I recently receive another question pertaining to a living in the Philippines subject.
This one is from a mother, actually a live-in caregiver living in Toronto, who gave birth last February. She called in inquiring a situation regarding her child, who she wants to leave in the care of her mother (the grandma) in the Philippines.
This is her situation: She just gave birth to a daughter with a Canadian father last February 28.
Because she wanted to go back to work immediately, she is planning to take her newborn to Samar in the Philipines in her mother’s care. She was planning of leaving the baby girl until she obtain her open permit – that is 2 years long. Her concern is that she is not sure if her newborn can stay that long in the Philippines without having to worry about visa for the infant for her extended stay.
The answer I gave her, of course, is what I already said in the blog. But, as I re-read and pondered on my response in the blog, as well as what I told the lady over the phone, I began to have doubts about what I was telling this people.
This is the third time I was asked about this topic and all I do was read what is on Philippine Immigration website which is lawyer language. I am not really good at comprehending “lawyer talk” but at the same time, I wanted to give this people an accurate answer to this often repeated question.
So, what I did was I emailed the Philippine Immigration Department and asked them directly two questions that I’m confused about when someone ask me about it:
1) If a person whose parents are naturalized Canadian citizens when he/she was born, will he/she be able to stay 1 year in the Philippines like a balikbayan if he/she visit the Philippines? His/her parents were former Philippine citizens but are now Canadian citizens and are not a holder of Filipino dual citizenship? Will she/he be treated as citizen of a foreign country who is only entitled a non-visa stay of 21 days only?
2) If a child was born in Canada from a Filipino citizen mother (The mother is still a Filipino passport holder as well) and a Caucasian-Canadian father – is the child considered a Filipino when she/he enters the Philippines? Can the child stay in the Philippines for 2 or 3 years?
Those were exactly the questions I sent them and this is the response:
Here are the answers to your questions:
1) If you are coming to the Philippines with your parents, you will be given an authorized stay or 1 year. However, this cannot be given if you are traveling alone.
2) When was the child born? If after 1987, following the provisions whereof, a child whose parent or parents are Filipinos or Filipino. He/she may apply for recognition as a Filipino citizen with the Bureau of Immigration for him/her to stay indefinitely in the Philippines. Below are the requirements and procedures for such an application:
Documentary Requirements in applying for Recognition as Filipino Citizen/Dual Citizenship:
a) Duly notarized letter request from either father/mother or both parents, or from the legal guardian (if applicant is below 18 years old; or from the applicant (if she is already 18 years old and above upon filing), with attestation that either father/mother or both parents was/were a Philippine citizen/s at the applicant’s birth;
b) *Order of Recognition and Filipino Identification Certificate issued by the Bureau, if already issued;
c) NSO birth certificate of the applicant, if born in the Philippines; or authenticated birth certificate or Report of Birth of the applicant from the Philippine embassy/consulate Official of the Philippine Foreign Service at the place of issuance or nearest to it; or authenticated birth certificate or certified true copy from their Embassies here in the Philippines, with English translation, if written in other foreign language, then to be properly authenticated at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Authentication Division;
d) NSO birth certificate of either father/mother or both parents (who at the time of birth of applicant was a Philippine citizen); and Certificate of Naturalization, if at the time of the filing of the application he/she/they was/were a Philippine citizen;
e) Duly Notarized Affidavit of Citizenship to be executed by the father/mother or both parents, stating at the time of birth of applicant, he/she/they was/were a Philippine citizen, if the application letter was executed by the applicant or legal guardian;
f) Plain photocopy of the passport of the applicant and the parents;
g) Bureau of Immigration (BI) Clearance certificate.
* not a mandatory requirement
a) Receiving of application together with documentary requirements;
b) Verification of travel and derogatory records, assessment of filing and other fees and generation Of Order of Payment Slip, assignment/raffle of application to hearing officer, generation of Notice of Hearing;
c) Releasing of OPS and Notice of Hearing to applicant;
d) Payment of collecting officer and issuance of Official Receipt;
e) Conduct hearing, evaluation and preparation of Order of Cancellation and Transmittal Letter to DOJ by hearing officer;
f) Approval by the Commissioner;
g) Transmittal of Order for affirmation by DOJ;
h) Receiving of Affirmation Order from DOJ;
i) Assessment of immigration fees and generation of Order of Payment Slip;
j) Payment to collecting officer and issuance of Official Receipt;
k) Assignment to registration officer, updating of records and preparation of Filipino Identification Certificate;
l) Issuance of Filipino Identification Certificate, picture and fingerprint impression taking;
m) Signing by the Commissioner of the Identification Certificate;
n) Releasing of the Identification Certificate; and
o) Document archiving.
Ø If the applicant leaves from the Philippine with a pending application for Recognition as Filipino Citizen, he/she must update visa status or apply for extension; if he stays in the Philippines from the time of filing for the application until its approval, fees for overstaying are waived.
Ø When application for Recognition as Filipino Citizen is approved, an Identification Certificate is issued. The Identification Certificate can be used to apply for a Philippine passport.
Ø A Dual Citizen, if leaving from the Philippines with a passport, has to pay also for the terminal fee.
Place of filing of application for Recognition as Filipino Citizen:
– Application can be filed at the Central Receiving Section in the Main Office of the Bureau of Immigration, Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila.
– Processing at the Board of Special Inquiry (BSI).
– Applications filed at the sub ports shall be immediately forwarded to the Main Office of the Bureau for processing.
– Authentication of documents is processed at the Consulate of the foreigner in the Philippines.
Should you have other immigration-related queries, please do not hesitate to call the BI Helpdesk Hotline at (632) 524-3769.
Ok, now. Their answer to the first question is easy to understand:
1) Under the circumstance mentioned in question 1 above, if the person is traveling with her/his parents, she/he will be entitled to a one (1) year stay in the Philippines without need for a visa. If she/he is planning to extend her stay, she/he need to apply for an extension.
2) If she/he is traveling alone, then she/he will be treated as a foreigner who is entering the Philippines under the visa-free arrangement, only 21 days stay. If she is going to extend her stay, she must apply for an extension at the nearest Immigration office.
The response to question number 2, though, is confusing. I read it over and over and my understanding is that all the document requirement can be done while the infant or the applicant is in Canada (or any country) but as I read at the bottom of the email, it says that the filing should be done in the Philippines.
But somewhere in the beginning of the letter, it was also mentioned that the “Documentary Requirements in applying for Recognition as Filipino Citizen/Dual Citizenship” – the keyword is Dual Citizenship.
I think that the requirements in the response pertains to if the applicant or the child is already in the Philippines and….. if the applicant is still in her country of birth, she or the parent or guardian, can process the requirements through a Philippine Consulate through the Dual Citizenship application.
If that’s what I think it is, then, all she has to do is to phone the nearest Consulate of the Philippines in her city, province or state to ask for the required documents that need be filled-out. For Toronto, all the documents can be downloaded through here, the website of the Philippine Consulate.
Please note that those were my understanding and not necessarily correct. If you are in doubt or would want the right procedure, you may call a Consulate of the Philippines in Canada; In Toronto (416) 922-7181, Ottawa (613) 233-1121 and in Vancouver (604) 685-1619. I will also phone the Consulate to verify. For others – Google is your friend.
I hope this post will be of help somehow to those who have question about their intention on living or staying longer in the Philippines (Note: applicable for those with Filipino parent/roots). It was a learning experience for me and will help me explain stuff to more inquiries about it now.
Please leave a comment and tell me what you think.