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Citizenship through legislation?

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Yep, you read the title correctly.  Did you know that it is possible to obtain Philippine Citizenship through legislation?

How?  Why?  Who can get it?

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Well, the truth is, if you are a foreigner and have made some contribution to the country, or done something that has brought honor or other good things for the Philippines, it is possible that the Legislature of the Philippines may honor you by bestowing upon you Philippine Citizenship.

As has been pointed out here on the site, generally, in order to become a naturalized citizen of the Philippines, you must renounce your US Citizenship, or the Citizenship of whatever country you are a citizen of.   However, if you were to gain your Philippine Citizenship through the legislative process, renunciation of your previous citizenship is not necessary.

Philippine-Congress-HearingThe only problem, or downside is that very few people are able to be recognized as a citizen through legislation.  You must have provided some extraordinary service or act to the Philippines for that to happen.  Last year, to my knowledge, only one person became a Philippine Citizen through legislation, and he was a famous Basketball player in the Philippines (an imported American talent who came here to play in the Philippine Basketball Association).

So, what about you, are you willing to renounce your previous citizenship in order to become a Philippine Citizen?  Or do you think you may have a chance for citizenship through the legislative process?

Bob Martin

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur. Bob is an American who lived in Mindanao from 2000 until 2019. Bob has now relocated back to the USA.

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rick
10 years ago

Bob, there is no way yo get dual citizenship in the Philippines?
Rick

MindanaoBob
10 years ago
Reply to  rick

Hi Rick – It depends on your heritage. If you are a former Philippine Citizen who has been naturalized in another country, then you can get dual citizenship in the Philippines. If you are a foreigner like me, then no, there is no path to dual citizenship. Under Philippine law you must renounce your former Citizenship if you want to be a Philippine Citizen.

Chuck
Chuck
10 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

All nations require renunciation of your nationality for naturalization. Including the USA. But are there no dual nationals in the USA? Of course there are. The Philippines only requires you to renounce your nationality verbally for ceremony only. They will not haul you down to the US embassy to file citizenship renunciation forms and make you burn your US passport. lol

MindanaoBob
10 years ago
Reply to  Chuck

I am sorry, Chuck, but you are incorrect. There are many countries who do not require renunciation in order to naturalize.

Warren Olsen
Warren Olsen
8 years ago
Reply to  Chuck

There are many countries that don’t require you to renounce citizenship in order to become a citizen. Eg, UK, Australia, New Zealand. There are also many countries whose citizenship cannot be renounced. This means that even if you acquire another citizenship and surrender your former passport, you can just go down to the embassy and get another one. Because you are a citizen for life! The UK and New Zealand are examples of these. Also, most countries don’t tax their citizens on their world income unless they are “tax residents” in the country. Australia and New Zealand, for example, only… Read more »

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  Warren Olsen

Hi Warren, some of your assumptions are off base here. Some are not. For example… yes, many countries like UK, Australia and NZ (and the USA too) allow their citizens to be dual citizens. However, the Philippines does not allow foreigners to naturalize unless they renounce their foreign citizenship. So even if these other countries allow it, the Philippines says “we won’t allow you to become a Philippine citizen if you keep your foreign citizenship.” It is that easy. I understand that the USA and the Philippines are not models of how things work everywhere in the world. Fact is,… Read more »

Yaz
Yaz
10 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Hi Bob, if I’m willing to renounce my former citizenship in order to become a Filipino citizen, then what is the procedure, how do I start?
Thanks.

MindanaoBob
10 years ago
Reply to  Yaz

Hi Yaz – If you have decided to naturalize in the Philippines, your first step should be to get an attorney, and he can help you with the procedure. You will need to have an attorney for all of the court hearings.

Yaz
Yaz
10 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Hello Bob, thanks for your reply..I will do that, do i still need to live in the Philippines for years first before I naturalize??

MindanaoBob
10 years ago
Reply to  Yaz

Hi Yaz – If you have a Philippine spouse, then you must live here for 5 years before beginning the process of naturalization. IF you are not married to a Filipino, you cannot start for 10 years.

