May 25 2015

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How can a Foreigner acquire Philippine Citizenship?

The Requirements for a Foreigner to get Philippine Citizenship.

This information is for a Foreigner without any Filipino connection to acquire Philippine Citizenship.

Basis requirements seem to be:

  • Aged 21 or over
  • Lived in Philippines for 10 + years
  • Able to Speak English or Spanish AND a Filipino language (eg: Tagalog)
  • Persons who, during the period of their residence in the Philippines, have mingled socially with the Filipinos, or who have evidenced a sincere desire to learn and embrace the customs, traditions, and ideals of the Filipinos

Commonwealth Act No. 473 states the following requirements for consideration of allowing Philippine Citizenship to a Foreigner.

Sec. 2. Qualifications. – Subject to Section four of this Act, any person having the following qualifications may become a citizen of the Philippines by naturalization:

First. He must be not less than twenty-one years of age on the day of the hearing of the petition;

Second. He must have resided in the Philippines for a continuous period of not less than ten years;

Third. He must be of good moral character and believes in the principles underlying the Philippine Constitution, and must have conducted himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during the entire period of his residence in the Philippines in his relation with the constituted government as well as with the community in which he is living.

Fourth. He must own real estate in the Philippines worth not less than five thousand pesos, Philippine currency, or must have some known lucrative trade, profession, or lawful occupation;

Fifth. He must be able to speak and write English or Spanish and any one of the principal Philippine languages;

Sixth. He must have enrolled his minor children of school age, in any of the public schools or private schools recognized by the Office of Private Education of the Philippines, where the Philippine history, government and civics are taught or prescribed as part of the school curriculum, during the entire period of the residence in the Philippines required of him prior to the hearing of his petition for naturalization as Philippine citizen.

Section 4. Who are disqualified. – The following cannot be naturalized as Philippine citizens:

6. Persons who, during the period of their residence in the Philippines, have not mingled socially with the Filipinos, or who have not evinced a sincere desire to learn and embrace the customs, traditions, and ideals of the Filipinos

The full text of the Commonwealth Act No. 473 can be seen at: www.pcw.gov.ph/law/commonwealth-act-no-473

Not all applications for citizenship are easy.

One such application should be reviewed by anyone considering this, to give an idea of possible complications:

G.R. No. 170603

On February 28, 2002, petitioner Edison So filed before the RTC a Petition for Naturalization under Commonwealth Act (C.A.) No. 473, otherwise known as the Revised Naturalization Law, as amended.

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) granted the petition on June 4, 2003

The Republic of the Philippines, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), appealed the decision.

In its Decision dated August 4, 2005, the Court of Appeals (CA) set aside the ruling of the RTC and dismissed the petition for naturalization without prejudice.

Although this application was rejected on one basic point, the entire reading will give an indication of things that you would need to be aware of.

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