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My Singapore Citizenship Journey

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Today, I am going to talk about my personal experience in getting my Singapore citizenship. I call it “My Singapore Citizenship Journey”. If you are in the process of getting your Singapore citizenship and you are a Malaysian then you are at the right place. First, let me list down the stages in this journey.

Personal Thoughts

I will be sharing the details of each stage in my future post. As for today, I will share with you some of my thoughts and tips in my journey to become a Singapore citizen. 

For your info, I submitted my Singapore citizenship application online in June 2019. In March 2020, I received the email notification from ICA that I have got my Approval-In-Principal for my application. It took about 9 months for this process. Then I proceed to the subsequent steps where I completed the Singapore Citizenship Journey, Malaysia citizenship renunciation and lastly Singapore citizenship registration. Finally, I got my Singapore citizenship status in September 2020. All in all, it took me 1 year and 3 months to eventually get my Singapore citizenship. 


I am not sure about you but to me giving up my citizenship is the biggest decision I have to make in my life. (No, I think the biggest decision is to marry my wife. :D) There must be a very good reason or big “WHY” for you to do that. It is kind of deciding to stop a relationship with someone. In fact, I really struggle for months before making my final decision. This is especially true when you have eldered parents to take care of. 

My biggest push factor to become a Singapore citizen is my children. Every parent wants their children to have a bright future and good career ahead. No doubt, Singapore’s education system is ranked as one of the highest in the world. This was the reason I sent them to study in Singapore 4 years ago. The moment I decided to send my children to study in Singapore, I knew I will become a Singapore citizen in future and I was right. 

Ever since I found my first job in 2000, I have been working in Singapore for almost 20 years. I have since adapted to Singapore culture and working environment. What I love most about Singapore is the public transportation system. Both MRT and public bus systems are so well planned and structured so that it covers most of the places in Singapore, especially the residential and commercial areas. 

If you ever live in Singapore for some time and stay in a HDB flat, you should notice that most of the HDB flats are covered and linked with shelter from the bus stop and MRT station. I don’t have to worry if I forgot to bring my umbrella during the rainy day. 

Worries  . . .

Now, let’s talk about some common questions most people concerned about, properties, cars and bank accounts. My biggest worry about my properties was that I will lose it if I give up my Malaysia Citizenship. After consulting a lawyer, I understand that I will still own the properties after I changed my citizenship. However, I can only sell off my properties after I got my Borang-K. This would be the same case for cars. I will still own the car and I can only sell it after I got my Borang-K. 

As for a bank account, you should keep it if you already have one. In my opinion, you should open a bank account in Malaysia if you don’t have one before renouncing your citizenship. It would be very difficult for a foreigner to open a bank account in Malaysia. Unless you have a valid residential or employment status. It is very important to have a bank account in Malaysia so that you can easily transfer funds to your family or parents.

Closing Words

Changing citizenship is a big move in your life. Whatever reasons you have, be sure you know and understand what you are doing and think through carefully. If you have further questions or comments, please leave me a message at the box below. Lastly, thank you for stopping by my website and I wish you good luck if you have decided to apply for Singapore citizenship. 

PS: Stay tuned for my future posts on other steps in the Singapore citizenship application process. Subscribe to my mailing list so that I can notify you of my new blog posts. 


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  1. Steven January 16, 2022

    Thanks for this. Very helpful. Regarding the bank account, how do I proof that I’m the account holder since I will longer have my Malaysian I/C?

    And what about EPF? Is there anything we need to do?

    • Kwah Choon Hiong Post author | January 16, 2022

      Hi Steven,
      Thanks for dropping by my website. I am glad that my blog posts helped you. 😊
      Borang-K is the document that proves your ex-citizen identity. It usually takes 6 to 8 months to process your Borang-K after your renunciation.
      I am not sure about the EPF as I do not have EPF. However, you may visit KWSP website for details.

      • Steven January 30, 2022

        Thank you.

  2. Jennifer February 28, 2022

    Hi ,
    Thank you for sharing the journey.
    “After consulting a lawyer, I understand that I will still own the properties after I changed my citizenship. However, I can only sell off my properties after I got my Borang-K”

    Is it a must to sell off your property? I have a concern cause property not under my name but housing loan yes.
    Do I need to pay off loans before applying ?

    From what you sharing, it seems like we can still settle it after citizenship application being approved.

