Monday, September 05, 2011

Queries to Singapore Immigration & Checkpoint Authority (ICA)

In view of Dr Yaacoob's own revelation that his children will hold dual citizenship up till 18 years old by virtue of the fact that his wife is an American citizen, I have sent in the following queries to ICA:

I have a few questions to ask:

1) Does Singapore allow any citizens to hold multiple citizenship?
2) Is it a chargeable crime for anyone to hold dual or multiple citizenship?
2) Is there any age limit for anyone to hold multiple citizenship?
3) If a child is granted two citizenship (including Singapore citizenship) by virtue of his parents' citizenship status, could he rightfully retain both citizenship at the same time?
4) What is the penalty for holding dual citizenship?
5) Does the Immigration department has the right to revoke the Singapore citizenship of those who are found or caught to have dual or multiple citizenship?

Thank you.

Best Regards,

Goh Meng Seng

After note:

Someone says I should read the Constitution carefully and so I did just that.

Please read the Constitution properly:

(2) A person born outside Singapore shall not be a citizen of Singapore by descent by virtue of clause (1) unless —

(a) his birth is registered in the prescribed manner at the Registry of Citizens or at a diplomatic or consular mission of Singapore within one year, or such longer period as the Government permits, after its occurrence; and

(b) he would not acquire the citizenship of the country in which he was born by reason of his birth in that country where —

(i) in the case of a person born before the date of commencement of section 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 2004, his father is a citizen of Singapore by registration at the time of his birth; or

(ii) in the case of a person born on or after the date of commencement of section 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 2004, either his father or mother is a citizen of Singapore by registration at the time of his birth.

By 2(B), the children SHOULD NOT become citizen of Singapore by descent IF they acquire the citizenship of the country of their birth.

This is assuming that they were born in America.

If they are born in Singapore, it makes me wonder why their parents apply American citizenship for their children.

24 comments:

TedFox said...

If you have dual citizenship because of your parents, you have until age 22 to renounce one of it.

For details and other scenariors, pls refer to the constitution

http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_getdata.pl?actno=1999-REVED-CONST&doctitle=CONSTITUTION%20OF%20THE%20REPUBLIC%20OF%20SINGAPORE%0A&date=latest&method=part&segid=931158660-002788

Anonymous said...

@ TedFox

Are you an ICA officer?

Are you aware that you can be charged for impersonating an ICA officer?

Trebuchet said...

1) Yes.
2) Possibly.
2) Yes.
3) Yes.
4) Loss of SG citizenship if illegal, followed by deportation.
5) Yes, if illegal.

You need to do more research. See TedFox's link. Come on, you can make yourself look more competent! :)

Anonymous said...

@ Trebuchet
(la French catapult http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trebuchet)

Why does Meng Seng need to do research?

He is a citizen asking his civil service to answer a few simple questions. In other words, earning their salary.

Do citizens need to overpay our civil servants world class salaries and still spoon feed them by doing their jobs for them?

Goh Meng Seng said...

Please read the Constitution properly:

(2) A person born outside Singapore shall not be a citizen of Singapore by descent by virtue of clause (1) unless —

(a) his birth is registered in the prescribed manner at the Registry of Citizens or at a diplomatic or consular mission of Singapore within one year, or such longer period as the Government permits, after its occurrence; and

(b) he would not acquire the citizenship of the country in which he was born by reason of his birth in that country where —

(i) in the case of a person born before the date of commencement of section 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 2004, his father is a citizen of Singapore by registration at the time of his birth; or

(ii) in the case of a person born on or after the date of commencement of section 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 2004, either his father or mother is a citizen of Singapore by registration at the time of his birth.

By 2(B), the children SHOULD NOT become citizen of Singapore by descent IF they acquire the citizenship of the country of their birth.

This is assuming that they were born in America.

If they are born in Singapore, it makes me wonder why their parents apply American citizenship for their children.

Goh Meng Seng

R U SERIOUS said...

Meng Seng, U SERIOUS BRO?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Goh Meng Seng, YOU please read The Constitution carefully, before embarrassing yourself any further. What kind of a f**ked-up politician are you?

[QUOTE]
The Constitution
(2) A person born outside Singapore shall not be a citizen of Singapore by descent by virtue of clause (1) unless —
....
(b) he would not acquire the citizenship of the country in which he was born by reason of his birth in that country where —

(i) in the case of a person born before the date of commencement of section 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 2004, his father is a citizen of Singapore by registration at the time of his birth; or

(ii) in the case of a person born on or after the date of commencement of section 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 2004, either his father or mother is a citizen of Singapore by registration at the time of his birth.
[ENDQUOTE]


By 2(B)(i), the children are allowed to be citizen of Singapore by descent because their father, Mr. Yacoob, is a citizen of Singapore BY BIRTH,, and NOT "a citizen of Singapore BY REGISTRATION"


What about you, Mr. Goh Meng Seng? Are you a citizen of Singapore BY BIRTH, or a citizen of Singapore BY REGISTRATION?

