Overseas pre-enlistees

All male Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) are liable for National Service (NS) once they turn 13 years of age, even if they are not residing in Singapore at that point in time. They will be enlisted at the earliest opportunity on reaching 18 years old. If you are residing overseas with your son, kindly take note of the below obligations and processes required of your son before enlistment into full-time NS.

Exit Permit and bond

If you are an overseas Singaporean and you have a son who is 13 years old and above residing overseas with you, an Exit Permit and a bond may be required.

Registration for NS at 16.5 years old and deferment for studies

All male Singapore citizens and PRs have to register for NS on reaching 16.5 years old. This requirement also applies to male children who are granted PR status under their parents’ sponsorship.

Those who are residing or studying overseas will be sent registration notices from us to register online.

Failure to register is an offence under the Enlistment Act. Offenders shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both.

If your son is studying and wishes to complete his studies before enlistment, he can apply for deferment during the NS registration process. In general, deferment is granted to pre-enlistees to attain their highest education qualification possible after 12 years of formal schooling (excluding pre-school and kindergarten) and before entry into university.

Medical screening

Your son will be required to go through medical screening to determine his medical fitness. It will affect the type and duration of basic training that he will have to go through. He will be scheduled to report to the Medical Classification Centre (MCC) for medical screening about nine to twelve months before he completes his studies. You can refer to our page on medical screening for more information.

Depending on the nature and complexity of your son’s medical condition(s), he may be required to attend further medical reviews at MCC or at hospitals. The duration of the medical assessment will be dependent on the waiting time for appointments at MCC and hospitals. If he is unable to attend these medical reviews, he may reschedule the appointments to a suitable time. However, do note that it may lead to a delay in his enlistment. Alternatively, your son can also choose to complete these medical reviews overseas and submit the medical report to MCC for review. Please note that we will not cover the expenses for medical reviews completed overseas.

Dual citizenship and NS liability

If your son has dual citizenship, he will still be liable for NS once he turns 13 years old and it is still mandatory for him to register for NS when he reaches 16.5 years old. On turning 18 years old, he will be enlisted to serve full-time NS at the earliest possible opportunity.

Singapore does not recognise dual citizenship. If your son decides to retain his Singapore citizenship on reaching 21 years of age, he is required to renounce his foreign citizenship.