Things You Need to Know About Dual Citizenship

dualcitizen Things You Need to Know About Dual Citizenship


Last March 19–20, more than 180 individuals took their oath of allegiance to reacquire Filipino citizenship at an event organized by the Philippine Embassy in Melbourne.


The increased number of those who participated in the oath taking clearly showed that more and more are realizing the advantages of acquiring dual citizenship as Filipino-Australians.


Are you qualified to apply for a dual citizenship?


What are its pros and cons? Here are several things you need to know before applying for a dual citizenship.


The citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003 (R.A. 9225), popularly known as the Dual Citizenship Law, sought to revise the law mandating the automatic forfeiture of the Filipino citizenship of natural-born Filipinos who had become naturalized citizen of another country.


If you were granted citizenship to another country after the passage of R.A. 9225 (August 2003), you will be deemed not to have lost your Filipino citizenship. On the other hand, if you were granted a foreign citizenship prior to August 2003, you have the option to reacquire your Filipino citizenship without having to give up your current foreign citizenship.


An individual with dual citizenship is a citizen of two countries at the same time. If you are granted a dual citizenship, you will be able to enjoy the privileges and benefits offered to the citizens of both countries—in your case, Australia and the Philippines.


Philippine-born Australians who have reacquired their Filipino citizenship will once again be entitled to full civil, political and economic rights in the Philippines, such as the:


  • Right to own real estate property in the Philippines

  • Right to engage in business as a Filipino

  • Right to practice one’s profession

  • Right to acquire a Philippine passport

  • Right to vote in Philippine elections

Three Advantages of a Dual Citizenship

1. Two passports

As a dual citizen, you will be able to carry both Australian and Philippine passports. This will eliminate the need for long-stay visas and will make travelling between the two countries easier.


Having two passports guarantees right of entry to both Australia and the Philippines, which will come in handy if you have relatives to visit, plan to study or have to do business in either of the two countries. This will enable you to stay indefinitely in both countries.

2. Suffrage rights

If you have reacquired your Filipino citizenship, you may vote in the Philippines election. You can either vote in Australia by registering as an overseas absentee voter or in the Philippines by establishing residency and registering in the district where you intend to vote.

3. Property ownership

As a dual citizen, you are entitled to property ownership in both countries. Prior to the passage of R.A. 9225, Filipinos who have acquired foreign citizenship were prohibited from owning real estate properties in the Philippines.


Before the passage of the Dual Citizenship Law, Filipinos who have acquired foreign citizenship were generally holding property titles in the name of a relative or a friend. With R.A. 9225, you will now be able to purchase real estate properties in the Philippines under your name.

The Disadvantages of Being a Dual Citizen

Despite its many advantages, being a dual citizen also has its drawbacks.

1. Security clearance

Being a dual citizen poses a problem if you’re planning to work with the Philippine or Australian government, particularly if the position you seek grants you access to classified information.


As a dual citizen, you might encounter problems in gaining the security clearance needed to be employed in a particular job. If you’re keen on gaining government employment, you might have to renounce one of your citizenship.

2. Dual obligations

As a dual citizen, you are required to follow the laws of both the Philippines and Australia. Simply put, if you do something that is illegal in the Philippines, the Philippine Government could take legal actions against you, even if the crime was committed in Australia—and vice versa.

3. Military service

As no mandatory conscription is currently in effect in both the Philippines and Australia, we don’t see this as a problem for most Filipino-Australians. However, it is important to take note that enlisting in the military operations of either one of these two countries could lead to the forfeiture of one of your citizenship.

How to apply for dual citizenship?

If you wish to apply for dual citizenship in Australia as a Filipino, you need to apply at the Philippine Embassy in Canberra or at the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney. You will need to present the following:


  1. Two (2) duly accomplished “Petition Under Oath to Re-Acquire/Retain Philippine Citizenship Under RA 9225” forms;

  2. If you were born in the Philippines, you also need to submit the original, National Statistics Office (NSO)-certified true copy of your birth certificate (you can request a copy through here) and the original copy of your Philippine passport. If one or neither of those documents are available, you can substitute one or both with any of the following secondary supporting documents:


    1. Marriage Contract

    2. Baptismal Certificate

    3. Children’s Birth Certificates

    4. Land Titles

    5. National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance

    6. Proof of Service to the Philippine Government

Apart from the original copies, you should also prepare two (2) photocopies of each document;


  1. If you were born outside of the Philippines to at least one parent who was still a Filipino citizen at the time of your birth, you will need to submit the original copy of your Report of Birth issued by the Philippine Embassy in the country where you were born;

  2. Four (4) passport-sized photos of you taken against a white background. The photos should have been taken within the last three months and you should not be wearing eyeglasses or skimpy (e.g., sleeveless) attire in them;

  3. Certified true copy of Certificate of Foreign Citizenship;

  4. Certified true copy of the data page of your Australian passport or your driver’s license;

  5. For married female applicants, the original certified true copy of the marriage contract as issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages;

  6. Certified true copy of Final Decree of Divorce if you are recently divorced;

  7. Payment of the processing fee of AU$90 for each primary applicant and AU$45 for each beneficiary (i.e., minor children). This payment is non-refundable, regardless of your application’s outcome.


