Travel topics > Concerns > Border crossing > Travelling with military responsibilities

If your country implements conscription, and you are eligible for conscription, you may face international travel restrictions.

Likewise, even if you are a reservist who have completed your conscription, and are still eligible for mobilization, you may still face international travel restrictions.

This article is compiled from online resources and gives some basic guidelines about immigration restrictions on pre-enlistees and reservists who have completed their military service, but it should not be taken as legal advice. If you have concerns about violating your country's conscription law, please contact your country's defense ministry or a lawyer.

UnderstandEdit

To prevent desertion through emigrating to another country, countries may impose exit permit or other exit restrictions to citizens who have not finished their conscription or reservists eligible for mobilization.

Dual citizens should take particular care as many states consider military service for another state automatic forfeiture of citizenship while others will not absolve citizens of military service requirements (or the payment of sometimes considerable fees) even if they intend to give up their citizenship.

AsiaEdit

IsraelEdit

Section 43 of Defence Service Law forbids anyone who is designated for military service, active military personnel, or those who deferred military service for legal reasons from leaving Israel without an exit permit.

Meanwhile, for overseas Israeli citizens, you may defer your military service while registering for it. More information can be found here.

SingaporeEdit

All pre-enlistees aged 13 to 16.5 years old who wish to leave Singapore for 3 months to 2 years will have to apply for an exit permit. Pre-enlistees aged 13 to 16.5 years who leave Singapore for over 2 years, and those aged over 16.5 years old will not only need to apply for an exit permit, but also pay for a bond through a banker's guarantee, with supplementary proof of the parents’ employment status and income tax assessment notices of the preceding year. The amount of the bond will equal to SGD 75,000 or 50% of the parents' combined annual income (whichever is greater), covered by a banker's guarantee.

Meanwhile, military reservists (Operational-ready national servicemen) and active servicemen will also need to apply for exit permits for leaving Singapore for over 6 months. Supporting documents based on purpose of travel may be required, which are listed here.

International travel for less than 3 months is not restricted by exit permits.

Exit permits can be applied online after logging in your personal account through here.

The following table shows the requirements on exit permits for different people:

Status Time overseas Requirements
Pre-enlistment: 13 – 16.5 years of age 3+ months Exit permit
2+ years Exit permit + bond
Pre-enlistment: 16.5 years of age and older 3+ months Registration, exit permit + bond
Full-time National Service 3+ months Exit permit
Operationally-ready National Service 6+ months Exit permit
Regular servicemen 3+ months Exit permit, where Minimum Term of Engagement is not complete
6+ months Exit permit

South KoreaEdit

Since 2007, all pre-enlistees who are under 24 years old does not need to apply for exit permit (Overseas Travel Permit). Pre-enlistees or active military personnel who are between the ages of 25-37, or whose serving in supplemental service are required to apply for exit permit. For short term travel the exit permit will last at most for one year, and terminates when you reach 27.

The exit permit can be applied through online, or by reaching your local Military Manpower Administration office. An extension may be applied online, through diplomatic missions of your destination, or through local Military Manpower Administration offices, which will also last at most for one year, and terminates when you reach 27.

For other reasons such as academics or overseas employment, you will need extra papers for the exit permit, and such extension will have be done at diplomatic missions in person.

Note that for those who departed South Korea before they turned 25, they must receive an exit permit by January 15 of the year they turn 25.

  • Military Manpower Administration, Building 2, 189, Cheongsa-ro, Seo-gu, Daejeon 35208, Republic of Korea., +82-42-481-2757 (Exit permits). Enquiry for exit permit applications. You may also enquire by contacting its local offices.    

This brochure provides most of the information on exit permits, and list the phone numbers of local Military Manpower Administration offices.

TaiwanEdit

All enlistees must obtain an exit permit before leaving for international travel, and/or travel to China, Hong Kong, and Macau. Applications for travel exit permit can be applied online at here. Note that such exit permits would last for at most 4 months. In case of leaving Taiwan for academic reasons, such as studying abroad, the travel permit shall be applied through local governments.

For alternate civilian service enlistees who have opted to serve as police officers, if your destination is Mainland China, you will need to declare your journey by filling in this form, and submit it to your superior officer.

There are no exit permits regarding reservist. However, if you are called for regular military exercise and you are preparing to leave Taiwan, after receiving your mobilization order, you may apply for exemption of military exercise to your local reserve command 3 days before mobilized for exercise. You should receive an official reply regardless of the application result.

If your destination is Mainland China, when returning to Taiwan, you are required to declare your details of journey by filling in this form.

EuropeEdit

CyprusEdit

All male Cypriot citizens and Cypriot-decent male who reside in Cyprus aged 15-26 will need a exit permit to leave Cyprus. The permit can be applied at the Ministry of Defence or a local enlistment office list below, with your passport and a return ticket.

FinlandEdit

Male citizens are subject to conscription from the year they turn 18 to the year they turn 28. The service can be postponed, and passports can then be had with expiry date according to this. Until they have finished their military service or been freed permanently, they need a document from the army, either on postponement or a specific permit, to get a passport. See also information of Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

People in the reserve can be called to military refresher training, which is obligatory unless you have a good reason to sustain, and the reason gets approved by the military. Vacation travel is seldom such a good reason. See the military's instructions regarding military exercise mobilization.

SwitzerlandEdit

All male Swiss citizens are required to enlist in the military upon reaching the age of 20, though some choose to enlist as young as 16. Swiss citizens who are resident overseas are generally exempted from conscription requirements in peacetime, though they may still be forced to enlist should there be a war. Nevertheless, you will need to apply for military leave if you intend to reside abroad for more than 12 months.

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