Republic Act 9225, also known as the “Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003” or simply the “Dual Citizenship Law,” is a significant piece of legislation in the Philippines. Enacted on August 29, 2003, this law addresses the concerns of natural-born Filipinos who have acquired foreign citizenship and wish to reacquire or retain their Philippine citizenship.
Key Provisions of Republic Act 9225:
- Dual Citizenship:
The law allows natural-born Filipinos who have become citizens of another country to hold dual citizenship. This means they can be citizens of both the Philippines and another country simultaneously.
- Retention and Re-acquisition:
Individuals who lost their Philippine citizenship upon acquiring foreign citizenship can now retain or reacquire their Filipino nationality. This provision is especially beneficial for those who wish to maintain strong ties with their home country.
- Rights and Privileges:
Dual citizens under this law enjoy the same rights and privileges as those possessed by natural-born Filipinos, including the right to own property, engage in business, and participate in Philippine elections.
Dual citizens are also subject to the same obligations and responsibilities as other Filipino citizens. This includes adherence to Philippine laws and regulations.
- Benefits for Children:
The law extends its provisions to the children of individuals who reacquire or retain their Philippine citizenship. This means that the children, whether born before or after the parent’s reacquisition, are also considered Filipino citizens.
Procedure for Re-acquisition:
To avail themselves of the benefits of Republic Act 9225, individuals must follow a specific procedure, which typically involves the following steps:
- Submit an Application:
The applicant must file a petition with the Bureau of Immigration or the embassy or consulate of the Philippines in their current country of residence.
- Oath of Allegiance:
Taking an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines is a crucial step in the process. This demonstrates the individual’s commitment to being a dual citizen.
- Issuance of Certificate of Recognition:
Upon approval of the application, the Bureau of Immigration or the embassy/consulate will issue a Certificate of Recognition as proof of the individual’s dual citizenship status.
Impact on Property Ownership:
One of the significant implications of Republic Act 9225 is that individuals who regain their Filipino citizenship through this law have the same property ownership rights as natural-born Filipino citizens. This includes the ability to buy and own land, houses, and other real estate in the Philippines without the restrictions faced by non-citizens.
Republic Act 9225 plays a crucial role in facilitating the reconnection of Filipinos with their homeland, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of dual citizenship and participate fully in the economic and civic life of the Philippines.