Natural-born Filipinos who acquired a different citizenship by naturalization in a foreign country may regain their Filipino citizenship through RA 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2001. Under this law, a natural-born Filipino may re-acquire Filipino citizenship without renouncing their acquired citizenship, essentially giving them “dual citizenships.”
Dual citizenship provides a number of benefits, including the following:
- You get the benefits and privileges given to the citizens of the countries to which you belong, including:
- The right to vote in both countries
- The right to two social security systems
- The right to work without getting a visa or permit in either or both countries
- The right to engage in business or commerce in either or both countries
- The right to attend school at the local tuition rates in either or both countries
- The right to live and stay indefinitely in either country, without the need for a visa or permit
- You can run for office in either or both countries. However, this depends on the position you are running for. Certain public offices, such as that of a senator or congressman, require that you take an oath of allegiance to the Philippines, which means you need to renounce any other citizenship.
- You can own land and property in both countries according to local laws and regulations. This is particularly beneficial in the Philippines, where only Filipinos are entitled to own land, and land ownership by former Filipinos is restricted to only 5,000 square meters of residential land and one hectare of agricultural land.
- You get two passports. This makes traveling to and from either country easy and convenient. You avoid the hassle of needing to get visas, answering questions at immigration, or adhering to strict custom rules for visitors, especially when you travel in and out of both countries often and stay a long time in either one. You can visit family in the Philippines as frequently as you want, or attend to your business or schooling here with little restriction.
Having two passports can also make traveling to a third country more convenient. If you have an American passport, for example, you can enter more countries as a tourist without the need for a visa. This is an advantage that you cannot enjoy with only a Philippine passport.
On the other hand, there may be countries that restrict the entry of American citizens but not of Filipinos. In cases like these, you can use your Philippine passport to facilitate your entry.
- You get opportunities for cultural education. As part of two cultures, you’re given the opportunity to learn more about the world in general. Unlike being a tourist, being a citizen allows you to immerse yourself in a country’s day-to-day life and experience it in a way that only locals can. You learn the local language, the arts, and history of both countries, which can help you grow as a person and appreciate different cultures more. In fact, many of those who hold dual citizenships say they have high levels of personal satisfaction because of their experiences as part of two different cultures.
If you want to learn more about acquiring dual citizenships, get in touch with the attorneys at Duran & Duran-Schulze here.