Republic Act 9225 otherwise known as the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 (more popularly known as the Dual Citizenship Law) enables former natural-born Filipinos who have become naturalized citizens of another country to retain/reacquire their Philippine citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines before a Philippine Consular Officer. Upon retaining/reacquiring their Philippine citizenship, they shall enjoy full civil, economic and political rights as Filipinos.
Under the principle of derivative citizenship, unmarried children below eighteen (18) years of age, whether legitimate, illegitimate, or adopted, of former Filipino parents who retained/reacquired their Philippine citizenship under this law, may also be deemed Filipino citizens, if they are included in the parent’s application for retention/reacquisition of Philippine citizenship and the requisite fees paid.
There is another kind of dual citizenship, which is not covered by the RA 9225. This pertains to a dual citizen by birth: A child born in the United States on or after 17 January 1973 when either parent was still a Filipino citizen is considered to be a dual citizen from birth such children should have their births reported to the Philippine Embassy/Consulate with jurisdiction over the place of birth to be recognized as Filipino citizens. See Report of Birth for details.
Individuals that have just retained/reacquired their Philippine citizenship, who wish to apply for a Philippine passport, will need to make a separate application and submit the requirements as specified in “passport for dual or newly-registered PH citizens“.
Dual Citizenship Application Requirements
Original and 2 photocopies of Marriage Certificate(s)/Decree of Divorce, if divorced/Death Certificate of spouse, if widow/deceased
Original and 2 photocopies of Foreign Naturalization Certificate
Four (4) colored 2″ x 2″ photos taken within six months with white background
$50.00 for principal
(For Consular Outreach – $60.00)
Money order payable to the Philippine Embassy.
(Personal checks and credit cards are not accepted)
For minor derivatives:
- 3 colored 2″ x 2″ photos
- Birth Certificate
- Certificate of Naturalization/Citizenship
- PH and/or US Passport
$25.00 for each minor derivative
(For Consular Outreach – $35.00)
Money order payable to the Philippine Embassy.
(Personal checks and credit cards are not accepted)
The Consular Officer reserves the right to require additional documents from an applicant, to prove his/ her identity and/or citizenship, and ensure accurate and complete personal data entries, pursuant to the Philippine Passport Law (R.A. 8239) and the Foreign Service Act (R.A. 7157).
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is the fee for dual citizenship?
The processing fee for a principal/adult applicant is US$50.00 (non refundable). An additional, US$25.00 fee is applied for every qualified beneficiary/derivative minor applicant. Payment shall be in the form of cash, bank draft or money order payable to the Embassy of the Philippines.
How long will the process for applying for dual citizenship take?
Application filed at the Embassy in Washington, D.C. are processed at the counter and, if found in order, are scheduled for oath taking on the same day.
What are the implications on payment of income taxes?
Under the Philippine Comprehensive Tax Reform Program of 1997, incomes earned overseas by Filipinos from 1998 onwards are no longer taxable by the Philippine government. Hence, all Filipinos abroad, including those who have retained/reacquired their Philippine citizenship, have been exempted by the Philippine Government from paying Philippine income tax on incomes earned abroad.
Incomes earned in the Philippines, however, will be subject to Philippine income tax.
Prospective applicants are advised to visit and read the contents of the website of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, which contains information about current U.S. government policy on taxes on incomes earned worldwide, or to seek legal advice from a U.S. tax lawyer.
What are the rights and privileges that I would enjoy when I retain/reacquire Philippine citizenship?
Once you reacquire/retain your Philippine citizenship, you will again enjoy full civil, economic and political rights under existing Philippine laws.
Among these rights are:
- The right to travel with a Philippine passport;
- The right to own real property in the Philippines;
- The right to engage in business and commerce as a Filipino; and
- The right to practice one’s profession, provided that a license or permit to engage in such practice is obtained from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), or the Supreme Court in the case of lawyers.
You may also vote in the Philippine national elections (for President, Vice President, Senators and sectoral representatives) in accordance with the provisions of the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003.
Your foreign spouse also automatically becomes eligible for an immigrant visa.
You will enjoy all other right and privileges enjoyed by Filipino citizens.
