A lot of Filipinos migrate to some other parts of the world in the hopes of finding greener pastures aka better work opportunities, better remuneration, and better health care. Some are lucky to be able to take their family with them at one point and some eventually start their own family abroad. The same goes for me only that our kids happen to be 2 gorgeous cats, one we adopted in the Florida Keys and the other one in the Dominican Republic. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot about them so I’m not here to tell you more about that.
Let’s talk about you and your family. I know being a Citizen of America, Canada, Australia, or any other first world country gives you better benefits than being a Filipino Citizen and that’s the bitter truth of being from a Third World Country. I’m not here to lecture you that you should become a Dual Citizen or whatever because that is entirely your choice. I’m here to discuss the following:
What are the benefits of being a dual citizen?
Who are natural born citizens of the Philippines?
Is it possible for Filipinos to have more than one citizenship from birth?
What is naturalization?
I have been naturalized as a citizen of another country and they required me to renounce my Filipino Citizenship. Can I still reacquire my Philippine Citizenship?
Once I reacquire my Philippine Citizenship, are all the rights above stated automatically restored?
I have successfully reacquired my Philippine Citizenship. Can I travel to the Philippines with my foreign spouse and children?
What is the effect of this on my children?
Can I run and hold a public office after reacquiring my Philippine Citizenship?
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING A DUAL CITIZEN?
1. You’ll have the right to vote in Philippine Elections- For this reason alone, Dual Citizenship is so much worth it. Your vote alone could change the country and who knows, one day we could be a First World Country! :)
2. You’ll have the right to own land and real property in the Philippines- Sure you can own a condominium with your foreign nationality but it would be so much better to have a land of your own.
3. You’ll have the right to engage in a business or profession as a Filipino.
WHO ARE NATURAL BORN CITIZENS OF THE PHILIPPINES?
Natural-born citizens of the Philippines are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. They are:
1) Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines at the time of their birth; and
2) Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority.
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR FILIPINOS TO HAVE MORE THAN ONE CITIZENSHIP FROM BIRTH?
Yes. Considering what is stated above, those children born with Filipino parents are Natural Born Citizens of the Philippines under the Philippine Law. If, however, this child is born in a country which rules follow the Principle of Jus Soli where citizenship is determined by the place of birth, then he/she will also be considered as a citizen of that country. This is the rule in the USA and I assume this is one of the reasons why they are very strict on granting visas.
WHAT IS NATURALIZATION?
As per Wikipedia Naturalization (or naturalisation) is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen in a country may acquire the citizenship or nationality of that country. It may be done by a statute, without any effort on the part of the individual, or it may involve an application and approval by legal authorities.
Usually, naturalization requires one to have a minimum residency in that country, knowledge of their language, culture, and laws, and an oath to uphold and defend their Constitution. Some countries’ oath expressly states that the person swearing renounces his/her other citizenship.
I HAVE BEEN NATURALIZED AS A CITIZEN OF ANOTHER COUNTRY AND THEY REQUIRED ME TO RENOUNCE MY FILIPINO CITIZENSHIP. CAN I STILL REACQUIRE PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP?
Definitely! Under Republic Act No. 9225 which is called the Citizenship and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003, natural-born Filipinos who have lost their Filipino citizenship through naturalization in a foreign country is given the opportunity to reacquire their Filipino citizenship.
All you have to do is submit the proper documentary requirements as required by the Philippine Embassy wherever you may be and take the Oath of Allegiance before a duly authorized Philippine Official.
ONCE I REACQUIRE MY PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP, ARE ALL THE RIGHTS ABOVE STATED AUTOMATICALLY RESTORED?
1. The right to vote- For local elections, it requires a minimum residency requirement so you cannot exercise this right until you complete the residency required. However, for National Elections involving the President, Vice President, Senators, and Representatives, you can vote pursuant to the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003. Note that you have to register at the Philippine Embassy wherever you may be situated to be considered an Overseas Voter.
2. The right to practice a profession- You have to apply to the Professional Regulations Commissions or any of their accredited body to practice a profession expressly reserved for Filipinos.
3. The right to own land- This right is deemed to have been reacquired together with your Philippine Citizenship. This is without prejudice to your foreign citizenship in another country.
I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY REACQUIRED MY PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP. CAN I TRAVEL TO THE PHILIPPINES WITH MY FOREIGN SPOUSE AND CHILDREN?
Definitely! Even if you didn’t get your citizenship back, you can always do so. In fact, regardless of the status of the reacquisition of your Philippine Citizenship, you can get the benefits of the Balikbayan Program, one of which is your foreign spouse and your children are entitled to a visa-free entry to the Philippines for a period of one (1) year, provided they have a round trip/return ticket and that they travel with you.
WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF THIS ON MY CHILDREN?
Your children who are unmarried and are below 18 years old at the time of your reacquisition of Filipino Citizenship are recognized as Filipino Citizens.
CAN I RUN AND HOLD A PUBLIC OFFICE AFTER REACQUIRING MY PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP?
Yes, provided that you meet all the requirements for such office under the Philippine Constitution. Note that one thing you have to do once you file your Certificate of Candidacy or once you get appointed to any public office is to personally swear under oath that you renounce all foreign citizenship before any authorized public officers in the Philippines.
That’s it for this post! Note that I am not a lawyer nor do I work for the Philippine Embassy. This post is a product of my intensive research for the reason that this concerns me as well being a Filipino based abroad and being married to a foreigner.
If you have any questions, it is best to proceed to the Philippine Embassy or consult a lawyer to get accurate answers.
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