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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 Dec 10, 2013 at 05:59
by   Malaysian in oz
edited Dec 28, 2016 at 02:42
 
"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"

This question is for @Scoot (or anyone else in the know). Per your advice to @Snowflake above, wouldn't the autogates or the officer at the Malaysian entry point flag him/her from entering the country as there wouldn't be an exit stamp out of Malaysia on the newly acquired Malaysian passport? I have heard mixed reports on this, some are convinced that it won't be an issue and the autogates will let you in, while others share the opposite view. I am pretty much in the same predicament as well and would greatly appreciate some feedback on this.
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answered on Dec 16, 2013 at 13:55
by   Josh
edited Dec 28, 2016 at 02:43
 
To @Malaysian in oz and a few others on this forum that have asked the same question about entering Malaysia on their new passport without having the relevant "exit stamp" out of Malaysia....

If you use the autogate it shouldn't be an issue. So what if you haven't formally "exited" Malaysian prior to your entry? Malaysia has many embassies and high commissions overseas where Malaysians renew or apply for their passports and they receive them in their home countries. Most or all of these people do not have "exit stamps" from Malaysia since they may not have been to Malaysia for many years. The autogate and immigration is concerned with criminal records and whether or not you have been previously banned from entering the country for illegal activities. It will let you in as long as your Malaysian passport is valid and you are legally a Malaysian.  Don't overthink too much about it.
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answered on Dec 16, 2013 at 16:14
by   Rajah Brook
edited Dec 28, 2016 at 02:45
 
It's not a case of over thinking. High Commissions of Malaysia and Embassies demand proof of your legal presence in the country before they will renew your passport. If you are unable to provide the reason, they suspect that you have obtained citizenship of the foreign land and will confiscate your passport. Autogates do record movements. Your logic is flawed.
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answered on Dec 16, 2013 at 21:10
by   Josh
edited Dec 28, 2016 at 02:46
 
Dude, chill. You may wanna read more carefully. I'm not trying to win best argument here. I'm just saying that if you managed to get your passport renewed in Malaysia then it's okay to exit with your foreign passport and re-enter using your Malaysian passport even if there is no "exit" stamp.

I'm making the comparison with those who have managed to renew their Malaysian passports overseas (as Malaysian citizens and permanent residents (PRs) of a different country) who also have not "exit stamp" on their newly acquired Malaysian passports. I'm not trying to make a case for renewing a Malaysian passport for dual citizens overseas, I'm saying that for Malaysian citizens that renew their Malaysian passports overseas where they are a PR in that country, when they enter Malaysia for the first time with their new Malaysian passport there won't be an exit stamp in that passport either. So if you renew your passport in Malaysia and exist with your foreign passport you can still come back in without an exist stamp.

There's no need to deliver a High Court judgment in here about logic being flawed, his Honourable Rajah Brook.
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answered on Dec 16, 2013 at 22:43
by   Malaysian in oz
Thanks Josh, appreciate it. And I agree with you, it's not about winning an argument here, but rather helping poor souls like myself with the right answer. I see your logic Josh, and have thought about that myself. Your are most probably correct, but do you also happen to know of actual cases where people have done this? Just to give absolute certainty to this theory.

The only reason I question this is because a girl who worked at immigration (not sure which part of the immigration department however) told me that she thinks the gates won't let me in. Then again, she might be completely mistaken...
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answered on Dec 17, 2013 at 15:08
by   immi lawyer
edited Dec 28, 2016 at 02:52
 
Entries in this forum are either giving or asking for advice.  Contributors also share experiences.  The confusion is between entry and exit records on new passports issued in MY and those from overseas Embassies or High Commissions of Malaysia. I place the following facts:-

1) As a Malaysian, if you acquire a foreign passport you have broken Malaysian Dual Nationality Citizenship Law.  You can challenge the legality in a court of law, but you will loose.

2) A Malaysian passport issued overseas will definitely give you entry. Logic is correct here. Malaysian staffs are no fools, but understand, they have made sure that there is a legal domicile right before Issuing a passport. Every renewal has to have a domicile right before approval.  Movements are recorded. It is up to the officer to apply due diligence. Malaysia overseas officers apply the law rigorously.

3) Malaysia's laws are broken if a) there is an overstay on the FOREIGN visa, b) Inability to prove domicile rights in the foreign land, and suspicion of having foreign citizenship.

