It is a great privilege to become a dual citizen. Enjoying the benefits of dual citizenship is something that I’m truly grateful for. I was born and raised in the Philippines.
In 2009, I ventured into a new chapter of my life to study and live here in the UK. After so many years of living away from my home country, I considered the UK as my second home and eventually became a British citizen.
Life in the UK is not easy as some people would think, I will probably tell you more about it in my next blog posts. On my 30th birthday, I marked this special occasion by sorting out another thing that matters to me — my Filipino citizenship.
It took me a couple of years to finally apply for my dual citizenship. Since my husband and I didn’t have anything planned for the day, I’ve decided to still make this day memorable and productive in London.
The great benefits of dual citizenship are having rightful access to the home country’s right to own properties and businesses. Take on employment and stay in the country indefinitely without applying for a special visa or permit. As a dual citizen, you can also use the country’s passport when travelling and enjoy the perks of fewer visa fees and visa-free entries in different countries that your passport entitled to.
Based on the Philippine Constitution, once a Filipino citizen acquired new citizenship (naturalisation) from another country, you will automatically lose your Filipino citizenship and have to apply for the re-acquisition / retention to the nearest Philippine embassy or consulate.
In such case that your Philippine passport is not yet expired when you took your new citizenship. You can still use this passport to enter the Philippines and enjoy the perks as a true national of the country. Once the current Philippine passport expires, you have to apply for the citizenship re-acquisition.
What are the benefits of dual citizenship and re-acquiring my Philippine nationality?
I can vote in the Philippine elections.
I can register again in the Philippine embassy for OFW absentee voting to practice my legal rights as a Filipino citizen. So I can have my say on any national issues in the Philippines and elect a rightful leader of my country.
As a Filipino, I can enjoy the social benefits from the government to its citizens. This includes the social services, public health care, housing loan programmes and other programs by the SSS, GSIS, Philhealth and PAG-IBIG.
Each Philippine embassies have satellite offices of these public social services to attend with my concerns.
I can stay in the Philippines indefinitely.
Yes, there is no place like home. This will give me the opportunity and rights the same as all the Filipino citizens. I can enjoy this privilege if I use my Philippine passport upon entering the Philippines.
If not, I can still use the Balikbayan Visa and stay in the Philippines for one year instead of 30 days using my UK passport. I wrote another article here about the 13A Visa: How To Apply For A Residence Visa For The Spouse Of A Filipino Citizen and the SRRV: How to Apply and Benefits of Retirement Visa in the Philippines if you want to stay in the Philippines for a much longer time than 30 days.
These are one of the benefits of dual citizenship that will come in handy when my husband and I retire in the Philippines. As a spouse of a Filipino, he can also stay in the country indefinitely.
I can own land properties in the Philippines.
Based on the Philippine Constitution, foreign nationals can’t own land in the country. Foreign nationals can only own condominium units/apartments but not the actual land where the building stands. However, if they are a spouse of a Filipino, they can also have the right to partly own land in the Philippines.
So having re-acquired my Filipino citizenship, gives me back the opportunity to own land with no legal limits on residential or business use. I wrote another article here about How to Buy Property in the Philippines (Detailed Guide), I’m sure you will find it useful.
I can own a business in the Philippines.
Having my Filipino citizenship back can now entitle me to own 100% of any business that I wish to build and venture on.
Unlike foreign nationals, they need to look for Filipino citizens that can co-own the business or employ a certain number of Filipino citizens in their business with various terms and conditions mandated by the government.
I can travel visa-free in the majority of Asian and other countries, where applicable.
Having a Filipino passport also has its travel perks. It may not be the strongest passport in the world, but it can save you some hassle and money while travelling.
The majority of the countries in Asia wouldn’t require me to have a visa if I use my Filipino passport, but it would cost me a fortune if I use my British passport due to the extortionate visa prices!
On top of this, I can still enjoy the perks and privileges of being a British citizen. I’m sure there are other benefits of dual citizenship; it’s definitely a win-win situation and having the best of both worlds. I also wrote another article about the Disadvantages of Dual Citizenship, find out see if this is something that will affect you.
Are you a Dual Citizen?
Share with us your personal experience in the comment box below.
Would love to know your story!