What are the requirements?

We got a question from Linda,

Here’s what Linda had to say:

I am wondering: What are the requirements for obtaining dual citizenship (US/The Philippines) as the spouse (US citizen) of a Philippine citizen who will shortly obtain US citizenship making him a dual citizen Philippine/US? Most of what I have read applies to Filipinos recovering Philippine citizenship they had previously relinquished. How might someone in my circumstance, a US citizen, obtain dual citizenship? What are the requirements in my case?

Thank you for your kind assistance with this matter.

Philippine Dual Citizenship Guide



Her’s what Bob said:

Philippine Dual Citizenship is only available to people who are former Philippine Citizens. Foreigners like you and I do not qualify.

Take care.


  1. Ed says

    Bob is right. Marrying a Filipino does NOT automatically grant you Phils citizenship. All is does is make you and your family “legal” (as a family) in the eyes of Pinoy law, which isn’t a bad thing. It however (no surprise!) thus makes you completely liable for everything your wife does whether you are aware, consent or not, so be very sure about who you marry.
    On the Phils citizenship question, a lot of digging (sorry I didn’t save the URL before that brownout) told me that presuming you meet a bunch of simple requirements, for example keeping your nose clean, respecting values, integrating with the community, continually enrolling your school-age kids in school, etc., you may apply for Philippines citizenship after 10 years of legal residency. (Which reminds me that I need to dig out my current and old passports and a bunch of other documents.) I expect to start that process soon, surely to the incredulity of BI officials when I’m the first to ask them in a long time.

    • says

      If you are married to a Philippine Citizen, then the time is reduced to 5 years that you must live in the country to apply for citizenship. Probably the two most difficult requirements is that you must learn one of the Philippine languages, and also are required to renounce your citizenship – foreigners cannot be dual citizens in the Philippines. Good luck to you, Ed.

      • Ed says

        Bob, after attending at BI in Davao a week ago, you seem to be 100% correct.
        As I expected, my foreigner Philippines citizenship query was met with polite incredulous looks, as in “You want to do _what_?” At first they referred me to the person who handles visa applications. After 10 minutes of explaining that I actually want to become a naturalized Philippine citizen, she realized that I already have a proper Immigrant Visa and said (translated to english: “you already have all you need, why would you want to become a citizen of the Philippines?!?”). Bottom line, she and the others there explained that BI doesn’t handle citizenship applications from foreigners, instead it requires a special legal petition, recommended that I contact an attorney for such, and sincerely wished me “Good Luck”. I hope that relating this may help any other immigrants with the same questions.
        Ob-comment: I found the Davao BI people very nice, kind, respectful and helpful for the normal things they are there to process, like my ACR annual reporting and kindly aided me with my reporting, change of address and marital status, plus creating a new set of records at the Davao office (given that my original files are at BI in Manila), all at minimal possible cost. All in Tagalog, of course, while my wife went across the street to Victoria Mall. :)

          • Ed says

            Thanks too, Bob.
            A few more items on the question of a foreigner acquiring Philippines _citizenship_, gleaned from my own research and a bit of email with Bob, that might help others considering it.
            In short (you can google for details), the requirements are fairly simple things, such as continuous residency for 10 years (or 5 if married to a filipino/a), integration with the community, becoming marginally proficient in the language, staying out of trouble, honestly swearing allegiance, etc.
            The big kicker is that a foreigner is required to renounce his/her natural citizenship.
            No dual citizenship for foreigners in the Philippines!
            That typically defacto means:
            1/ shutting down your overseas business with attendant loss of vital income. It’s gone.
            2/ giving up your right to any possible pension from your former country, no matter how much you paid in there, it’s gone.
            That’s a show-stopper for most people, hard to live and support your family and (Philippines) community with 100% forced loss of income. That may not be the intention of the Philippines immigration laws but that’s surely the effect. Your good intentions are irrelevant, the law is the law.

