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Citizenship and Naturalization in Philippines

by Sophia

Acquiring Filipino Citizenship


There are two (2) main modes by which foreign nationals may acquire Filipino citizenship: judicial naturalization and administrative (by direct act of Congress). The former is a mandate of judicial process which involves specific legal requirements, while the latter is an affirmative act of legislation by the Philippine Congress or enactment of law. Naturalization is a mode of acquiring citizenship which is characterized by voluntary act of foreign nationals wanting to acquire Philippine citizenship and open to all foreign nationals who possess the necessary legally required qualifications and willing to establish their residence in the Philippines and to support the ideals and policies of the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. The subjective qualification for naturalization pertains to the good moral character and with no pending case abroad except for political and minority.

On the other hand, a person desiring to acquire or already in the process of acquiring citizenship shall hold no other nationality. The term “dual citizen” shall likewise pertain to any interest in dual nationality: person disqualifying him/her from citizenship. Dual citizens shall also enjoy the privileges provided in Republic Act No. 9225. The acquisition of any of the five (5) modes of Filipino citizenship shall be held on a date of their respective activities. For those birthright and blood relation mode of acquiring Philippine citizenship, the date of duality shall take effect on the date of approval and the date of grant of the affidavit of renunciation of the citizenship of the applicant in the case of the application for naturalization filed in court or take effect as of the date of approval of the application. On the topic of how to acquire Filipino citizenship, individuals typically need to fulfill residency requirements, submit required documentation, and take an oath of allegiance to the Philippines.

Requirements for Naturalization


The process of naturalization in the Philippines entails fulfilling eligibility criteria, including residency, good moral character, and proficiency in the Filipino language and history, followed by an application and approval from the appropriate authorities. The proof of publication of the petition, the affidavits together with a copy of the petition will be presented to the court hearing the petition. After hearing the evidence where the applicant and any one of the witnesses testify, in addition to the proof presented to the court on the date fixed.

A foreigner, who intends to apply for naturalization, must present the prescribed petition to the Provincial or CFI Court; to the Justice of the Peace Court, or to the Court of First Instance if the territory has no justice of the peace. The applicant must be at least twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, have resided in the Philippines for at least ten years and in the shortest time in the municipality or municipalities in which he has resided or the a title to the real estate located in the Philippines and or a tenable job or occupation. Such application must be verified by the oath of the applicant; by at least two credible witnesses.

You must have resided in the Philippines for at least ten years. The court may reduce the residency requirement for the applicant in a meritorious case. You have a title to the real estate in the Philippines or have a tenable job or occupation. Your registration in the registry of aliens is not required by reason of your residence. Those naturalization papers provided for proof of compliance with the above requirements have been filed for at least thirty consecutive days before the date of the filing of your petition. The list of requirements for a naturalization application is set forth in the naturalization law.

Process of Naturalization

The website gives us more facts about the Philippines Naturalization Law and naturalization Philippines. By the time it was approved as Commonwealth Act No. 473 on June 17, 1939, it had the title, “An Act to Provide the Manner in which the Citizenship of the Philippines May Be Lost or Reacquired.” Two years earlier, “anti-Japanese hysteria” in the Islands brought about publicity about Philippine citizenships being “denied to Filipino individuals born and raised in the United States, purely by virtue of their U.S. nationality.” A writer named Quintin Paredes criticized the 1938 Spanish version of the legislation, as did Vicente J. Francisco. Before the Commonwealth of the Philippines became a sovereign nation on July 4, 1946, says the Official Gazette, the U.S. government argued, with Japanese encouragement, that Japanese residents who were in fact nationals of the Philippines had lost their U.S. non-citizenship Philippine citizenship when Japan occupied the Philippines and they ceased to be enemies of the Islands.

