Singapore Expats

Need opinion on my NS situation - former dual citizen

A moderated forum for serious discussions only.
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed, 28 Dec 2011 7:28 pm

Need opinion on my NS situation - former dual citizen

Post by hkslegends » Wed, 28 Dec 2011 7:56 pm

I've also posted in this thread. Feel free to reply either here or there. I've read several other threads, as well as the NS procedure thread but they still haven't really answered my question. My apologies for starting another thread.

Hello all,

I've been charged as a defaulter by MINDEF, wondering if anyone has an idea of what might happen. I am mindful of taking information with a grain of salt, so dont worry if you feel you might be misleading me.

I'm 22 years old, born and lived in the US since birth. Parents applied for Singapore citizenship when I was young, but I do not believe we ever renewed my passport. The NS registration forms were not forwarded to us properly so neither my parents nor I knew anything needed to be done. (My dad had served NS when he was young but that was many years ago, and my parents had moved to the US for college since). When I turned 22 we received a letter saying that if I did not take the oath, I will lose my citizenship. No problem there - I did not take oath and they sent a letter asking me to surrender my passport. In a 2nd section it said I have to address the crimes I committed as a citizen, namely failing to serve NS, thus the defaulter charge.

De jure, there's no question that the law was broken, albeit there were mailing issues. De facto, however, it's obvious that I grew up American; it wasn't my intention to ignore Singapore law, I was just unaware of what's to happen. Had I known though, I would have registered for NS but deferred it until 21, when I would have renounced the citizenship. In the end, I would still not be serving NS.

My question is what is the likely outcome? Is there a possibly that the issue can be resolved without significant penalty (significant as in jail time), or is it likely that I will still have to serve NS. We have been contacting MINDEF and so far they've requested my biography. Other than that, I haven't really heard anything from them.

For the record, it's not that I'm scared to serve NS, it's just that it will be very disruptive to my life. Growing up without planning to set aside 2 years will no doubt impact your goals if/when that changes. I'm currently doing research in neuro imaging which will likely get me published. If I have to go back for NS I will have to give that up and put my grad school plans on hold

Quick summary:
1) Born and raised in US but had dual citizenship with both countries. Did not renew passport to my knowledge
2) Did not receive registration notices due to mailing trouble
3) As a result of 2), did not register for NS or apply exit permit
4) Renounced citizenship at 21 but also received defaulter charges in the same letter
5) Currently communicating with MINDEF to address the issue

User avatar
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 11:03 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by carteki » Thu, 29 Dec 2011 11:38 am

The question has been answered in the posts. The answer is that because your parents didn't follow the proper procedures when you were 14 it is very unlikely that you will get off scot free. What the penalty is - others will know better than me.

You should be okay unless you decide to come and visit Singapore. To a large extent they can't do much with you in the States or other countries. Its unfortunate, but that is the way it is and something that I suggest that you share with other expatriate Singaporeans - to be FULLY aware of the consequences of obtaining SG citizenship for their kids.

  • Similar Topics
    Last post

Return to “Strictly Speaking”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests