What is dual citizenship and who are eligible to apply for it?

Republic Act 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 (more popularly known as the Dual Citizenship Law) enables natural-born Filipinos who have become naturalized citizens of another country to reacquire their Philippine citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. Upon reacquiring their Philippine citizenship, they shall enjoy full civil and political rights as Filipinos, subject to certain conditions.

Under the principle of derivative citizenship, unmarried children below eighteen (18) years of age, whether legitimate, illegitimate, or adopted, of those who reacquired their Philippine citizenship under this law shall also be deemed Filipino citizens.

A child who is 18 years of age or older at the time of the parent’s reacquisition of Philippine citizenship, but was born when either parent was still a Filipino citizen, shall be considered to have been a natural born Filipino and may apply for reacquisition of Philippine citizenship on his/her own behalf.

Who are considered natural-born Filipinos?

Natural-born Filipinos are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines at the time of their birth and those born before 17 January 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority are considered natural-born Filipinos.

Philippine citizenship law derives from the principle of jus sanguinis or the citizenship of the parents.

How can I apply for the reacquisition of my Philippine Citizenship?

Those who are residents of Guangdong Province, Guangxi ZAR, Hainan, and Hunan Provinces should send their applications and supporting documents to the Philippine Consulate General in Guangzhou.

After their applications are processed and approved, they would have to visit the Consulate General on a predetermined date to take their oath of allegiance before a consular officer.

Those who are unable to apply in person may send their applications and requirements by mail or email. However, they would need to visit the Consulate General for their oath-taking.

You may also submit and process your applications with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration in Manila, should you be in the Philippines.

What documents should I submit when applying for the reacquisition of my Philippine citizenship?

You should submit the following requirements/document (with two photocopies of each) when applying for the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship:

A. Your duly-accomplished application form;

B. Your birth certificate authenticated by the National Statistics Office (NSO) in Manila;

C. A photocopy of your Certificate of Naturalization and BNO (foreign passport) (original of which shall be presented to the evaluating officer);

D. Three (3) recent 4.5cm x 3.5cm photographs with royal blue background;

E. Old Philippine passport, (original of which shall be presented to the evaluating officer);

F. A processing fee of RMB 500 (US$50)

G. Original or certified photocopy of your marriage certificate (for married female applicants);

H. Original or certified photocopy of your spouse’s death certificate (if applicable);

I. Original or certified photocopy of the appropriate decree or court order of annulment of marriage;

J. Voter's affidavit or voter's identification card; and

K. Such other documents that would show that the applicant is a former natural born citizen of the Philippines as may be acceptable to the evaluating officer.

If you wish to have your unmarried minor (below 18 years of age) children acquire Philippine citizenship, you should also present the original and submit photocopy of the birth certificates and Foreign passports of your children. A processing of RMB 250 (US$25) is paid for each dependent.

If the applicant is a Bureau of Immigration (BI) registered alien, he shall surrender the original ACR and ICR/CRTV, or in its absence, an affidavit explaining the loss of said documents for transmittal to the BI.

What rights and privileges am I entitled to once I reacquire my Philippine citizenship?

Once you reacquire your Philippine citizenship, you will once again enjoy full civil, economic and political rights under existing Philippine laws.

Among these rights are:

1. the right to travel with a Philippine passport;
2. the right to own real property in the Philippines;
3. the right to engage in business and commerce as a Filipino; and
4. the right to practice one’s profession, provided that a license or permit to engage in such practice is obtained from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), or the Supreme Court in the case of lawyers.

You may also vote overseas in Philippine national elections (for President, Vice President, Senators and sectoral representatives) in accordance with the provisions of the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003.

What effect does reacquiring my Philippine citizenship have on my taxes?

Under the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program of 1997, income earned abroad by Filipinos from 1998 are no longer taxable. Hence, all Filipinos abroad, including those who have reacquired their Philippine citizenship, have been exempted by the Philippine Government from paying Philippine income tax on income earned abroad.

Income earned in the Philippines, however, will still be subject to Philippine income tax.

Do I need to reside in the Philippines if I reacquire my Philippine citizenship?

Residency in the Philippines is NOT a requirement for those who reacquire Philippine citizenship.