The Philippines, a densely populated nation with a rich and vibrant history, has pursued a migration policy since the latter half of the 20th century focused on reuniting with former citizens. Anyone who has previously held a Philippine passport is eligible to reapply for citizenship. Moreover, such individuals have the option to retain their current citizenship, allowing them to obtain dual citizenship in the Republic of the Philippines.
For individuals other than those mentioned, dual citizenship in the country is not permitted. Even if you undertake a lengthy and intricate naturalisation procedure, you will be required to renounce your prior citizenship before obtaining a Philippine passport.
Continue reading to discover the process of acquiring dual citizenship in the Republic of the Philippines if you meet the eligibility criteria.
Who Can Apply for Philippine Citizenship?
Dual citizenship in the Philippines is governed by Republic Act 9225, which was enacted in 2003. This law allows former natural-born Filipinos who lost their Philippine citizenship due to naturalisation as foreign citizens, as well as their minor children if included in a parent's application, to regain Philippine citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance to the republic.
Let's examine all the categories of individuals who formerly held Republic of the Philippines citizenship and are eligible to reclaim it. The fundamental rule is that any individual with at least one parent who is a Philippine citizen is granted Philippine citizenship automatically at birth.
Moreover, there exists the concept of 'jus soli' in the republic: anyone born within the country's territory, regardless of their parents' citizenship, has the entitlement to acquire citizenship. If both parents hold citizenship in other countries, the individual can only acquire citizenship upon reaching the legal age. They must approach the Bureau of Immigration with a certificate from the Philippine maternity hospital. Additionally, all children discovered in the country with unknown parents automatically attain citizenship.
Lastly, Republic Act 8171, enacted in 1995, facilitates the repatriation of Filipino women who lost their Philippine citizenship due to marriage to foreigners and subsequent naturalisation in another country.
Furthermore, the law extends the same opportunity to native Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship for various political or economic reasons, such as relocating to another country for employment and obtaining naturalisation there. Under this act, both of the aforementioned categories of individuals have the right to include their minor children in their application to regain Philippine citizenship.
Nevertheless, there are certain restrictions in place. RA 8171 specifies that a returnee cannot be an individual who opposes organised government or is associated with any organisation or group promoting doctrines contrary to organised government. Furthermore, a person who advocates or teaches the need or acceptability of violence, personal assault, or association to enforce their beliefs is ineligible to apply for the restoration of Philippine citizenship.
The country also does not admit individuals convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude or those afflicted with mental disorders or incurable contagious diseases.
If you were born in the Philippines but lost your Philippine citizenship due to naturalisation in another country, you can apply for dual citizenship under RA 9225. If you were born in another country and have at least one parent who is a Philippine citizen, you are already recognized as a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines.
Manila. Photo: Dayanara Nacion (Unsplash)
How to Apply for Dual Citizenship in the Philippines?
Step 1. Find the nearest Philippine consulate.
Remember that you will have to visit the consulate at least once in order to take the oath.
Step 2. Get official proof of your former Philippine citizenship.
An applicant born in the Philippines will be required to provide the original and two copies of their birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority. If the applicant is a married woman who changed her last name after marriage, she must also furnish the original and two copies of her marriage certificate.
You can request an authenticated copy of your birth certificate from PSA Serbilis, the official website of the Philippine Statistics Authority.
If the Philippine Statistics Authority does not possess your birth records, you must initiate a late birth registration with the civil registration office in the district of your birth. Following this, you can proceed with your application for dual citizenship.
If you have your most recent Philippine passport, please bring it with you when visiting the consulate. If you do not possess a Philippine passport, you should prepare an affidavit, which is a notarized written statement under oath, explaining the loss of your passport.
Step 3. Collect all documents proving your current foreign citizenship.
To confirm your foreign citizenship, you must present your foreign passport along with your certificate of naturalisation or any other documents verifying that you have acquired citizenship in another country.
The certificate of naturalisation or any other citizenship document must include the identification number and the date of acquiring citizenship.
Step 4. Fill out the dual citizenship application form.
Include your personal details as well as details about your Philippine citizenship and foreign citizenship. Attach all the documents confirming this information.
Manila. Photo: Changbok Ko (Unsplash)
List of Required Documents
- A fully completed application form, signed on both pages. Notarization of the application form is not required.
