Dual nationality

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asked on Jun 4, 2009 at 04:20
edited on Aug 8, 2016 at 03:52
I've noticed that this has been touched on a few times in the forums, but with no real result. I gather that many others have experience of this - so would be very grateful if you could share your experiences.

- I am a Malaysian citizen that was born in the UK - Malaysia does not recognise Dual Nationality
- Back in 1992 when I returned to the country, I was given the CoE-Right to Abode
- I became resident in this country, but returning to Malaysia frequently enough never to raise suspicion
- Over time, my career required a significant amount of EU and US travel - and the Malaysian passport caused real issues with my frequent travel in and out of the non-UK countries
- I decided to take-up the option to get a British Passport in 2004 to get over this. I also renewed my Malaysian passport in 2004 - which has been a dream, because this gave me almost border-less travel around the world on my British passport and Asia on my Malaysian one. Malaysia assumes that I have Right of abode (ROA) as per my passport, so no questions asked about entry stamps and length of time spent in the UK

... UNTIL NOW...

- I renewed my Malaysian passport this month in London and need to transfer my Right of abode (ROA) from one passport to another
- But as per the British rule change in 2006, I am now no longer allowed to have a CoE of Right to Abode in my Malaysian passport, because I also have a British one - PROBLEMO!
- The next time I go back to Malaysia (which is an annual event), they will notice that I have no Right of abode (ROA) stamp in my passport. This will ultimately raise suspicions about dual nationality and I will be faced with the horror of having to CHOOSE one nationality over the other.

- I do not want to give up my Malaysian citizenship. I don't want my cultural identity wrenched away from me. Moreover, I am an East Malaysian - which means that I can travel to and from Malaysian Borneo without ANY restriction - a real luxury as even Peninsula Malaysians are only granted a 3-month leave to remain in Sabah/Sarawak
- My folks live in Malaysia - I want to be able to see them often and stay in my 'motherland'
- My career still means I travel a lot within the EU and USA, I don't want to have to queue at embassies (let alone being singled out at US immigration because of my Malaysian passport (which has happened about 6 times now) everytime I need to go away for a meeting in New York.
- In the future, I may want to return to East Malaysia - and should I have children, I want them to have the choice of being Malaysian or British too

Can anyone offer any advice?
(1) How can I retain both?
(2) How can I come and go through Malaysia without been 'found-out'?

Ie - How can I have my cake and eat it? LOL

Thanks so much in advance!
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answered on Mar 17, 2011 at 01:55
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 05:03
I am looking at getting my Australian (OZ) citizenship as well and I have renewed my Malaysian passport at Malaysian High Consulate in Canberra. Does it mean that I will never be able to "play the trick" because they have my information in their system now?
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answered on Mar 17, 2011 at 23:51
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 05:08

Malaysia does not allow dual nationality. You say you have renewed your Malaysian (MY) passport. Does your old passport show that you have right of entry into this Australia (OZ) place? Can it be transferred to your new Malaysian (MY) passport?

When applying for your citizenship be opened with your situation, and ask them if they do inform the Malaysian High Commissioner there of your application. In UK, when applying for a British Passport the British Government used to send the Malaysian passport back to Malaysia, but as far as I know, they do not do this anymore.

DO NOT travel to Malaysia with two Passports. Leave your foreign passport behind. If for any reason, you are searched by an immigration officer or police in Malaysia, and they find you have a document indicating you are a citizen of another country, they will clip the corner of your Malaysia Passport and you will loose your Malaysia citizenship. If you are not fussed about loosing your Malaysian status, then take a chance, and live with any consequences.
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answered on Mar 19, 2011 at 17:13
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 05:09
Yeah, I think I will ask the question when it comes.
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answered on Jul 31, 2011 at 20:53
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 05:10
I have a question. With now holding a ROA-less Malaysian passport and British passport, working in Malaysia with the Malaysian identity, what is the consequences if I get caught, somehow? And if let's say I hold some professional membership like Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), is this immigration dual nationality issue a problem to professional licence, in terms of ethics and violations?

