Taking oath of allegiance to US government makes one lose Filipino citizenship


Dear PAO,
I was born and raised in the Philippines and my parents are both Filipinos. When I was about 25 years old, I went to the United States to work. After 15 years, I was granted US citizenship. I learned that being a US passport holder, I can only stay in the Philippines for a certain period of time. Should I be treated like other foreigners who do not have Filipino blood? My parents and all my siblings are still Filipinos and I own land in the Philippines.

Dear Lorna,
You are considered to have lost your Philippine citizenship once you took your oath of allegiance to the government of the United States of America and became a naturalized US citizen. As such, all the rights and privileges that you have when you were a Filipino will be taken away from you. Being a foreigner, you shall now be subjected to the Immigration laws of the Philippines in case you wish to stay here in the country, regardless of your roots or the properties that you own here. Since you are already a US citizen, you will be given a tourist visa upon your arrival at any of the ports of the Philippines. But unlike other foreign passport holders who are initially given several days only of stay upon arrival, you will be entitled to a visa-free entry to the Philippines for a period of one (1) year for being considered a “balikbayan” (Section 3, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9174). A “balikbayan” shall mean a Filipino citizen who has been continuously out of the Philippines for a period of at least one (1) year, a Filipino overseas worker, or a former Filipino citizen and his or her family who had been naturalized in a foreign country and comes or returns to the Philippines (Section 2, R.A. No. 9174). If you wish to stay in the Philippines longer than the said period, you will need to apply for extension of your visa or any of the residence visa applicable to you at the Bureau of Immigration.

Moreover, since you are a former natural born Filipino who acquired another citizenship through naturalization, you may also consider applying for the re-acquisition of your Philippine citizenship under Republic Act No. 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003. If your application is granted, all your civil and political rights when you were a Filipino will be restored to you and you will again be subject to all the attendant liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of the Philippines (Section 5, R.A. No. 9225). As such, you will no longer need any visa when entering the Philippines and shall have the right to stay in the Philippines as long as you intend to.

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


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1 Comment

  1. Jimmy Robinson on

    I was born and raised in the Philippines. Father,American. Mother,Filipina. I left for the U.S. in 1968. I have lived here since. I have never applied for U.S. citizenship. If I were to visit the Philippines, what is my citizenship status?. I still hold a very old passport. Your reply would be greatly appreciated. Thank you……