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C. Who can be citizens

1. FOREIGNERS WHO UNDERGO NATURALIZATION

NB: For more discussions, see Part IV – Citizenship > D. Modes of acquiring citizenship > b. Naturalization

2. FOREIGN SPOUSES OF FILIPINOS WHO WERE NATURALIZED

Any woman who is now or may hereafter be married to a citizen of the Philippines, and who might herself be lawfully naturalized shall be deemed a citizen of the Philippines. (Paragraph 1, Section 15, C.A. 473)

a. Requisites

Under Section 15, C.A. 473, for the wife of a naturalized Filipino to be considered to have followed the citizenship of her husband, it must be shown that she herself is capable of being naturalized. (Co Pek v. Vivo, G.R. No. L-21775, 17 December 1966)

The phrase “who might herself be lawfully naturalized”, used in the law, has been construed to mean that the said wife is not disqualified to become a Filipino citizen, and that she possesses all the qualifications for acquisition of Philippine citizenship. (Ibid.)

Case Law

1) Although it may be true that petitioner Lim Wun Chee is not disqualified to become a Filipino citizen, there is no proof that she also possesses all the qualifications for citizenship in this country. The naturalization of her husband did not therefore, ipso facto make her a citizen of the Philippines. (Co Pek v. Vivo, G.R. No. L-21775, 17 December 1966)

3. MINORS WHOSE PARENT/S WERE NATURALIZED INTO FILIPINOS

Minor children of persons naturalized who have been born in the Philippines shall be considered citizens thereof. (Paragraph 2, Section 15, C.A. 473)

a. If dwelling  in the Philippines at time of naturalization of parent

A foreign-born minor child, if dwelling in the Philippines at the time of the naturalization of the parent, shall automatically become a Philippine citizen. (Paragraph 3, Section 15, C.A. 473)

Referring again to Section 15 of the Revised Naturalization Law a foreign-born minor child automatically becomes a Philippine citizen, if said child is “dwelling in the Philippines at the time of the naturalization of the parent.”  It must be remembered that this provision confers on a person a primary right, a status, the Philippine citizenship. The term “dwelling” used in the law could not, therefore, be referring to mere physical presence in this country. That the law must have intended none other than domicile can also be inferred from the requirement of permanent residence before foreign-born minors, who are not in the Philippines at the time of the naturalization of their parents, can acquire the unqualified status of a Filipino citizen. (Co Pek v. Vivo, G.R. No. L-21775, 17 December 1966)

b. If not dwelling  in the Philippines at time of naturalization of parent

GENERAL RULE: A foreign-born minor child, who is not in the Philippines at the time the parent is naturalized, shall be deemed a Philippine citizen only during his minority. (Paragraph 3, Section 15, C.A. 473)

EXCEPTION: … unless he begins to reside permanently in the Philippines when still a minor, in which case, he will continue to be a Philippine citizen even after becoming of age. (Ibid.)

A child born outside of the Philippines after the naturalization of his parent, shall be considered a Philippine citizen, unless within one (1) year after reaching the age of majority, he fails to register himself as a Philippine citizen at the American Consulate of the country where he resides, and to take the necessary oath of allegiance. (Paragraph 4, Section 15, C.A. 473)

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