  2. Felisa Idencio McDonald says

    Hi guys, this is forever who can answer my question. I was born in the Philippines at Cavite city, at a base called Sangly Point. At the time of my birth my father,a Filipino, was already a naturalized u.s. Citizen and my mother was born u.s.citizen. My birth certificate is from the city of cavite. My parents took my birth certificate to the u.s.embassy and registered me as a u.s.citizen. Now will I qualify for dual citizenship? I am just wanting to know for future reference, in case I decide to go home.

  3. Kathleen dela Merced says

    Hello! 😀 My father was born in the Philippines to Filipino citizens ( it says so on his birth certificate). His family moved to the US when he was 14 years old. He is not certain if he ever had a Philippine Passport, but he has a US Certificate of Citizenship . He does not have access to his mother or fathers old records anymore… being that he is already 65 years old. He has now been living in the Philippines for 4 years now. Question: Would he be qualified to acquire dual citizenship?

    Thanks a bunch!

    • says

      He must have been naturalized in the USA, or else how could he have ever gotten his citizenship there? In any event, he should qualify for Philippine Dual Citizenship, he should simply go apply at the Bureau of Immigration.

      • Ed says

        A Philippines birth certificate would certainly help before attending at BI to petition for re-aquisation of Philippine citizenship for a native-born Pinoy under the “CITIZENSHIP RETENTION AND RE-AQUISITION ACT OF 2003” “REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9225”. BI can’t be expected to do much of anything without documentation. Presumably the birth in the Philippines was registered at the time, so he should be able to attend at an NSO office to request an official copy. Some pawnshops and travel agencies also provide such document request services for a nominal fee. Wait time is typically 1 to 2 weeks to receive an NSO registered document, or so it was when I had to get a copy of my wife’s birth certificate.

        After that it seems to be a fairly easy procedure for native-born Pinoys, or so the Act says.

  4. amy P says

    Question: My father was a naturalized US citizen. He was formerly a Filipino citizen. My mother is a Filipino citizen. When I was born I inherited my Dad’s citizenship as US citizen. I was born in Philippines and lived there for 19 years. I like to come home but I want to have dual citizenship due to my inherited properties that I want to claim. Pls help

    • says

      Hi amy – You should already be a dual citizen. If your mother was a Philippine citizen on the day you were born, look at your birth certificate, if your mother’s citizenship is listed as Filipino, then you are already a dual citizen.

  5. Maria says

    My son’s father is American citizen..can my older son apply dual citizen even he is American citizen….I just got my Filipino citizen 2 yrs ago……so I had carry dual citizen…cause I was born in the philippines

  6. Jace says

    Hello bob,
    I was wondering if I am a dual citizen, all I have right now is my dads death certificate stating he died in the us but was a Filipino citizen. I was born 1988, he passed away 1991, my mother was naturalized 1985, my dad was never naturalized, do I have the birth right for dual?

    • says

      You did not really give enough information for me to give a definitive answer, but, I will do my best to answer you.

      You said that your mother was “naturalized” but did not say in what country she was naturalized. If she was naturalized in the USA, then you should be able to become a US citizen. You also did not say where you were born. If you were born in the USA, then you are a US citizen already.

      Since your father was a Philippine citizen, you have the right to Philippine citizenship.

      • Jace says

        Hi again bob,
        Okay so I found my dads passport and a copy of his immigration papers, but still no birth certificates, also I found my moms us naturalization certificate and us issued wedding certificate. would that be good enough to process for dual citizenship?

          • says

            Yes, I know you are a US citizen, and you are trying to acquire Philippine Citizenship based on your parents’ citizenship. My previous comment stands.

        • says

          As I said, Jace, you need some document that proves that one or both of your parents was a Philippine Citizen on the day you were born. I don’t see how any of those documents would prove that, perhaps the naturalization certificate would. If you feel that it would, bring it to the Philippine Embassy or Consulate and ask for their opinion. I do wish you the best of luck.

  7. jace says

    I was born and raised in the U.S, also the death cert is the only document I have stating he was a citizen is that a problem if I apply for dual?

