Over the past month or so, I have gotten several e-mails from different people all saying the same thing.
I’m getting ready to move to the Philippines. Before I move, though, what do I need to do to get my citizenship?
Well, first off, it is important to know that you do not need to be a Philippine Citizen in order to live in the Philippines. In fact, the truth is that unless you are a former Philippine Citizen, you can not become a naturalized Philippine Citizen before moving here.
In fact, what you need to do is to move to the Philippines first. You can stay here for up to 16 months on a tourist visa. If your wife is a Philippine Citizen, or a former citizen of the country then you can get a Balikbayan Visa, which will allow you to stay here for 1 year with no fees or other expenses to pay. Also, if your wife is a citizen or former citizen of the country then you can apply for a permanent resident visa and be able to stay here for the rest of your life, if you like. Learn more about all of these ways to live in the Philippines on various different visas by going to our sister site, Your Philippine Visa.
But, if you were to choose to become a Philippine Citizen, something that I have been considering myself, you need to come here and live first. You must live here for 10 years before you can apply to become a citizen, or 5 years if you have a Filipino spouse. There are other qualifications to meet as well, like language and such, but nonetheless you may not apply until you have lived here for a while.
So, if you want to live in the Philippines, come on over and do it! It’s not hard to do, and it is required before you can apply to become a naturalized Philippine Citizen.