Questions on citizenship based on place of birth
"I am now 67 years old, born in Hawaii, USA and a US citizen. I would like to know if I could apply for dual citizenship (Filipino and American) since my father was a Filipino when he came to Hawaii to work in a sugar plantation. I do not know how to go about to prove that my Dad was a former citizen of the Philippines so I can also apply for Philippine Citizen.
Nelson PelerasDear Nelson,
A person shall be qualified for dual citizenship under Republic Act 9225 otherwise known as “Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003” if he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his Filipino citizenship by reason of his naturalization as citizen of a foreign country. Application for dual citizenship is being filed at the Bureau of Immigration. In said application, it is imperative to prove that the applicant is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines through submission of any of the following documents: Philippine Birth Certificate old Philippine Passport Voter’s Identification Card Philippine Marriage Certificate and other Philippine issued official document/s indicating that the applicant is a former natural-born Philippine citizen.A natural-born citizen of the Philippines is one who is a citizen of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect Philippine citizenship. Under the 1935 Constitution, which is the Constitution in force at the time of your birth considering that you are now 67 years old, the following are citizens of the Philippines:
(1) Those who are citizens of the Philippine Islands at the time of the adoption of the Constitution(2) Those born in the Philippine Islands of foreign parents who, before the adoption of this Constitution, had been elected to public office in the Philippine Islands
(3) Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines(4) Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and, upon reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine citizenship and(5) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law. (Emphasis supplied)If at the time of your birth your father is still Filipino, you are considered a natural-born Filipino citizen, provided that your parents are married. If they are not married, you acquire Philippine citizenship if your mom was a Filipino at the time of your birth (United States v. Ong Tianse, G.R. No. L-9539, January 26, 1915). However, even if you are a Filipino citizen at the time of your birth, you are not qualified for dual citizenship under R.A. 9225 because you did not acquire your US citizenship through naturalization. Instead, you acquired US citizenship because you were born in the United States. The United States acknowledged the rule of jus soli whereby a child born therein acquires US citizenship. Nevertheless, you may still be recognized as a Filipino citizen if you are able to prove that your father is a Filipino citizen or your mother is a Filipino citizen, if your parents are not married. The application for the Recognition as Filipino citizen is also applied at the Immigration bureau. To prove their citizenship, you should present your parents’ birth certificates. If there is no record of their birth or if the record has been destroyed, you may try looking for a copy at the Records Management and Archives Office. You may also submit other documents such as marriage certificate (if marriage was solemnized here in the Philippines) or voter’s ID. You may also present baptismal certificate or similar documents provided that such state the citizenship of the father or mother.
We wish to remind you that the above legal opinion is solely based on our appreciation of the problem that you have stated. The opinion may vary when other facts are elaborated.Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com or via text message (key in: Times dearpao and send to 2299)."
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"Questions on citizenship based on place of birth"
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and updated on 15 September 2021