Q. How does the Philippine Immigration deal with minors or persons under 18, who are brought to the Philippines by their parents in order to study or reside, or what kind of status are they given?
R. Even before Republic Act No. 9225 was enacted, Philippine Immigration authorities allow such minors of dual nationality, to file what is known as a Petition for Recognition. It is in reality, an administrative recognition of the dual nationality of the minor. The effect is that while in the Philippines, the minor is allowed the privileges of a Filipino citizen such as residence and enrollment in Philippine schools and is even allowed to travel using the foreign passport. This procedure allows the dual citizen-minor to reside and study in the Philippines without having to apply for resident or student visas, thus sparing them from the high costs and bureaucratic procedures associated with such visas. (More information about this and related matters would be in the section of immigration.)
R. Philippine citizenship may be lost through any of the following acts:
1. By naturalization in a foreign country through express renunciation of Philippine citizenship.
2. By taking an oath of allegiance to support the constitution of a foreign country.
3. By enlisting and serving in the armed forces of a foreign country.
For the moment, the Supreme Court has not yet decided on a case that puts into test the implications of the above acts specially after the enactment of RA 9225 and whose benefits have been availed of by former natural born citizens of the Philippines. But previous Supreme Court decisions indicate the general rule, that an express renunciation of Philippine citizenship and allegiance to its Constitution and laws will mean loss of Philippine citizenship.
Q. How does a former natural born Filipino reacquire or retain Philippine citizenship under RA No. 9225?
R. Memorandum Circular No. AFF-04-01 of the Bureau of Immigration (the implementing agency of RA 9225) requires the following:
1. Applicant must file a Petition to under oath with the Commissioner of Immigration (if the applicant is in the Philippines) or with the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate (if outside of the country);
2. Attach to the Petition three (3) recent 2” x 2” photographs (front, left side, and right side views over a white background);