Both the Philippines and the United States recognize a Philippine-American dual citizenship. Qualified individuals include those who are U.S. citizens by birth, but have at least one Filipino citizen parent at the time of birth, or those who are former Filipino citizens, but already became naturalized U.S. citizens. As a dual citizen, the individual has access to both countries’ benefits, including land ownership, pensions and jobs. However, some prospective petitioners should carefully consider certain aspects of this kind of citizenship that may be disadvantageous.
As a citizen of both the Philippines and the United States, a dual citizen keeps all the rights and responsibilities of the citizenship for both countries. This means that the person is bound by the specific taxation requirements of both the Philippines and the United States. As a U.S. citizen, the person is generally required to pay U.S. taxes on worldwide income, including one’s work in the Philippines. As a Filipino citizen, the person can use the OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) exemption, where only Philippine-sourced income is taxable, as long as the official residence is outside the Philippines.
Being a citizen of both countries, there is the possibility of getting drafted for military service in both the Philippines and the United States. In case any of these two countries would require more people to serve for the armed forces in times of war, technically, a citizen may be drafted for the service. In the case of the United States, joining military service of a foreign country may become grounds to lose U.S. citizenship, especially when becoming an officer in the armed forces of a foreign country such as the Philippines.
For U.S. citizens taking a “policy level” position such as becoming a lawmaker (congressman or senator) or any other higher position in a foreign government, this may result in the renouncement of their U.S. citizenship. Since the person holding public office in the Philippines must take an “oath of allegiance” to the country, this would mean that she would be required to only keep her Filipino citizenship. Otherwise, she would be disqualified for the said government position.
Consular Protection and Social Security Benefit Accrual
Although a Philippine-American dual citizenship keeps all rights and responsibilities of being a citizen of both countries, a U.S. citizen in the Philippines has no right to consular protection while in the Philippines, and at the same time, a Filipino citizen in the United States has no right to consular protection while in the United States. Also, when a U.S. citizen works in the Philippines, he doesn’t accrue Social Security benefits in the United States. The person is only entitled to the accrual of Social Security credits if he still earns money from work originating in the United States.
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