If you are a citizen of Singapore BY BIRTH, you can go have a kid now in USA, and your kid can become a Singapore citizen by descent.

If you are a citizen of Singapore BY REGISTRATION, you can still have a kid now in USA, but your kid canNOT become a Singapore citizen by descent.

This type of distinction between citizens BY BIRTH versus citizen by REGISTRATION is standard in practically ALL developed countries i.e. the 1st generation (citizen BY BIRTH) that goes overseas can pass citizenship to the 2nd generation (citizen BY DESCENT OR BY REGISTRATION). But this 2nd generation canNOT pass citizenship to the 3rd generation.
THis is to prevent perpetual passing of citizenship from parents who have never set foot in the country before to children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Only ONE generation of citizenship-passing is allowed: from parents who are citizen BY BIRTH to children (who then become citizen BY DESCENT/REGISTRATION). These children cannot pass their citizenship to their own children because they are NOT citizen BY BIRTH, but rather citizen BY DESCENT/REGISTRATION

Get it?

You are pathetic, as a politician. Refusing to read up, refusing to ask around, but choosing to expose your ignorance publicly!

Goh Meng Seng said...

I really don't understand which part you don't understand, really.

If you are a Singapore citizen and your child is born overseas, he/she could only become Singapore citizen if and only if he/she doesn't acquire the citizenship of country of birth. This is what the Constitution says.

This clause is written under the subtitle "Citizenship by Descend". Can you read the whole Constitution properly?

Well, of course, if Dr Yaacoob's children are born in Singapore, then they will have citizenship by birth. But how did they end up with another American citizenship? This could only happen if and only if their parents applied for it at the US embassy.

I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Trebuchet,
You should follow your own advice and go read up yourself! Maybe then, you can be less of a fool, like Mr. Goh! Your answers to Goh's 5 questions are all wrong!

Q1:"Does Singapore allow any citizens to hold multiple citizenship?"

A1: Yes, for minors < 22 yr old. (not 21) No, for those >=22. But, "not allow" doesn't mean you have committed an offence, it simply means the government ***MAY**** revoke your Singapore citizenship if it chooses to


Q2: Is it a chargeable offence?

A2: Of course not! And I challenge any ignorant fool to state the relevant chapter and section of the relevant criminal/penal code to prove me wrong


Q2: Is there any age limit?

A2: Yes. See A1.


Q3: Can child retain both citizenship?

A3: Yes, subject to age limit per A1


Q4: Penalty for dual citizenship?

A4: No penalty, except that the govt ***MAY*** revoke your Singapore citizenship if it chooses to, as explained in A1.


Q5: Does Immigration dept has authority to revoke Singaproe citizenship...?

A5: No! Only the Minister of Home Affairs or someone he delegate speifically to do such a task, has the authority.



All these are stated in The Constitution. But Mr. Goh 1st refused to read it up, and then when asked to do so, reads it wrongly!

How much more pathetic can a politican get --- refusing to read and read carefully before sprouting nonsense.

Mr. Trebuchet is equally guilty of talking cock, but then he is not a politician and does no political damage to himself, unlike Goh!

Finally, I repeat my challenge: I challenge any smart-alec who thinks he is Mr-Know-All, to quote me the relevant chapter/section of the relevant criminal law or penal code or whatever statue, which says dual citizenship is a CRIME. Fact: IT's NOT A CRIME! IT NEVER WAS! But the govt ***MAY***....IF it chooses to...

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand which part IN BOLD you don't understand, really. So, why don't you, Goh Meng Seng, tell me exactly which part IN BOLD you don't understand:

[QUOTE]
(2) A person born outside Singapore shall not be a citizen of Singapore by descent by virtue of clause (1) unless —
....
(b) he would not acquire the citizenship of the country in which he was born by reason of his birth in that country where —

(i) in the case of a person born before the date of commencement of section 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 2004, his father is a citizen of Singapore by registration at the time of his birth; or
[UNQUOTE]


Or maybe your English is so poor that you don't know how to link the part IN BOLD to the entire (2), 2(b), 2(b)(i)?

Goh Meng Seng said...

