Philippine Dual Citizenship Law

By Rianne Hill Soriano
Republic Act No. 9225 allows Filipinos abroad to reacquire their Philippine citizenship.

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Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9225 (RA 9225), the law also known as the Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003, a natural-born Filipino citizen who lost Philippine citizenship, due to naturalization as a citizen of a foreign country, may now apply for a Petition for Dual Citizenship.

Law Implementation and Legal Definition

The reacquiring of Philippine citizenship through RA 9225 took effect on Sept. 17, 2003, after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed the Dual Citizenship Bill. It declares that a former natural-born Filipino who became naturalized citizens of other countries are deemed not to have lost their citizenship under the conditions provided by the act. They are eligible to reacquire their Philippine citizenship as dual citizens (retaining both their naturalized citizenship from another country and their Philippine citizenship).

Implementing Agency

The official Philippine government website states that "Under Administrative Order No. 91, Section 1, the law designates the Bureau of Immigration (BI), in consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of the Civil Registrar-General of the National Statistics Office (NSO), as the implementing agency of RA 9225."

Rights and Privileges

An individual who retains or reacquires Philippine citizenship under RA 9923 has the same full civil and political rights and privileges as any other citizen of the Republic of the Philippines. The individual can apply for Philippine passport and can reside in the Philippines continuously without having to apply for entry visa and without having to pay immigration fees.

An individual who lives in another country can visit as a "Balikbayan" (a Filipino citizen who is out of the country continuously for at least one year). Filipinos who have reacquired citizenship and are residing permanently overseas can also enjoy travel tax exemption extended to Filipinos permanently residing in other countries.

Property Ownership

As provided by the 1987 Philippine Constitution, former natural-born Filipinos who reacquired their Filipino citizenship under RA 9225 are entitled to purchase land and other properties and engage in business in the country. There is no limit in terms of area or size of land or real property that can be acquired or purchased.

Right to Vote and Seek Position in Public Office

Dual citizens can exercise their right to vote in the Philippine elections by meeting the requirements under Section 1, Article V of the Philippine Constitution called the Republic Act No. 9189, also known as "The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003," along with other existing Philippine laws. However, those who are candidates for or are occupying any public office in the country where they are naturalized citizens, or those who are in active service as commissioned or non-commissioned officers in the armed forces of the country where they are naturalized citizens, are not eligible for this privilege.

About the Author

Rianne Hill Soriano is a freelance artist/writer/educator. Her diverse work experiences include projects in the Philippines, Korea and United States. For more than six years she has written about films, travel, food, fashion, culture and other topics on websites including Yahoo!, Yehey! and Herword. She also co-wrote a book about Asian cinema.

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