    • Kwah Choon Hiong Post author | March 3, 2022

      Hi Jennifer,
      Your case is more of the liability of housing loan than the housing ownership. I could not give you advice on the housing loan matter. It is better for you to check with the bank on this matter.

  3. ROBERT March 28, 2022

    Dear Kwah
    Thank you for your sharing of your experience which is indeed helpful to me and I am sure to many others who visit your blog. Please advise on the queries below:-
    1. I have been given a 21 June 2022 date to be the Consular Section of MHC to collect my Borang K. However, ICA had given me a date in April 2022 to attend the Citizenship Registration.
    Which date should I request ICA to defer to for me? Three or how many days after 21 June 2022?

    2. In MHC letter to collect BORANG K, amongst other documents, they requested I bring the ORIGINAL ICA letter and two photocopies. Does a printout of the ICA FINAL APPROVAL LETTER count as the ORIGINAL? I have checked my mail and there is no letter sent by ICA other than through the email and in MYICA.

    • Kwah Choon Hiong Post author | March 28, 2022

      Hi Robert,

      1. You don’t have to request the number of days to defer. ICA will give you a new appointment date based on your appointment date with MHC.
      2. Yes, you can use the printed copy of the Final Approval letter.

      • Wong August 26, 2023

        2. Yes, you can use the printed copy of the Final Approval letter.

        Which is this Final Approval letter? is the one that state the Oath taking date and time at ICA which u have sharing in blog?

  4. lim April 4, 2022

    Dear Kwah

    Many thanks for sharing your valuable experience

    Would like to ask if the birth cert is in Malay, do we need to translate in into English ? Some informed no need as Malay is one of the official languages and National language of Singapore

    • Kwah Choon Hiong Post author | April 7, 2022

      Hi Lim,
      You do not have to translate your birth certificate. The original birth certificate is fine. I did not translate too.

  5. Linda April 24, 2022

    Hi! I just wanted to confirm if we need to certify true copies of our documents at the notary public before uploading? I saw ICA website said we needed to but I wanted to confirm before I do anything further.

    • Kwah Choon Hiong Post author | April 26, 2022

      Hi Linda,
      I did not certify all of my documents before uploading. Even for the birth certificate, I did not translate it into English. It is ok to submit the original copy in Malay language.

  6. Teng May 23, 2022

    Hi! Your posts really helps. First of all THANK YOU for sharing. I’m currently at stage 2 of my Singapore Citizenship journey.

    Would like to find out if there is anything we need to attend to pertaining to our Malaysia property and bank account.
    (1) Bank account – Whether there is a need to inform the bank that we are no longer a Malaysia. (Else, how are we identified being the account holder when we don’t have our Malaysia IC anymore? Heard that we are not allowed to hold fixed deposit account. Would you know if this is true?
    (2) Property – If we are not selling them, do we need to inform JPJ of our citizenship changed?

    • Kwah Choon Hiong Post author | June 7, 2022

      Hi Teng,
      Thank you for stopping by my website and I am glad that my blog posts do help you. 😊
      1. You need the Borang-K to identify you as the account holder. I am not sure about the fixed deposit. It is better to check with the bank.
      2. I am not sure, but I think once you renounced your Malaysia citizenship, JPN should have the record. Like bank account, you need the Borang-K to proof your ownership of the property.

  7. Amy August 2, 2022

    Thank you for the very helpful sharing!!
    May I know how long should the reflection for Online SG Journey be?

    • Kwah Choon Hiong Post author | August 14, 2022

      Hi Amy, just give 3 points of more of what you can do to contribute and what & why you love about Singapore will do. Don’t have to be very long.

  8. Pru August 5, 2022

    Hi Thanks for putting this up. It’s helpful!

    I am halfway through my application. The only part I haven’t finish is uploading documents. There are a few requirements for the formats that I only see when I clicked proceed after completing the form. For example, I’m required to put my IC on 2 pages (front and back) instead on the same page. How about birth cert? Does it need to be in 2 separate pages too? Also, there’s a request to upload Education Transcript for tertiary qualification. May I know if you also upload this. And what are the formats acceptable?

    Applying as a single is very different from married family application. I’m required to fill in a lot of information of my siblings and parents, including their IC, highest qualification, duration of course, school name, job title, emolument period, salary, company address, company paid up capital, staff strength, etc etc. it seems so much more detailed and complicated to only know that I need these information only after I started the application process.