Actually, I did not put any presumption here about whether holding multiple citizenship is a crime or not. I ask the civil servants to clarify.

I would be happy to DIRECT from the authorities to say that dual citizenship is NOT a crime but I have follow up question to ask later, if it is NOT a crime.

Unfortunately you guys just jump the gun but you are in no position to answer authoritatively. I still prefer to wait for the OFFICIAL ANSWERS before I can take my follow up steps. :)

Goh Meng Seng

Goh Meng Seng said...

When you read the clause, you must read it IN TOTALITY. You will have to read from the top:

(2) A person born outside Singapore shall not be a citizen of Singapore by descent by virtue of clause (1) UNLESS—

(b) he would not acquire the citizenship of the country in which he was born by reason of his birth in that country where

(i) & (ii).

It basically means that even if your parents/parent are/is Singapore citizenship, you must NOT acquire the citizenship of the country of your birth before you can qualify to get Singapore citizenship by descend.

Goh Meng Seng

Anonymous said...

Goh Meng Seng wrote:
"If you are a Singapore citizen and your child is born overseas, he/she could only become Singapore citizen if and only if he/she doesn't acquire the citizenship of country of birth. This is what the Constitution says. "


Nonsense. This is NOT what The Constitution says. The Constitution said (to borrow your words partially):
"If you are a Singapore citizen and your child is born overseas, he/she could only become Singapore citizen if and only if he/she doesn't acquire the citizenship of country of birth IN THE CASE WHERE YOU, THE FATHER, IS A CITIZEN OF SINGAPORE BY REGISTRATION AT THE TIME OF HIS BIRTH. However, if you are a CITIZEN OF SINGAPORE BY BIRTH, then clause (2)(b)(i) does not apply to you, in which case your child can become Singapore citizen EVEN IF he acquires the citizenship of the country of birth. This is what the Constitution says."


Each and every year, TENS of scholars (SAF postgrad, SPF postgrad, A*STAR postgrad etc) study in USA while their wives give birth to kids who automatically acquire USA citizenship, and they all applied successfully for their *daughters* to become Singapore citizen, because these scholars are citizen BY BIRTH and thus clause (2)(b)(i) does not apply to them. (They do not apply for their sons, to skip NS).

You, Goh Meng Seng, are becoming a big joke in the eye of these scholars!

Anonymous said...

Goh Meng Seng wrote:
"It basically means that even if your parents/parent are/is Singapore citizenship, you must NOT acquire the citizenship of the country of your birth before you can qualify to get Singapore citizenship by descend."


Again, the stubborn Goh Meng Seng refuses to distinguish between Singapore citizenship BY BIRTH versus Singapore citizenship BY REGISTRATION. Maybe he thinks he is above The Constitution?!?

Mr. Goh should learn to read The Constitution IN ITS TOTALITY from the top to bottom. Then he would realise that The constitution makes a clear distinction between parents who are citizen BY BIRTH, who are NOT subjected to clause (2)(b)(i) versus those who are citizen BY REGISTRATION who are subjected to clause (2)(b)(i).


If Mr. Goh insist he is right, maybe he should start petitioning ICA to revoke the citizenship of those children of scholars whose wives gave birth to these children while in USA and who succeeded in having their children become Singapore citizen by descent, precisely because their parents', being Singapore citizen BY BIRTH are not subject to the constraint of (2)(b)(i), whereas if their parents had been Singapore citizen BY REGISTRATION, their children would not have been able to become singapore citizen because then they would be subjected to (2)(b)(i).

You are becoming the butt of the joke, in the face of all these real-life cases!

Goh Meng Seng said...

There is no "however" here. If his parents aren't even Singapore citizens, the child wouldn't even be qualified to apply for Singapore citizenship!

The Constitution has been amended in 2004 to include mother's Singapore citizenship as a valid criteria for the child to apply for Singapore citizenship.

The whole clause basically says that the child born outside Singapore cannot claim Singapore citizenship by descend UNLESS he does not acquire the citizenship of the country of birth AND either his father or mother has a Singapore citizenship if he is born AFTER 2004 or his father is a Singapore citizen Prior to 2004 amendment of the ACT.

Your understanding is really doubtful.

Goh Meng Seng

The govt **MAY** said...