  8. Rosemarie says

    I was born in the Philippines and my dad is US citizen and my mom is Philippine citizen. I grew up in the Philippines as a naturalized US citizen. can I get a dual citizenship?

  9. says

    Here is a question for the history books both in the Phhilippines and the United States. My fiance and I have been together since 2010. I am a U.S. born Citizen and he is a Filipino born citizen. He just got his k-1 visa, a fiance visa to marry me legally both in Californnia and by law by the United States Federal Government due to DOMA, the Defensive Marriage Act, which gave gay men and women the right to marry in the United States; in States that have marriage eqaulity, but reconginzed Federally in all 50 states reguardless of a marriage equality state. The key here the couple must be married in a marriage equality state regardless of where they live. They then can live in any state they wish. We two gay men very much in love. My question to you is that my fiance is moving to live in the United States. After we are married with in 90 days of his arrival on US soil, we must file for adjustment of status so he gets his green card, permanent residence card, and after 2 years and 9 months he is allowed to file for US citizen ship. Can he keep his Filipino Citizenship and be a US citizen at the same time? Bob you have an outstanding site. Keep up the great help for all humanbeings of the world.

    • says

      Hi Bob – The act of taking the oath of US citizenship also renounces your previous citizenship. Because of that, he will lose his Philippine citizenship. However, he can then apply to re-acquire it and become a dual citizen.

      However… the Philippines does not recognize gay marriage, so I am unsure how that will play into the dual citizenship. I don’t think it would have any affect, but that is only my guess.

  10. says

    Hi, I am inquiring in behalf of my 81 year old mother. She is a US citizen currently on a vacation here in the Philippines. How can she apply for a dual citizenship? Is she required to appear in person when she applies for this? Thank you and hope to hear from you soonest.

  11. Dennis G. says

    My dad was born in the philippines and my mother was born in the philippines (of course they both are filipino citizens. They moved to the United States in 1965, I was born in 1966 in the United States, my parents both being filipino citizens at the time of my birth. My dad became naturalized in 1987 and my mother became naturalized in 2007.

    My dad passed away in 2003. My mother is still alive today Could I file to become a duel citizen, and if so would my mother need to be present to file? Thanks Bob.

    • says

      Hi Dennis, at the time of your birth, your parents should have reported your birth to the Philippine Embassy/Consulate that serves the area where you were born. That is how you would gain Philippine Citizenship. Given that you were born nearly 50 years ago, if that report was not made, I doubt that you could still attain Philippine Citizenship.

  12. says

    Hi Bob,I’m inquiring in behalf of my mom,she’s 87 yrs old,a hndicaped,us citizen,formerly Filipino citizen,currently staying here in d Phil.for more than a 1year,cos of always sick,suffering asthma,hi blood etc.and alwys hospitalized,now she wants to stay here Phil.for good,and doesn’t want go back us..is she required to get dual,appear in person in bi,even she’s a handicapped?how about her VA us pension is it transferable here in the Phil.tnx

  13. James says

    Hi Bob, I am born in the UK and have been living here for 23 years (my whole life) I hold a British Passport. At the time of my birth my mother had dual citizenship (Filipino and British) and my father has a British passport. My mother needs to renew her dual citizenship, and if she is granted again with dual citizenship will I also be eligible for dual citizenship? Thank you!

    • says

      Hi James – Hmm… unfortunately, the things you say don’t really add up. Especially when you say that your mother “needs to renew her dual citizenship.” Citizenship is not something that needs to be renewed. If you are a citizen of a certain country, you are a citizen and need not ever renew it.

      Basically, even if your mother were to renew her dual citizenship, something which I don’t think is even possible, it would not affect you, because you are over 18.

      The only way that you are eligible for dual citizenship is if your mother (or father) was a Philippine citizen on the day you were born. If neither of your parents were Philippine citizens when you were born, then you are not eligible and never will be.

Leave a Reply