SAN FRANCISCO – The Philippine Consulate has issued the following advisory:
All Filipino citizens (i.e., natural born, naturalized, dual) can enter the Philippines even during this pandemic.
All foreign passport holders (i.e., US, EU, ASEAN, Chinese, Japanese, etc.) are temporarily not allowed to travel to or enter the Philippines during the pandemic. This temporary ban will be lifted at an appropriate time when determined to be safe.
For all Filipinos to be able to travel back to the Philippines, they must have the following documents with them:
- A valid Philippine passport; or
- A valid (one-way) Travel Document (issued in emergency cases only i.e., lost PH passport)
A former Filipino who reacquired or retained his/her Philippine citizenship via RA 9225, Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 (as dual), is a FILIPINO. Therefore, as a Filipino, he can travel back to the Philippines. To be able to travel, he must have the above-mentioned documents (Valid PH passport or valid Travel Document). If he/she does not have either of this, he/she may present the following documents in lieu of a PH passport:
- Original copy of Identification Certificate (IC);
- Original copy of the Order of Approval;
- Original Copy of the Oath of Allegiance
A Balikbayan is defined as former Filipino who lost his/her citizenship by naturalization in a foreign country (i.e., US) or other similar modes of losing PH citizenship. By definition, therefore, a Balikbayan is not a Filipino citizen unless he/she reacquires Filipino citizenship under RA 9225. Until he/she reacquires his/her Filipino citizenship, he/she is not entitled to a Philippine passport or Travel Document.
Obviously, as a foreigner, a Balikbayan only holds a foreign passport (such as US or EU).
Before the pandemic, Balikbayans were able to enter the Philippines even with a foreign passport.
HOWEVER, because of and during the pandemic, Balikbayans who have not reacquired PH citizenship under RA 9225 and who only have foreign passports are TEMPORARILY not allowed to enter the Philippines under current regulations of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation. In due time, this TEMPORARY RESTRICTION will be lifted when the pandemic conditions change and determined to be safe.
Finally foreign passport holders who are spouses or children of Filipino citizens can ENTER the Philippines when traveling together with the Filipino spouse or parents.
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