Mo Ya Lim Yao v. Commissioner of Immigration.

G.R. No. L-21289 October 4, 1971.

FACTS:

Lau Yuen Yeung, a Chinese residing at Kowloon, Hongkong applied for a passport visa to enter the Philippines as a non-immigrant to take a pleasure trip and visit his great grand uncle.  Originally, she was granted to stay for a month, but due to several extensions she was supposed to leave a year after. However, before her visa was to expire, she married Edilberto Lim (petitioner) , an alleged Filipino citizen. She claims herself to be lawfully naturalized upon her marriage.

Because of the contemplated action of respondent to confiscate her bond and order her arrest and immediate deportation, after the expiration of her authorized stay, she brought this action for injunction with preliminary injunction.

Solicitor General poses the following objections:

  1. As provided in Immigration Act – an alien who has been admitted into the Philippines as a non-immigrant cannot remain here permanently unless he voluntarily leaves the country first and goes to a foreign country to secure thereat from the appropriate Philippine consul the proper visa and thereafter undergo examination by officers of the Bureau of Immigration at a Philippine port of entry for determination of his admissibility in accordance with the requirements of the Section 9(g) of the Immigration Act.
  2. Lau Yuen fails to prove that she possess all the qualifications required of applicants for naturalization by the Revised Naturalization Law.

Plaintiff-appellant does not possess all the qualifications required for applicant for naturalization (CA 473), even she has proven that she possesses none of the disqualifications in said law.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Lau Yuen Yeung became ipso facto a Filipino citizen upon her marriage to a Filipino citizen.

HELD:

Yes. Section 15 of the Revised Naturalization Law provides:

Effect of the naturalization on wife and children. — 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.

An alien woman, upon her marriage to a Filipino citizen, becomes lawfully naturalized ipso facto, provided that she does not possess all of the disqualifications enumerated in CA 473. (Sections 15 and 4)

The Immigration Act does not apply to aliens who after coming into the Philippines as temporary visitors, legitimately become Filipino citizens or acquire Filipino citizenship. Such change of nationality naturally bestows upon their the right to stay in the Philippines permanently or not, as they may choose, and if they elect to reside here, the immigration authorities may neither deport them nor confiscate their bonds.

The law does not apply to aliens who after coming into the Philippines as temporary visitors, legitimately become Filipino citizens or acquire Filipino citizenship. Such change of nationality naturally bestows upon them the right to stay in the Philippines permanently or not, as they may choose, and if they elect to reside here, the immigration authorities may neither deport them nor confiscate their bonds.

That under Section 15 of Commonwealth Act 473, the Revised Naturalization Law, the marriage of an alien woman to a Filipino makes her a Filipina, if she “herself might be lawfully naturalized”.

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