What about payment of Philippine travel taxes?
Travel Tax exemption is being granted to dual citizens departing the Philippines and returning to the US whose arrival is stamped on the Philippine passport and whose stay does not exceed one (1) year. For this purpose, a Travel Tax Exemption Certificate is issued upon presentation of both the Philippine and US passports. Processing fee of PHP 200.00 is collected for every certificate issued.
Dual citizens whose stay in the Philippines exceed one (1) year will pay the travel tax irrespective of which passport they use for travel.
Is there a residency requirement to be eligible for dual citizenship?
Residency in the Philippines is NOT a requirement for those who retain/reacquire Philippine citizenship. Those who intend to vote in local elections, however, must establish residence in the locality where they wish to vote.
Can I now reside in the Philippines?
Having retained/reacquired your Philippine citizenship, you can reside in the Philippines for as long as you want without having to apply for entry visa and paying immigration fees. You can choose to retire or permanently settle in the Philippines.
Will my application for dual citizenship under RA 9225 affect my US citizenship?
The Act does not require one to renounce his or her US citizenship. Also, there is no prohibition against dual citizenship in the US.
The US Supreme Court, as early as 1952, has stated that dual citizenship is a “status long recognized by law” and that “a person may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries and maybe be subject to the responsibilities of both. The mere fact he asserts the rights of one citizenship does not without more mean that he renounces the other” (Kawakita v US, 343 US 717). In 1964, the US Supreme Court also ruled that a naturalized US citizen has the right to return to his country of origin and resume his former citizenship while remaining a US citizen, even if he never returns to the US (Schneider v. Rusk, 377 US 163).
Upon retention/reacquisition of Philippine citizenship, am I required to apply for a Philippine passport?
Application for a Philippine passport is not mandatory. However, a passport serves as evidence of Philippine citizenship and is easier to carry around than your Identification Certificate.
In case you need to conduct business in the Philippines (e.g. in a bank), a Philippine passport is a universally recognized government-issued ID.
Traveling with a valid Philippine passport also enables visa-free entry to several countries neighboring the Philippines, among them Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam and Indonesia.
I still have a valid Philippine passport, which I renewed before I got naturalized as a US citizen. Now that I have retained/reacquired my Philippine citizenship, can I still use this passport?
No, your old Philippine passport was rendered null and void the moment you were naturalized as a US citizen. You are, however, eligible to apply for a new Philippine passport filing retention/reacquisition of your Philippine citizenship.
Can my spouse, who is not a former Filipino, apply for dual citizenship?
No, only former natural-born Filipinos may apply for dual citizenship under RA 9225.
Will my foreign spouse, who will travel with me to the Philippines, be required to secure additional travel documents from the Philippine Embassy before leaving?
The answer would depend on the intended period of stay in the Philippines and if the spouse is a visa-required national under the Philippine visa regulation.
Foreign spouse (as well as children) included in the visa waiver category may avail of the Balikbayan-Program for stays of up to 1 year. Otherwise, they would need to apply for an appropriate visa.
Can my spouse, who is not a former Filipino, live in the Philippines?
An immigrant visa may be issued to a Filipino citizen’s foreign spouse which entitled him/her to permanently reside in the Philippines. The visa may be obtained by applying at the Philippine Embassy of Philippine Consulate General. The effectivity of the visa, however, is contingent upon the Filipino citizen’s retention of his Filipino citizenship.
Do adopted children of former Filipinos qualify for dual citizenship?
Yes. Under the principle of derivative citizenship, unmarried children below eighteen (18) years of age, whether legitimate, illegitimate, or adopted, of former Filipino parents who retained/reacquired their Philippine citizenship under RA 9225, may also be deemed Filipino citizens, if they are included in the parent’s application for retention/reacquisition of Philippine citizenship and the corresponding fees are paid.
What should I wear to the Oath Taking Ceremony?
There is no prescribed dress code for the Oath Taking Ceremony. However, the ceremony is a solemn and meaningful event. Please dress in proper attire to respect the dignity of the event (please no jeans, sandals, skimpy dress). Those in improper dress may be refused entry to the premises.