Philippines and India: Whether an Indian man married to a Filipino woman can obtain Philippine citizenship; whether a Filipino woman married to an Indian man can obtain Indian citizenship; requirements and procedures (2014-March 2016)
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Publication Date||4 March 2016|
|Citation / Document Symbol||ZZZ105459.E|
|Related Document(s)||Philippines et Inde : information indiquant si un Indien marié à une Philippine peut obtenir la citoyenneté philippine; si une Philippine mariée à un Indien peut obtenir la citoyenneté indienne; information sur les exigences et la marche à suivre (2014-mars 2016)|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Philippines and India: Whether an Indian man married to a Filipino woman can obtain Philippine citizenship; whether a Filipino woman married to an Indian man can obtain Indian citizenship; requirements and procedures (2014-March 2016), 4 March 2016, ZZZ105459.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/575527f24.html [accessed 15 December 2017]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
1. Dual Citizenship
According to the website of the Embassy of India in Manila, the Constitution of India does not permit dual citizenship (India n.d.a). The website of the High Commission of India in Ottawa indicates that "Indian citizens acquiring any foreign citizenship on or after 1 June, 2010 must formally renounce Indian citizenship"  (ibid. n.d.b).
According to the Citizenship Rules of 2009, formulated by the Central Government to outline the implementation of the Citizenship Act of 1955 (ibid. 2009, 1,), an individual married to a citizen of India, who would like to acquire Indian citizenship, must renounce his or her previous citizenship (ibid., Sec. 5).
The website of the Philippines Bureau of Immigration indicates that an individual who wants to acquire Philippine citizenship must renounce his or her "former nationality" (Philippines n.d.a). The website of the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles notes that, according to the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act No. 9225 of 2003, "only natural-born  citizens of the Philippines" who acquired citizenship of another country "shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship" (Philippines n.d.b).
2. Citizenship of India
According to the 1955 Citizenship Act of India, Indian citizenship can be acquired by registration by
c. a person who is married to a citizen of India and is ordinarily resident in India for seven years before making an application for registration. (India 1955, Art. 5(1)(c))
The same source states that an applicant is considered to be an ordinary resident of India if
he has resided in India throughout the period of twelve months immediately before making an application for registration;
he has resided in India during the eight years immediately preceding the said period of twelve months for a period of not less than six years. (ibid., Art. 5, Explanation 1)
The Citizenship Rules indicate that
An application from a person, who is married to a citizen of India, for registration as a citizen of India under clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 5 [of the Citizenship Act] shall not be entertained unless -
the application is made in Form III [A copy of Form III is attached to this Response (Attachment 1)];
he gives an undertaking in writing that he shall renounce the citizenship of his country in the event of his application being sanctioned;
on the date of making the application he,-
has been ordinarily a resident of India; or
has been in the service of the Government of India; at least for a period of seven years; and
he makes the oath of allegiance as specified in the Second Schedule to the Citizenship Act, 1955.
Explanation.- In computing the period of seven years, any broken period of residence and service under sub-clauses (i) and (ii) of clause (c) shall be included in the period specified therein.
The Central Government may, in consideration of the special circumstances, exempt, any foreign national married to such an Indian citizen who is in the service of the Government in India, from the operation of clause (c) of sub-rule (1).
The Central Government may, in consideration of the special circumstances, exempt any foreign national who has been married to an Indian citizen for not less than seven years and who has visited India at least once in a year during any seven years out of nine years, from the operation of clause (c) of sub-rule (1). (ibid. 2009, Sec. 5)
2.2 Application Procedures
The applicant must submit the application for citizenship to the "Collector/Deputy Commissioner/District Magistrate within whose jurisdiction the applicant is ordinarily resident for transmission to the Central Government through the State Government or the Union territory administration" (ibid., Part II). The applicant must also provide the following documents with his or her application for citizenship:
A copy of the valid foreign passport;
A copy of the valid residential permit;
Proof of his or her husband's or wife's Indian nationality, such as a copy of Indian passport or birth certificate;
A copy of a marriage certificate issued by the Registrar of Marriage;
An application fee of 500 Indian Rupees [approximately C$10.00] (ibid.).
