Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Day We Turned From Green To Red

No, I'm not talking about my portfolio, that would be extremely sad.

After 24 years of residing in Singapore, I finally had my Singapore citizenship transition done, approved and granted.

I had applied them together with my immediate family members so all of us were granted the citizenship and we turned red together.

This afternoon was the second last agenda as we were presented with the Singapore passport.

When receiving them from the ICA officer, I had a lot of emotions that run through my mind.

It was a feeling of happiness and gratitude as I looked back at how far we've come to get to this stage.

For years, I have been in and out of the ICA for countless times, maybe more than 100 visits in total, as I looked to renew my student pass, then dependant pass, then employment pass, then the permanent residence and now finally the citizenship.

Our profile wasn't the easiest and most direct to qualify for the application and it is incredibly hard to get to this stage that it is hard to dream that we finally succeeded.

With this decision we have called Singapore our home and it is a place where we think it will best suit our children's needs and vice versa.


This post, like all other journal articles relating to financial independence, are meant to be written to commemorate this moment, an important moment in our lives and one that will change the direction of our lives forever.

As usual, I'll try to document the process step by step for as much as I can remember so it will help those who are applying with some information they can find.

Below are the details:

Singapore Citizenship Application

Make appointment online for intent to apply for the Singapore citizenship (Aug 2017).

The next available appointment is 6 months away, so we managed to get the appointment only in Mar 2018.

We went to ICA to submit the application form with all the necessary required information (payslip, notice of assessment, education cert, marriage cert, etc) and pay $100 for each person using NETS/Cashcard.

We waited for a long time, exactly 12 months before receiving a notice in Mar 2019 that we were accepted!

Note: Approval in-principle outcome letter by post (usually between 6 to 18 months after submission of the application).

Accomplish tasks (within 2 months):

Singapore Citizenship e-Journey (can do later, book the other 2 tasks first).

Singapore Experiential Tour (book quickly as slots are quite limited for the next available).

One of the experiential visits I have to complete

Community Sharing Session (book quickly as slots are only once a month) 

Next, arrange an appointment date for citizenship registration with ICA (can change date up to 5 times).

Next, make an appointment with Notary Public lawyer firm to help you declare your intention to renounce your original citizenship renunciation (in our case, it's Indonesian). 

You will be asked by admin staff to sign a printed Declaration Letter in front of the Lawyer. Your Declaration Letter will be sent to Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) for legalization. (Overall fee was $176.75) 

Document to prepare before meeting with Notary Public lawyer: 
Original and Photocopy of Approval letter from ICA 
Original and Photocopy of Current Indonesia Passport 
Original and Photocopy of Indonesia IC (KTP)
Original and Photocopy of Birth Certificate (Akte kelahiran) 
Original and Photocopy of Indonesia Citizenship certificate (SKBRI)
Original (optional) and Photocopy of Family Card (Kartu Keluarga) 
Original and Photocopy of Singapore PR

We used the public notary which was recommended below:

Public Notary address & contact no: 

Tan, Lee & Choo Advocates & Solicitors 
1 Park Road #04-04 People’s Park Complex Singapore 059108 
Tel: 6535 6077 

Collect an envelope at Notary Public after 3 working days.

Bring the envelop to Ministry of Foreign Affairs (The legalisation will be done on the spot and costs another $10 pay by Nets/Cashcard only) 

Finally go to the Indonesian Embassy in the morning to submit the renunciation forms (Those taken from notary public) together with those legalized documents. Take a queue number and go to the counter at the second floor on the right side after stair. 

You will be asked to sign one of the renunciation form with the materai at the cost of $2 which you can pay on the spot. You will be given an acknowledgement receipt after all the process is done and being asked to make payment on first floor ($32). We had trouble because we didn't bring enough cash at that time but thankfully we managed to exchange with another person there by transferring to him via PAYNOW.

It will take roughly 5-7 working days for the Renunciation Letters to be ready for collection. 

Collect your formal Renunciation Letters & birth cert from Indonesian Embassy in the afternoon.

Singapore Citizenship Registration 

Submit the formal Renunciation Letters (plus a copy of each) and 4 photos (taken from 1st floor) to ICA on the appointed date at 6th floor. 

At the first round you will be registering Citizenship, pay $70 and been given a form to apply for Singapore Passport at level 2. 

After waiting, you will be served to register your IC and pay $10. 

The last part will be the taking of the Oath. 

In one week time, you will received a Passport Collection Notification Card (that looks like a postcard), which for us is today.

The last part will be the Citizenship Ceremony, which will be in a couple of months time for us to get our IC. Meanwhile, they had given us a temporary IC to work with and bring around.

And that's the whole process and the finally long awaited result is done and dusted.

Thanks for reading.

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  1. Nice and interesting story. Thanks for sharing such beautiful experiences.

  2. just curious, my Malaysian friends prefer to be just PR, because they have the flexibility to buy malaysia properties and retiring in bolehland as it is cheaper, why you prefer to convert ?

    1. coz we pledge full allegiance to the red passport. getting PR means u can fall back to your first country of birth.
      To each his own.

    2. Hi Focustime

      There are plenty of considerations and retirement is one of them. Other than that, there are probably 101 reasons and pros and cons between the two. There are no better or worse place, I guess it has to fit well into the family or individual too.

  3. Hi B,

    Congrats on your successful application of citizenship!

  4. Never serve NS.

  5. Always thought you were a local Brian, nevertheless, congrat.

    1. Hi Andrew

      Almost like a local, having lived here for the majority of my life.

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