Are you a foreigner looking to retire in the Philippines? Here’s how you can get a special resident retiree’s visa.
With over 7,000 islands, a beautiful tropical climate, and friendly people, there’s no doubt that the Philippines has become one of the best places to retire in Asia.
Apart from the low cost of living, a lot of Filipinos are excellent English communicators. So if your country of origin is English-speaking, such as the US, then it should be easy to settle in this beautiful country.
You can spend your retirement years frolicking on the beach, getting lots of sunshine, and enjoying the beautiful Filipino culture. The Philippines is an excellent destination for all sorts of lifestyles.
You can retire in the metro if you want access to modern infrastructures or be near the best medical facilities. You could also enjoy a relaxed and laid-back retirement in one of the many tropical mountains and beaches this country has to offer.
But before you could stay in the Philippines for the long term, you should first acquire a special resident retiree’s visa or SRRV. But what is the resident retiree’s visa SRRV, how do you get it and how much does it cost? You’re about to find out.
About the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa
The Philippine Retirement Authority has mandated the Bureau of Immigration to issue the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa or the SRRV, allowing former Filipino citizens and foreign nationals to live, study and invest in the Philippines.
The government created the Philippine Retirement Authority to aid applicants in processing their retirement visas. The PRA was created with the goal of providing an attractive package for retirees, and at the same time helping with the socio-economic growth of the country.
Potential SRRV holders can pick among these resident retiree’s visas, depending on their nationalities, ages, health conditions, and how they want to live and invest in our country.
This type of visa is ideal for retirees who are healthy and active and are able to keep their $20,000 visa deposit in any of the accredited retirement accounts for as long as they are visa holders. Foreign nationals who are at least 35 years old can avail of this visa type (note: the PRA has suspended the SRRV Smile Visa as of October 2020).
The SRRV Classic Visa is offered to foreign nationals and former Filipinos who are active and healthy. Applicants who are between 35 to 49 years old will have to provide a deposit of $50,000. Meanwhile, retirees who are 50 years old and above need to deposit $10,000. SRRV holders are allowed to invest in real estate, either on a ready-for occupancy condominium unit or long term lease of a house and lot.
The SRRV Courtesy is designed for former Filipino citizens at least 35 years old and foreign nationals who are 50 years old and above. This visa is specially designed for retirees who have served as diplomats and ambassadors to the Philippines, as well as those who have worked as staff in international organizations. The required visa deposit is $1,500.
SRRV Human Touch
The Human Touch is for retirees who are at least 35 years old and are in need of health or medical services. Potential retirees can avail of this visa as long as they have health insurance that’s accepted in the Philippines, provide $10,000 for the visa deposit, and receive at least $1,500 in monthly pension.
SRRV Expanded Courtesy
This visa is for retired members of the Armed Forces (whether they’ve served in the Philippines or not), as long as they earn at least $1,000 in monthly pension and provide $1,500 as a visa deposit.
Perks and Benefits of the Resident Retiree’s Visa SRRV
Getting the resident retiree’s visa SRRV entitles you to the following perks and privileges:
- Indefinite Stay, Multiple Entry Privileges
SRRV holders can stay in the country for as long as they want, and they may go in and out as often as they like.
- Customs Duties and Taxes Exemption
Visa holders may be exempted from custom duties and taxes for the one-time importation of household goods and personal effects up to $7,000.
- ACR-I Card Exemption
All visa holders no longer have to obtain the Alien Certificate Registration annually from the National Bureau of Investigation.
- Tax Free Remittances to the Philippines
Visa holders do not have to pay taxes for the pensions and annuities that are remitted into the country.
- Assistance in Obtaining Documents from Government Agencies
Retirees receive assistance when obtaining essential documents, such as National Bureau of Investigation NBI clearance, driver’s permit, Alien Employment Permit, Tax Exemption Certificate, and Tax Identification Number.
Documentary Requirements for Getting A Retirement Visa in the Philippines
As with any other visa application process, getting the SRRV also involves some paperwork. Here are the documents you need to prepare when applying for a retirement visa in the Philippines:
- Fully-filled up SRRV Application Form – you can download this from www.pra.gov.ph
- Medical certificate – you can obtain one from your country of origin but must be authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate. Alternatively, you can obtain a medical certificate from an accredited hospital or clinic. The certificate is valid for up to 6 months.
- Police clearance – must be obtained from the applicant’s country of origin and translated into English.
- National Bureau of Investigation NBI Clearance – this is applicable if you have stayed for more than 30 days in the Philippines. The NBI clearance is valid for up to 1 year.
- Bank proof of your visa deposit – this is the certificate of deposit that proves that you have parked the visa deposit on one of the accredited banks in the Republic of the Philippines.
- Valid passport – must be accompanied by a valid temporary visitor’s visa
Additional documents are required if an applicant is also applying for a retirement visa for his or her spouse and children.
