before they travel to Cyprus. After their arrival in Cyprus, they should present their foreign residency confirmation statement to the Cypriot National Guard Registration office to obtain an exit permit. (Source)

Granted, Cyprus currently allows reduced service time for those of Cypriot descent returning from overseas. They are also reputedly much less efficient at tracking people down, unlike Singapore. But the current state of the Cyprus army means NS really seems a waste of time at best, and downright hazardous at worst.

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Postby Mad Scientist » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 4:38 pm

I hesitate to reply to you but for the benefits of all forumers , read and absorb

OK here goes

For all the intents and purposes and notwithstanding I am not to be held responsible for my opinions. My views are based on my own research and studies that I have compiled over the years. All views given are mine and mine alone be it in tort, contract or implied or otherwise in any shape or form, virtual or physical.
Read this up http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/ Enlistment Cap 93 and section 33 of the same act and Singapore Constitution Act 126 and Singapore Statues Cap 133,
www.cmpb.gov.sg,
www.ica.gov.sg,
www.maf.gov.sg ,
www.mha.gov.sg
http://www.ica.gov.sg/page.aspx?pageid= ... as%20birth.
http://sg.redad.com/news/view_printer.asp?ID=960
http://www.transitioning.org/2010/05/04 ... apore-com/
http://www.asiabizservices.com/singapor ... nformation
http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/ ... &doctitle=
http://sgms.internet.gov.sg/Search.aspx ... xml_no_dtd
http://www.google.co.nz/search?client=f ... gle+Search
http://www.getforme.com/previous2006/06 ... ermits.htm
http://www.guidemesingapore.com/relocat ... itizenship
http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/mindef ... ermit.html

The Singapore Constitution states if the child is born here of a Singapore parent , the child is a Singaporean. Under the first right obligation of the child will be towards Singapore. Child born here or overseas can attain dual citizenship till the age of 21 where the child needs to decide the oath of allegiance to SG or parent country of birth or a third country
To serve under two countries for NS, priority will be given first and foremost to Singapore then the other former or adopted or parent countries. There are no conflict of interest in this issue except for Third World Countries , Countries that Singapore is at war with be it in military or economic sanction , war on terror whereby SG is one of the signatory.
Cyprus is not one of the above hence this will not be an issue
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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Postby wockwock » Thu, 29 Sep 2011 12:06 am

Thanks, MadScientist. I am of course not going to hold you responsible for the accuracy of anything you say, and anyway things will most likely change in the next 13-21 years. I do appreciate your input. :)


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