- Two identical colour photographs, sized 2x2 cm, with no glasses, the applicant wearing long-sleeved clothing, and against a plain white background. These photographs must not be older than six months and should be printed on photo paper. Paste them into the designated spaces on the application form. However, it is advisable to confirm with the consulate whether they require you to have your photo taken immediately before taking the oath or if earlier photos are acceptable. In the former case, the consulate will have a photographer available, and you should only include photos taken on the day of the oath in your application.
- The original birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
- The original marriage contract (if any) issued in the country of marriage.
- One or several of the following documents (if applicable):
-The original divorce decree together with the marriage certificate;
-The original certified recognition of divorce issued by a Philippine court together with the marriage certificate;
- The original annotated marriage contract for annulment issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
- The original death certificate of the previous spouse along with the marriage certificate or marriage contract.
- A copy of the certificate of naturalisation in the applicant’s current country of citizenship.
- A copy of the Philippine passport.
- A copy of the passport from the applicant’s current country of citizenship.
El Nido. Photo: Cris Tagupa (Unsplash)
Step 5. Go to the nearest Philippine consulate to take the oath.
The consul general or another diplomatic service member at the consulate will personally administer the oath to you once your application and submitted documents are approved.
The consulate has a dress code in place for applicants during their visit. Business-style attire is recommended, while clothing items such as T-shirts, shorts, tank tops, flip-flops, and other casual wear are considered unacceptable.
Don't forget to submit the indicated fee along with your application. You can make the payment directly at the consulate in cash or via a postal order. Be sure to keep the receipt as you will need it when collecting your passport.
Step 6. Pick up your passport in six to eight weeks.
The consulate will inform the applicant when the passport is ready for collection. You may retrieve it in person or authorise a representative with a notarized power of attorney, a copy of your valid ID with a government-issued photo, and a copy of your passport receipt. Additionally, the representative must provide their own valid ID.
You also have the option to request passport delivery by mail through the consulate. In this case, please bring an envelope with your address on the day of taking the oath.
Festival in Cebu. Photo: Hitoshi Namura (Unsplash)
How Does a Philippine Citizen Report the Birth of a Child Abroad?
Step 1. Find a Philippine Consulate with relevant jurisdiction.
A Philippine citizen residing abroad can report the birth of a child only at the regional consulate with jurisdiction over the geographical area where the child was born. To identify the correct consulate, you can visit the website of the Philippine Embassy in the country where the child was born or contact the embassy by phone.
Important: You must report the birth within 12 months. If you do so later and wish to register the child as a Philippine citizen, you will need to provide a valid reason for the delay.
Step 2. Get four original completed birth record forms.
The birth record form can be completed by the primary care physician, primary care nurse, birth attendant, or by the child's parent who is a Philippine citizen. The foreign parent can also fill in the form, but only if there is no one else available to do it. You can download a blank report form from the official website of the Consulate General of the Philippines or obtain it from the regional consulate.
Cebu. Photo: Zany Jadraque (Unsplash)
Step 3. Prepare the child’s and parents’ birth documents.
You will need:
- The original birth certificate issued to the child by the local health authority and four copies of it.
- The original birth certificates of father and mother along with four copies of each.
If one or both parents are Philippine citizens, the submitted birth certificates have to be issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Step 4. Prepare marriage documents.
If the child's parents are officially married, they will need the original marriage certificate. If the marriage took place in the Philippines, or the marriage abroad was previously reported to the Philippine consulate, then a marriage certificate must be issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
If the child's parents are not married, but the child will have the father's last name, the father must provide an Affidavit of Paternity and Use of Father's Surname. This form can be downloaded from the official website of the Consulate General of the Philippines.
If the parents got married after the child’s birth, they have to provide a notarized Joint Affidavit of Legitimation. The form can be downloaded from the official website of the Consulate General of the Philippines.
Step 5. Submit the application and supporting documents to the consulate.
The birth notification and other documents must be mailed or submitted in person to the Philippine consulate with jurisdiction in the geographic area where the child was born.
Don't forget to pay the consular fee, which you can do in cash directly at the consulate if you submit your documents in person, or by postal order if you send your documents by mail.
Badian Island. Photo: Toa Heftiba (Unsplash)
In a Nutshell
Only individuals who were former Philippine citizens and renounced their citizenship after obtaining the passport of another state are eligible to obtain dual citizenship in the Philippines. All other permanent residents of the country can hold only one citizenship. Foreigners who choose to naturalise in the country will be required to relinquish their previous passport.
You can obtain dual citizenship without visiting the Philippines. You only need to assemble a set of documents and contact the nearest consulate, where you will undergo an initial check and then take an oath.
Cover photo: John Simon Fondevilla (Unsplash)