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I’m moving to the Philippines

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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.

Visa Assistance

Mohamed-is-JordanianIn 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.

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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John Beck
John Beck
8 years ago

Bob,

Do I need to have a temporary/permanent resident visa before I can file for citizenship? (In other words, does staying on a balikbayan/tourist visa for a couple of rounds count?) I am married to a Filipina.

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  John Beck

Hi John – I am not an attorney, so I can’t say with 100% authority. However, the law does read that you must have 10 years of permanent residence in the Philippines (5 years if you have a Philippine Citizen spouse). I would interpret that you need a permanent resident visa.

Luciano
Luciano
7 years ago

Hello Bob…. Thanks for educating alot of guys.. Advice me…. I have a philippine fiance living in d philippine while I live abroad….I intend marrying her soon & hopefully live permanently in d philippine…. I want to know how & what to apply for to make staying there easy… Note I havent bin to d philippine b4….
Tanks Bob

MindanaoBob
7 years ago
Reply to  Luciano

Hi Luciano – To be honest, not much you can do right now, but it’s good to start thinking about your options. For now, just wait until you come here and get married. When you come for that purpose, you can just enter the country with a tourist visa, which will give you a 30 day stay in the country. That visa an be extended at various time points for a maximum of 16 months total stay. So, during your stay, you will get married. After the marriage is done, you are then eligible to apply for a 13a resident… Read more »

Michelle
Michelle
6 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

What about the requirement to have a round trip ticket and proof of next destination? How does one purchase a one way ticket? I do have a connection in the Philippines; not a “spouse”sincerely ,Michelle. I thank you for your service.

MindanaoBob
6 years ago
Reply to  Michelle

Hi Michelle – There is not requirement to buy a “round trip” ticket. Depending on the type of visa you have (which you did not mention) you might need an “ongoing ticket” which is not the same as a round trip. An ongoing ticket is a ticket that will fly you anywhere outside the Philippines (not necessarily back where you came from). If you are eligible for a Balikbayan Visa, a resident visa, or are a Philippine Citizen or Dual Citizen, you are not required have an ongoing ticket. If you are required to have an ongoing ticket, but intend… Read more »

Luciano
Luciano
7 years ago

Thanks alot Bob for ur quick response. I will like to know if there are any document needed b4 coming down so as to b fully prepared in processing my stay after d marriage. & are there other types of visa for my situation other than d tourist visa…..
Also is there a minimum financial requirement as a tourist & do U have any idea what it is?
Thanks again.

MindanaoBob
7 years ago
Reply to  Luciano

Hi Luciano – Check here for a list of the requirements.

joe
joe
7 years ago

Great info bob.. hope u can help me out… I’m 36 y.o now planning to go to phlippines on srrv classic with my wife.. What will happened if we have our 1st baby born in Philippines the following year? Will the baby automatically becomes citizenship ( thru jus soli)? Thx in advance…

MindanaoBob
7 years ago
Reply to  joe

It depends, Joe. If your wife is a Philippine citizen, then your child will be a Philippine citizen no matter where he is born, anywhere in the world. If neither you or your wife are Philippine Citizens, then even if your child is born in the Philippines he will not be a Philippine Citizen. Hope this helps.

reginald buchanan
reginald buchanan
7 years ago

Well I’d like a smaller city close to a beach with a one bedroom around 500us$ a month. Any ideas ?

krishan kumar
krishan kumar
7 years ago

Hi Bob …I am already married. I will want to marry with a Filipino girl. And I want to get citizenship of Philippines. Plz you guide me.

Bill
Bill
5 years ago

Bob I will be moving to Cebu in the near future. I would like to start shipping or mailing a lot of my belongings to my fiancé what is the best and cheapest way and safest. thank you for your help.

MindanaoBob
5 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Hi Bill – If you think about it you will surely realize that “Best”, “Cheapest” and “Safest” are mutually exclusive. If you ship it the best way, it won’t be cheap, but it will be safe. If you ship the cheapest way it won’t be safe or best, etc.

Amy navida
Amy navida
5 years ago

Hi bob, what can we do if we dnt have mney to pay the penalty for my husband,we married here in Philippines for 15 years already we want t apply filipino citizenship for him is that anything we can do or give us some advice…can the 15 years of staying in Philippines help us to do his citizenship…please give us some advice what we can do….

MindanaoBob
5 years ago
Reply to  Amy navida

He will have to pay the fine. Find a way to earn the money, borrow it or whatever, but it must be paid.

J.r
J.r
5 years ago

Hello sir, my name is J.r and I will be visiting the Philippines for two weeks and October 2016! If I like it, I would like to come back and live for at least 6 months to a year! I have money saved up and I have been looking for apartments in the Angeles City area! Which, I have found that benefits me and that I can afford! Work,I am a barber and his license in three different states I can currently live in Florida. I could survive about 6 months to a year without a job! I’m looking to… Read more »

MindanaoBob
5 years ago
Reply to  J.r

Hi J.r – Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. I believe that your best step is to come here and live for a few weeks, as you intent, before you make any decisions. Most of the things you are wanting to do just won’t work, my friend, sorry! Let’s look at some of your hopes and I will offer a dose of reality. 1. Barbers here don’t make much money. For a haircut where I go, it costs P30, about 60 Cents US money. OK, you said that you are wanting to focus on foreigners. I am an American,… Read more »

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