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Philippine nationality law

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Philippine Citizenship Act
Coat of Arms of the Philippines.svg
Congress of the Philippines
  • An Act relating to Philippine citizenship
Enacted byGovernment of the Philippines
Status: Current legislation

The Philippine nationality law is based upon the principles of jus sanguinis (Latin for right of blood) and therefore descent from a parent who is a citizen or national of the Republic of the Philippines is the primary method of acquiring Philippine citizenship. This is contrasted with the legal principle of jus soli where being born on the soil of a country, even to foreign parents, grants one citizenship. For those born in the Philippines to non-Filipino parents, the Administrative Naturalization Law of 2000 (R.A. 9139) provides a path for administrative naturalization for those who qualify.[1][2]

Citizenship by birth

Philippine nationality law provides that a person is a Philippine citizen by birth if

  • that person was born on or after January 17, 1973 and at least one parent was a Philippine citizen on the birthdate;[3]
  • or that person was born before January 17, 1973 whose father was a Philippine citizen— or whose mother was a Philippine citizen and the person has formally elected Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority;[4]
  • or that person was born on or after May 14, 1935 and the father was a Philippine citizen or, if the father was not, the mother was a Philippine citizen and the person elected Philippine citizenship pursuant to the provisions of the 1935 Constitution;[5]
  • or that person was born on or after August 29, 1916 and prior to May 14, 1935 and at least one parent was an inhabitant and resident of the Philippine Islands and a Spanish subject on April 11, 1899, or that person was an inhabitant and resident of the Philippine Islands and a Spanish subject on April 11, 1899, except in certain specific cases.[6]

For Philippine citizens born abroad of Filipino parent(s), the Philippine government requires that a notarized report of birth be executed by a parent, physician, or nurse and filed with the Department of Foreign Affairs or of civil registry be accomplished with a Philippine consulate abroad. For delayed registration, a notarized affidavit of birth is executed by the child, if 18 years old or over, a father, mother, or guardian, and filed. Registration of birth is required for the issuance of a Philippine passport. The child or person born abroad of a Filipino parent is a Philippine citizen from birth, and that citizenship may pass to subsequent generations in perpetuity.[7]

Citizenship by naturalization

Commonwealth Act No. 473, the Revised Naturalization Law, approved June 17, 1939, provided that persons having certain specified qualifications may become a citizen of the Philippines by naturalization.[8]

Section 2 of CA No. 473 specifies that the applicant must possess the following qualifications:

  • He must be not less than twenty-one years of age on the day of the hearing of the petition;
  • He must have resided in the Philippines for a continuous period of not less than ten years;
  • He must be of good moral character and believe in the principles underlying the Philippine Constitution, and must have conducted himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during the entire period of his residence in the Philippines in his relation with the constituted government as well as with the community in which he is living.
  • He must own real estate in the Philippines worth not less than five thousand pesos, Philippine currency, or must have some known lucrative trade, profession, or lawful occupation;
  • He must have enrolled his minor children of school age, in any of the public schools or private schools recognized by the Office of Private Education of the Philippines, where Philippine history, government and civics are taught or prescribed as part of the school curriculum, during the entire period of the residence in the Philippines required of him prior to the hearing of his petition for naturalization as Philippine citizen.

Section 4 of CA No. 473 provides that the following cannot be naturalized as Philippine citizens:

  • Persons opposed to organized government or affiliated with any association or group of persons who uphold and teach doctrines opposing all organized governments;
  • Persons defending or teaching the necessity or propriety of violence, personal assault, or assassination for the success and predominance of their ideas;
  • Polygamists or believers in the practice of polygamy;
  • Persons convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude;
  • Persons suffering from mental alienation or incurable contagious diseases;
  • Persons who, during the period of their residence in the Philippines, have not mingled socially with the Filipinos, or who have not evinced a sincere desire to learn and embrace the customs, traditions, and ideals of the Filipinos;
  • Citizens or subjects of nations with whom the United States and the Philippines are at war, during the period of such war;
  • Citizens or subjects of a foreign country other than the United States whose laws do not grant Filipinos the right to become naturalized citizens or subjects thereof.