EM
EM
8 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

“Philippines does not allow foreigners to naturalize unless they renounce their foreign citizenship.” There may be an exception–my husband was born in the US to parents who were both Filipino citizens. He is working on obtaining dual citizenship, which is possible, depending on birth year. That said, it is not an easy process and lots of old paperwork is required (parents’ marriage certificate, documents proving parents’ nationality at time of his birth, etc). Are there any attorneys or agencies in the US who can help track down originals/certified copies of these old documents?) My husband is in his 40s.

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  EM

My point still stands. Your husband is not trying to obtain citizenship through naturalization, but due to the circumstances of his birth. I specifically said that foreigners cannot NATURALIZE without renouncing their citizenship. You are talking about something completely different.

EM
EM
8 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Ok, I see. I thought he was “naturalizating” since he hasn’t been a citizen for 40+ years. But I do recall a form about “delayed registering of birth” so I guess he’s requesting dual citizenship as a “natural born Filipino”….?

Matt
Matt
10 years ago

Hey Bob…

Under Australian law if you renounce your Aussie citizenship, you can reclaim it at any time pretty much just for the asking (assuming you haven’t turned into a drug dealer/mass murderer etc in the meantime). So what happens if I renounce my Aussie citizenship, gain Filipino citizenship, then reclaim my Aussie one? Do I automatically lose the Filipino one? Or is that a sneaky way to dual citizenship?

Matt

MindanaoBob
10 years ago
Reply to  Matt

Hi Matt – Firstly, I am not a lawyer, so this is only my opinion… but I believe that with the way Australia handles it, you could indeed be a dual citizen.

Leandro
Leandro
10 years ago

I’m surprised. I known for years that the Philippines offer dual citizenship. However, I never knew that a foreigner must renounce his citizenship to become a Philippine citizen. I’m a filipino by birth and I believe that is unfair for them. They stayed more than 10 years continuously, adopted the culture, learned the language, and been a good law abiding resident of the country. I believe that foreigners should not renounce their other citizenship if Filipinos by birth or blood can obtain other citizenships.

MindanaoBob
10 years ago
Reply to  Leandro

Hi Leandro – Many countries are the same. For example, if a Filipino becomes naturalized in the USA, they must renounce their Philippine Citizenship too. So, I guess it’s quite reciprocal.

Paul
Paul
10 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Hi Bob: Filipinos are not required to renounce their Philippine citizenship once they are naturalized as US citizens. Under Philippine law, however, they automatically lose their Philippine citizenship once they are naturalized of citizens of another country. The Philippines, though, cannot track all Filipinos who have renounced their citizenships unless a person goes to the Consulate and actually informs them that they are now naturalized citizens of the country they adopt. There are instances where Filipinos, who are now US citizens, visit the Consulate to renounce their Philippine citizenship (expressly) as a requirements for their jobs that require single allegiance,… Read more »

MindanaoBob
10 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Hi Paul – I think there is a bit of confusion here.. this site is not about Filipinos getting US Citizenship, this site is about Foreigners (Americans, Europeans, etc) becoming citizens of the Philippines. Under Philippine law, you must indeed renounce your foreign citizenship.

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

Just a quick word, I took out Australian citizenship a few years ago and I simply kept my British citizenship and passport. Didn’t bother telling anyone and i just renew both passports when I need to 🙂

MindanaoBob
10 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Congratulations on that, Pedro. I’m glad that it works for you. You should know, though, that you are committing Immigration Fraud by doing that, and you could face penalties if you are ever caught. The odds of being caught are small, but it is something to be aware of.

Jess
Jess
8 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Australia does not require one to renounce current citizenship to adopt Australian citizenship, in other words, Oz allows dual citizenship.

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  Jess

You are right about Australia, but in order to gain Philippine citizenship, the Philippines requires you to renounce your Australian citizenship.

Edris
Edris
7 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Well, how can that be done? To renounce Australian citizenship, you have to show to the Australian citizenship agency, that you have an alternative citizenship to fall on. Under international laws, Australia cannot revoke the citizenship of a person and make him stateless, unless he has another citizenship to show for it. So how can Philippine expect a person to revoke their existing citizenship and become stateless IN ORDER to get Philippine citizenship. That violates international laws on statelessness to which Philippines has signed. So the process should be, that the person must AFTER getting Philippine citizenship, go and revoke… Read more »

MindanaoBob
7 years ago
Reply to  Edris

I am only telling you what the Philippine law is. I cannot be responsible for the law, since I am not involved in it in any way, not even a Philippine Citizen.

Steve Plev
Steve Plev
10 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Hi Pedro

Australia allows dual citizenship, so you are ok.

http://www.citizenship.gov.au/current/dual_citizenship/

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

Bob, given the way things work today, for instance my automatic entry to any european country with my British passport, I am not so sure of the actual legal situations. I do know that I have used and presented BOTH passports at the customs/immigration counters of several countries and the agents have never batted an eyelid. I usually only use my Australian passport for entry/exit to Australia then present my British passport everywhere else.

Kevin
Kevin
10 years ago

I’m going to have to say I disagree with you Bob. The actual wording is here: http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_778.html Specifically … U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship if they perform certain specified acts voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship. Briefly stated, these acts include: (one of which obtaining naturalization in a foreign state). Ok, see the word “intention”? Regardless of what you say to be naturalized, if its not your intention to lose US citizenship then you don’t lose it. (see the voluntarily AND intention? Just because you did any of the below voluntarily, doesn’t mean it… Read more »

MindanaoBob
10 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Yes, I know all of this, Kevin, but thank you for sharing your thoughts. My thinking on this goes like this… If you say “I hereby renounce my US citizenship,” that is not really renouncing your citizenship. As you say, the US govt does not accept that as having renounced your citizenship. Philippine law says that you must renounce your former citizenship. It does not say that you have to do an act that does not renounce, it says you must renounce. So, if you truly want to be a Philippine Citizen, and be so in a legal fashion, you… Read more »

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

I am reading all these as they come through and I am starting to wonder at your angle Bob. You “would not feel right”, really? Well I have 2 points about this, the first is that one should more properly “not feel right” about what the Philippines does. It is displaying it’s mendicant ‘I want but I am not prepared to give’ mentality. It already trains its people to be servants and beggars now you say you support its’ two faced policy. The second point, because I know you will jump in with the ‘this is the Philippines and they… Read more »

MindanaoBob
10 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Pedro – I believe in following the law. It is up to Filipinos to decide what the laws are in their country.

BTW, when a person becomes a US citizen, that entails losing their previous citizenship, so what is the difference?

Stan
Stan
9 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Bob, naturalizing as a US Citizen DOES NOT entail giving up previous citizenships. Are you really that dense?

MindanaoBob
9 years ago
Reply to  Stan

Stan, it seems you are the dense one. Below is the oath of citizenship that must be taken to become naturalized in the USA. Read the first line carefully. “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that… Read more »

MindanaoBob
10 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

BTW, not all American law is British based. Louisiana law is French based.

Dave
Dave
9 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Bob, I understand fully what you are saying and mean. You are a honest man with integrity, Your torn between the old homeland and the new. May God bless you and I pray you prosper on any decision you make.

MindanaoBob
9 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Thank you, Dave, I appreciate that very much.

Ed
Ed
8 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Pedro, Bob is trying his best to provide his knowledge of the practical application of Philippine Immigration law (which I well know is correct). Notice that Bob has avoided comment on whether Philippine law is right in preventing foreigner permanent residents from being force to choose between the ability to support their families and ongoing contribute to the Philippine economy. We’re *foreigners* here, under sufferance of the Philippines government. No matter our best intentions, we can be kicked out without notice or reason, and our true Pinoy families be damned. Is that clear enough? Want to live in the Philippines,… Read more »

Ed
Ed
8 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Bob, I must agree with you. Until I can find a legal way to obtain Philippine citizenship (onerous give current Philippine immigration law), I’m now accustomed to being content that my kids have dual citizenship even though “daddy” and “mommy” can’t.
Why? so that kids have food to eat!
Citizenship or food for the kids, pick one, ONLY one.