If you are applying via post, include a self-addressed, stamped/prepaid return envelope with your application and send it to either of the two addresses: 1.) The Philippine Embassy, 1 Moonah Place, Yarralumla, ACT 2600, or 2.) The Philippine Consulate General, Level 1, Philippine Center, 27-33 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney, NSW 2000. Payments made in this same manner should be through either postal money order or bank drafts payable to The Philippine Embassy or The Philippine Consulate General.


How to give up Philippine dual citizenship?

Let’s say you’ve already managed to secure your dual citizenship, but a few events have made it necessary for you to renounce the Philippine side of it, such as running for public office in Australia or applying for higher security clearance from the Australian government. How do you go about it?


  1. First, you need to acquire a copy of the Affidavit of Renunciation of Philippine Citizenship from either the Philippine Embassy or the Philippine Consulate General. Fill that up accordingly.


  1. Check your Philippine passport. If it’s expired for less than a year, you can substitute it with a valid identification document instead. If more than a year has lapsed since its expiry, you will need to apply for a new one to renounce your Philippine dual citizenship.


If you don’t have a Philippine passport, an NSO-certified true copy of your birth certificate will do.


  1. Bring both documents along with your Certificate of Naturalization in Australia or any other official document attesting to your Australian citizenship, and appear in person at the Philippine Embassy.

  2. Once you are in front of the receiving officer, sign the accomplished Affidavit of Renunciation of Philippine Citizenship.

  3. Pay the notarization fee for all your documents.

  4. Wait for the receiving officer to verify and approve all of your submitted documents.

  5. Once the previous step is accomplished, you will move on to taking the Oath of Renunciation. After that, the receiving officer will cut up and cancel your Philippine passport.

Frequently Asked Questions on Dual Citizenship

Despite its advantages, many Filipino migrants are hesitant to apply for a dual citizenship because of several concerns. We have answered several frequently asked questions, which might help you decide on whether you should become a dual citizen.

Will I be taxed by both the Philippine and Australian Governments?

This is one of the major reasons why most opt out of applying for a dual citizenship. Many fear that they would have to pay taxes to both countries. The answer is a clear and definite “No.”


The Philippines and Australia have a bilateral Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation. This means that income generated in the Philippines will only be taxed in the Philippines and vice versa.

Do I need to reside in the Philippines after reacquiring my Filipino citizenship?

No, you will not be required to reside in the Philippines. However, if you intend to vote in local elections, you will have to establish residence in the area where you wish to vote.

Will my Filipino citizenship affect the status of my Australian citizenship?

No, a dual citizenship will not affect the status of your Australian citizenship. You might, however, be required to renounce your Filipino citizenship if you intend to hold public office in Australia.

How much will it cost me?

Some are averse to applying for a dual citizenship thinking that the entire process is expensive. The Philippine Consulate General in Sydney only charges $90 in administrative and notarial fees.


The application process for a dual citizenship can take anywhere between four to seven weeks. Upon approval of your application, you will need to attend an oath-taking ceremony at the Philippine Consulate or Embassy. The oath-taking ceremony is regularly held at the end of every month.

I was granted a foreign citizenship after the passage of the R.A. 9225, also known  as the Dual Citizenship Law (August 2003 onwards), does this mean that I “automatically” hold a dual citizenship?


On our blog post “Things You Need to Know About Dual Citizenship”, we previously indicated that Filipinos who had been granted a foreign citizenship after the passage of R.A. 9225 would “automatically” be granted dual citizenship. We assumed that this was the case since according to the Act, “all Philippine citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship”.


However, we got in contact with the Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration to clarify this statement, and we were informed that the procedures for both the “retention” and the “re-acquisition” of one’s Filipino citizenship are the same.  This means that you will still need to lodge an application for Petition for Retention/Re-Acquisition of Philippine Citizenship, regardless if you were granted foreign citizenship before or after the passage of R.A. 9225.

Can I include my children in my application for the re-acquisition of my Filipino citizenship?

