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Dual Nationality Loophole

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asked on Apr 2, 2012 at 00:37
by   snowflake
edited on Dec 28, 2016 at 02:22
 
I was born in the USA to an American mother and Malaysian father. Due to my birth place I was able to apply for a US passport as a US citizen. Due to my father being Malaysian, I was also able to obtain a Malaysian birth certificate as a Malaysian citizen (Borang W), complete with a blue IC. Although at a younger age I would have been entitled to hold 2 passports, I did not ever apply for a Malaysian passport. Instead, I have been using my US passport all this while and had held a student visa while I was studying here. In 2005 I moved back to the US to attend university. Prior to that, I have spent my life growing up in KL and attending an International school.

Due to my grandfather in Malaysia being ill, I had decided to return to Malaysia after I graduated from University in the US. I applied for a job here as a Malaysian citizen using my Malaysian IC, although still entering and exiting with my US passport. Inside my US passport, I have been entering/exiting on a tourist visa.

I have managed to get myself stuck in this loophole whereby I am working in Malaysia (now engaged to a Malaysian also, will be married this year), yet I am still holding a US passport, entering on a tourist visa. I do not want to be stuck in this loophole anymore and was wondering if anyone has any advice or knows what I should do? I would like to give up my US passport and apply for a Malaysian passport, although I do not want to entirely renounce my US citizenship - I would rather just let my passport dissolve.

Does anyone have any advice or know anyone that I could consult about this? I am willing to pay for consultation as this has been really bothering me.. many many sleepless nights.
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answered on Apr 2, 2012 at 06:08
by   sotong
Your situation is complicated. Let's start with this before we dig deeper:

Persons entering Malaysia with a tourist visa on a US passport are allowed to remain in the country for three months. Have you taken reasonable steps to ensure your US identity has not overstayed in Malaysia?
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answered on Apr 2, 2012 at 13:18
by   snowflake
edited Dec 28, 2016 at 02:23
 
Thanks for the reply. Yes, I have been entering and exiting every 3 months and have not overstayed. I have been doing this all my life actually, including when I was a child and studying here.

When my mother (also a US citizen) was living here for 22 years married to my father (Malaysian citizen), she also practiced this.
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answered on Apr 4, 2012 at 13:24
by   sotong
edited Dec 28, 2016 at 02:25
 
Sorry for the late reply.

Okay, that's good to know although I find it strange that:
1. You had to do that as a child since you said in your original post that you were in Malaysia on a student visa, and
2. Your mother did not apply for a Long Term Social Visit Pass which would have allowed her to remain in Malaysia for up to 5 years.

I wish I could be of more help. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if there is anything that you can do to retain citizenship of both countries other than continue doing what you are doing now.

If it finally comes down to having to choose between Malaysian and US citizenship, keep in mind that if you choose to be American over Malaysian, you will still be entitled to live and work in Malaysia on a Long Term Social Visit Pass and eventually apply for permanent residence since your spouse is Malaysian.
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answered on Oct 23, 2012 at 01:03
by   Sheila
Just apply for Malaysian passport now. Exit with US passport and renter with malaysian
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answered on Nov 3, 2012 at 04:43
by   tessa
edited Dec 28, 2016 at 02:30
 
@snowflake,

When you say you have been doing this all your life, have you always used the same route for your visa run? I'm exactly in the same boat as you in that I have a 2nd country passport and an identity card (IC) but now I am worried that soon the Immigration will query the number of trips and refuses me entry. I, like you, have contemplated letting my 2nd passport just dissolve but am worried that would then make me a 'overstayed' case. If you do come across some way to resolve this, would be so grateful if you could share the solution with me. I too am having sleepless nights.

Thanking you in anticipation!
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answered on Nov 29, 2012 at 12:05
by   Scoot
Snowflake,

Someone here is correct. Apply for your Malaysian passport (which they can't reject). Leave Malaysia with your U.S. passport and use the Malaysian passport upon re-entry to Malaysia the next round.

DO NOT show your U.S. passport when you flight checkin to Malaysia. Use only Malaysian passport at flight checkin and at Malaysian border control/port of entry. I think you should be good.

When you visit the U.S., show your U.S. passport at the flight checkin counter and use the U.S. passport at border control.

There is no need for you to give up U.S. Citizenships or passport.
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answered on Dec 7, 2012 at 17:11
by   parv33n
edited Dec 28, 2016 at 02:39
 
But later when you try to go back to US with your US passport won't the Immigration ask you for the white card which you get upon entry? and the stamp that shows when you came into the country.. I'm stuck in the same situation...
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answered on Dec 9, 2012 at 09:46
by   CBKC
edited Dec 28, 2016 at 02:41
 
No more white cards for foreigners lah.  Small dual part label stuck to passport.  When you leave second part kept by immigration officer. Only bodoh orang Malaysia enter with lain lain passport. You memang kena tangkap.
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answered on Dec 7, 2013 at 08:00
by   Lost
edited Dec 28, 2016 at 02:41
 
@snowflake

Need your help regarding your experience. I'm currently an expat in the Middle East and my husband just got a promotion that will bring us to KL. I'm Malaysian by birth but holds an Australian passport. I only travel with it as it is much easier. Just wondering when you are working in Malaysia using your IC did the government cross check with immigration? Basically can you tell me the process you went through regarding to tax and so forth. I'm planning to enter Malaysia through expat spouse visa but work as Malaysian.

Thank you.
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answered on Dec 8, 2013 at 02:55
by   Oilman
Lost, be fully aware of your approach.  Companies employing expats must make sure that their employees do not break any laws. You are coming in as an expat family.  The consequences will mean instant dismissal.  Your husband's company will not tolerate the situation. You could "Buck" the system if you had no other considerations to think of.
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