The Ultimate Guide on How to Secure a Retirement Visa in the Philippines
Ultimate Guide - Retirement Philippines

The Ultimate Guide on How to Secure a Retirement Visa in the Philippines

Most people would love to retire in paradise. With its tropical climate, beautiful beaches, and low cost of living, the Philippines is ideal. Forbes named the Philippines one of the best places to retire abroad in 2019. Beyond its obvious advantages, Forbes noted that the Philippines has one of the easiest residency programs for retirees.

Who Can Retire in the Philippines?

The Philippines welcomes foreign nationals looking to reside in its retirement paradise. These individuals must secure a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) to be entitled to permanently reside in the Philippines and obtain multiple entry privileges.

An SRRV can be acquired by those aged 35 and older, and with a time deposit of as low as US$1,500. Upon qualifying for a SRRV, retirees may bring their spouse and one child with no additional visa deposit. Larger families require an additional deposit per dependent in excess of two.

Children must be legal dependents and under 21 years of age. They can remain dependent up until age 35, at which point they must become a principal retiree or have their SRRV cancelled.

Benefits of a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa

SRRV visa holders can live, work, and study in the Philippines permanently. Their privileges include the following:

  • Indefinite stay with multiple-entry/exit privileges;
  • Exempt from Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) ACR-I Card;
  • Pensions and annuities are tax exempt;
  • Entitlement to PhilHealth benefits and privileges;
  • Exempt from Student Visa/Study Permit;
  • Exempt from customs duties and taxes for one time importation of household goods and personal effects (up to US$7,000.00);
  • Exempt from Travel Tax if retiree has not stayed in the Philippines for more than 1 year from last date of entry;
  • Discount privileges from Philippine Retirement Authority accredited Merchant Partners; and
  • Assistance transacting with other governmental agencies (such as acquiring a driver’s license or Tax Identification Number).

Options for Obtaining a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa

The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), the government agency tasked to monitor the entry and residence of foreign retirees in the Philippines, offers five different visa programs:

SRRV Options - Philippines

SRRV Program Options

SRRV SMILE

For healthy retirees aged 35 years and above. A visa deposit of USD 20,000 is required.

Age and Terms of Deposit

  • 35 years and older
  • US$20,000 deposit for principal retiree and two dependents
  • Additional US$15,000 for dependents in excess of two
  • Locked-in a PRA designated bank and not convertible to investment
  • Withdrawable upon cancellation of visa
  • Withdrawable for end of term needs or catastrophic obligations (e.g. death, extreme medical conditions)

Application fees

  • Principal Retiree – US$1,400
  • Dependents – US$300

Annual Fees

  • US$360 for principal and two dependents
  • US$100 for each dependent in excess of two

SRRV CLASSIC

For healthy retirees aged 35 years and above who would like to invest their visa deposit in real estate.

Age and Terms of Deposit

  • 35 – 49 years old: US$50,000
  • 50 years old and above:
    • Without pension: US$20,000
    • With pension: US$10,000 (minimum monthly pension US$800 for single applicants; US$1000/month for married couples). Certificate of Retirement Benefits required.
  • Entire deposit must be applied to the purchase of condominium units or a residential long-term lease.
  • Value of the property a minimum of US$50,000.
  • Additional visa deposit of US$15,000 applies per dependent in excess of two.

Application fees

  • Principal Retiree – US$1,400
  • Dependents – US$300

Annual Fees

  • US$360 for principal retiree and two dependents
  • US$100 for each dependent in excess of two

SRRV HUMAN TOUCH

For retirees aged 35 and above that need medical assistance. A visa deposit of US$10,000 is required, along with monthly pension (US$1,500) and medical insurance policy. Only one dependent is allowed, either spouse or child.

