Here’s an interesting question that came in via the comments section recently. I’ve received more than a few like it in recent history as well, so I thought I would post an article here in the main articles section to make the questions and my answers a bit easier to find.
Let me start with my usual disclaimer. I am not an attorney. I don’t even play one on TV. This is not to be construed as legal advice, it is my personal opinion only.
That being said, I can read and so can all of you, or you wouldn’t be here now. The basics of the law are pretty simple in concept, regarding citizenship by birth. In many cases I find the underlying rules and principles have been obfuscated and made complicated as the dickens mainly by a lot of rumors and propaganda and bar room type talk.
I furnish references here for most everything I say, you are all free to look at the references and make your own judgment as to how well I have hit the mark.
OK, that said, here’s the question:
I have been reading here, but just want to explain my daughter’s situation, to make sure she has dual citizenship status. She was born in Cebu, in 2004. Her mom (and my wife) is a former Philippine national (at the time of my daughter’s birth), and I am an American. …
I am assuming you mean your wife was a Philippine citizen on the date of your daughter’s birth. All my answers are based on that assumption. According current Philippine law, your daughter is then a Philippine citizen. Not because of where she was born, but because her mother was a Philippine citizen at the time. See:
As of 2010, with no significant changes expected, Philippine nationality law provides that a person becomes a Philippine citizen by birth if
- that person was born on or after October 15, 1986 and at least one parent was a Philippine citizen on the birthdate;
So, to me, we are on solid ground so far.
… I needed to obtain a Consular Birth Abroad certificate, and get her a US passport at the US consulate, to bring her to the US, after my wife obtained her visa…
When you acknowledged and reported your daughter’s birth, under US law your daughter immediately became a US citizen. Her Consular Report of Birth Abroad serves the same purpose as A birth certificate from a US state or territory. Your daughter immediately became a dual citizen of both the Philippines and the USA. This has always been the legal practice. The Philippines and the US has always recognized multiple nationalities of children who gained such nationalities as their birth right.
The Dual Citizenship act. RA-9225 has nothing to do with this practice, there have always been legal, dual citizen Filipinos. The only ones affected by RA-9225 are those who lost their Philippine citizenship by legal act, as an adult, such as taking up citizenship in another country, as your wife did.
You wife’s action cost your wife her Philippine nationality at the time, but your daughter’s status was not affected by your wife’s action in any way.
… We have lived in the US since, but my wife recently became a US citizen, through naturalization. My wife now will file for dual citizenship, through the Philippine consulate, in NYC, after getting her US passport.
Does this effect my daughter’s status.? I have thought she is a dual citizen already, and she has both a valid Philippines and US passport…
Nope, your daughter,as evidenced by her Philippine NSO birth certificate and her Philippine passport is a “natural born Filipino”. Your wife, as evidenced by her US passport is a naturalized US Citizen and when she receives her Citizenship Certificate through the Philippine consulate will also be, again, a “natural born Filipino”, with all inherent rights, privileges and responsibilities.
… We are all going back to live in Cebu, next year.. after I retire. I just wanted to be sure that her status is still dual, or else … do i need to bring her to NYC, to also apply for the dual citizenship along with my wife ? I have read similar situations here, and believe she is still dual, based on what i have read on this very informative page. Do you agree with me…
Yes. I agree with you 100%. And congrats to your wife for sticking out the path to US citizenship too. Welcome, new citizen. My wife and I took the same route some years back and we are both very grateful that she is a full-fledged citizen of both countries. I salute you both. Best of luck on the retirement move, too. Hope it all works out well.
In short, so far as I can see, a Filipino child by birth does not lose his/her Philippine nationality as a consequence of his/her “birthright” parent acquiring citizenship in another country. Also, when a former Filipino reacquires his her Philippines citizenship under RA-9225 (the so-called Dual Citizenship Act), natural children of that former Filipino also become Filipinos as well. In other words the law takes the legal action for the child since the child, under 18, can not legally take such action. Godspeed.