- Proof of Marriage – A marriage certificate or contract must be translated into English and authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or consulate office nearest the applicant’s residence.
- Birth Certificate or Household Register – For dependents who are 18 years old and below. It must be translated into English and authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or consulate office nearest the applicant’s residence.
How Much Does It Cost To Obtain A Philippine Retirement Visa?
Here’s what you have to pay to obtain a retirement visa in the Republic of the Philippines when you join the program:
- $1,400 – This is for the one-time processing fee of the principal applicant
- $300 – For the dependent applicant
- $360 – For the annual fee of the principal applicant and two dependent applicants
How to Apply for the Philippine Retirement Visa
It is important to note that the principal applicant must be physically present when applying for the retirement program. Here’s the step-by-step process of getting your retirement visa in the Philippines.
- Secure the necessary documents from your country of origin: police clearance, marriage certificate, birth certificate, medical certificate, and valid passport. Make sure to have them authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or consulate office.
- Visit the PRA Main Office to file your documents. The PRA Main Office is located in Makati, Metro Manila. Alternatively, you can file at any PRA Satellite Office.
- Find a PRA designated bank and provide your visa deposit. Also, acquire your certificate of deposit from such a bank.
- The PRA Main Office will endorse your application to the Bureau of Immigration.
- Wait for the approval of your application by the Bureau of Immigration Commissioner.
- Upon approval, visit the PRA office to take an Oath of Affirmation.
The entire application process can take between 15-20 working days if filed at the PRA main office, and 25-30 days if filed at a PRA satellite office.
Important things to remember:
- You need to extend your temporary visitor’s visa if it expires while you are processing your retirement visa.
- You may halt or discontinue the application process (for instance, in the case of an emergency) if you need to return to your home country. You can pull out all the documents that you have submitted. However, you have to pay a revalidation fee of Php 5,520 to the Bureau of Immigration if you decide to continue the application later.
- PRA may request additional documents pertinent to the processing of your retirement visa.
- The PRA may reject your application if proven that you have submitted tampered with or fake documents.
Pros and Cons of Getting A Retirement Visa in The Philippines
- You get multiple entry privileges to the Philippines
- You can live, work, and invest in the Philippines
- You can retire as early as 35 years old
- Exemptions for travel tax
- You earn tax free interest on your visa deposit
- You must provide a visa deposit and keep it in an accredited Philippine bank
- You are not able to own land in the Philippines (but you may purchase it as long as it is named after a Filipino spouse)
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do I need to retire in the Philippines?
The Philippines has a low cost of living, so can retire comfortably in the country without spending so much. According to retirepedia.com, you need at least $10,000 in savings deposited into a Philippine bank account and at least $1,000 in monthly income to retire in the Philippines.
How can I apply for SRRV in the Philippines?
You need to be physically present in the Philippines when you apply for SRRV. Furnish all the original and duly authenticated documents, provide your visa deposit to an accredited bank, and file all your paperwork at the PRA office. The entire process can be completed within 15-30 business days, so make sure to re-extend your temporary visitor’s visa if it expires before you finish the application process.
Can a US citizen retire in the Philippines?
Yes, a US citizen can retire or live permanently in the Philippines as long as he has acquired the special resident retiree’s visa.
Can an SRRV holder enter the Philippines now?
All SRRV holders have clearance and re entry privileges to the Philippines.
How much is SRRV in the Philippines?
The costs associated with the SRRV depend on the type of visa that an applicant wishes to obtain. In general, all potential retirees need to pay a one-time processing fee of $1,400 and $300 for every dependent, plus a $360 annual fee.
Visa deposits are as follows:
- SRRV Classic (35 to 49 years old) – $50,000
- SRRV Classic (50 years old and above, with pension) – $10,000
- SRRV Smile (35 years old and above) – $20,000
- SRRV Courtesy / Expanded Courtesy (35 years old and above, former Filipinos and foreign nationals) – $1,500
- SRRV Human Touch (35 years old and above) – $10,000
Can I work with SRRV?
Yes, you can work in the Philippines with the SRRV.
How long does it take to get a retirement visa in the Philippines?
The application process for the SRRV can take between 15-30 working days, depending on which office you filed your application.
The creation of the Special Residents Retiree’s Visa through the Philippine Retirement Authority has numerous benefits: it allows foreign nationals and former Filipinos to retire in the Philippines, as well as live, work, and study legally in our country while enjoying numerous privileges. As for the country, the Philippine government, more foreigners retiring in our country means more socio-economic growth.
Fortunately, retiring in the Philippines is made easier than ever through the SRRV. So if you are looking for a wonderful retirement where you can get lots of sunshine and be surrounded by nice and friendly people, then consider getting yourself an SRRV now.
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