Age and Terms of Deposit

  • 35 years and older
  • US$10,000 deposit for principal retiree and one dependent
  • Locked-in a PRA designated bank and not convertible to investment
  • Withdrawable upon cancellation of visa
  • Withdrawable for end of term needs or catastrophic obligations (e.g. death, extreme medical conditions)

Additional Requirements

  • Medical certificate verifying pre-existing condition that requires medical assistance
  • Health insurance policy accepted within the Philippines
  • Certificate of Retirement Benefits, US$1,500/month or greater

Application Fees

  • Principal Retiree – US$1,400
  • Dependent – US$300

Annual Fee

  • US$360 for principal retiree and dependent

SRRV COURTESY

For foreign nationals aged 50 and above who are retired officers of International Organizations recognized by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). It also covers former Filipinos aged 35 and above. Visa deposit of US$1,500 is required and can be converted to real estate investments.

Age and Terms of Deposit

  • Former Filipinos aged 35 years and older
  • Foreign Nationals aged 50 years and older
  • US$1,500 deposit, convertible to investment in real estate
  • If converting to real estate investment, entire deposit must be applied to purchase of condominium or long-term lease
  • Value of the property a minimum of US$50,000
  • Additional Visa deposit of US$1,500 applies per dependent in excess of two for foreign nationals. Additional deposit waived for dependents of former Filipinos

Additional Requirements

  • For Former Filipinos: Birth Certificate Issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) or old Philippine Passport
  • For Foreign Nationals: Certificate of Former Employment from a DFA-approved international organization.

Application fees

  • Principal Retiree – US$1,400
  • Dependents – US$300

Annual Fees

  • US$360 for principal retiree and dependents (waived first year)
  • US$10 for each dependent, for issuance of PRA ID card

SRRV EXPANDED COURTESY VISA

For accomplished retirees aged 50 and above, such as retired diplomatic and military personnel, professors and scientists, philanthropists and others (for a full list of qualifying criteria please see PRA Circular No. 012 of 2013). Visa deposit of US$1,500 is required and can be converted to real estate investments. Monthly pension of at least US$1000.

Age and Terms of Deposit

  • Notable Foreign Nationals aged 50 years and older
  • US$1,500 deposit, convertible to investment in real estate
  • If converting to real estate investment, entire deposit must be applied to purchase of condominium or long-term lease
  • Value of the property a minimum of US$50,000
  • Additional Visa deposit of US$1,500 applies per dependent in excess of two for foreign nationals

Additional Requirements

  • Certificate of achievement issued by relevant international body or organization
  • Certificate of Retirement Benefits, US$1000/month minimum

Application fees

  • Principal Retiree – US$1,400
  • Dependents – US$300

Annual Fees

  • US$360 for principal retiree and dependents (waived first year)
  • US$10 for each dependent, for issuance of PRA ID card

Documentary Requirements for All SRRV Applicants

The following documents are required for all SRRV applicants, both principal and dependent, unless otherwise stated. All documents obtained outside the Philippines must be authenticated by the Philippine Consulate nearest the location where the documents were obtained. All documents must be translated into English.

SRRV applicants are advised to note that many documents have a limited window of validity as described below.

  • Completed SRRV Application Form: Must be typewritten and include ALL required documentation.
  • Medical Certificate: If obtained within the Philippines, authentication is not required by the consulate. Medical certificates are valid only for 6 months from the date of issuance.
  • Police Clearance: From country of origin and/or country of residence. Valid only for 6 months from the date of issuance. Authentication required by the consulate. Not required for dependents under 18 years.
  • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance: Required if applicant has stayed in the Philippines for more than 30 days from the date of last entry prior to SRRV application. Valid one year from the date of issuance. Not required for dependents under 18 years.
  • Bank Certification of Visa Deposit: Amount depends on chosen visa scheme and number of dependents. Only one certification per family is required.
  • Original Passport with Valid Entry Visa. Applicants and their dependents MUST BE in the Philippines during the processing of their SRRV application. A Temporary Visitor’s Visa valid for at least 10 days is required. If in the Philippines on another visa, such visa must be downgraded to a Temporary Visitor’s Visa before applying for the SRRV.
  • Passport Photos: 12 photos, size 2×2 for principal and all dependents.
  • Marriage Certificate: If outside the Philippines, MUST be authenticated by consulate nearest the location where the document was obtained.
  • Birth Certificate or Certificate of Legal Adoption: If outside the Philippines, MUST be authenticated by consulate nearest the location where the document was obtained.
  • Fulfilled Additional Requirements: Listed above, per visa program.

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