Saturday, January 22, 2011

Practical benefits of dual citizenship

There is a law that allows two citizenships to Filipinos.
Republic Act No. 9225 allows the retention and re-acquisition of Filipino citizenship.
This law is applicable to one form of dual citizenship.
The dual citizenship circumstance to which this law applies, covers natural born Filipinos who loose their Philippine citizenship.
Millions of natural-born Filipinos have gone abroad to seek greener pastures.
Along the way, while living and earning abroad, they lost their Filipino citizenship and have, for practical purposes, obtained the citizenship of their adopted country
Upon their retirement and return to the Philippines, they suddenly realize they are foreigners in their own homeland.
They meet the reality of being a “non-Filipino”.
R.A. 9225 fixes this anomaly by allowing “former” Filipinos to re-acquire or retain their Filipino citizenship.
It is easy--- a do-it-yourself affair.
The former Filipino just needs to file a petition for re-acquisition.
This is a form one can obtain easily in the internet, either from the website of the Bureau of Immigration or any Philippine consulate or embassy.
The petition is filed with the Bureau of Immigration or any of its offices, or consular offices abroad.
There is a payment of P3,000.00 for this.
Another important requirement is taking an oath of allegiance
There are practical benefits of re-acquiring or retaining Filipino (dual) citizenship.
Foremost of these benefits is that one who re-acquires Filipino citizenship, does not have to loose his previously acquired foreign citizenship.
That is why it is called “dual” citizenship.
Second if one re-acquires Filipino citizenship, he can stay indefinitely in the Philippines and would no longer have to report to the immigration office like foreigners do.
Re-acquiring Philippine citizenship also provides comfort, convenience for the elderly balikbayans.
Those who have obtained citizenship in countries in North America come back to the Philippines during the hardly-bearable winter.
Dual citizenship can be seriously beneficial to those who have arthritis and other weather-induced, weather-prone ailments.
When the summer heat dawns in tropical Philippines, they return to where spring has blossomed.
One who re-acquires his Filipino citizenship can perform acts, and avail of benefits accorded to ordinary Filipino citizens.
Among these practical benefits include being able to obtain senior citizen card and availing its benefits like watching free movies, buying virtually everything at discounts like medicines, food, airfares.
One who has re-acquired Philippine citizenship can buy real property, be an incorporator in corporations that require 100% Filipino ownership (like mass media ownership). He can hold vital positions in certain industries (realty, mining, logging) without running afoul with the anti-dummy law.
One who re-acquires his or her Philippine citizenship can also vote, run for certain elective offices, or be appointed in a government office, if he desires to serve the motherland this way.
Those who have lost their Filipino citizenship should seriously consider availing of the benefits of Republic Act 9225 or the dual citizenship law.The Philippine consulate in Los Angeles is the regular site of former Filipinos who, after having obtained American citizenship, apply to re-acquire Philippine citizenship by taking their oath of allegiance, and become dual citizens.

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