Here’s Why You Should Retire in the Philippines

Did you know that you can migrate to and retire in the Philippines as early as 35 years old? Yes, you can! This is just one of the reasons why retiring in the Philippines could—and should—be on your bucket list. But before you pack your suitcases, it would be wise to research and weigh the pros and cons of such an important decision. Here is a list that will hopefully help you decide whether to get a retirement visa in the Philippines or not:

Pros:

Cons:

Pros of retiring in the Philippines

In a nutshell: If you want to live comfortably even on a budget, enjoy paradise-like surroundings, and interact with friendly English-speaking people, then this archipelago is the retirement destination for you.

Low Cost of Living

According to Investopedia, the Philippines is the fifth cheapest country to retire to for 2018. Most expats can live comfortably on about USD800 to USD1,200 a month—including dining out and in-country travel, at least according to International Living, a website that covers living costs in different countries.

Household help is also abundant and cheap, so you can easily find someone to cook, clean, and do other chores around the house—even with a small budget.

Friendly Filipinos

Filipinos are world-renowned for being happy people who serve with a smile. What’s more, they speak English well given its inclusion in the school curriculum and the prevalence of American tastes in pop culture.

If you’re an English speaker, you will find communicating with locals to be relatively easy. The English Proficiency Index 2019 ranked the Philippines as #1 in Southeast Asia (#2 in Asia, second only to Singapore) and #20 Worldwide (out of 100 countries surveyed), proving the country’s high proficiency in the language.

Picturesque Scenery

The Philippines is a beautiful country. Home to six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the tropical country has something to offer for everyone. From the mountains, beaches, and even sand dunes, the country is a sight to see — and you don’t need to break the bank to do so. The following is just a tiny sample of what you can expect:

All these among many, many others.

Government Incentives for Expats

A dedicated government office, the Philippine Retirement Agency (PRA), ensures the provision of benefits to expats such as senior citizen discounts, duty-free imports (up to USD7,000 worth of household goods, and exemption from airport travel taxes. Expats in the Philippines are also allowed to start and own businesses.

Lastly, holders of the retiree visa (called the SRRV or Special Resident Retiree Visa) are considered permanent Philippine residents and would no longer need to have periodic visa renewals. That means you can leave and return to the country whenever you please without having to re-apply for residency.

Low Minimum Retirement Age

As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to wait until you’re 60 to enjoy the fruits of your labor. As long as you submit the requirements, you can retire in the Philippines even as a 35-year-old—something that sets the country apart from its peers in Southeast Asia. Application and process requirements for Philippine immigration are also relatively simple compared to neighboring countries.

Cons of retiring in the Philippines

In a nutshell: If you are used to First-World infrastructure and healthcare even in rural areas, or are easily spooked by the smallest possibility of risk, the archipelago could slide a little down your list of retirement destinations.

Less-developed Infrastructure

The local infrastructure may not be the same or at par with those of more developed countries. This is more of an issue with the rural provinces, but if you decide to live in the urban metropolises (e.g. Manila, Cebu, or Davao), you can expect good-enough transportation and utility services.

Public Safety

As of April 2019, the US has placed the Philippines in Alert List Level 2 and reminds its citizens to “Exercise Increased Caution” when traveling in the country. It must be noted though that five (5) out of the top 10 safest South East Asian Cities in 2018 came from the Philippines. If you avoid the southern island of Mindanao, you are generally safe from terrorist threats.

Inaccessible Rural Healthcare

If you need regular check-ups and treatment, living in rural areas might not be the best option. The country’s capital, Manila, may be famous for its traffic jams, but it more than makes up for it with healthcare that’s both accessible and affordable for expats.

Where do you get a retirement visa in the Philippines?

The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) issues the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV), a special non-immigrant retirement visa in the Philippines. The PRA is actually under the Department of Tourism and NOT the Bureau of Immigration. Having the SRRV actually exempts you from some Philippine immigration requirements.

Is retiring in the Philippines for you?

Every country has its pros and cons. All possible factors should be carefully evaluated before making any decisions. though It may be prudent to visit the country a few times and to look at it from the perspective of a potential resident, not a tourist.

Need help in visa processing?

Have you decided to retire in the Philippines? DAYANAN Business Consulting can assist in processing visas for you. Reach out to our Visa Specialist here.

9(a) Tourist Visa

For foreign nationals planning to come to the Philippines for business, tourism, or health-related reasons, a 9(a) tourist visa is required.