    I also have another question about Malaysian driving license. Did you convert your license before you apply for citizenship? Is it ok to submit the application and then do the converting while waiting for the approval? What is to process to convert driving license?

    • Kwah Choon Hiong Post author | August 14, 2022

      Hi Pru,

      I scanned both my Malaysia IC and Birth certificate into 2 separate pages. Yes, I uploaded my tertiary transcripts as well.

      Yes, I converted my driving license before apply for Singapore Citizenship. It was 10 years ago.

      I think you can convert your driving license while waiting for the approval.

  9. Lim September 12, 2022

    Hi xiong do we really need submit a employment letter while applying singapore citizenship

    • Kwah Choon Hiong Post author | September 13, 2022

      Hi Lim,
      Yes, you need a letter from your employer to confirm your employment.

  10. Raj Sh September 13, 2022

    Hi Xiong,
    Thank you for making such a detailed post. This has been really really helpful and probably the most useful content out there. I am slightly confused and was hoping you could share your thoughts.
    I have got my citizenship registration date for last week of Nov’22.

    I have couple of travel planned in mid Oct/early Nov’22 with one being unavoidable.

    In that sense, i cannot go ahead and submit my renunciation of my current passport.

    Do you think ICA will prepone the date? I understand they helped you postpone.
    before coming for citizenship registration we have to submit the renunciation letter? Is this just the acknowledgment that is required.

    not having a travel document for almost three month scares me la, what are your views, on how i can proceed with this 🙂

    thank you once again!

    • Kwah Choon Hiong Post author | September 20, 2022

      Hi Raj,
      Thank you for stopping by my blogs 🙂

      Changing of Singapore citizenship registration date is on case-by-case basis. You may check with ICA and provide your rationale. In fact, you should avoid any travel itineraries planning that are 2 or 3 months ahead from the date of the issue of the approval letter.
      For Singapore citizenship registration, you will need the MY-RN1 form. You will be collecting the MY-RN1 form after the renunciation of your Malaysia citizenship.

  11. Sharon September 15, 2022

    Hello Choon Hiong,

    Thank you for sharing your journey with the internet, very useful indeed! I am wondering if you have considered the case of inheritance; is there something such as you will not be able to inherit any assets in Malaysia because you are no longer a citizen? Or anything we should check first regarding this?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Kwah Choon Hiong Post author | September 20, 2022

      Hi Sharon,
      Thank you for stopping by my blogs 😊
      I am sorry but I afraid I can’t give you any advice on the inheritance matters. Perhaps, you can consult a lawyer on this matter.

  12. Reene October 11, 2022

    Hi, saw in one of the comments that you applied for Singapore passports for your children. For my case, I am still below 21 years old and I have a valid Malaysia passport besides my new Singapore passport. Do you know whether I could use the Singapore passport to enter and exit Malaysia or I should continue to use the Malaysia passport at the Malaysia customs?

    • Kwah Choon Hiong Post author | November 10, 2022

      Hi Reene,
      My children have been using Singapore passport traveling to Malaysia. In my opinion, you should use Singapore for travel purposes instead of using Malaysia passport. I ever heard that if you were to use Malaysia passport for traveling, you can only stay in Singapore for 90 days after came back to Singapore. Not sure was that true. You may check with ICA on this.

  13. Sing April 1, 2023

    Hi Choon Hiong,

    May I with you, white background or blue background photo shall we prepare for Malaysia Embassy?

  14. Ju April 14, 2023

    Hi ,

    would like to know when will I expect receiving ICA letter upon completion of singapore journey ? i completed mine a week ago.

    • Kwah Choon Hiong Post author | April 24, 2023

      Hi Ju,
      In my case, I received the letter one week after completed the Singapore Journey.

  15. Shaylyn July 10, 2023

    Hi, I have submitted my Renunciation of Malaysia Citizenship on 5th July 2022. May I know how long to receive letter can go collect Borang k & birth cert? I have been waiting 12 months already still haven’t receive letter frm high commission malaysia. I

    • Kwah Choon Hiong Post author | July 12, 2023

      Hi Shaylyn,

      I received my Borang-K about 6 months after my renunciation at MHC. I think the processing time may vary from time to time depending on the application volume. I would suggest that you call or email the MHC consular to check.

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