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Sunday January 14th 2018

Reclaiming Singapore Citizenship After Renouncement (Sg forums)

Hey guys, need your help with this one.

Okay, a bit about my background first. I was born outside of Singapore, but because my parents were Singaporean, I acquired a Singaporean citizenship (by descent). My family left Singapore when I was  3 years old, travelled around before migrating to Australia. So,  I never got to really experience the ‘socio-economic benefits’ of Singapore.

I’m going to turn 21 next year, and I’ve decided to renounce my Singaporean citizenship and keep my Australian one (I think in my current situation, I don’t have to do National Service). My questions are:

1) In the future, will I be able to re-apply for another PR/citizenship, in order to work and live in Singapore?

2) If yes, do I have to do NS? If not, wouldn’t that mean I’ve  ’skipped’ NS in that regard?

I’ve heard differing views to the first question. My parents and a few of my Singaporean friends have told me that it is near impossible to re-apply for another Singaporean citizenship. On the other hand, the website below states that I shouldn’t have any extra problems from previously giving up my citizenship, and that I’ll be treated like any other foreigner when trying to get my PR/citizenship:

Not to mention with my somewhat unique background (being a Singaporean citizen by descent, and having left Singapore at the age of 3), I don’t think I would immediately be rejected when attempting to re-apply, right?

Please reply as soon as possible. Thank you.

 - Leon


Hi Leon Lai,

Sure, you cannot apply for PR here, as for citizenship, it is not a problem if you are talented or married a Singapore wife and borne a singapore citizen child. Other than that, if you can invest about 3 millions in property or business here, the ICA officer will personally visit your house in Australia  or Singapore to beg you to become a citizen of Singapore.You don’t even need to apply anything and certainly, no need any NS.

As for my case, born in Taiwan, migrated to Singapore and becomes a singapore citizen while still holding a Taiwanese passport (PR) as  Taiwan allows dual citizenship within the G20 countries. It is not a big problem, like me, most foreigners coming here to make money, settle down and become a citizen just to enjoy the fringe benefit in taxation, by which singapore is one of the lowest among the G20 and OECD countries. You can save alot here, however, we need to have a backdoor to run off if Singapore, as fragile as it is without natural resources, could one day fail and fall. That’s wise –  so  it is good to hold on to your Australian  citizenship or as a PR in some other countries to act as an escape route.

Hope all is clear

Angel with a Lin


Hello Leon,

Many people in this forum here is telling you to leave Singapore, why do want to come back?

Your background is not unique. Many singaporean moved to Australia, they don’t want their children to learn Mandarin, serve NS…among other reasons. Now the children have grown up, and decision has to be made, Singaporean or Australian. Your ability to make decision shows whether you have indeed come of age.

Singapore does not owe you the “social and economic benefits”. Young singaporean males all need to contribute by serving NS, and  reservists for the next 10 yrs, are you willing? Consider yourself lucky that you have the right of refusal to a Singapore citizenship.

Are your parents still holding Singaporean passport and Australian PR?


Renouncing Singapore Citizenship (Guidemesingapore)

There are several factors to be kept in mind regarding the renunciation of your Singapore citizenship. This move can have far-reaching implications and the decision must be made after careful thought and scrutiny. Once the decision to renounce Singapore citizenship is made, there are documents to be submitted and procedural guidelines to be followed. Detailed below is all that you would need to know about renouncing your Singapore citizenship.

Implications of Singapore Citizenship Renunciation

If you are thinking about renouncing Singapore citizenship, it is important to think of the implications of this decision. According to the Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, once your declaration for renunciation is registered:

  1. You will cease to be a citizen of Singapore.
  2. Citizen benefits such as subsidies in health-care, education, taxation, employment and other privileges will cease to be applicable.
  3. There is no provision for reinstatement.
  4. There is also no assurance that you can continue to work or reside in Singapore as a foreigner on any type of employment permit or as a Permanent Resident. 

Eligibility Criteria

Under Article 128(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, anyone who wishes to renounce Singapore citizenship must fulfill the following three conditions:

  1. He/she must be 21 years of age or above
  2. Must be of sound mind
  3. Is or is about to become a citizen of another country

In addition, for a male citizen, the government may withhold the registration of declaration of renunciation of Singapore Citizenship under Article 128(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, the provisions which are listed below:

If the declaration is made during any war in which Singapore is engaged


If the declaration is made by a person subject to the Enlistment Act unless he has:

  1. Discharged his liability for full-time service under Section 12 of the Act
  2. Rendered at least 3 years of service under Section 13 of the Act in lieu of such full-time service
  3. Complied with such conditions as may be determined by the Government 

What this essentially implies is that if the male citizen is subject to the Enlistment Act and has not discharged his duty for National Service (or equivalent service), the Government has the right to withhold his renunciation of Singapore Citizenship. 

