Justice Secretary Leila De Lima approved on January 8, 2015 Bureau of Immigration (BI) Memorandum Circular No. SBM-2015-001, permitting children of foreign nationals to acquire permanent residence in the Philippines based on the foreign parent’s marriage to a Filipino national. Pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Philippine Immigration Act (PIA), the spouse or child of a Filipino may be granted permanent residence. Nevertheless, it is silent on whether a child of the foreigner spouse may be granted a similar status as that of the spouse.

The permanent resident status may be granted to the children of foreign nationals on the following:

(1) They are under 21 years old;

(2) Unmarried; and

(3) Accompanying or following to join their parent.

According to BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison, the policy elucidates and fills in the void such that it is aligned to State’s policy to protect the inviolability of the family.

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