My father, a World War II veteran, was a naturalized American citizen. He would like to reacquire his Philippine citizenship so he stayed here in the country from October 2011 up to present. He now plans to go back to the United States. Can he still reacquire his Philippine citizenship even if he is abroad? What are the requirements for the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship?
Your father can reacquire Philippine citizenship. Section 3 of Republic Act (RA) No. 9225 provides that:
“xxxxxxx natural-born citizens by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are hereby deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic.”
Relative to the above-mentioned law, is Section 2 of the Bureau of Immigration Memorandum Circular MCL-08-006 (2008 Revised Rules Governing Philippine Citizenship under RA 9225 and Administrative Order 91, Series of 2004):
“A former natural-born citizen of the Philippines who is in the country shall file a verified petition for retention/reacquisition of Philippine citizenship with the Bureau of Immigration.
“If the former Philippine citizen is registered as an alien with the bureau, he/she shall include in his petition a request for the cancellation of his/her Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR I-Card) and Immigrant Certificate of Residence (ICR) or Certificate of Residence for Temporary Visitors (CRTV), as the case may be.
“He/she shall likewise be issued a Certificate of Re-acquisition/Retention of Philippine citizenship (CRPC), subject to the provisions of these rules. Thereafter, he/she may opt to apply for a Philippine passport with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) as he/she may deem necessary.”
Any one of the following proofs of Philippine citizenship may be submitted to support the application of your father (Section 6, Ibid.):
1. Philippine birth certificate;
2. Old Philippine passport;
3. Voter’s affidavit or voter’s identification card;
4. Marriage contract indicating the Philippine citizenship of the applicant; and
5. Such other document that would show that the applicant is a former natural-born citizen of the Philippines as may be acceptable to the evaluating officer.
Your father can still file the petition even if he will go back to the United States. This is supported by Section 3 of the same rules: “A former natural-born citizen abroad can file a verified petition for the reacquisition of Philippine Citizenship with the nearest Philippine Foreign Post. If the petition is found to be sufficient in form and substance, an Order of Approval and Certificate of Reacquisition/Retention of Philippine Citizenship shall be submitted to the Commissioner of Immigration or Consular-General, as the case may be, for his/her approval/signature” (Paragraph 3, Section 10, Ibid.) The oath of allegiance shall be the final act to retain/reacquire Philippine citizenship (Section 11, Ibid.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org