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Philippine Dual Citizenship
The process we followed
I intend this article to be a complete guide to Philippine Dual Citizenship. Everything from thinking about it to going through the process. This article is a compilation of our Philippine Dual Citizenship experiences and thoughts over the years. You have to read the entire article to get the full scoop. Feyma (and our kids) are dual citizens now, but in the beginning thought they would not go that direction.
Feyma became a US Citizen
When we lived in the States, my wife, Feyma, became a US Citizen.
Most readers of this blog are married to or plan to marry people from the Philippines. Having a spouse that is a Philippine Citizen, or former Philippine Citizen opens up some doors for you. It allows you to get a better visa so that you can live here.
If your spouse is currently a Philippine citizen, then he or she can buy property. If you want to own land, build a house, buy a house or whatever, one of you must be a citizen! Non-citizens cannot own property here, it’s that simple. Former citizens can own a small amount of land, only up to 1,000 square meters.
She made the right choice
I have never regretted that my wife got her US Citizenship, don’t take me wrong. Having US Citizenship is a great thing, and it allows my wife to go to the USA whenever she wants, even in the event of my death. In addition to that, having a US Passport has lots of advantages, in that it allows travel to a lot of other countries that a Philippine Citizen would have trouble getting into. All in all, having Citizenship in the USA is a good thing for my wife.
Philippine Dual Citizenship is now available
However, did you know that you can now take advantage of the best of both worlds? It’s true – under a law passed in 2004, your spouse (or you, if you are the former citizen) can now obtain Philippine dual citizenship! So, in my wife’s case, she can retain her US Citizenship while re-obtaining her Philippine Citizenship at the same time.
Now, I know that I will hear from people who will tell me that the USA does not accept or recognize dual citizenship. That is not correct. The USA discourages Dual Citizenship, but there is nothing illegal about having or obtaining dual citizenship.
Once a former Philippine Citizen applies for and is granted Philippine dual citizenship, they may then own property or take advantage of any rights that any other Philippine Citizen has – except for holding elected office.
Citizenship can be like a maze
Sometimes, the whole issue of citizenship can seem like a maze when you are involved with a cross-national marriage like I am, and many of the readers of this site are. When a Citizen of one country marries a Citizen of another country, things can get somewhat confusing!
Children complicate things further
Perhaps the situation is most confusing when it comes to our kids! You see, our two oldest kids are dual citizens. By their birthright, they are US Citizens since they were born on US soil. But, at the time of their birth, Feyma was a Philippine Citizen, and thus under Philippine law, our two oldest kids are also Philippine Citizens. Now, our youngest son is a different story, though! Feyma had already been naturalized as a US Citizen by the time Jared was born!
Jared was born on US soil, so he automatically has US Citizenship. Because at the time of his birth Feyma was not a Philippine Citizen, Jared is not a Philippine Citizen at all. Confusing, huh? Of course, in addition to their birth on US soil, the fact that I (their father) am a US Citizen also makes them US Citizens as well.
At the time that we moved to the Philippines, we all got Resident Visas here (13g Visas). We all still hold 13g Visas. However, there is a way to change this. Since the time that we have lived here, Philippine Republic Act 9225 was enacted. RA9225 is the Philippine Dual Citizenship law of the Philippines. Under this law, anybody who is a former Citizen of the Republic of the Philippines (like Feyma), but was naturalized in another country may file an application to obtain Philippine Dual Citizenship.
Dual Citizenship applies to the Children too
When an adult obtains Philippine Dual Citizenship, their minor children also obtain Philippine Dual Citizenship. So, by filing for Philippine Dual Citizenship under Republic Act 9225, Feyma would become a Dual Citizen (concurrently a Citizen of the Philippines and also of the USA), and all of our kids would also have Philippine Dual Citizenship as well, including our youngest. Because of this, the Resident Visas of Feyma and all of the kids would no longer be necessary.
Yes, this can be quite confusing, but if you take the time to sit down and think it all through you will figure it all out. The Citizenship issue is black and white, there is really no gray area in there, so if you just follow the facts you will get it all straight for your family too!
More Philippine Dual Citizenship Information
Sometime back, I went down to General Santos City for our annual Check-In with the Bureau of Immigration. This is required for most foreigners that live here. You must check in once per year, in either January or February.
During this visit to the BoI office, I had an opportunity to sit down and talk with the local BoI Commissioner for General Santos City. Feyma took care of all the paperwork for the check-in, so I was free to have the discussion while finishing the check-in. I was able to gather a few very interesting facts while we talked.
Information from the Commissioner
Feyma and I have been pondering for a couple of years now whether we feel that Feyma would be best served to file for Philippine Dual Citizenship. Basically, this would leave her US Citizenship intact, while restoring her Philippine Citizenship as well. For multiple reasons, we also thought it would be good for our kids to have Philippine Dual Citizenship.
We wanted our kids to be dual citizens
A while back, I was thinking about this and realized that Feyma was a Philippine Citizenship at the time of AJ’s birth, thus he should rightfully be a Dual Citizen already. Just to confirm this, I asked the Commissioner. He told me that it is indeed true that AJ is already a Philippine Citizen, as well as an American Citizen.
However, the law of the Philippines is that you are treated as what you declare yourself to be. By filing for a Resident Visa for AJ, we declared him to be an American Citizen. Thus, while he is legally a Dual Citizen, he must take steps to retain his Philippine Citizenship now. That step is to simply go to Manila, to the BoI headquarters and to file a paper stating that he considers himself to have retained his Philippine Citizenship. Another solution would be for Feyma to simply obtain Philippine Dual Citizenship.
Better to apply for Dual Citizenship outside the Philippines
I also asked the Commissioner about the procedure for Feyma to apply for Dual Citizenship. His advice to me – don’t apply for Philippine Dual Citizenship in the Philippines. It is riddled with problems and takes a long time. He said it is best to just forget about the Philippine Dual Citizenship or to go back to your home country to make the application, where it is done much quicker and more efficiently. At this time, Feyma has decided not to apply for Philippine Dual Citizenship, as we really don’t see any advantages in doing so.
Feyma did it, here is what she says
As you know by reading above, I applied for and received my Philippine dual citizenship here in the Philippines. See, when we first moved here the dual citizenship was not yet approved by the Philippine government. So I came here with my American passport as did the kids.
After a few years of living here, the dual citizenship was already approved. Bob’s been on me to apply for it, and that includes the kids too.
Visit the Bureau of Immigration
Finally, Bob told me to go and inquire at the Bureau of Immigration here in Davao City. He said to ask them about the requirements to apply. Also about the procedure to get Philippine Dual Citizenship for the kids.
So there I went to the Immigration office to inquire. I just asked the guy that was an expert for the dual citizenship there at the Immigration office and he directed me to the person in charge of the Philippine Dual Citizenship office here Davao. He gave me some papers to be filled out. I told him that I also had 3 kids that I want to include. He showed me where to list the kids on the application form. I’m glad that I listened to what Bob was talking about. It was all so simple, and inexpensive too, just like Bob thought.
Here are requirements for re-obtaining Philippine Citizenship.
One of the requirements you will have is an oath-taking.
The Immigration people told me of several attornies nearby. I went to one and for a very low price, I was able to take the Oath of Philippine Citizenship. They gave me an affidavit of that oath. I also took each of our children to take the oath as well.
The Philippine Dual Citizenship application lists all of the required documents and procedures. It is all very simple. Just follow the list of items on the application. Since these types of requirements change over time (and where you apply), we won’t list them here.
Turn in your Application
After acquiring all of the documents listed and filling out the application, just pass this to the Bureau of Immigration. If you are applying overseas send it to a Philippine Embassy or Consulate, that is where you should pass your application and supporting documents.
Keep a copy for yourself
Be sure to keep a photocopy of everything for yourself. If you have a complete application and supporting documents you can refer to if needed.
Sometimes the agency where you apply will call to ask a question. If you have a complete copy that makes it easy for you to answer based on looking at the exact same document that they are asking you about.
