Planning To Leave for Good? Here Are Some Laws You Should Know First

A book about immigration law with a passport on top of it


Uprooting your life to move to another country is no simple decision. The process is lengthy and expensive, and the emotional toll can be tremendous. If your heart is set on this endeavor, you must prepare extensively to ensure the success of your immigration.

One of the most important facets of immigration preparation is understanding the immigration laws of your home country. These laws are complex and vary from one nation to another, which is why you need to be familiarize with them. Not doing so can be a pricey mistake that jeopardizes your entire immigration process.

Below, you will find various factors that affect the Filipino migration culture and three immigration laws you should keep in mind before beginning the immigration process.

The Pinoy Migration Culture

Migration is often a decision resulting from months, if not years, of contemplation. A person’s reason for migrating is personal, but economic or social factors may influence it.

Your reason for leaving the country can directly affect the immigration process. For instance, migrating to work abroad requires a work visa, while school immigration requires a student visa. You must also be prepared to face immigration interviews, assessing your eligibility to enter the country.

Work Opportunities

The most common reason Filipinos migrate is to seek better work opportunities. The Philippines has an unemployment rate of around 6%, meaning there are approximately 2.93 million unemployed people. This number does not include those who are underemployed or working in jobs that do not match their skill set or level of education.

With such high unemployment rates, it’s no wonder that so many Filipinos choose to migrate in search of work. Philippine youths, in particular, would like to work overseas as they believe it will lead to a better quality of life.

The requirements for an employment visa vary depending on the country. For example, the United States requires the approval of the US Department of Labor for labor certification. Other nations may have different conditions, so it’s best to consult with an immigration lawyer in Manila to learn more.


According to the Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index 2021, the Philippines’ retirement system has significant weaknesses, resulting in its second-lowest score in the index. Filipinos have to worry about weak compensation schemes, risks, and lack of benefits when planning their retirement in the country.

For these reasons, many Filipinos choose to retire abroad, where they can receive better compensation and benefits. The United States, Canada, and Japan are popular retirement destinations.


Sometimes, you find love in the most unexpected people or places. Filipinos who have foreign partners have the option to stay in the country or migrate with their spouses.

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas or CFO found that over 200,000 migrants moved to another country for marriage from 2009 to 2019. Intermarriage is likely to become more orthodox as societies become more globalized.

Immigrant visas for engaged or married couples differ depending on the target destination. In the United States, US citizens must file petitions for an immigrant visa on behalf of their foreign spouses. A non-immigrant visa is also an option, but it’s only valid for a short period.

Laws That Might Affect Your Migration

Immigration laws are not static. They undergo revisions from time to time, so keeping updated with the latest changes is essential. It would also help if you consulted with an immigration lawyer in Manila to better understand the immigration process and what you need to do to ensure its success.

Here are three immigration laws in the Philippines that might affect your migration plans.

Philippine Immigration Act of 1940

The Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 is the primary immigration law in the Philippines. It provides for the regulation of the entry and exit of foreigners into and out of the country. The act also establishes the requirements for acquired citizenship and naturalization.

Other than that, this law also discusses grounds for exclusion, which include public charges and improper documentation. The Philippines Immigration Act of 1940 may affect foreigners more, but it is a good reference for Filipinos who plan to migrate.

Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003

There may come a time when you want to return to the Philippines, not as a visitor but as a citizen. The Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 or Republic Act 9225 allows natural-born Filipinos who have acquired foreign citizenship to retain or reacquire their Philippine citizenship.

Under this law, natural-born Filipino citizens who have acquired foreign citizenship can gain back their citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. They can also receive the right to vote, practice their profession, and enter public office, provided they meet the qualifications.

Administrative Naturalization Law of 2000

The Administrative Naturalization Law of 2000 or Republic Act 9139 is an immigration law that provides aliens born and raised in the Philippines a chance to become Filipino citizens. It is also known as the Administrative Naturalization Law of 2000.

To be eligible for administrative naturalization, individuals must meet the following:

  • The applicant must be at least 18 years old, have good moral character, and possess basic Filipino language and culture knowledge.
  • They must have attended primary and secondary school in the Philippines.
  • They must have a source of income.

Of course, the naturalization requirements are different in other countries. Canada, for example, asks for tax proofs from applicants.

To guarantee that you’re on the right track, you should consider working with the best immigration lawyer in the Philippines. They can help you understand the immigration process and ensure you have all the requirements for a successful application.

Need an Immigration Lawyer? We Can Help!

Yap, Kung, Ching & Associates Law Office is one of Manila’s leading immigration law firms. Our team of immigration lawyers has a wealth of experience dealing with different immigration cases. We can help you with everything from applying for a visa to citizenship retention and reacquisition.

Don’t hesitate to reach out. We would be more than happy to discuss your immigration plans and assist you in any way we can.


Immigration laws have the authority to impede your plans to migrate. Understanding the Philippines’ immigration laws, as well as the immigration laws of your target country, is crucial to increasing your chances of success. Working with an immigration lawyer in Manila can take the hassle and guesswork out of the immigration process.

If you often find yourself wondering “Where can I find Philippine immigration lawyer near me,” look no further than Yap, Kung, Ching & Associates Law Office. Our team features some of the best immigration lawyers in the Philippines, and we’re ready to help you with your immigration plans no matter your chosen nation. Give us a call today! We look forward to hearing from you.

Related Posts