Thursday, October 20, 2005

Dual citizenship rules liberalized—Fernandez

By William B. Depasupil, Manila Times Reporter

THE Bureau of Immigration said Wednesday it will be easier for former Filipino citizens to regain their Philippine citizenship under Republic Act 9225, the Citizenship Reacquisition and Retention Act.

Immigration Commissioner Alipio Fernandez Jr. said on Tuesday that the new implementing rules of the law, which were approved by the Department of Justice, would take effect 15 days after their publication in a national newspaper.

Fernandez said the stringent requirements under the old rules had been removed. The rules were revised, he said, in response to the problems of former Filipino citizens who find it hard to produce certain documents required under the old rules.

Among these required documents is a birth certificate authenticated by the National Statistics Office. Many applicants could not produce their birth certificates, because these were lost during World War II.

Fernandez said that instead of the NSO-authenticated birth certificates, applicants may submit those obtained from the local civil registrar or any other document proving that they are natural-born Filipinos.

The required documents may include an applicant’s old Philippine passport, his voter’s affidavit and marriage contract indicating his Philippine citizenship.

Fernandez said applicants for dual citizenship who are living overseas may apply with the Philippine diplomatic missions abroad

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