Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition
Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition of 2003 (RA 9225)
What is Republic Act No. 9225?
Republic Act No. 9225 otherwise known as the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 declares that natural-born citizens of the Philippines who become citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship.
Who qualifies to apply under the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003?
Only natural-born citizens of the Philippines who have lost their Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country may retain/reacquire their Philippine citizenship under this Act.
RA 9225 does not apply to dual citizens, i.e., those who have both Philippine as well as foreign citizenship not acquired through naturalization.
How does one prove that he or she is a natural-born Filipino?
A former natural-born citizen, who was born in the Philippines, shall submit the NSO-authenticated copy of his or her birth certificate.
A former natural-born citizen, who was born abroad, shall present a copy of the Report of Birth issued by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate and, in applicable cases, the original copy of the Birth Certificate by competent foreign authorities.
What is the procedure in applying and what documents are required in order to apply?
1) Applicant shall present a copy of his/her Birth Certificate issued or duly- authenticated by the National Statistics Office (NSO) in Manila.
2) Applicant accomplishes form entitled “Petition for Dual Citizenship and Issuance of Identification Certificate (IC) pursuant to RA 9225” and attaches three (3) 2”x2” photographs showing the front, left side and right side views of the applicant.
3) Applicant submits duly-accomplished petition to the Philippine Consulate / Embassy together with the photos, birth certificate and a valid ID.
(Note: applicants who are married and who wish to use their married names must submit a copy of their marriage certificate).
4) Applicant pays a processing fee of US$ 50.00 and is assigned a schedule for his/her oath of allegiance before a consular officer. Applicant takes his/her oath.
5) Applicant is given the original copy of his notarized oath of allegiance together with an Order of Approval issued by the Philippine Consulate General.
6) The Philippine Consulate General forwards to the Bureau of Immigration in Manila the petition, oath, order of approval, and other supporting documents for issuance of an Identification Certificate.
7) The Bureau of Immigration issues an Identification Certificate (IC) and forwards it to the applicant through the Philippine Consulate General.
Where do I apply for re-acquisition of Philippine Citizenship if I am in the Philippines?
A former natural-born Filipino citizen who is already in the Philippines and registered in the Bureau of Immigration shall file a petition under oath to the Commissioner of Immigration for the cancellation of the Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) and issuance of an Identification Certificate (IC) as the case may be, under RA 9225.
A former natural-born citizen who is already in the Philippines but has not registered with the BI within 60 days from date of arrival shall file a petition under oath to the Commissioner of Immigration for the issuance of an IC under RA 9225.
Where do I apply for re-acquisition of Philippine Citizenship if I am overseas?
A former natural-born citizen who is abroad but is a BI-registered alien shall file a petition under oath to the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate for evaluation. Thereafter, the Embassy or Consulate shall forward the entire records to the Commissioner of Immigration for the cancellation of the ACR and issuance of an IC under RA 9225.
A former natural-born citizen who is abroad and is not a BI-registered alien shall file a petition under oath to the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate for the issuance of an IC under RA 9225.
What is the Oath of Allegiance?
The Oath of Allegiance is the final act that confers Philippine citizenship. It reads as follows:
"I,________________, solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and obey the laws and local orders promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Philippines, and I hereby declare that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto, and that I impose this obligation upon myself voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of evasion."
Is the conferment of Philippine citizenship under this act subject to administrative review?
The conferment of Philippine citizenship under this Act shall no longer be subject to the affirmation by the Secretary of Justice. However, Philippine citizenship may be revoked by competent authority upon a substantive finding of fraud, misrepresentation or concealment on the part of the applicant.
Can my foreign spouse also become a Filipino citizen under RA 9225?
No, the law does not apply to the foreign spouse. He/she has the following option if he/she wishes to reside permanently in the Philippines: (a) apply for naturalization; (b) apply for a permanent resident visa. But in case of a foreign woman married to a Filipino, she has to apply for the cancellation of her Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR).
Can my children also acquire Philippine citizenship under RA 9225?
