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Benefits of Re-acquiring Filipino Citizenship

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“Everything to gain, nothing to lose. Have the best of both worlds!”

The Philippine Embassy in Wellington is inviting all former Philippine citizens who have acquired citizenship from New Zealand or other countries to apply for dual citizenship under Republic Act No. 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003 (RA 9225).

The following are frequently asked questions that will help you gain a better  understanding of RA 9225 and of the benefits that can be derived from dual citizenship:

What is the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003? 

 Republic Act No. 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of  2003, is a law passed on 29 August 2003 which grants natural-born Filipinos  who have lost their Filipino citizenship through naturalization in a foreign  country the opportunity to retain or re-acquire their Philippine citizenship.

Who are natural-born citizens of the Philippines? 

Natural-born citizens of the Philippines are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. 

These are: Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines at  the time of their birth and those born before 17 January 1973, of Filipino  mothers, who elect to have Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority.

How does the re-acquisition and retention work?

Natural-born citizens of the Philippines who have lost their Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are deemed to have re-acquired their Philippine citizenship upon taking the prescribed Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.

Natural-born citizens of the Philippines who, after R.A. 9225 became effective on 17 September 2003, became citizens of a foreign country shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the same oath.     

Republic Act 9225 does not require the relinquishment of the other citizenship, allowing the individual to have two concurrent citizenships.  

Under New Zealand law (www.dia.govt.nz), New Zealand allows its citizens to hold multiple citizenships. 

Where can I apply for Philippine citizenship retention/re-acquisition? 

Applications/petitions for citizenship re-acquisition and retention, pursuant  to RA 9225, shall be filed with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) if the applicant  is in the Philippines, or with the Philippine Foreign Service Posts (FSPs) if the applicant is abroad.

In New Zealand, applications are to be filed, personally or through courier, at:  Embassy of the Philippines (P.O. Box 12-042), 50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington.

What are the rights and privileges of dual citizens? 

Securing a Philippine passport. It is suggested that Filipino migrants in New Zealand who have re-acquired Philippine citizenship apply for a Philippine passport immediately after their oath-taking. Please click here http://www.philembassy.org.nz/passport.html for passport application procedures. 

The right to vote during Philippine National Elections through the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003. 

Ownership of real properties in the Philippines. 

Engaging in business in the Philippines. 

Practicing one's profession, with license from the Professional Regulation Commission. 

Unlimited period of stay in the Philippines. Residency in the Philippines is not a requirement for those who have re-acquired their Philippine citizenship. 

Balikbayan privilege allowing the foreign spouse and children below 18 years old holding foreign passports to stay in the Philippines for one year, provided that they are travelling with the Philippine citizen. 

Holding public office, provided that those seeking elective office meet the qualifications as required by the Philippine Constitution and existing laws, and at the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy, make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenships before a public officer authorized to administer an oath.

Other rights and privileges accorded to Philippine citizens, such as the application of local rates for school fees, business licenses, etc. 

What is the effect of dual citizenship on payment of taxes? 

Filipinos who have re-acquired citizenship, who are residing permanently  overseas, also enjoy the travel tax exemption extended to Philippine citizens  permanently residing in other countries, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents.

In accordance with existing laws, income earned in the Philippines is subject to the payment of tax. Those who re-acquire Philippine citizenship and opt to reside and work in the Philippines will pay income tax due at the end of each fiscal year. They are also subject to other obligations and liabilities, such as community and residence tax.

Furthermore, the Philippines and New Zealand have signed an Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes and Income, which expatriates could benefit from in either of the two countries where they are permanently residing. 

Can my children also acquire Philippine citizenship under RA 9225? 

RA 9225 provides for derivative citizenship, such that unmarried children,  whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted, below 18 years of age, of those  who re-acquire Philippine citizenship, shall be deemed citizens of the  Philippines. A married child, although a minor, cannot be included in the  petition of his/her parent.

Under New Zealand law (www.dia.govt.nz), New Zealand allows its citizens to  hold multiple citizenships.

Can my foreign spouse also acquire Philippine citizenship under RA 9225? 

No. The law does not apply to the foreign spouse. The foreign spouse has the following options if he/she wishes to reside permanently in the Philippines:  (a) apply for naturalization, or (b) apply for a permanent resident visa. 

As of 24 April 2012, a total of 529 Filipino migrants in New Zealand have re-acquired their Philippine citizenship since 2003.


Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 July 2012 16:50 )  

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