Philippine-Finnish Dual Citizenship

So now that you’ve acquired your Finnish citizenship, it’s time to inform the Philippine government about it so that they can consider you a dual citizen, as well. Finland does not make their citizens renounce their existing nationality. As such, foreigners seeking naturalization to become a Finnish citizen will be considered as dual citizens by the Finnish government.

For the Philippine government, however, if you wish to retain your citizenship after being naturalized in Finland, according to Republic Act No. 9225, you need to submit a retention/re-acquisition application and take an oath of allegiance. This can be done by visiting the Philippine embassy. Sad thing is, the Philippine embassy in Finland closed down back in 2012. There is still a consulate in Helsinki, but they do not process dual citizenship applications. At the moment, the closest embassy serving Filipinos in Finland is in Norway.

To be honest, it’s quite challenging getting an email response or an answer to a phone call from the Philippine embassy in Norway. I had plenty of questions, clarifications and concerns that I wanted them to address, but I never got a reply. So I flew to Norway to ask and apply for dual citizenship. Unfortunately, I still need to come back because I’m missing some requirements, but I expected that anyway. In order for others to save their time, effort and money, I’ll enumerate the requirements and steps for you. Of course, processes and requirements may change over time, and in that case it’s always better to check from the source but then again the said source cannot always be reached.

Instructions

There are instructions available in the embassy’s website, but when I visited the embassy, they provided me with a more detailed set of instructions, which I scanned and uploaded here.

Requirements for the Principal Applicant

Here are the requirements for a principal applicant that need to be prepared prior to submitting your application. For other instructions such as for those with dependents, please check the other requirements from this document.

  1. Filled up petition form (PDF format) (DOCX format) (2 original copies)
    • Again, the embassy has a form available in their website, but at the embassy office, I was given this form.
    • When filling in the form, please write in CAPITAL LETTERS. Also, please put “N/A” for items that are not applicable.
  2. 2×2 photographs (4 pieces)
    • White background and taken within the last 3 months
  3. Birth certificate (original and 4 photocopies)
    • Authenticated by the Philippine Statistics Authority (formerly NSO)
    • If you don’t have this, you can order it online through e-Census. They can deliver abroad for USD 20 that takes around 6-8 weeks delivery. According to their website, it’s possible to order a faster delivery (5-8 working days) but you have to send an email to ecensus2@census.gov.ph.
  4. Latest Philippine passport (original and 4 photocopies)
  5. Foreign passport (original and 4 photocopies)
  6. Authenticated certificate of Finnish citizenship in English (original and 4 photocopies)
      • You can request for this from Migri
        • Fill in the TOD_P form
        • Pay the processing fee (currently at €20) and keep a copy of the payment receipt
        • Scan or photocopy your Finnish identity card or Finnish passport
        • Send the filled and signed form, copy of ID or passport, and payment receipt to any of the options below:
          • E-mail to migri@migri.fi
          • Fax to 0295 411 720
          • Letter to PL 18, 00581 Helsinki
        • When sending your request, include a note that you would like the certificate to be in English.
        • As for me, I sent my documents via email, but do note that information security might be an issue when doing that. I received the certificate in English within a week.
      • Authenticate the certificate through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland
          • Legalisation of documents cost €20 per document. You can choose to pay for this via bank transfer or cash on delivery (you pay when you collect the letter from post office).
          • For bank transfer instructions, visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to get the latest information. The instructions below are last checked on 2017.03.02:
            • Write “Legalisation” in the message field that will be shown to the recipient
            • Transfer to any of these accounts:
              • Pohjola IBAN FI20 5000 0120 2508 64 BIC:OKOYFIHH
              • Nordea IBAN FI36 1660 3000 1069 74 BIC:NDEAFIHH
              • Danske Bank IBAN FI59 8919 9710 0004 76 BIC:DABAFIHH
            • Account holder information:
                Ministry for Foreign Affairs
                PO Box 176
                00023 GOVERNMENT
            • Keep a copy of the payment receipt
          • Mail the certificate of your Finnish citizenship and a copy of the payment receipt (if you paid via bank transfer) to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
            • Include your name, address, and phone number in case they would need to contact you.
            • Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to get the latest address, but the last time I checked (2017.03.02), you should mail it to this address:
                Ministry for Foreign Affairs
                KPA-10/ Legalisations
                PO Box 423
                00023 GOVERNMENT
            • The legalized documents submitted by mail arrive in approximately one week.
  7. Marriage contract (original and 4 photocopies)
    • See detailed instructions from the document provided by embassy
Submitting the Application

According to the embassy’s instructions, applicants are requested to scan the application form together with the requirements and email it to them. Unfortunately, for these kinds of personal and private legal documents, I wouldn’t advice anyone to submit them via an insecure manner like email. A hacked account or system can easily provide access to these sensitive information to the attackers, which can be used for crimes such as identity theft and identity fraud. That was the main reason why I flew to Norway.

The purpose of the email submission is to check and verify if the requirements are correct. After they have been verified, you will still need to submit all the requirements on the day of your oath taking appointment because the embassy needs the original and 4 photocopies of the required documents.

Scheduling for Oath Taking

An appointment is required for oath taking. You must also note that oath takings are done only during Thursdays at 1 in the afternoon. So when you decide to schedule an appointment for oath taking, make sure that it is a Thursday and that it does not fall on a Philippine or Norwegian public holiday. Once you’ve picked a date, send an email to consular@philembassy.no to inform them of your visit.

Appointment Day

Bring the required documents, including the original and photocopies. Make sure that you have those documents arranged in order as listed in the requirements checklist document. Also, you should have enough Norwegian Krone (NOK) to pay for the fees. The embassy only accepts cash. The fees as of March 2017:

Type Price (NOK)
Principal 450
Dependent 225
Passport 540
Postage 260
Passport Renewal

If you are planning to renew your passport at the same time, you just need to fill in this application form that is available in the embassy’s website, and submit that along with a photocopy of your most recent Philippine passport data page.

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