What is the penalty? Jail? Fine?

Many thanks!
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answered on Aug 1, 2011 at 04:00
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 05:16

You should carefully read what 'Miri Boy' has written. Does your Malaysian passport have a stamp beginning "Given leave to enter for etc. etc. etc."? If so you can maintain your UK status provided you return within a two year period. Malaysia does allow professional qualifications and I know many who are lawyers both in UK and Malaysia.

Provided you renew your Malaysian passport you can travel in and out of the UK if you carry your old passport with the "Given leave to enter...." endorsement to show the border control officer. Do beware of carrying another passport into Malaysia showing you have another nationality. Modern electronics can detect and read what is in your luggage!

If the Malaysian authorities find a foreign passport on you, you will loose your Malaysian citizenship. I have a few Malaysian friends who still work in the UK and some who are back in Malaysia, but have to come back every two years to maintain their UK status.
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answered on Aug 9, 2011 at 19:59
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 05:18
@Orang Ulu

My situation is a bit complicated. I used to have Right of Abode (ROA) on my Malaysian passport but lost that passport and they refused to give me a new passport at the Malaysian Embassy in UK. So I had no choice but to pick up a British passport.

Years later, I am back to Malaysia for good and successfully reapplied the Malaysian passport. Unintentionally holding two passports. As I understand it, the lost expired Malaysian identity might have overstayed in the UK, although I already have the UK status. I do not know if I should clear that, and how to clear that. Now permanently in Malaysia, do I still have to go back to UK every two years to maintain the UK status?
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answered on Aug 11, 2011 at 08:06
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 05:26

Gee, your situation is complicated! To have got a new passport you would have had to produce a lost police report etc, etc. I am unsure how you resolve your situation. 

Your UK Passport is valid for 10 years. You do not have to prove you are British citizen unless your facial features substantially change. If then you have to submit proof etc. etc., when renewing your British passport. So for the present and up to the validity of your British Passport you can go in and out of the UK without any problem. 

From what I can gather, you have come back to Malaysia on a British Passport and therefore the records show that you have overstayed your "Welcome", in Malaysia as a British citizen. Subsequently, you applied for a Malaysian passport here in Malaysia, so I presume you have an identity card (IC) etc. etc.

The problem you have is the immigration passport stamps you should have on your Malaysian passport including the "Given leave to enter" stamp, for the Malaysia Immigration authorities to show you have UK abode.

If you value your British citizenship, then I would go to the UK with your two passports, enter with your Malaysian passport, and then go to the home Office in Croydon and explain your situation, and ask if you can have the "given leave to remain etc etc" put on your passport, or if not, the possibility to apply for another Right of Abode (ROA) - Very expensive now. The ROA office in Liverpool does keep all the application records.

Realise you have a time limit stay on your Malaysian passport. You could also show the Immigration your two passports. You would then loose your immigration stamp on your Malaysian passport showing your travel movement, unless he takes pity on you and puts the "Given leave to enter to remain etc etc" on your passport. Your problem then goes away, unless you are careless and loose your passport again.
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answered on Jul 22, 2016 at 16:35
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 05:20
Can we suggest to the Malaysian Foreign Department to issue Right of Abode (ROA) for Malaysia? We are in the 21st century yet Malaysian visa policy is still undeveloped... have they fallen in the 3rd world category?
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answered on Nov 16, 2016 at 00:30
edited Dec 28, 2016 at 04:43

Assuming I have the same case as yours. what if I consider to renounce the British citizenship and hold the Malaysia citizenship alone. What will happen after renouncing? 
1. Renounce British citizenship
2. Obtain the Malaysian passport (already in hand anyway, even include Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR))
3. What will my status become because technically I have only Malaysian passport.
4. Is my old ILR status retained or not?
5. If my Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) became invalid since obtaining British citizenship, what should I do to remain in UK after renouncing?
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