According to Section 4 of RA 9225 (Derivative Citizenship), the unmarried child, whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted, below eighteen (18) years of age, of those who re-acquire Philippine citizenship under this Act may also acquire Philippine citizenship provided they are included in the original petition of their parents.
A married child, although a minor, cannot therefore be included in the petition of his/her parent.
Children 18 years old and over do not qualify to acquire Philippine citizenship under RA 9225. They have the same options that are open to the foreign spouse.
After I have re-acquired Philippine citizenship, can I apply for a Philippine passport?
Yes, and so can the minor children who are deemed to have acquired Philippine citizenship under RA 9225. You would need to comply with the requirements for first-time passport applicants.
What rights and privileges will Philippine citizens under RA 9225 enjoy?
Those who retain or reacquire their Philippine Citizenship under RA 9225 shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of the Philippines and the following conditions:
Those intending to exercise their right of suffrage must meet the requirements under Section 1, Article V of the Constitution, Republic Act No. 9189, otherwise known as “The Overseas Absentee Voting Act 0f 2003” and other existing laws.
Under the Act, the right to vote or be elected or appointed to any public office in the Philippines cannot be exercised by, or extended to, those who are candidates for or are occupying any public office in the country of which they are naturalized citizens and/or those who are in active service as commissioned or non-commissioned officers in the armed forces of the country which they are naturalized citizens.
Those seeking elective public office in the Philippines shall meet the qualifications for holding such public office as required by the Constitution and existing laws and, at the time of filing of the certificate of candidacy, make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an oath.
Those appointed to any public office shall subscribe and swear to an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and its duly constituted authorities prior to their assumption of office: Provided, they renounce their oath of allegiance to the country where they took that oath;
Having reacquired Philippine citizenship, can I now acquire land and other properties or engage in business?
As provided for under the 1987 Philippine Constitution, a Filipino citizen is entitled to purchase land and other properties and engage in business. This right would now apply to former natural-born Filipinos who have re-acquired Philippine citizenship under RA 9225.
Can I now reside in the Philippines?
Having reacquired your Philippine citizenship, you can reside in the Philippines for as long as you want without having to apply for entry visa and paying immigration fees. You can even choose to retire or permanently settle in the Philippines. As a Filipino citizen, you are subject to duties and other obligations imposed on other ordinary Filipinos, such as paying the necessary community tax residence and other tax liabilities in accordance with the tax laws of the Philippines.
Once I re-acquire Philippine citizenship will I be required to renounce my other citizenship?
No, the Act does not require one to renounce his or her other citizenship.
Will I now be required to pay income tax and other taxes? Am I exempt from paying the travel tax?
In accordance with existing laws, income earned in the Philippines is subject to the payment of tax. Filipinos who re-acquire citizenship and opt to reside and work in the Philippines will pay the income tax due at the end of each fiscal year. They are also subject to other obligations and liabilities, such as the community tax and residence tax.
Countries routinely forge bilateral agreements in order that their respective citizens who earn income overseas do not pay income tax twice.
On the other hand, Filipinos who have re-acquired Philippine citizenship, but residing permanently overseas, also enjoy tax exemptions extended to Filipino citizens permanently residing in other countries, the OFWs and their dependents.
Having re-acquired Philippine citizenship under this Act, am I allowed to practice my profession in the Philippines?
Under the law, those intending to practice their profession in the Philippines shall apply with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) (or Supreme Court in case of Lawyers) for a license or permit to engage in such practice.
If I need to get more details on the rules and procedures for the implementation of RA 9225, which government office do I contact in the Philippines?
Under Administrative Order No. 92 Series of 2004 dated 12 January 2004, the Bureau of Immigration has been designated as the government agency in charge of formulating the rules and procedures for the implementation of Republic Act No. 9225. The contact details of Immigration Commissioner are as follows: Office of the Commissioner, Bureau of Immigration, Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila, Philippines. (Tel. No. (63)2 527-3265 / Fax No. (63-2) 527-3279)