Parliament: Citizenship or PR applicants who provide false info will be "dealt with firmly"

An Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) application form is seen on a laptop. Individuals who provide false information in their Singapore citizenship or permanent residency applications will be "dealt with firmly", says Second Mi
An Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) application form is seen on a laptop. Individuals who provide false information in their Singapore citizenship or permanent residency applications will be "dealt with firmly", says Second Minister for Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli on Monday. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER 

SINGAPORE - Individuals who provide false information in their Singapore citizenship or permanent residency applications will be "dealt with firmly", said Second Minister for Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli on Monday.

If they have already been granted citizenship or permanent residency, that may also be revoked or deprived.

Mr Masagos added that the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) has "multiple levels of checks" when processing such applications.

These include requiring the applicant to produce the original documents, verifying the documents with the issuing authorities abroad and conducting face-to-face interviews with applicants.

He was replying to Mr Png Eng Huat (Hougang), who had asked about the process the ICA uses to check the validity of education qualifications listed in the applications.

Mr Png also wanted to know if the ICA keeps a list of suspected degree mills to aid the verification checks.

Since last month, claims of new citizens and permanent residents obtaining fake degrees have been circulating on forums and social media.

Mr Masagos said that educational qualifications are not the only determining factor for granting Singapore citizenship or permanent residency, He added that such applications are evaluated on a range of factors, including economic contributions, qualifications, age, family profile and length of stay in Singapore.

In April, the Infocomm Development Authority was criticised by netizens for hiring an employee despite her questionable qualifications.

Ms Nisha Padmanabhan, a Singapore citizen, had obtained an unaccredited master's degree from alleged degree mill Southern Pacific University, but was subsequently cleared of claims that she misled her employer when applying for the job.