According to the Citizenship Rules, an individual who is registered as a citizen of India will be issued a certificate of registration in Form X "signed by an officer not below the rank of Under Secretary to the Government of India" (ibid., Sec. 14). A copy of Form X is attached to this Response (Attachment 2).
3 Citizenship of Philippines
According to the website of the Bureau of Immigration, Philippine citizenship can be acquired by birth or through naturalization (Philippines n.d.a). An article published by the Manila Times indicates that, according to the Public Attorney's Office, an individual, who was born in India, and who is married to a Filipino woman, "may only acquire Philippine citizenship through the process of naturalization," in accordance with the Commonwealth Act 473 (Manila Times 30 Apr. 2015). The Commonwealth Act 473 of 1939 states that in order to become a citizen of the Philippines through naturalization, an individual
must-be not less than twenty-one years of age on the day of the hearing of the petition;
He must have resided in the Philippines for a continuous period of not less than ten years;
He must be of good moral character and believes in the principles underlying the Philippine Constitution, and must have conducted himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during the entire period of his residence in the Philippines in his relation with the constituted government as well as with the community in which he is living;
He must own real estate in the Philippines worth not less than five thousand pesos [approximately C$145.00], Philippine currency, or must have some know[n] lucrative trade, profession, or lawful occupation;
He must be able to speak and write English or Spanish and any one of the principal Philippine languages;
He must have enrolled his minor children of school age, in any of the public schools or private schools recognized by the Office of Private Education of the Philippines, where Philippine history, government and civics are taught or prescribed as part of the school curriculum, during the entire period of the residence in the Philippines required of him prior to the hearing of his petition for naturalization as Philippine citizen. (Philippines 1939, Sec. 2)
Section 3 of the Act indicates that the ten years of continuous residency required under condition 2 of the previous section, will be reduced to five years for a person who is married to a Filipino woman (ibid., Sec. 3 (3)).
3.2 Application Procedures
Section 5 of the Commonwealth Act states that
[o]ne year prior to the filing of his petition for admission to Philippine citizenship, the applicant for Philippine citizenship shall file with the Bureau of Justice a declaration under oath that is bona fide his intention to become a citizen of the Philippines. Such declaration shall set forth the name, age, occupation, personal description, place of birth, last foreign residence and allegiance, the date of arrival, the name of the vessel or aircraft, if any, in which he came to the Philippines, and the place of residence in the Philippines at the time of making the declaration. No declaration-shall be valid until lawful entry for permanent residence [has] been established and a certificate showing the date, place, and manner of his arrival has been issued. (ibid., Sec. 5)
According to the Commonwealth Act, a person who wants to acquire Philippine citizenship should submit his or her application to the Court of First Instance of the province in which the applicant has resided for at least one year prior to applying for citizenship (ibid., Sec. 7-8). The Manila Times quotes the Public Attorney's Office as stating that the application may be submitted to the Regional Trial Court of the city or province where the applicant has been residing (The Manila Times 30 Apr. 2015).
According to the Commonwealth Act, the applicant has to attend a hearing and
[i]f, after the hearing, the court believes, in view of the evidence taken, that the petitioner has all the qualifications required by, and none of the disqualifications specified in this Act and has complied with all requisites herein established, it shall order the proper naturalization certificate to be issued (Philippines 1939, Sec. 10).
