Questions about travelling to the Philippines, living in the Philippines and retiring in the Philippines can, of course, be complex at times.
One place those of you who are confused or uncertain regarding these issues might wish to start learning more is with one of my articles entitled
You are also well advised to read the “Related” articles which show at the bottom of every post. In particular, those planning to come to the Philippines on Balikbayan privilege ought to read
For some further background information.
Now I realize that my prose isn’t exactly “Harry Potter” interesting, and that reading seems to be quite a chore to some folks …but you won’t understand many of these issues unless you take the time to understand what you are getting into. Sometimes you just have to invest a few minutes effort in reading the facts about what you are getting into, rather than what “they”said in some forum or down at your local watering hole.
A good example is this comment I just received after a couple recent articles which mentioned the “BB Stamp” or the Philippine Balikbayan Privilege Program. The BB Program is absolutely great for visiting and/or retiring here in the Philippines, but you have to understand a few principles. The BB privilege (one year in the Philippines for free) only applies to Former Philippines citizens and their families and current Philippine citizens and their immediate families … when traveling together.
Being a Philippine (or former Philippine) citizen does not mean ‘Born in the Philippines’, at least not automatically.
So, if my wife was born in Philippines, but is now a U.S. citizen, we can still avail of the balikbayan, right? Because she is still considered Filipino by Philippines, right?
Quoted (to be precise) below is the language in the “Timatic” database, a service subscribed to by most airlines which gives airline personnel current rules on citizenship and visa requirements for flights two and from different counties. This is the way Timatic describes those who can avail of travel to the Philippines without “onward travel”: under the Balikbayan Privilege Program.
- Former nationals of the Philippines, their immediate family
members and immediate family members of nationals of the
Philippines can enter with passports valid on arrival. Place of birth in the Philippines does not necessarily qualify as being a former national of the Philippines. (My emphasis) Evidence
considered would be a previously held Filipino passport, documents proving parents are Filipino or similar documentary proof. (Reference this page on Timatic)
In plain English this means that to be sure a Former Filipino is allowed to board aircraft to the Philippines without onward travel paid for, and to enter the Philippines under the Balikbayan program, s/he should have with him/her one of the proofs of citizenship by birth explained above.
Every country is NOT the same us the USA with regard to citizenship by birth.
You do NOT become a Philippine citizen by being born in the Philippinjes. Philippine citizenship comes only by being born of Philippine parts, no matter where in the world you are born.
A person born in the Philippines is not a “Natural born Filipino” unless one pot both parents is a Philippine citizen at the time of the child’s birth.
I know, I know, these details can by “pesky”, but I don’t make the rules, guys and gals,I just try to learn learn and follow them.
Resist the impulse to assume that because the law is one way in the USA that the law in the Philippines is a carbon copy. It ain’t necessarily so.