The Official Gazette online of the Republic of the Philippines begins its account of what that country calls its Naturalization Law with a brief history of the virtual lack of regulation of the acquisition of Philippine citizenship by former aliens during three and one-half centuries of Spanish colonial rule which ended in 1898 and nearly five and one-half decades of American rule which began in 1898. It tells how in the aftermath of the Philippine revolt against Spain and America and the defeat of Filipino forces, American President William McKinley issued a directive authorizing the establishment of “a civil government… which should, as far possible and advisable, consist of the people of the Islands.” McKinley’s successor, President Theodore Roosevelt, appointed William H. Taft, Governor-General of the Philippines, who recommended the establishment of a legislature as a step in the direction wished by McKinley. This was America’s way of bringing a Filipino elite into the administrative apparatus, but “only those initially admitted to American ‘insular’ citizenship by a special act of the U.S. Congress could participate in these organs of government.” In this connection, the Official Gazette article on naturalization tells us, it is worth noting that a law of the Philippines, Commonwealth Act No. 3, enacted on November 7, 1935, made unspecified “high officials and members of the military and police… exempt from the fire test.”

Benefits of Filipino Citizenship


Ownership of Land. Under Section 5 Article 12 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, land of the public domain is classified into agricultural, residential, commercial, industrial, and water alienable. The 1987 Philippine Constitution reserves the exclusive ownership of private land to citizens of the Philippines or corporations wholly owned by such citizens. The phrase “citizens of the Philippines” is qualified by the phrase “corporations wholly owned by such citizens,” which means if a position is not included in this qualification, they are not exempted to own the land. In the case of Dual Filipino, he or she is only recognized as a Filipino citizen if the other country allows dual citizenship, Republic Act No. 9225 also known as Fernando Poe Jr. “Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003”. The act allows former natural-born citizens of the Philippines that carry dual citizenship. In accordance with the requirement of the Philippine Constitution, Dual Filipinos should provide their birth certificate in addition to the oath of allegiances.

Filipino citizenship has been especially valued by expatriates from countries not having good relations with their host countries. A significant number of Filipino citizens who have taken the oath of allegiance in countries such as Libya, the former Yugoslavia including Kosovo and Albania, and Lebanon, have arrived in the Philippines via evacuation or mass repatriation programs. Filipino citizenship can therefore protect them from the hostile and political climate and guarantee that a country would accept them. Filipino citizenship also provides someone with a wide range of benefits like owning land, share in the government, pension, social security, and special privileges.

5. Dual Citizenship in the Philippines


According to the Philippine Diaspora website, the “Philippine government recognizes the right of its citizens to return to the Philippines.” Foreign nationals married to Philippines Citizens must file a petition for their removal to the Philippines. A foreigner married to a Filipino citizen no longer needs to exit the Philippine to apply for a permanent visa before returning to the Philippines to request a permanent visa. Because both of our parents, my mother and father, are from the Philippines, his girlfriend entered the NSO office with a “certification of late registration of birth” with the date of application from year, and a “certification of no birth record”. The U.S. Embassy in Manila in the Philippine government office that all Filipinos do not have to pay the late recording of their birth. Woman B shamelessly told her she saw my girlfriend’s soft facial expressions and gestures commensurate with Filipino by blood, so that the American Embassy could have satisfied their view on the entire issue of Filipino citizenship by descent, and the decision ultimately rested with the Philippine Immigration Department. The family who looks Filipino by blood is entitled to possess the property because my girlfriend also has Filipino citizenship by blood, she can enjoy her natural right to Philippine property and Philippine dual citizenship.

Dual citizenship is complicated and the laws of each country are different. Under most circumstances, a person cannot have dual citizenship. According to a Philippine government website, “Now, the Philippines allows natural-born Filipinos who have been naturalized in other countries to own real property in the Philippines but limited to the following: it is a residential land or house and lot and should not exceed 1,000 square meters of urban land. And, it is a rural land and should not exceed 1 hectare.” A Dual Citizen is a person who is a citizen of more than one country. It was agreed that the concept is generally not recognized under Philippine law, as quoted by lawyer Jurgette Loych Lleone, “a foreign national who desires to become a dual citizen must first file a petition for dual citizenship under AJV Naturalization Law. A person with dual nationality will, however, enjoy the right to vote in an election of Philippine cities, according to the Overseas Voting Act of 2003. An American who is also a citizen of another country will continue to acquire US visas in the same way as other countries do, and the habitual residence can also play an important role in the immigration process of dual citizens because it may not be as easy to prove a strong link to the United States as if the person lived in the United States throughout the period. Had they wanted to apply for a green card through their marriage, children, siblings, or parents, and entered the visa lottery, etc., as they not supported this claim with documents.

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