Jul 3, 2011

Nationality = Birth Country?

Often, new Japanese colleagues would ask me if I was originally from China, after I self-introduce myself as a Singaporean Chinese. I would usually explain that I am born in Singapore, so my nationality is Singaporean, but my race is Chinese.

But sometimes, they will still have a puzzled look.

At that time, I didn't quite get why they are puzzled. To me, birth country = nationality, and that was the best explanation, or so I thought.

Yesterday, my Japanese friends enlightened me. In Japan, birth country may not always equate to nationality.

For example, if the parents of the baby born in Japan are both non-Japanese, the baby is not a Japanese citizen. He will be listed under the same nationality as their parents.

If one of the parents is a Japanese, then the child will have dual citizenship. He will then pick one when he is 20. 20 signifies entrance into adulthood in Japan.



Thanks to Victor! I finally realised that the rule applies to Singapore, too! Silly me!

Did a check on the statute "Constitution of the Republic of Singapore", if both parents are foreigners, the baby will not receive Singapore citizenship by birth. One of the parents have to be a Singaporean, with some exceptions.