4) Most seekers of advice are those who have let their Malaysian passports expire after applying for foreign citizenship. In such cases renewal always has to be done in Malaysia if they want to acquire a new Malaysian passport...illegally. Their stay here is LIMITED TO THE TIME LENGTH of the visa in their foreign passport.

@Josh, the Honourable @Rajah was not giving any judgement, or trying to win an argument. If you exit without an appropriate record, YOU CAN BE challenged when you return. The risk is always on you. I cut and paste your last line. “So if you renew your passport in Malaysia and exist with your foreign passport you can still come back in without an exist stamp”.  This is where your logic is incorrect. If the data is checked and reviewed you can loose your my Citizenship. It is better to exit with your foreign passport AND RETURN with your foreign passport to avoid in dept scrutiny. If you have succeeded in the pass, well and good, but the risk is there.

@Malaysian in oz, I am confused. You give thanks praise and agreement, yet you question his logic.  I can assure you that the DEFAULT of the auto gate is NO ENTRY if there is a discrepancy. You take your chance.  You asked the question. Let him answer it!!

Finally, there are many Malaysians that flaunt the Law.  It depends on your station and who you know.  This is not only true in Malaysia but on the whole planet.  Malaysia has to realise that there is enormous benefit to allow dual nationality in certain circumstance with conditions.
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answered on Dec 17, 2013 at 16:04
by   Malaysian in oz
edited Dec 28, 2016 at 02:54
 
@Immi Lawyer,

Don't get me wrong, I am extremely nervous about taking the risk of entering without an exit stamp, and would much rather do things legally (i.e renounce my New Zealand citizenship and just maintain my Malaysian one). In my case, do you think I will have a case if I argued legally in a court of law?

In my case, I emigrated to NZ at the age of ten and took up New Zealand citizenship at the age of twenty. Am thirty five now. I feel that for someone like me, who left the country as a child, and not of my own free will, I should not be punished for making an incorrect decision as a minor when arguably my mental state wasn't right to make that sort of decision. I took up New Zealand citizenship on the advice of my parents.

Is the Malaysian immigration law so rigid that they won't look upon someone like me with a bit more leeway? Please advice...if I can do it legally, I definitely will want to proceed in this way....Cheers.
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answered on Dec 17, 2013 at 16:19
by   Malaysian Boleh
edited Dec 28, 2016 at 02:56
 
I think everyone is confusing what @Malaysian in Oz was asking - correct me if I'm wrong, but she just wanted to know if she can return to Malaysia with a new Malaysian passport without an exit stamp. Not about whether or not she can apply for a Malaysian passport in New Zealand as a New Zealand citizen. And she would rather do it the proper way and renounce her New Zealand citizenship, get a Malaysian passport in Malaysian and stay in Malaysia. Not sure why everyone is talking about whether they apply the laws strictly or check your place of domicile when you renew a Malaysian passport overseas.

My opinion is basically that I think if you are able to get a Malaysian passport IN MALAYSIA (on whatever passport) then that is the best option as it would have been issued in Malaysia. Then since you don't care about your New Zealand passport/citizenship anymore you can either choose to leave Malaysia on your New Zealand passport and re-enter on your Malaysia issued Malaysian passport or just not bother to leave again with your New Zealand passport since if you are declared an over-stayer on that passport it is of no real consequence to you. But only do that if you are sure that you don't need/want your New Zealand passport again or to enter Malaysia with it.

I do agree that @Rajah Brook was being a bit of a smart arse, pardon the language. @Malaysian in oz, I don't know if you will be able to get a definitive answer on here so your best option is to have a reason/excuse if you choose to use the autogate with your Malaysian passport when you enter the country. Good luck.
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answered on Dec 17, 2013 at 17:23
by   Malaysian in oz
edited Dec 28, 2016 at 02:57
 
Thanks @Malaysia Boleh. Yes, am asking what you have just stated. Again, would much rather do things legally, and will only look at other options if I can't do so. To the lawyers out there, please advice if I have a legal case.
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answered on Dec 18, 2013 at 01:43
by   Rajah Brook
Not sure why I received derogatory responses for my posting. I have no issues with anyone circumnavigating laws or exploiting loop holes.  Merely pointing out a fact. My apologies if I have caused an offence.
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