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Singapore Citizenship by Descent

Singapore Citizenship by Descent

One of the ways through which a person can acquire citizenship in Singaporeis by descent; this refers to persons who are related to Singaporean nationals. More exactly, it refers to children of persons who are of Singaporean nationality

Singapore citizenship by descent can be obtained in certain circumstances and the procedure has to be started by the parents of the child. You can find out more from our team of lawyers in Singapore; if you need legal representation, our team can help you. 

Please know that Singaporean citizens (male citizens) are required to serve in the National Service. The procedure starts by enlisting in the system once a male child reaches the age of 16 years old and 6 months, and he then will have to serve once reaching the age of 18 years old, unless there are exemption granted in this sense (serving at a later time).  

Who is entitled to Singapore citizenship by descent?

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore, a person can be eligible for citizenship by descent when the birth of the said person occurred overseas. 

The right to this type of citizenship is available only as long as 1 parent is a Singaporean national. The eligibility applies when any of the following scenarios occur: 

  1. the child has a father who is a Singapore national by birth and he is legally married;
  2. the child has a father who is a Singapore citizen by registration and he is legally married – here, it is necessary that the child will not adopt the citizenship of the country where he or she was born;
  3. the child has a mother who is a Singapore national by birth and the child was born after 15 May 2004;
  4. the child is born from a mother who is a Singapore national by registration – for citizenship by descent in Singapore the child is required to not obtain the citizenship of the country where the birth occurred;
  5. the father (legally married at the moment when the child is born) or the mother became nationals by Singapore citizenship by descent as well – here, information concerning residency in Singapore has to be provided in order for the child to obtain citizenship

What is the procedure for Singapore citizenship by descent in 2024?

There are many documents and procedures to comply with and because of this, we strongly recommend those interested to address to our law firm in Singapore

In the list below, you can discover some of the basic requirements one has to fulfill for this type of citizenship

  • the application form must contain 1 passport photograph of the child;
  • the photograph must have a dimension of 35x45mm, and 25x35mm of it has to present the face of the child;
  • the photo must be taken with maximum 3 months before the application;
  • the application for citizenship by descent in Singapore must be submitted in maximum 1 year since the birth of the child;
  • there is the possibility to apply after 1 year, but additional documents have to be submitted and a letter of explanation has to be prepared by the parent;
  • for instance, for the latter situation, the parent must submit a letter of employment signed with maximum 3 months before the citizenship application, as well as the last 6 months pay slips. 

Besides these, the parents have to prepare the following: 1) the child’s birth certificate, 2) the parents’ identity cards, passports and birth certificates, 3) evidence on the residential address (in Singapore or in the country of birth), 4) the marriage certificate

When the application for Singapore citizenship by descent is completed after 1 year, the list of documents that have to be submitted will more extensive; you may find out the full list of documents from our law firm in Singapore

Please contact our law firm for additional information on the legal framework applicable to Singapore citizenship by descent; the latest regulations were introduced in the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 2004

If you want to acquire citizenship in Singapore in 2024 you will also be required to pay processing fees. For successful applicants, the processing fee is of S$70 in 2024 – the fee is charged for the issuance of the citizenship certificate

Persons who wil apply for a Singapore identity card must also pay a fee of S$10 – the fee is charged in 2024 only to those who have an age above 15 years old, because the identity card can be issued only after reaching this age. The fee of $10 is applicable to persons who hold Singaporean citizenship. For those who apply for the same document but are only permanent residents, the fee in 2024 is $50. These fees are for successful applications. 

However, all applicants must pay a processing fee charged for the processing of the citizenship application, which is S$100 for all applicants (a fee of S$18 is applied in 2024 in the case of citizenship applications made for children born overseas and who have Singaporean parents). 

Persons who have been issued with a Singaporean passport can enjoy the benefits of the document for a period of 10 years (this is the case of all passport holders with an age above 16 years old). For those below this age, the passport is valid only for 5 years. 

Please mind that if the documents are not in English, an official translation has to be concluded. The documents must also be notarized. Our lawyer in Singapore can put you in contact with specialists who can provide notary services.