Yes. You can include your children in your application as long as your children are below 18 years of age and are unmarried. You will need to fill in the “Supplement for Dependent” form and provide the necessary documents for each of your dependent.

Can my spouse, who is not a natural-born Filipino, apply for a dual citizenship?

No, only natural-born Filipinos may apply for the retention or re-acquisition of their Filipino citizenship. However, an immigrant visa may be issued to your spouse, which will entitle him/her to permanently reside in the Philippines.

Which passport do I need to bring when travelling back to the Philippines?

When travelling back to the Philippines, you will need to present both your Australian and Philippine passports upon arrival and departure. Presenting your Philippine passport will allow you to stay in the Philippines for an indefinite period of time. On the other hand, presenting your foreign passport will let you leave the Philippines hassle free.  Also, make sure to have both passports stamped upon your arrival and departure.

What about if I’m travelling to another country other than the Philippines or Australia?

Meanwhile, when travelling to another country, which is neither Australia nor the Philippines, you will only need to present one passport. It will be up to you to choose which one to present to the immigration official. Most dual citizens base their choice on which one will be more convenient and cost-effective.


For example, if you’re travelling to Brazil, it would be more practical for you to present your Philippine passport. Filipino citizens can visit Brazil without a visa, whereas Australians cannot.


Meanwhile, your Australian passport can grant you visa-free access to more than 160 countries (most of which wouldn’t grant Filipino citizens entry without a visa).


It’s important to remember that you should present the same passport upon entry and departure. Upon departure, the immigration official will check your passport to verify that you had legally entered their country.

45 comments on “Things You Need to Know About Dual Citizenship
  1. Earl Dacanay says:

    In the last sentence of the second paragraph, I think you mean prior to August 2003, instead of “prior to 2013”.

  2. achilles coronel says:

    One of the requirements is for us to show our old Philippine Passport. What if we’ve lost it already. Is there any other alternative that would make it easier for us to apply/submit? As we are granted Australian Citizenship and passport, obviously we have the proper documentation.

    • Rica J says:

      Hi Achilles!

      Good day! If you’ve lost your old passport, you will need to provide other documents that will prove that you are a natural-born Filipino, e.g., NSO Birth Certificate, Voter’s Identification Card, Philippine Marriage Certificate, etc.

    • Maricor Manliguez says:

      where do we apply in Melbourne? As me and my daughter are planning to get a dual citizenship too. Thanks

  3. Jose says:

    With some of the “pros” mentioned, what are the “cons” of having dual citizenship?

    • Rica J says:

      Hi Jose!

      We have updated the blog post to include some of the disadvantages of being a dual citizen. Thanks for the reminder!


  4. Helen kelly says:

    I heard from some of my friends that if ur holding dual citizenship and ur in the philippines and there is something happen to you they said its philippines government reponsibility not australi is these true?why?

    • Rica J says:

      Hi Helen!

      That’s a great question. We did some research and here’s what we found.

      Generally speaking, if you’re a dual citizen, you will be considered a citizen of whichever country you are currently in. If you’re in Australia, for example, the Philippine Government will have very little claim over you, if any issues arise. Likewise, if you encounter any problem while you’re in the Philippines, the Australian Government will only be able to give you limited assistance. Of course, it’s a completely different story if you’re travelling to neither of the two countries.

      But it wouldn’t hurt to ask help from the Australian Embassy. The DFAT has always maintained that it would provide assistance to Australian citizens who find themselves in trouble overseas, regardless of their dual citizenship status. Let me reiterate however, that the assistance the Australian Consulate will be able to provide you will have legal and practical limits.

      Also, please note that none of us at iRemit are immigration professionals. To get an in-depth answer to this question, I would recommend speaking to an immigration official, preferably before you travel back to the Philippines.

      Have a great night! Cheers!

  5. Arnel Reyes says:

    When travelling to any countries, will I present the 2 passports to immigration officer? Or, just either of the 2?

    • Rica J says:

      Hi Arnel!

      When travelling to another country, which is neither Australia nor the Philippines, you will only need to present one passport. It will be up to you to choose which one to present to the immigration official. Most dual citizens base their choice on which one will be more convenient and cost-effective.

      For example, if you’re travelling to Brazil, it would be more practical for you to present your Philippine passport. Filipino citizens can visit Brazil without a visa, whereas Australians cannot.

      Meanwhile, your Australian passport can grant you visa-free access to more than 160 countries (most of which wouldn’t grant Filipino citizens entry without a visa).

      It’s important to remember that you should present the same passport upon entry and departure. Upon departure, the immigration official will check your passport to verify that you had legally entered their country.


