- Securing your visa
- Cost of living in the Philippines
- Tips for foreign retirees in the Philippines
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final words
Are you planning to retire in the Philippines? As a Southeast Asian country, PH is popular among expats and retirees for good reasons. Prices are cheap, living is simple, and there are countless vacation spots to visit. But before you can bum by the beach on your retirement, you need to suffice retiring in the Philippines requirements Below, I discuss the basic info you have to know:
Securing your visa
One of the very first things you should secure is a retirement visa. For foreign citizens who wish to retire in the Philippines, the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) is what they need to get.
SRRV is a non-immigrant visa given to foreign nationals who want to retire or invest in the Philippines. Once you secure this visa, you will enjoy the following benefits:
- Indefinite stay in the Philippines
- Multiple entry and exit
- Eligibility to PhilHealth and other similar benefits
- Exemption from getting a student visa
- Exemption from travel tax if the stay is less than a year from the last entry date
- Exemption from pension taxes
Requirements to get a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa
Those who will apply for SRRV must be at least 35 years old. If the retiree has children he or she wishes to bring to the Philippines, the children should be below 21 years old and unmarried.
Foreign nationals who wish to retire to the Philippines and secure an SRRV must comply with the following requirements:
- Filled out Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) form
- 8 pieces, 2×2 photos
- Original passport with an updated Temporary Visitor’s Visa
- Police clearance from the originating country
- NBI clearance if the applicant stayed in PH for more than 30 days
- Marriage certificate if there is a dependent spouse
- Birth certificates of dependent children
- SSR Visa deposit
- Processing fees
Aside from these documentary requirements, you should also have at least $10,000 on a Philippine bank account aside from your monthly pension. This is a guarantee that you can sustain your self during your stay in the Philippines. Some may require to show more, depending on the circumstance.
Those with no established monthly income need to deposit $20,000 on a Philippine bank account to be given a visa.
Once you have secured an SRRV, you no longer have to seek stay extensions from the Bureau of Immigration.
Cost of living in the Philippines
As compared to the United States and other western countries, the Philippines has a much cheaper cost of living. For example, retirees will enjoy about 79% lower rent prices. You can rent a townhouse in a good neighborhood for just $300 a month, which is way cheaper than other countries. For those who are renting apartments in the city, prices are on your side for as low as $150 a month.
Housing in the Philippines is fairly easy as long as you have the budget. You can also purchase a condo unit if you wish to own a property. However, the property must have a value not exceeding $50,000.
Aside from that, utility bills are within average. For a house with complete appliances, it would cost around $60 to $100, depending on your usage.
Moreover, internet connection may not be as speedy as other countries, but you’ll get a decent plan for just $30 a month.
It’s also easy to enjoy luxuries in the Philippines without spending a lot. For example, a three-course meal for two would only cost roughly $30.
Meanwhile, haircuts can be as cheap as $5 or as low as $1 for street-side barbershops.
Overall, if you’re a middle-class citizen in a western country, you can easily afford to live in the Philippines. You will also have a lot of extras for some frills.
Tips for foreign retirees in the Philippines
Choose a beautiful setting
Many retirees in the Philippines choose a place in the province for a laidback and quiet life. Also, rates in the province are much cheaper than in Manila. If you plan to build a business, you can choose a prominent tourist spot.
In this video, I listed some of the safest places to retire in the Philippines if you’re still scouting for a spot.
Try to learn the language
Although many Filipinos are conversational in English, it will help if you’ll learn some phrases along the way. It will help you connect with the locals, and it will also prevent you from being ripped off.
Get off your high horse
If you want a simple life in the Philippines, you should blend in with the locals. Filipinos will welcome you if you’re respectful and kind. Being sociable also makes a big difference if you’re settling in the province.
Maintain a specific income
Remember that your SRRV requires you to maintain a specific income. If you’re from the United States, the Philippine embassy has someone who can assist you with matters concerning social security services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is retiring in the Philippines a good idea?
A: The low cost of living is one of the major benefits of retiring in the Philippines. The government also has specific rules and visa terms for foreign citizens who wish to make the Philippines their new home. In fact, the Philippines is one of the leading destinations for expats in the Southeast Asian region.
Q: Can a foreigner buy a house in the Philippines?
A: Unfortunately, foreigners, even retirees, aren’t allowed to own land in the Philippines. You can buy a property like condominium units, but never detached housing built on titled land. The closest you can get in owning a house is securing a long-term lease agreement to a Filipino who owns a piece of land.
Q: Where do most expats live in the Philippines?
A: Most expats are in the capital Manila since it’s closest to major government offices and other amenities. Some opt for provinces like Baguio, Cebu, Pampanga, and Davao. You can also find a lot of expats and retirees on various beach resorts.
These retiring in the Philippines requirements are just some of the things you need to think about. It’s best to seek the help of a lawyer so you wouldn’t second-guess on the technicality of the process.