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MY editor has suggested that I write about dual citizenship since I just applied for dual citizenship last week at the Consulate General of the Philippines in New York City.

I recall that in the past, I have written several columns on dual citizenship.

However, for the benefit of Filipino-Americans who have plans to retire or relocate to the Philippines, I am setting forth below the procedure for applying for dual citizenship:

1. Applicants for dual citizenship should apply at the Consulate General of the Philippines located at 556 Fifth Avenue, New York, and go directly to the basement to secure an application form identified as petition for dual citizenship and issuance of identification certificate.

2. Any of the following supporting documents to prove that applicant was a former natural-born Filipino citizen must be attached to the petition: Philippine birth certificate, old Philippine passport, marriage certificate indicating Filipino citizenship of applicant (photocopies in duplicate must be attached to the petition).

3. Duplicate copies of the naturalization certificate and foreign passport must also be submitted.

4. Submit one set of original and two sets of photocopies 2 x 2” color photographs with plain white background taken within the last six months without eyeglasses showing the full front view of the face.

5. The applicant must then proceed to the third floor to pay $50 in cash or money order to the cashier. For each dependent the fee is $25.

Applicants who have submitted all the required documents, processing of the petition and payment of the consular fee would take only 30 minutes.

The following day, applicants will be briefed by the consular officer on the merits of dual citizenship and later to be sworn the Oath of Allegiance by a Philippine consul, in my case by Consul Maria Elena Cristina D. Maningat.

The consul will then hand to applicants the following three documents:

1. Oath of Allegiance.

2. Order for the issuance of Identification Certificate signed by the Consul General.

3. Identification Certificate with the photograph of applicant and his/her thumbprints.

According to the consular officer, the above three documents may not be sufficient to buy a one way ticket to the Philippines.

Dual citizens are required to apply for a Philippine passport.

Consular fee is $60.

Both U.S. passport and Philippine passport must be presented to the Philippine immigration officer upon arrival in the Philippines.

Advantages of dual citizenship

The following are the advantages for dual citizens:

1. A dual citizen can practice his or her profession in the Philippines. However, Filipino lawyers must apply for membership in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and must re-apply for permission to practice law with the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

2. A dual citizen can vote in national elections who are not otherwise disqualified by law.

3. A dual citizen can engage and manage or become executive or managing officers in the advertising industry.

4. A dual citizen can own, control and administer educational institution other than those established by religious groups and mission boards.

5. A dual citizen can apply for a franchise for the operation of a public utility.

6. Under Republic Act No. 7432 senior citizens including dual citizens are entitled to the following:

A. Twenty percent discount from all establishments relative to utilization of transportation services, hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers, and purchases of medicines anywhere in the country.

B. Twenty percent discount on admission fees charged by cinema houses and concert halls, circuses, carnivals and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusements.

C. Free medical and dental services in government establishments anywhere in the Philippines.

Medicare

Some hospitals in Metro Manila accept U.S. Medicare as long as dual citizens pay in advance their hospital expenses and later claim for reimbursement from their U.S. Medicare membership.

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