Republic Act No. 9139, approved June 8, 2001, provided that aliens under the age of 18 who were born in the Philippines, who have resided in the Philippines and have resided therein since birth, and who possess other specified qualifications, may be granted Philippine citizenship by administrative proceeding subject to certain requirements.[1][2]

Loss and reacquisition of Philippine citizenship

Commonwealth Act No. 63, dated October 20, 1936, provides that Philippine citizens may lose citizenship in any of the following ways or events:[9]

  1. By naturalization in a foreign country;
  2. By express renunciation of citizenship;
  3. By subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support the constitution or laws of a foreign country upon attaining twenty-one years of age or more: Provided, however, that a Filipino may not divest himself of Philippine citizenship in any manner while the Republic of the Philippines is at war with any country.
  4. By rendering services to, or accepting commission in, the armed forces of a foreign country, and the taking of an oath of allegiance incident thereto, except in certain specified cases;
  5. By cancellation of the certificates of naturalization;
  6. By having been declared by competent authority, a deserter of the Philippine armed forces in time of war, unless subsequently, a plenary pardon or amnesty has been granted; and
  7. In the case of a woman, upon her marriage to a foreigner if, by virtue of the laws in force in her husband's country, she acquires his nationality.

Republic Act No. 8171, approved October 23, 1995, provided a mechanism allowing Filipino women who have lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens and natural-born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship, including their minor children, on account of political or economic necessity, to reacquire Philippine citizenship.[10]

Republic Act No. 9225, approved August 29, 2003, provided that natural-born citizens of the Philippines who had lost their Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country would be deemed to have re-acquired Philippine citizenship upon taking an oath of allegiance to the Republic, that their children whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted, below eighteen (18) years of age, shall be deemed citizens of the Philippines, and that natural born citizens of the Philippines who become citizens of a foreign country subsequent to its enactment would retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath.[11]

Travel freedom

Visa requirements for Filipino citizens
Visa requirements for Filipino citizens

In 2017, Philippines citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 61 countries and territories, ranking the Philippine passport 75th in terms of travel freedom according to the Visa Restrictions Index.[12]

See also



  1. ^ a b The Administrative Naturalization Law of 2000, Chan Robles Law Library, June 8, 2001, retrieved December 19, 2006.
  2. ^ a b Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act No. 9139, Chan Robles Law Library, retrieved December 19, 2006.
  3. ^ 1973 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, SChan Robles Law Library, January 17, 1973, retrieved June 29, 2014.
  4. ^ 1973 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, SChan Robles Law Library, January 17, 1973, retrieved June 29, 2014.
  5. ^ 1935 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Chan Robles Law Library, May 14, 1935, retrieved October 6, 2008.
  6. ^ The Philippine Autonomy Act (Jones Law), Chan Robles Law Library, August 29, 1916, retrieved October 6, 2008.
  7. ^ "Are you a dual US and Philippine citizen?", Asian Journal, November 16, 2013, retrieved July 9, 2017.
  8. ^ Commonwealth Act No. 473 : Revised Naturalization Law, LAWPHIL Project, Arellano Law Foundation, June 17, 1939, retrieved October 6, 2008
  9. ^ An act providing for the ways in which Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired, Chan Robles Law Library, October 20, 1939, retrieved October 6, 2008.
  10. ^ An act providing for the repatriation of Filipino women who have lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens and natural-born Filipinos, Chan Robles Law Library, October 23, 1995, retrieved October 6, 2008.
  11. ^ Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003, Chan Robles Law Library, August 29, 2003, retrieved October 6, 2008.
  12. ^ "Global Ranking – Visa Restrictions Index 2017" (PDF). Henley & Partners. Retrieved March 14, 2017.

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 1 November 2021, at 23:52
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