The nationals of the 160 countries (listed below) receive a thirty (30) day visa upon arrival. The exceptions include China (7 days), Hong Kong (14 days), Macau (14 days), Brazil (59 days), and Israel (59 days).

There are thirty-eight (38) countries that require a visa (listed below). For these countries the tourist visa must be obtained before entering the Philippines.

All visitors are required to have a passport that is valid for no less than six (6) months and an outbound ticket.

Tourist Visa Extention

Foreign nationals who have received the thirty (30) day tourist visa, may apply for an extension of twenty-nine (29) days and subsequently apply for either one (1) month, two (2) months, or six (6) months extensions, seven days before expiry of their current tourist visa. 

Foreign nationals who have received the fifty-nine (59) day tourist visa, may apply for an extension of twenty-nine (29) days and subsequently apply for either one (1) month, two (2) months, or six (6) months extensions, seven days before expiry of their current tourist visa. 

Visa Upon Arrival

Visa Required Countries

1.Afghanistan

2.Albania

3.Algeria

4.Armenia

5.Azerbaijan

6.Bangladesh

7.Belarus

8.Bosnia-Herzegovina

9.Byelorussia

10.China
11.Cuba

12.East Timor

13.Egypt

14.Georgia

15.India

16.Iran

17.Iraq

18.Jordan

19.Lebanon

20.Libya
21.Libya

22.Macedonia

23.Moldova

24.Nauru

25.Nigeria

26.North Korea

27.Pakistan

28.Palestine 

29.Serbia

30.Sierra Leone
31.Sri Lanka

32.Somalia

33.Stateless

34.Sudan

35.Syria

36.Taiwan/ROC

37.Tonga

38.Ukraine

39.Yemen

Special Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG)

Special Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG) - Philippines

Non-immigrant foreigners coming to the Philippines may apply for a Special Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG).
To maintain the legal status of the SVEG visa, the holder must employ at least ten (10) Filipino full-time/regular employees in a
lawful and sustainable enterprise, trade or industry.

If not compliant with maintaining the ten (10) Filipino full-time/regular employees,  the SVEG holder shall immediately submit the reasons for non-compliance to the Bureau of Immigration. Otherwise, the Bureau of Immigration will discontinue the privileges of the SVEG holder.

Holders of SVEG shall have multiple entry privileges. He/She will be issued indefinite stay upon approval and may be extended to spouse and dependent unmarried child/children.

Filipino Employee

The Filipino employee must be full-time/regular and has a managerial, executive, professional, technical, skilled or unskilled
position in a business activity, investment, enterprise or industry in the Philippines excluding housekeepers and household workers, domestics, nannies, cooks, guards, caretakers and the like.

Requirements for SVEG:

•Alien Employment Permit (AEP)
•Certification letter of regular employment of at least 10 Filipinos in the company
•Notarized letter requesting SVEG
•Copy of valid passport
•Company articles of incorporation
•Proof of investment
•Clearance from National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA)
•Clearance from Bureau of Immigration (BI)

47A2 Special Non-Immigrant Visa

47(a)(2) Special Non-Immigrant Visa

47(a)2 Special Non-Immigrant Visa

Foreign employees and investors of PEZA and BOI registered companies, Regional Headquarters (RHQ), Regional Operating Headquarters (ROHQ), may apply for 47(a)2 Special Non-Immigrant Visa valid for one year, which may be renewed for additional one year periods. Foreign national employees may not exceed 5% of the total work force employed by the sponsoring company.

ACR I-card is optional for holders of 47(a)2 Special Non-Immigrant Visa.

Requirements:

BOI

• BOI Application Form;
• Duly signed undertaking in the form of Board Resolution;
• An Understudy Information Sheet, Designation of Understudy, and Understudy Training Program (if applicable);
• Authenticated passport with valid visa;
• A Secretary’s Certificate authorizing the application of the Special Non-Immigrant Visa (for elective officers);
• Affidavit of Support from BOI registered company;
• Company organizational chart; and
• Resume and bio-data of the foreigner applying for the visa.

PEZA

• Letter of Request to PEZA on company’s behalf;
• Authenticated passport with valid visa;
• A Secretary’s Certificate authorizing the application of the Special Non-Immigrant Visa (for elective officers);
• Current service contract;
• Resume and bio-data of the foreigner applying for the visa.

DOJ

• DOJ application form;
• Certificate of BOI/PEZA Registration and the terms and conditions;
• Authenticated passport with valid visa;
• A Secretary’s Certificate authorizing the application of the Special Non-Immigrant Visa (for elective officers);
• Current Service Contract (for non-elected positions); and
• Affidavit of Support from BOI/PEZA registered company.

