Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

90% of stateless applicants obtained S’pore citizenship between 2003 and 2012

SINGAPORE — About 500 to 600 stateless persons here submitted applications for Singapore citizenship annually over the past decade. Among them, nine in 10 obtained citizenships between 2003 and 2012.

SINGAPORE — About 500 to 600 stateless persons here submitted applications for Singapore citizenship annually over the past decade. Among them, nine in 10 obtained citizenships between 2003 and 2012.

These figures were revealed by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in a written parliamentary reply on Monday, in response to Member of Parliament Lim Wee Kiak (Nee Soon GRC), who had asked about the number of stateless people appealing for citizenship yearly and the number of successful appeals against rejection. Mr Teo, who is also Minister for Home Affairs, said data on the appeals for citizenship from this group are not available.

Stateless people are individuals without citizenship and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said they fall into three categories.

Some are permanent residents who had lost their foreign citizenship after living and working away from their home country for an extended period.

Another group consists of children born to foreign citizens, whose parents had chosen not to visit a local embassy to obtain foreign citizenship for them.

The last group comprises people who claimed to be born in pre-independence Singapore, but had no documents to prove their place of birth and “did not manage to qualify for Singapore citizenship on their own merits”.

Two residents who sought Dr Lim’s help for citizenship applications belonged to the last group. Despite multiple appeals, Dr Lim said their applications were rejected and that reasons for such an outcome were rarely disclosed.

According to the ICA, applications for citizenship are evaluated on a range of criteria, including economic contributions, qualifications, age, family roots and length of stay in Singapore. This is to assess the applicants’ ability to contribute and integrate into the society and commitment to sinking roots. “As applications are evaluated holistically, there may be a number of reasons, taken together, for rejecting an application,” said the ICA.

Dr Lim hopes the authorities could be more forgiving for certain cases, such as those of his two residents, who are in their 70s. “Why reject them? Everyone (in the residents’ family) is already Singaporean. They have been in Singapore even before independence,” he said. Xue Jianyue

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa