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Citizenship through marriage?

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Lately, I have been getting a number of e-mail inquiries from readers who want to become Philippine Citizens, and they are asking if marriage to a Filipina will convey Philippine Citizenship to them.

Let’s look at one of the questions I have gotten lately on this topic:

How to Move to the Philippines Manual

Hi Bob,

I got married to a lady from the Philippines in 2008, a little more than 4 years ago.

What papers to I need to file to claim Philippine Citizenship?

I am sure that because I am married to a Philippine Citizen, I am also entitled to Philippine Citizenship.

Please guide me through the process.

Jerry in Alabama

Hi Jerry,

flagsThanks for writing, always nice to meet others who are interested in the Philippines like I am.

The fact is, Jerry, being married to a Philippine Citizen does not entitle you to being a Citizen of the Philippines.  Fact is, the benefits, citizenship-wise, to you are almost identical to the benefits your wife got when she married you.

See, the fact that your wife married you, an American, did not make her an American Citizen.  However, it gave her the benefit of shaving a few years off of the waiting time before she could apply for citizenship.

You get an almost identical benefit.  Normally, if somebody wants to apply for Naturalization in the Philippines, they must live in the Philippines for 10 years before applying.  However, for you and me, since we have Philippine spouses, if we wish to apply for citizenship here, we only have to wait for 5 years instead of 10 before we apply.

Now, here is the downside, Jerry.  Under Philippine law, if we wish to become Naturalized in the Philippines, and be a citizen of the country, we must renounce our US Citizenship as part of the process.  It’s the same for your wife, if she takes the oath as a US Citizenship, she is renouncing her Philippine Citizenship as part of the process.  The good thing for your wife is that under the Philippine Dual Citizenship law, she can re-acquire her Philippine Citizen and be a citizen of both countries.  The US does not offer such a procedure.  If you renounce your US Citizenship, there is no easy way to reacquire your US Citizenship.

Good luck to you, Jerry.  I hope that my explanation of the process answers your questions and concerns.

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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Darrell Taylor
Darrell Taylor
10 years ago

Hi there!

I’m a US citizen and I am married to a Filipina and planning to move there to live with her. Not really to retire there but at least stay there for longer period like 5-10 years.

May you please help me with the requirements?

Thank you!
Darrell

MindanaoBob
10 years ago
Reply to  Darrell Taylor

Hi Darrell,

I would recommend that you read these 3 articles on my other website for all the info you need about the requirements for living here:

Living in the Philippines on a Tourist Visa
Living in the Philippines on a Balikbayan Visa
Living in the Philippines on a Resident Visa

David G
David G
7 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Hi please give me some help here. I’m engaged to a phillipino woman living and working in Italy. I just returned from seeing her there for 30 days. Ok she is still married, but her husband is living with another woman and she has been in Italy for 15 years. She is going back to the Philippines in October to meet a lawyer who says he can get an annulment but she says it may cost couple thousand US money. I have been with her a long time it’s not a short term thing, can she get out of this… Read more »

MindanaoBob
7 years ago
Reply to  David G

I doubt that a lawyer can get an annulment for the price that he said. Usually am annulment costs a multiple of that amount. Annulment usually takes about 7 years to complete.

Zia zia
4 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Hi bob, im hasmin philipines
My future husband was an indian.and we are now both working in singapore And where now engage for long 2 years. And where planing to settle down and get merried in philipines.. My fiancee was decided to go philipines and stay with me after merriege… My question now is, is my future husband can stay with me in philipines after our merriege?
And how long my husband can stay with me after our merriege?
Please need ur help and advice

Bob Martin
4 years ago
Reply to  Zia zia

He should not have trouble staying. However, as I have said many times on this site, citizens of India have different rules from Westerners like me, and I just don’t have the knowledge for people from India. Sorry, I can’t be of further help.

aryn
aryn
10 years ago

Hi Darrel
It’s almost 3years i married here in philippines
you wrote we need to wait for 5years to get citizenship of philippines, i’m leaving philippines for 1 or 2 years,will this 2 years counted or i’m suppose to be here in philippines?

MindanaoBob
10 years ago
Reply to  aryn

You must stay for 5 continuous years. If you leave, your 5 year clock starts over again.

Jannah
Jannah
8 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Hello there, Just here to ask if by continously staying here for 5 to 10 years means not really going out of the Philippines even just for a week or a day? Because my fiance who is american is staying here with a tourist visa and he’s here since December 2013 and we keep on extending his visa every after 2 months. We’re planning to get married this year before his 1 yr of stay and go out of the country together as spouses and do the balikbayan visa fornhim to get one free year of stay here in Philippines.… Read more »

John
10 years ago

Actually that is not true. You do not lose your US Citizenship. Below is from the US State Department Government website: :

US State Department Services Dual Nationality

Editor’s note: This content has been deleted, because it is quoted verbatim from another website, which is copyright infringement. I do not allow copyrighted material to be posted verbatim on the site.

MindanaoBob
10 years ago
Reply to  John

Hi John,

You fail to understand.

Yes, the USA allows dual citizenship, that is not a problem at all. However, Philippine law requires that a person must renounce citizenship to become a Philippine Citizen. If you do not wish to renounce, you may not become a Philippine Citizen. It is that simple.

So, while the USA allows dual nationality, the Philippines does not allow it for foreigners.

Jimney
Jimney
9 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

This statement from your site is confusing me too: “It’s the same for your wife, if she takes the oath as a US Citizenship, she is renouncing her Philippine Citizenship as part of the process.” Since the United States does not require a Filipina to renounce her citizenship from the Philippines, are you saying that the Philippines will revoke it?

MindanaoBob
9 years ago
Reply to  Jimney

The act of taking the oath of citizenship is generally regarded as giving up your previous citizenship. The Philippine Government considers you to no longer be a citizen if you become a citizen of another country, thus you must submit to re-acquire your Philippine Citizenship.

Jaan
Jaan
10 years ago

Hi I am a US Citizen and plan to marry my filipino boyfriend and plan to apply for a permanent visa in the Philippines. I have 3 children from previous marriage ranges from 8-12. Can I bring my children with me and apply for a permanent visa too? If not, what VISA will my children require?

Rusty Bowers
Rusty Bowers
7 years ago
Reply to  Jaan

Jaan,

Get your, and your kids, permanent 13 A Philippine resident visa in the States. Google the closet Filipino consulate in your area.

You’ll be glad you got the 13 A, permanent visa, in the States rather than here. You’ll save money and time.

Rusty

Irfan Shaikh
Irfan Shaikh
10 years ago

Dear Sir,

Can you please help me out..i am an indian citizen and i want to go to philippines next year means 2013 on 1st of May -13 or 30th april-13. currently i am working in Saudi Arabia(K.S.A.). can you please tell me what is the correct time to apply for the philippine visa from saudi and what is the requirement from the Sponsor in the philippines. i am going for my marriage, i am going to marry a filipina. can you please help out with this situation it would be helpful..

thank you.

lara
lara
9 years ago

hi im israeli citizen and im married to pilipina in im planning to stay more than a year there, what i need to do to make citizenship?can you help me please what i need to do?thank you in advance!!!

MindanaoBob
9 years ago
Reply to  lara

Hello Lara – Read here and make sure you meet all of the requirements.

lara
lara
9 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

thank you very very much! =)

Irfan Shaikh
Irfan Shaikh
9 years ago

hi as i ask before about the help which is stated in this comment i wanted to know that i am going to marry filipina girl and i will be opening business there in the philippines and i will be staying there. can you please tell me to get a philippines citizenship what requirement is needed and what are the procedure for the marriage there. can you please help me out this time

MindanaoBob
9 years ago
Reply to  Irfan Shaikh

I am sorry, I do not have the information that you are asking for, Irfan. It is different for Indian Citizens, and I just don’t know.

James Iden
James Iden
9 years ago

Hi bob ! Please help me with my problem. I am marrying my filipina girlfriend I have a dual citizenship American/Filipino since my mom which is also a filipina married to my dad an American. I have been living here in the Philippines for 6 years and been in a relationship with my gf for 2 years. How can I bring here to America since I’m planning to marry her here in the Philippines before going back to USA so that we can go there together and start our married life. Please advice.

MindanaoBob
9 years ago
Reply to  James Iden

You won’t be able to go to the USA together, unless you wait in the Philippines for the process to be completed, which would probably take a year to 18 months. Marry her, return to the States and file a petition for her visa.

James Iden
James Iden
9 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Hi Bob thanks for the fast reply ! anyway Is there any other way that is more faster because 18months is really long? If I marry her here in the Philippines can’t she even acquire any American rights since I married her? Please advice.

MindanaoBob
9 years ago
Reply to  James Iden

No, the US Government will give no rights to your bride. They did that like 50 years ago, but now they don’t.

Bill
Bill
9 years ago
Reply to  James Iden

James, since you’ve been living in the Philippines for more than six months, you qualify for Direct Consular Filing (DCF). If you present proof of residence (show them your passport arrival stamp and 13(a) visa), then you can file your I-130 at the embassy in Manila. That piece will only take about a months since it’s done locally. My wife’s was done in three weeks. After that, you can file for her visa, also through DCF. If the physical goes smoothly (i.e., if she doesn’t need a sputum test for TB), then she should get her interview/visa in another three… Read more »

Bill
Bill
9 years ago
Reply to  James Iden

James, sorry. I just noticed the ”dual citizen” part. Please ignore the bit about the 13a visa, and provide whatever proof of residency the embassy requires. Also, one is generally better off going home and filing for a fiance visa and marrying in the States than they are if they marry here. It’s faster to bring a fiance over than it is to bring a wife, because the fiance visa falls under a non-immigrant status. Marry her in the states, and you’ll still have to wait for the green card for just as long, but at least you’ll both be… Read more »

hanee
hanee
9 years ago

hi Sir, i m Pakistani n i want to marry with Filpino girl,
can i get Filpino Nationality?
can i live with her in Phillipine?
plz sir, Guide me
thanks….

MindanaoBob
9 years ago
Reply to  hanee

The requirements for becoming a Philippine Citizen are listed here. If you meet those requirements then you may become a citizen.

roselle
roselle
7 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

but can a pakistani can go here in philippines to get married with filipina? after that can he take her with him back to pakistan?

MindanaoBob
7 years ago
Reply to  roselle

I am sorry, I have no idea. I know nothing about immigration laws in Pakistan.

roselle
roselle
7 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

or can i go there just to get married with just tourist visa

Bob L
Bob L
9 years ago

Is it hard for a Thai or Phillipino lady to come here to the usa and get a citizenship.Which is easier? Would they have to get married then apply? Can we apply before we get married?

MindanaoBob
9 years ago
Reply to  Bob L

Hi Bob – It is not really that hard. I would advise to get married to get the process started, as that will really speed it up.

Rusty Bowers
Rusty Bowers
7 years ago
Reply to  Bob L

Bob L,

Bringing a wife to the States is not difficult at all as Mindanao Bob said. Just marry her here and then go through the process to take her to the states.

Make sure to contact your State senator as he/she can expedite the process. Don’t go through an attorney as it is a waste of money.

Rusty

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