    • concerned immigration officer says:

      in phil, you need to show both passports (arrival and departure). failure to show PHL PP during arrival, you will still be allowed but for a limited stay of 30 days or BAlikbayan 1 year. failure to show Foreign PP during departure, the officer might subject you to a more “strict” interview.

      – concerned immigration officer

      • Sir/Madam,

        I just want to clarify some information. If your a dual citizen (Filipino-Australian) and planning to travel to Philippines. Does it need to have two (2) passports (both Philippine and Australian) to show upon arrival and departure on the airport?, and If I only have Australian Passport do I have to apply for Philippine passport as well to show to the immigration officer (to avoid inconvenience and delay) if I travel to Philippines ?

  6. miko santos says:


    just curious question, what if you acquired New zealand Citizen and moved to Australia and become a Australian citizen as well, What will happened to your properties in the Philippines are you still consider filipino or you need to give up one of the citizen. Thanks

    • Rica J says:

      Hi Miko!

      We’re not exactly sure how it works, but we’ve read that a person can be granted citizenship to more than two countries, as long these countries acknowledge multiple citizenship. In your case, we believe you can hold on to your Filipino citizenship, without renouncing your Australian and New Zealand citizenship. However, we still recommend consulting an immigration official as we’re not sure of the legalities involved in being a citizen of multiple countries.

      Hope this helped! Cheers! 🙂

  7. Cherry says:

    Hi! My question is for those who have been granted citizenship to another country after the passage of R.A. 9225 (August 2003), as one will be able to retain Filipino citizenship, thus automatically becoming a dual citizen, what would be the proof of being a Filipino citizen as those who have applied for citizenship I would assume would receive a certificate? Could you just apply for a Philippine passport? Also, how about the children of a naturally-born Filipino citizen (who have been granted citizenship from another country), does the children need to apply for dual citizenship? Thanks.

    • Rica J says:

      Hi Cherry,

      You still need to apply for a dual citizenship, wherein you will file a petition for the “retention” of your Filipino citizenship. You could apply for a Philippine passport, but only after your petition has been approved. You could also include your children who are 18 years old and below in the application.

  8. Jasmin c says:

    I became an Australian citizen in Nov. 2003. As per the information above, I retain my Filipino citizenship and will be considered a dual citizen. How do I prove that? Will it still be necessary to apply and take an oath?

    • Rica J says:

      Hi Jasmin,

      You will need to apply for a petition for the retention of your Filipino citizenship. You will take an oath of allegiance after the application had been approved.

  9. EB says:

    Hi. What if I am one of the legal heirs of my parents properties ( land etc ). Prior to their death, I was a Filipino citizen however in 2007, I acquired a citizenship of another country. Do I need to apply for dual nationality for this ?

    • Rica J says:

      Hi EB,

      The laws regarding ownership of real estate in the Philippines are complicated, particularly when it comes to foreign citizens. We read that a foreign citizen may only own a building or part of it, but not the land it stands on. We’re not sure if this applies to inheritance, as well. We think that it would be to your advantage if you apply for a Filipino citizenship. However, the safest way to go about this matter is to consult a legal professional specializing in real estate. We hope things turn out well for you. Cheers!

  10. Joselito Mendez Hipolito Jr. says:

    Hi Maam Rica J

    My wife & son are currently living in perth,western australia holding a permanent residency visa.

    They are planning to apply for citizenship this year.
    What are the proper procedures in applying for dual citizenship?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

  11. melcy baluyan says:

    We are filipinos but Got a kid who was born in australia when we stayed there for a scholarship. Can she apply her aussie citizenship now that she is 18 yrs old?

    • Rica J says:

      Hi Melcy!

      Were either of you holding an Australian citizenship when your daughter was born? If not, we believe your daughter could only apply for an Australian citizenship if she had stayed in Australia most of her life.

  12. joy says:

    hi! i am now an australian citizen, applied last year. does that mean, automatically i hold a dual citizenship? i do not have to apply for it? and if i wanted to go to the philippines i’ll just use my philippine passport? thanks!

  13. leon echague says:


    Just a question, i became australian citizen last 2012. In my understanding is even if i dont apply for a dual citizenship i automatically retain my filipino citizenship? If so when i go back to philippines i can still stay there for as long as i want? Thanks heaps..

    • Rica J says:

      Hi Leon!

      We updated the article to answer your question


      • Hi!

        Im a Filipino Citizen and have a carer visa which is permanent residence here in Australia. I’m staying here for almost 2 months now and I’m planning to apply for a dual citizenship (Filipino-Australian). I just want to know if their is a residency requirement for applying the said dual citizenship? and How long is this residency requirement takes before applying? Thank You!

