How to Apply for Retention of Philippine Citizenship
Having experienced the process first hand, here are some tips to help those who are planning to get their Philippine citizenship back:
1. Forms and Documents
Download the petition form and the instructions/checklist form from the Bureau of Immigration website (http://www.immigration.gov.ph/services/citizenship-retention-and-aquisition/application-for-retention-re-acquisition-of-phil-citizenship). Obtain all the required photos and documents including an Affidavit of One and the Same Person if your current name is different from what’s in your birth certificate. A common example is a married woman who changed her last name to her husband’s.
Fill out the forms except the Oath of Allegiance. This will be prepared for you at the Dual Citizenship office before the oath-taking.
Place all the documents (in the order of the checklist) in a long folder and attach them with a paper fastener. If you forget to do this they’ll ask you to buy the supplies from the ladies by the the main door. They also have copying service inside and attorneys outside to handle your last minute affidavit needs. To save time, check your official documents for any discrepancies and correct them before turning them in or you’ll get a letter from them after two months of your petition asking you to submit an affidavit.
2. Before the trip
Plan your trip to the Bureau of Immigration Head Office, Magallanes Dr, Intramuros, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines. This is the only place they do it when you’re in the Philippines. If staying overnight, I recommend the Bayleaf Hotel (https://www.thebayleaf.com.ph/). It is nice, fairly priced and very close to the BOI. Usually, Mondays are always the busiest so try other days. Before heading there, check to make sure that your scheduled date does not fall on a holiday. They usually have holidays in Manila only and sometimes declared on a short notice.
Once there, parking is along the road on the BOI side. There are parking attendants that will give you tickets which you’ll pay P20 for the1st 3 hours then P15 for every hour thereafter for a car.
4. Windows, Windows
At the entrance, you will be required to leave your identification card with the guard. Head over to the Public Information and Assistance Unit (PIAU) right across the main entrance and turn in your petition. It will be forwarded to the attorneys in a room behind the counter. Wait for your name to be called. The attorney in charge of your petition will review your documents with you to make sure everything is in order.
After passing the review, take your documents to the Alien Registration Division (window 18) then Central Receiving Unit (window 19) and finally Central Receiving Unit (window 20) for payment of application.
5. Taking the Oath
Go up to the 4th floor to the Dual Citizenship Office (room 401) for the oath-taking preparation. You’ll have to make one last payment of P2,510 at the window of room 404. All the applicants will then be called to make the oath before a legal officer.
The whole process should be finished in a day if you have all the documents needed.
6. The Certificate of Citizenship
The Certificate of Re-acquisition/Retention of Philippine Citizenship will be available for pick up only. The waiting time is 2 to 3 months after the application date. Call (02) 301-0756 or (02) 485-2400 locals 458 or 459 to inquire about the status of your petition.