Don’t forget to put your Contact Number (home phone and cellular phone) in case it is needed.
You can get one final check
Before I mailed my paperwork I went back to the immigration office. I showed them my paperwork and asked if I need anything more. They said it was all good. He then gave me the name and address of the person in BOI Manila to send my applications to.
Notarize the Documents
The documents that you turn in to the Bureau of Immigration must be notarized by an attorney. Be sure to get this done.
Honestly, I am so thankful at the Bureau of immigration office here in Davao. The dual citizenship people in-charge were really nice people and willing to assist me. I’m really thankful for that.
Don’t worry, it’s easy
Thinking of applying for Philippine dual citizenship? Try it, it’s easy. You can do it. For those that applied here and abroad congratulations to you.
Cheers, and good luck!
My wife, Filipino, applied here is states. Was approved in 5 days. Oath taking at Consulate within 2 weeks. Be careful on forms. Some forms needed to be NSO, others PSA. Watch instructions carefully. Also will help with getting Philippine passport if all material can br scanned. Spouse had birth certificate hand written, we are old, and it was not scanable. She will get passport when we return next year. Cost only $50.00 as no young kids. Easy process.
Hey Feyma Wow they put you through a lot of Chichi Baruchi for your Phil Dual Citizenship.Why couldnt you just show your Phil Birth Certificate, old Phil Passport, US Naturilization Certificate and be done with it. It seems easy as you could document you was born in and originally from the Phil. Linda got it all done in less than 3 hours here at the NY Philippine Consulate and that included the swearing in ceremony. Our Son Doug was born before Linda became a US Citizen so he was considered a Phil Citizen at birth and all we had to… Read more »
HI Neal – I wish to God it’s that easy to get the citizenship back. It is more difficult now, have to get the birth certificate that had to be processed through the National Statistics office in Manila. Luckily Bob got me a birth certificate from there through on-line application. In 3-4 days I got my NSO birth certificate delivered directly to my house. That was amazing. I think I was just amazed that we had on-line services now here and it was quicker than I expected. I’m glad that Linda got her dual citizenship instantly. I know that it’s… Read more »
Hi Gary – Thank you… Ha ha ha… It is really hard to get a Philippine citizenship. We’ve been looking at the requirements, wow, I felt it’s endless. Nah, I will not force Bob into getting the Philippine citizenship thing. I’m happy the way it is right now.
Really proud of the dual citizenship in-charge here in Davao city office of the BOI. Very helpful.
Hey, are you thinking of getting the Philippine citizenship?
Good to see you here again. Have a good day!
Hi Alfre – Thank you! Best bet for you is to really go to the Philippine Embassy in the Middle East and ask the person in-charge of the dual citizenship. It might be easy for your kids to get the dual since you are still a Philippine passport holder. I am just guessing here. You should try to apply the dual citizenship now before your kids turn 18 years old.
I will definitely let you guys know after we got our approval papers. Thank you for the nice comment.
Thank you for stopping by here.
Morning Feyma, Were ANY of your children born in the Philippines ? I did not think you could obtain DUAL CITIZENSHIP for your children unless they were also born in the Philippines & are under age 21 years ? Have you been informed by the B.I. if there are any birth or age restrictions for your children obtaining Dual Citizenship ? I am about to apply for Dual Citizenship via overseas Philippine Embassy and am also very interested in my children who are above age 21 years also applying. One child was born in the Philippines so there should be… Read more »
Congrats!!! Now talk Bob into getting his Philippine citizenship. 😀 I agree that the BI office in Davao City is great. So helpful.
