Land Ownership By Foreigners / Former Filipino Citizens

Foreigners Owning Philippine Land

Only Filipino citizens and corporations and associations at least 60% of whose capital is owned by Filipinos may acquire private lands.

Foreigners are allowed to purchase a condominium unit, provided that total foreign ownership of the condominium corporation does not exceed 40%. They may also inherit real property from their deceased Filipino spouses or parents.

Children born to a Filipino parent, whether legitimate or illegitimate, may inherit the property of the Filipino parent, even if the child is not a Filipino citizen.

Filipinos who lost their Filipino citizenship will remain the owners of any property they have acquired before changing nationalities. On the other hand, a natural-born Filipino citizen who has lost his Philippine citizenship may be a transferee of private land, subject to the following limitations and conditions.

Land Ownership by Former Filipinos in the Philippines

Natural-born Filipinos who have acquired foreign citizenship are entitled to own or acquire lands in the Philippines.

Article XII, Section 8, of the Philippine Constitution provides that a natural born citizens of the Philippines who has lost his or her Philippine citizenship may be a transferee of private lands, subject to limitations provided by law.

Section 7 of the same Article entitles former Filipinos to own and acquire lands through hereditary succession, i.e. by virtue of inheritance.


The laws on land ownership by natural-born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship are governed by Batas Pambansa Blg. 185 (BP 185), which was enacted in March 1982, and Republic Act 8179 (RA 8179), which amended the Foreign Investment Act of 1991.

BP 185 stipulates the guidelines on land ownership by former Filipinos for purposes of establishment of residence while RA 8179 (Section 10) specifies entitlements and conditions for land acquisition for investment purposes. The acquisition or transfer of private lands refers to either voluntary or involuntary sale, devise or donation. Involuntary sales include sales on tax delinquency, foreclosures, and execution of judgment.

The following are the provisions of BP 185 and RA 7042, as amended by RA 8179, pertinent to land ownership by former Filipinos.