3.3 Exclusions from Naturalization
The Commonwealth Act states under Section 4 that the following persons are not eligible to be naturalized as citizens of Philippines:
Persons opposed to organized government or affiliated with any association or group of persons who uphold and teach doctrines opposing all organized governments;
Persons defending or teaching the necessity or propriety of violence, personal assault, or assassination for the success and predominance of their ideas;
Polygamists or believers in the practice of polygamy;
Persons convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude;
Persons suffering from mental alienation or incurable contagious diseases;
Persons who, during the period of their residence in the Philippines, have not mingled socially with the Filipinos, or who have not evinced a sincere desire to learn and embrace the customs, traditions, and ideals of the Filipinos;
Citizens, or subjects of nations with whom the United States and the Philippines are at war, during the period of such war;
Citizens or subjects of a foreign country other than the United States, whose laws do not grant Filipinos the right to become naturalized citizens or subjects thereof. (ibid., Sec. 4)
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
 In order to renounce Indian citizenship, an individual must surrender his or her Indian passport for cancellation and obtain a "'Surrender Certificate' endorsement on the cancelled passport" (India n.d.b). According to the website of the High Commission of India, an individual can obtain the Surrender Certificate in Canada by submitting an application form and the required documents to the "outsourcing agent," BLS International (ibid.). BLS International is an organization that provides services for "administrative and non-judgmental tasks of outsourcing of Visas, Passports and Attestation Applications" in India and abroad (BLS International n.d.a). According to the website of BLS International, the applicant must provide the following documents:
An application form;
Original Indian passport and a copy of the passport;
Copy of the Canadian citizenship certificate;
Copy of Canadian passport, if available;
Copy of Record of Landing, and
The applicable fees (ibid. n.d.b).
The website of the High Commission of India in Ottawa indicates that the Indian passport will be cancelled and returned to the applicant along with the issued Surrender Certificate (India n.d.b).
 The website of the Embassy of the Philippines in Brussels indicates that, according to the Philippine Constitution, a natural-born citizen is an individual born to "one or both parents who are Filipino citizens at the time of birth" (Philippines n.d.c).
BLS International. N.d.a. "About Us." [Accessed 24 Feb. 2016]
_____. N.d.b. "General Information - Surrender of Nationality." [Accessed 24 Feb. 2016]
India. 2009. The Citizenship Rules, 2009. [Accessed 18 Feb. 2016]
_____. 1955 (amended 2005). The Citizenship Act, 1955. [Accessed 18 Feb. 2016]
_____. N.d.a. Embassy of India in Manila, Philippines. "Overseas Citizenship of India." [Accessed 12 Feb. 2016]
_____. N.d.b. High Commission of India in Ottawa, Canada. "Persons of Indian Origin to Obtain Surrender Certificate on Renunciation of Indian Citizenship." [Accessed 18 February 2016]
The Manila Times. 30 April 2015. Persida Acosta. "Foreigner Can Become Filipino Citizen Through Naturalization." [Accessed 23 Feb. 2016]
Philippines. 1939. Commonwealth Act No. 473, June 17, 1939. [Accessed 23 Feb. 2016]
_____. N.d.a. Bureau of Immigration. "Citizenship." [Accessed 18 Feb. 2016]
_____. N.d.b. Consulate General in Los Angeles. "Dual Citizenship: Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003 (R.A. 9225)." [Accessed 19 Feb. 2016]
_____. N.d.c. Embassy of the Philippines in Brussels. "Reacquisition of Filipino Citizenship." [Accessed 19 Feb. 2016]
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources: Immigration lawyers in India and Philippines; India - High Commission of India in Ottawa; International Organization for Migration in the Philippines; Philippines - Bureau of Immigration, Embassy in Ottawa.
Internet sites, including: Amnesty International; The Daily Tribune; ecoi.net; Factiva; Freedom House; Helplinelaw; Human Rights Watch; The Filipino Express; India - Consulate General in Toronto, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs; India Times; LawPhil Project; The News India; Nolo Networks; Philippines - Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Justice, embassies in New Delhi, Ottawa, Washington D.C., Supreme Court, Supreme Court E-Library; United Nations - Refworld; United States - Department of State, Embassy of the United States in Manila; University of Southeastern Philippines.
1. India. 2009. Ministry of Home Affairs. "Form III." [Accessed 23 Feb. 2016]
2. India. 2009. Ministry of Home Affairs. "Form X." [Accessed 23 Feb. 2016]