How a former Filipino can reacquire his PH citizenship

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Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
My brother, who is now 36 years old, has been working in the USA for about fifteen years now and he has already acquired US citizenship by virtue of US naturalization laws. He only comes back here every three years for a vacation. He has been contemplating on getting back his Philippine citizenship since his arrival last month. He has not applied or registered for anything here in the Philippines. He wants to know how he should go about it. Both our parents are natural-born Filipino citizens and, unlike my brother, they never acquired US citizenship despite living there for a very long time. We are looking forward to any advice you can give.
Best regards,
Arcee

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Dear Arcee,
In consonance with Republic Act (RA 9225), or the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003, a natural-born Filipino citizen who has lost his Philippine citizenship by reason of naturalization as a citizen of a foreign country, may reacquire his Philippine citizenship by filing the appropriate petition before the Office of the Commissioner of Immigration if the applicant is already in the Philippines, or at the nearest Philippine foreign post, if he is abroad.

If your brother is still here in the Philippines, he may file his petition and pay the appropriate filing fee before the Office of the Commissioner of Immigration which is located at the Bureau of Immigration Building, Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila. He may secure the form relative to the petition on his visit to the bureau or he may download the same through the bureau’s website,www.immigration.gov.ph.

Please be advised that, at present, the following requirements must be attached to the petition for retention and reacquisition of Philippine citizenship: (a) Two pieces 2×2-sized photograph with white background, taken within the last three months from the date of application; (b) Two original copies of Oath of Allegiance taken before an authorized Bureau of Immigration (BI) Legal Officer, or if the Oath of Allegiance cannot be taken before this Officer, two original copies of Oath of Allegiance taken before any person duly authorized to administer oath and an affidavit of justification/explanation stating the reason why the Oath of Allegiance was not taken before the BI Legal Officer must be submitted; (c) Original copy of proof as natural-born Philippine citizen such as Philippine birth certificate, canceled Philippine passport (placed in an envelope), voter’s identification card, Philippine marriage certificate indicating the Philippine citizenship of the petitioner, or any other Philippine-issued official document proving natural-born Philippine citizenship; (d) Original and photocopy of foreign passport; (e) Photocopy of the certificate of naturalization with English translation if written in other foreign language, or an affidavit stating how your brother acquired his foreign citizenship.

If there is a variance between your brother’s name as appearing in his proof of being a former natural-born Philippine citizen and that in his foreign passport, Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or any document proving foreign citizenship, he must submit an affidavit of one and the same person, acknowledging all obligations, responsibilities and liabilities under all names and an explanation on the discrepancies, as well as proof on how the applicant acquired the varied name/s, such as but not limited to the following: (a) Marriage certificate; (b) Annotation in the passport, birth certificate or certificate of naturalization or citizenship of the varied name; (c) Judicial decree of change of name, adoption, annulment or declaration of nullity of marriage and divorce or equivalent document; or (d) Philippine issued official document indicating the varying name/s. The Commissioner shall grant your brother’s petition if he finds the latter’s application in order.

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

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