Judge Rejects Portuguese Mother’s Application To Renounce PR Status

Being a permanent resident (PR) in Singapore gives you many benefits. However, it also means you’ll need to fulfill National Service (NS) duties.

As dreadful as it may be, it is a sacred duty that no citizen or PR can escape from without a legitimate reason — even if it involved a deliberate plan to migrate to another country.

On Monday (17 Jun), Today Online reported that a Family Court Judge rejected a single mother’s application to renounce both her and her children’s PR status.

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The Portugese woman didn’t want her son, now aged 7, to serve NS here.

The mother of two also wanted to migrate her children to the United Kingdom (UK) even though her ex-husband – the children’s father – lives here.

But we soon learnt the judge deemed her decision was a hasty one. He rejected the application on grounds that the woman hadn’t properly considered the implications of renouncing her PR status.

Mother wanted to move to the UK

The mother reportedly wanted to move her children to the UK because she thought they “have not integrated with the Singapore community.”

She initially thought that her son wouldn’t need to serve if he simply left the country before turning 11.

She didn’t know anything about having to give up his PR status, before proceeding to search for a suitable house and school there.

Father argued against emigration & PR renunciation plan

Despite the mother’s beliefs, the children’s father – whom she divorced in 2015 & now shares joint custody with – believed his children should remain in Singapore.

He felt that his children have “benefited from the high quality of education in Singapore”. Contrary to their mother’s words, he felt they have “firmly embraced the local culture”.

He also said with the coming Brexit – UK leaving the European Union – his ex-wife and their children may not be able to live in the UK as they aren’t citizens there.

Judge rejected application to renounce PR status

After hearing from both sides, the judge rejected the mother’s application. He felt there was no “real reason” for the mother to emigrate.

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Not only will her move throw the children into a new environment, which they may not adapt well to, but they will also miss out on interactions with their father.

He added that the mother did not properly consider the implications of renouncing her PR status.

Renouncing your PR status lets you skip NS

Currently, second-generation PRs can renounce their status if they wish to avoid NS obligations.

However, without a PR status, they may not be able to return to Singapore to study or work. Furthermore, future applications for Singapore’s PR status will most likely be rejected as well.

Singapore’s PR status is highly sought-after. So think twice before you renounce it or you may never get it back.

Featured image from Facebook.