The only "crime" you have committed if you have dual citizenship:

Constitution of the Republic of Singapore
Deprivation of citizenship on acquisition of foreign citizenship

134. —(1) The Government may, by order, deprive a citizen of Singapore of his citizenship if the Government is satisfied that —

(a) he has, while of or over the age of 18 years, at any time after 6th April 1960 acquired by registration, naturalisation or other voluntary and formal act (other than marriage) the citizenship of any country outside Singapore or having so acquired such citizenship before the age of 18 years continues to retain it after that age;

....
Deprivation of citizenship on exercise of rights of foreign nationals, etc.
135. —(1) The Government may, by order, deprive a citizen of Singapore of his citizenship if the Government is satisfied that —

(a) he has, while of or over the age of 18 years, at any time after 6th April 1960 voluntarily claimed and exercised any rights (other than any rights in connection with the use of a passport) available to him under the law of any country outside Singapore being rights accorded exclusively to the citizens or nationals of that country;

(b) he has, while of or over the age of 18 years, at any time after 6th April 1960 applied to the authorities of a place outside Singapore for the issue or renewal of a passport or used a passport issued by such authorities as a travel document; or

(c) he is of or over the age of 18 years and has, whether before or after attaining the age of 18 years, been ordinarily resident outside Singapore for a continuous period of 10 years (including any period of residence outside Singapore before 2nd January 1986) and has not at any time —

(i) during that period or thereafter entered Singapore by virtue of a certificate of status or travel document issued by the competent authorities of Singapore; or

(ii) during that period been in the service of the Government or of an international organisation of which Singapore is a member or of such other body or organisation as the President may, by notification in the Gazette, designate.

(2) For the purposes of clause (1) (a), the exercise of a vote in any political election in a place outside Singapore shall be deemed to be the voluntary claim and exercise of a right available under the law of that place.
....


That's all!
Nothing more, nothing less.
NOT A CRIME
NOT ILLEGAL
NO HAULING UP TO COURT

And thus far, the record is that the govt does not bother to do what it **may** do. Think about it: why would it want you to remove your CPF money to become an ex-Singaporean? It would rather you remain a Singapore citizen and keeps your CPF money here, that is, unless you are its political opponent :)

Anonymous said...

Goh Meng Seng wrote:
"either his father or mother has a Singapore citizenship if he is born AFTER 2004 or his father is a Singapore citizen Prior to 2004 amendment of the ACT."


The Constitution wrote:
"...before... 2004, his father is a citizen of Singapore by registration at the time of his birth; or

(ii)...after... 2004, either his father or mother is a citizen of Singapore by registration at the time of his birth.



Maybe Mr. Goh thinks he is above the Consitution, such that he can delete the words "BY REGISTRATION" from The Constitution (the highest law of the land, by the way), and he can suka suka lump Singapore citizen BY REGISTRATION together with Singapore citizen BY BIRTH, and he can, at his whim and fancy, decides that there shall be no distinctioni bween Singapore citizen BY REGISTRATION versus Singapore citizen BY BIRTH such that whatever the latter is allowed or disallowed to do, the former shall also be similarly allowed or disallowed!


Maybe he should go start his own country with his own brand of The Constitution! That's not how Singapore - and practically ALL countries - write up its citizenship law. ALL countries make a distinction between the passing of citizenship from parents who are citizen BY BIRTH versus parents who are citizen BY REGISTRATION such that citizenship can be passed on for one generation overseas, but not for subsequent generation overseas!

Anonymous said...

And this is why I too would like to see ICA respond to Goh Meng Seng's questions.

You internet constitutional lawyers got a lot of thunder and noise but no binding authority behind your views.

Let's hear what ICA has to say because that's what they are paid to do.

If you still want to work for free, SMRT may need help with sentry duty.
A certain limping terrorist may also require extra sentry duty.

Anonymous said...

FAQ specially for people like GMS
Q1: How many types of Singapore citizenship are there?
A1: 4 types, namely:
(i) Citizen of Singapore BY BIRTH
(ii) Citizen of Singapore BY DESCENT
(iii) Citizen of Singapore BY REGISTRATION
(iv) Citizen of Singapore BY NATURALISATION


Q2: Are there any difference - in terms of constitutional rights - enjoyed by these 4 types of Singapore citizens?
A2: Of course! That's why there are 4 types! If there were no difference, might as well have just 1 type; No need for 4 types!


Q3: Can you illustrate with an example of the difference?
A3: Citizen of Singapore BY BIRTH and BY DESCENT have the right to remain citizen even if they murder, commit treason against the country, oppose PAP etc. Citizen of Singapore BY NATURALISATION or BY REGISTRATION have no such rights - their citizenship can be revoked if they commit certain crime within certain period of time. Likewise, if PAP is not happy with them, PAP can claim they are a threat to the country and revoke their citizenship. Citizen of Singapore BY BIRTH and BY DESCENT are protected by The Constitution from such revocation of citizenship. Their citizenship is literally a birth-right.


Q4: Thanks for the example. The discussion here is specifically about passing citizenship to child born overseas. With respect to this issue, what are the difference among the 4 types of Singapore citizens?
A4: For child born overseas:
(i)Citizen of Singapore BY BIRTH can pass citizenship to the child automatically within 1 year of birth, and at the discretion of the government after that 1st year. The child will become Citizen of Singapore BY DESCENT starting from date of birth, regardless of when the appln is made

(ii) Citizen of Singapore BY DESCENT can pass citizenship to the child ONLY IFthe parent fulfill some residency requirement (i.e. having stayed in Singapore for X number of years etc). If such residency requirement is not fulfilled, the child cannot become Citizen of Singapore BY DESCENT, but the parents can, as per normal, apply to have the child be considered to be a Citizen of Singapore BY REGISTRATION. The latter child will have less constitutional rights compared to the former child, as explained in A3

(iii) Citizen of Singapore BY REGISTRATION can pass citizenship to the child ONLY IF the child does not acquire the citizenship of another country by reason of the child's birth in that country. If the child cannot fulfill this requirement, the child cannot become a Citizen of Singapore BY DESCENT, but the parents can, as per normal, apply to have the child be considered to be a Citizen of Singapore BY REGISTRATION, as explained above.

Anonymous said...

Q5: So, can Dr. Yaacoob, or any other Singapore citizen BY BIRTH, give birth to a child in USA (which means the child is an citizen of USA) and apply for that child to be Singapore citizen?
A6: Of course! Tons of Singaporeans do that every year! It's perfectly legal.


Q6: Same question as Q6, but now instead of Citizen of SIngapore BY BIRTH, let's talk about Citizen of Singapore BY REGISTRATION: can Dr. Yaacoob, or any other Singapore citizen BY REGISTRATION, give birth to a child in USA (which means the child is an citizen of USA) and apply for that child to be Singapore citizen?
A7: No!!!!!!!!!! Citizen of Singapore BY REGISTRATION does not have such constitutional rights! Only Citizen of Singapore BY BIRTH has such rights. But this point does not apply to Dr. Yaacoob because Dr. Yaacoob is, to the best of our knowledge, a Singapore citizen by birth!


Q7: So what's Goh Meng Seng's problem then?
A5: Goh's problem is that he was initially ignorant and then stubbornly refuse to accept that there are 4 types of Singapore Citizenship, each of which confers different ability on the citizen to pass citizenship to a child born overseas!

Alvin Lim said...

I think the gist of the post is this question: why would a government official, who stood for office presumably because he loves his country and his fellow Singaporeans and not because of the huge paycheck and other benefits, choose to allow his child to have a different citizenship, dual or otherwise?

Perhaps he, like the Singaporeans who immigrated to the US, is of the opinion that being an American is better than being a Singaporean, and hence he wants his child to have the option of abandoning his father's homeland. Can't blame a man for wanting the best for his children.

But then, this also means that he also feels the Singapore government is not capable of building Singapore into a country more desirable than any other, including the US. But isn't that what we're paying him big bucks to do? If that 's the case, why are we paying him more than what the Americans are paying their politicians? And why should we have any confidence in our nation's future, and dedicate 2 years of our sons' lives to our country, when the leaders we've entrusted our country to are planning out escape routes for their own offspring?

Alvin Lim said...

And may I add, I really appreciate Mr Goh's decision to leave the blog un-censored and to patiently address the points brought up by all these anonymous experts (or could it be just one person, perhaps someone close to Dr Yaacoob). It is sad to see how some of the comments are nothing more than outright presonal attacks, but also encouraging to see that Mr Goh is able to respond to vitriol in such a civil manner, which will surely bode well for Singapore politics in the years to come.

But for the sake of my beloved country of birth, I really hope that most Singaporeans are capable of thinking more critically and objectively, and of debating in a more civilized manner, than the anonymous poster or posters here.

Anonymous said...

I see that goh Meng Seng point is to question why yacoob applied for the USA passport for his kids when they already hold the Singapore passport. It's plain simple isn't it? All that definitions provided by one 'anonymous' guy is really unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

Dr Yaacob is a reasonable man and a reasonable father. HE LETS HIS CHILDREN CHOOSE WHICH NATIONALITY THEY WILL WISH TO HAVE IN THE FUTURE, AND THEY HAVE A NATURAL RIGHT TO EITHER. Parents who do not give their children choices are unreasonable. Dr. Yaacob has done right.