Hi DB – Good evening to you. All of my 3 kids were all born in the USA. I can apply dual citizenship for my kids those kids of mine who are under 18 years of age. My oldest he is 20 years old now. But still I did apply for him under me because he had medical problems. I had papers from his doctor and I had papers from the lawyer too. Try to ask the Philippine Embassy/consulate office in the area where you are. Somebody from that office will definitely guide you in obtaining the dual citizenship there.… Read more »
DB, when a form3r Filipino reacquires her/his Philippine citizenship all minor children of that person reacquire (or acquire) Philippine citizenship as well. This is one of the perpetual myths that float around the rumor mill … caused, perhaps by the fact that US citizenship works differently than. Under US law, you are (almost always) a US citizen if born in the USA. Under Philippine law, where you are born doesn’t really matter. Under the current (Cory) Constitution, you don’t gain Philippine citizenship by being born in the Philippines. The only way to be a ‘natural born’ Filipino is to be… Read more »
Thank you so much Dave and Mita. Really so thoughtful of you guys. I really appreciate very much.
For sure just do it. It’s easy really. Just follow the requirements and its not a lot anyway.
Good advice there Dave. Hey, if you had a post about it, will check it out, something to read and learn then. Looking forward to it too.
Take care and hello to our 2 special friend there. You know who I’m talking to S & M.
Good work Feyma, You will be Filipino again soon! Oh well, you know what I mean. I am also seriously thinking of getting my children Phil passport/citizenship. It is not quite straight forward so I have to check out more info. They hold British passport but both been born in the Middle East. I still have my Philippine passport but was married in the UK. I wonder if I apply for passport in the Philippines (we can only stay 1 month at most on holiday) as we are still based in the Middle East, or from Phil embassy UK (we… Read more »
Congratulations, I’m so happy for you and your kids. I’m sure Bob is too. I wish US Citizens could get Filipino citizenship w/o renouncing US Citizenship. Oh well just have to be a legal permanent resident. As long as i am able to live there i’m happy. Have a nice day.
Thank’s for the info my friend. I’m thinking about doing it myself, but dont know where to start..Now, I know where to run too..:-) hehhehehe..Goodluck.
Hi my dear friend – Try to get your dual there. It’s much easier to achieve that there than here. It takes awhile here unless you are from the Manila area.
After I get my dual I will write here the details on what’s needed and what to do.
Good to always see you friend. Take care!
I’m not sure of many advantages of becoming a dual citizen. In any event as long as you have U.S. Citizenship, you have to pay U.S. income tax on all your earnings regardless of where earned. I know of a number of filipinos and expats who earn income and are not reporting it and I think it will come back and bit them in the butt some day. The U.S. government is getting very aggressive in collecting taxes on non U.S. residents (expats) and those who have dual citizenship who think that exempts them from the tax rules.
I have a question. Is there a contact number to know the status of my dual citizenship? I had applied here in Manila 1st week of march and still I haven’t receive anything yet. Any help is greatly appreciated. Oh and I do live here in Manila also.
I just want to ask for your help,I am currently residing here in davao city.Here is my story,my mother gave birth to me in newyork usa,last 1987,she is a psychiatric nurse there and a filipina.When I was 3months old she decided to send me here in the philippines with the birth certificate record that comes from the hospital,also with a blue passport.I am 24 years old now and planning to go back in newyork,I am not able to take the board examination in nursing last 2009 because of this citizenship,also I overstayed here since I arrived here as early as… Read more »
There are two ways to fix this situation:
1. You can pay the fines for overstaying all of these years and go back to the States.
2. You can get your mother to file a late report of birth abroad with the Philippine Consulate that serves the area where you were born. Once that is filed, the Philippines should then recognize your Philippine Citizenship (you will also still be a US citizen as well), and you will have no fines to pay.
Hi bob. Im facing the same situation as pepper’s. I have emailed you earlier today and you courteously replied. But i was kinda confused because your first reply to me was the same either secure a phil passport to waive penalties or pay the fines.
Then you told me on your next email tthat once theres a birth report, the govt should recognize the phil citizenship and therefore no need to pay the penalty.
Please clarify. Thank you so much.
I was wondering if youre familiar with identification clearance being issued by the bureau of immigration? I read from the internet also that once a person shows a genuine passport OR BI issued identification clearance then the immigration officers should no longer require them to pay any other fees even if theyre using their foreign passport when they enter the philippines.
Thank you so much.