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  Ed

For me, I don’t see it that way. I am able to earn a good income regardless of what citizenship choices I make.

Ed
Ed
8 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Perhaps in your situation Bob, you could renounce your original citizenship without penalty of loss of foreign income. That’s not always the case. Were I to renounce my original citizenship, that defacto forces termination of my foreign income, since I must be a citizen of the original country to be permitted to continue my business there, totally irrespective of decades of technical and financial contributes back there. It’s a pretty hard and fast one or the other, but can’t have both. Hence that for now I must be happy with my ACR and contribute all I can earn abroad to… Read more »

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

Strange I could have sworn I replied to this earlier. Louisiana uses the standard adversarial court system using case law precedents ipso facto it is British based irrespective of how it started way back when. Not sure about US citizenship entailing loss of previous citizenship, how does one account for all the dual citizens there e.g. the Israel/american citizens in congress???? As to ‘following the law’ as I stated earlier I was afraid you would jump in with the knee jerk reaction, which is why, previously, I stated that asking anyone to renounce citizenship is against the UN treaties that… Read more »

MindanaoBob
10 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Pedro – Not sure why you do it, but you do come off an being a real ass.

I don’t believe I have ever said that my opinion is an “expert opinion,” in fact, I go out of my way to point out that it is only a layman’s opinion.

Goodbye, Pedro.

Ed
Ed
8 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Pedro, I understand what you’re saying, but please realize that any sovereign nation has the right to make its own laws, right or wrong. Those of us who choose to live in an adopted country, not of our birth, must accept the laws of the country we emigrated to. Where we came from does NOT matter. Where we are now matters 100%. That we may have come from a “first-world” country to a “third-world” country is irrelevant. It was our choice to come here for our individual personal reasons. We accepted the rules when we came here. If we don’t… Read more »

Bystander
Bystander
10 years ago

Hi Bob, Here’s my take on your problem: 1. Go through with the Philippine naturalization procedure. Yes, part of the requirement is for you to renounce your American citizenship, and you can substantially comply with it —- with legal effect at that. (You are not required to submit some sort of certificate to prove that you are not a US citizen, issued by a US consular official.) In so doing, you will successfully comply with what is legally necessary in the Philippines to naturalize. 2. You do not automatically lose US citizenship. As you have already explained exhaustively in your… Read more »

Ed
Ed
8 years ago
Reply to  Bystander

I suppose in the situation you suggest, that if one pays full taxes to both nations then all would be good?
Serious question.

Filipina wife
Filipina wife
9 years ago

I believe, Philippines should allow Dual citizenship for those married to Filipina women who hold Philippine citizenship, and have been in a stable marriage for over 10 years. This helps in strengthening the family also. Since the kids can have dual citizenship, if they are born in the Philippines they inherit Philippine nationality and can apply for their father’s nationality by descent as per laws of many countries that permit dual citizenship. Philippines is a country founded on deep family values. Family is the center of many things in this nation and its culture. Philippine law is very humanitarian based… Read more »

Ed
Ed
8 years ago
Reply to  Filipina wife

Thank you “Filipina wife”, for suggesting: “Philippines is a country founded on deep family values.” Very sadly, Philippine immigration law is totally contrary to the value you suggest. The problem, as you seem to understand, is that Philippine law works contrary to the ability of a ‘foreigner’ husband’ to earn foreign income to support his Filipino family. Renounce foreign citizenship: renounce all ability to earn foreign income or receive any pension for the many decades paid-in over a lifetime. How is that good for *OUR* country? Philippines, for *OUR* families, our children, in the Philippines? Immigration law is clear: Bawal… Read more »

GC
GC
8 years ago

Hi,
I was reading the comments posted. One fault I found is a statement “that all nations require a person to renounce their citizenship” if trying to gain citizenship in another country. This is not quite true as I am an Australian Citizen and have a Greek heritage, hence I hold a dual citizenship in Australia and Greece and hold two passports.

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