Who to approach

If you are residing in Singapore, you may visit the Citizen Services Centre of the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). If you are residing abroad, you can approach the Singapore Overseas Mission.

List of Documents to be submitted

The following are the documents you will have to submit

  1. Certified true copy of Birth Certificate or the original Singapore Citizenship Certificate.
  2. Original Singapore Identity Card.
  3. Original Singapore passport.
  4. Certified true copy of your foreign citizenship certificate and foreign passport. Such certification must be made by the Foreign Government Authority or the foreign country’s representation nearest to you in your country of residence.
  5. Completed “Acknowledgement letter from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority”. This form is available at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, Citizen Services Centre or you can approach the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission if you are residing overseas. This form has to be dated and duly signed by you.
  6. Completed “Renunciation of Singapore Citizenship” Form. This form is available at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, Citizen Services Centre or you can approach the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission if you are residing overseas. This form has to be dated and duly signed by you. Additionally, a Notary Public or Consular Officer of Singapore has to date, sign and affix his official stamp on the form.
  7. Completed “Questionnaire for Singaporeans who renounce Citizenship”. This form is available at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, Citizen Services Centre or you can approach the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission if you are residing overseas.
  8. A cover letter providing the following particulars: complete name, mailing address, e-mail address and all contact phone numbers for ease of communication.
  9. If you have changed your name you have to provide documentary evidence from the relevant authorities to substantiate the change (e.g. Change of Name Certificate, Marriage Certificate etc.).
  10. Marriage Certificate (for females married to foreign nationals). 

Processing Time and Fee

Once you are ready with all the documents, you can approach the ICA or Singapore Overseas Mission (who will in turn forward your application to the ICA in Singapore). The processing fee is SGD 35. The processing time is four weeks for female applicants and eight weeks for males. The ICA will consider each application on its own merits. Once the renunciation of Singapore citizenship is formally registered, a short stay in Singapore will be allowed (if you are residing in Singapore) so that you have sufficient time to make arrangements to leave. Once your application is approved, the ICA will issue the notification letter of cessation of citizenship to you. If you are overseas, the Singapore ICA will forward the letter to the relevant Singapore Overseas Mission, to be issued to you. 

Withdrawal of CPF Balance

You may withdraw your CPF in full, from all the accounts, if you have left Singapore and West Malaysia permanently with no intention of returning to either country for employment or residence. In addition you should have renounced your Singapore Citizenship. You may apply for withdrawal online under my cpf online services – My Requests if you have a SingPass (Singapore Personal Access Identity). Alternatively, you can complete the Withdrawal Application Form and mail it to the CPF Board, Withdrawal Schemes Department in Singapore.

The application form needs to be accompanied with relevant supporting documents (mentioned in the form). These documents must be certified by a Notary Public or an official from the Singapore High Commission, with his official seal/stamp duly affixed. Certifications by Justices of Peace or Commissioner of Oaths are not accepted. Once the CPF Board receives the form your CPF Funds will be forwarded to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) to settle your income tax liabilities (if any). You will receive your money either through a bank transfer or a CPF withdrawal cheque (if you are in Singapore) or demand draft (if you are overseas). The processing time takes anywhere between 4-6 weeks. 

Returning to Singapore after Renunciation

The two most commonly asked questions are: Can I re-apply for Singapore citizenship in the future? and Can I come back to Singapore to work or study?

Once you renounce your Singapore citizenship, you will be treated like any other foreigner and any application for immigration facilities, including Singapore citizenship, will be considered on its own merits under the prevailing rules and regulations. To be able to work or study in Singapore you will need a valid work pass and student’s pass. Applications for these passes will be treated like any other application and will be considered on their own merits. Being an ex-Singapore citizen has no standing in these matters and there is no assurance that you will be allowed to enter Singapore. If you are granted PR or citizen status again, please note that you will have to refund the amount withdrawn from your CPF Account at the time of renunciation, along with interest rate accruals.

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One Response to “Reclaiming Singapore Citizenship After Renouncement (Sg forums)”

  1. Worry says: anyone can help me with my question?
    If I can’t provide renounce Citizenship the document from my origin country to the singapore immigration, what will happend? will the singapore immigration withdrawn my singapore citizenship, my IC and passport? I will be glad if anybody can help me. Thanks

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