        • Rica J says:

          Hi John!

          According to DIBP’s website, for you to acquire an Australian citizenship:

          1. You must have been living in Australia on a valid Australian visa for 4 years immediately before applying, including 1 year as a permanent resident, and
          2. You must not have been absent from Australia for more than 1 year during the 4 year period, including no more than 90 days in the year immediately before applying.

          Once you’re granted an Australian citizenship, you have to apply for a petition for the “retention” of your Filipino citizenship.

          • Okay! so that means that I need to apply for an Australian citizenship after 4 years before applying for dual citizenship?

            Cause I just thought as a Filipino Citizen permanently residence here in Australia I can apply direct for a Dual Citizenship, even without acquiring Australian citizenship first.

          • Rica J says:

            Hi John,

            Yes. A dual citizen is a citizen of two countries at the same time, in your case, Australia and the Philippines. Unless you’re granted an Australian citizenship, you’re still considered a Filipino citizen, so there would be no need for you to apply for the retention or re-acquisition of your Filipino citizenship. The process we’ve mentioned above only applies to those who have been already granted an Australian citizenship.

            Hope this helps! 🙂

  14. Theirs still one last thing I want to clarify in this situation. Im STILL a Filipino citizen who is now permanently residence here in Australia, and wishing to be a dual citizen holder ASAP.
    My question is,

    Can I DIRECTLY apply for a DUAL citizenship here in Australia even Im still a Filipino Citizen?

    because Im really don’t want to apply for the Australian Citizenship alone, in that way I don’t need to re-acquire my Filipino citizenship. and so that whenever I want to travel back to Philippines in less than 4 years time, theirs no hassle for me to come back here Australia if Im already a dual citizenship holder.
    because I heard about this situation that sometimes even your a permanent residence here in Australia but not a holder of dual or australian citizenship, their is this hiccup that you will be hold and wont allow to enter Australia.

    That will be all and hoping for a suitable answer for my question.

    • Rica J says:

      Hi John,

      No, you can’t “directly apply for a dual citizenship’. No such process is in place. The thing is you can’t technically apply for a dual citizenship. “Applying for a dual citizenship” means choosing to “retain” your Filipino citizenship after having been granted citizenship to another country. You can only become a dual citizen if you have been granted an Australian citizenship. There’s no other way around.

      Hope this helps!

  15. Thank You! its clear now. . .Have a Good day!

  16. jim says:

    Me and my wife were permanent residence here in Australia when we had a child. She is now an Australian citizen by birth. Is our baby qualified for dual citizenship? And what age she will be eligible? Thanks

  17. Tristy Richardson says:

    Good morning. I was wondering i am dual and when i apply for things like ids. There are some places that tell me i can not put dual as my nat. for example i went to apply for my postal id and i put dual and they told me that they will just put filipino instead cause they dont have dual in their system. So is this valid, will my ids be void?

  18. kris tina says:

    I have obtained my Australian Citizenship October last year (2016). Since I don’t have an Aust. passport yet, is it okay to use my Philippine passport (expires 2019) to travel back to the Philippines next month?
    thank you.

  19. Domingo says:

    Is it much easier to re-aqquire in the Philippines?And oath taking there?

  20. Brendon Long says:

    We are looking at dual citizenship for our baby he was born in Australia of aussie father and filipina mother can we apply in Melbourne ????

    • Angela W says:

      Hi Brendon,
      Let me answer your question as I too went through the same thing. My hubby is Aussie and I am a filipino , at the time of my son’s birth what I had was only a permanent residency in Australia which means I am still legally a Filipino Citizen. What you need for your child is to go to the Phil. embassy website and download the form for “Report of Birth” which is basically reporting your child’s birth in Australia to the Philippines for your child to be automatically have dual citizenship. Your child does not necessarily need to have two passports as everything is electronic but you can also apply for one if you so wish. Kicker is I think once they reach the age of 18 they will have to choose or apply to retain both. Hope that helps. Everything you need to know is in the Phil. embassy website or give them a call and they will explain it to you. cheers

  21. Abby says:

    I am an Australian citizen and was a former Filipino citizen. I am going to apply for a dual citizenship so I will have the privilege to study college in the Philippines. My Philippines passport has long been expired. At the time of my arrival in the Philippines, if i show them both my passports and find out that my Philippine passport has been expired, would that get me in trouble? Do I have to show them a renewed Philippine passport? because my plan really is to renew my Philippine passport in he Philippines once I arrive. Thanks.

  22. Army says:

    I’m an Australian citizen who has served in the Australian Army. I have now been discharged for some time. Will my military service affect my application for dual citizenship?

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