Philippines 9g Visa and Working Permit

Philippines 9g Visa and Working Permit

Getting a Working Visa in the Philippines

Philippines 9g  visa (also called commercial visa or pre-arranged employment visa) allow employers to hire foreign nationals with skills, qualifications and experience lacking in the Philippines.

Before a foreign national (expat) can be legally employed in the Philippines, he is required to obtain the necessary employment permit and work visa. Aliens caught working without the appropriate working  visa in the Philippines, alien employment permit and I-Card risk deportation and blacklisting by the bureau of immigration.

Work visas are issued for 1, 2 or for a maximum of 3 years depending on the length of the Employer – Employee contract and can be extended,

subject to Bureau of  Immigration and Department of Labor and Employment regulations in force at the time of the filing of the application. The visa holder may only work for the company which sponsored his visa. A change of employer requires a downgrade to tourist visa and new work visa application.

While the 9g working visa is being processed a foreign employee may work only once a Provisional Work Permit (PWP) is obtained. PWP are valid until the 9g visa and I-Card are issued.

Documentary Requirements of 9g Visa Processing:

  • Duly Accomplished Application Form
  • 4pcs. 2×2” Picture with white background
  • Joint letter Request addressed to the Commissioner from the applicant and petitioner
  • Curriculum Vitae of applicant
  • Photocopy of employment contract or equivalent document with job description
  • Copy of Financial Statement (if new company affidavit as to why no financial statement yet) & latest GIS from Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Certified true copy of SEC Certificate of Incorporation, AOI & By-laws
  • Newspaper Publication showing the name of applicant
  • Certification as to number of foreign employees employed from the date of filing of application
  • Certified true copy of Alien Employment Permit (AEP) from DOLE
  • Copy of passport with tourist visa valid for at least 25 days prior to submission of application
  • Board Resolution if the signatories are persons other than those appearing in the AOI & GIS
  • Philippines Tax Identification Number of petitioner (Certificate of Registration) and applicant
  • BI Clearance Certificate
  • PassportThe holder (principal applicant) of a 9g work visa may also apply for non-commercial visas for family members. Family members will be granted visas which have the same validity as the principal applicant

Foreign employees of PEZA registered companies must apply for 47(a)2 visas.

Dayanan’s accredited immigration consultants can assist you in efficiently processing your work visa with the Philippines Bureau of Immigration. Contact us now to find out more.

Visa & Immigration Services

Philippines Visa and Work Permits for Foreign Investors and Working Expats

Foreigners visiting the Philippines for any reason, whether as tourists, employees, investors setting up a business, or retiree are required to obtain visas. Visas are issued by the Bureau of Immigration while alien employment permits are issued by the Department of Labor and Employment. There are many kinds of visas available allowing foreigners to stay in the Philippines.

Dayanan’s Accredited Visa & Immigration Consultants assists individuals and company employees in selecting the correct visa, and processing all documents with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Having the correct type of visa is important. A person with a tourist visa caught working or overstaying may face fines, deportation and listing on the Philippines immigration blacklist.

Standard for those who wish to visit the Philippines for travel.
Usually issued upon arrival to citizens of most countries and valid for 30 days.

Working visa that allows employers in the Philippines to employ foreign nationals.

Foreigners who employ at least 10 Filipino full time in a sustainable enterprise may apply for this visa.

VISA issued to employees of PEZA or BOI registered companies RHQ and ROHQ

9(d) Treaty Trader Visa

Available to nationals of the United States, Japan and Germany specifically to carry on commerce pursuant to an existing treaty, or a foreigner for the purpose of developing and directing the operations of a business in the Philippines.

The SIRV is a program of the government to attract foreign investments into the country. The program requires investors to remit at least US$75,000 into the country.

The Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) is a lifetime visa and its holders are exempt from Bureau of Immigration requirements. SRRV-holders are also eligible to work, study or invest in the Philippines.

AEP Alien Employment Permit

AEP Alien Employment Permit

What an Alien Employment Permit (AEP)?

An AEP is a document issued by the Department of labor and Employment authorizing a foreign national to work in the Philippines. The holder of an Alien Employment Permit is also required to obtain a visa from the Bureau of Immigration.

Who are the foreign nationals required to apply for an AEP?

     a. Foreign nationals who intend to engage in gainful employment in the Philippines;
     b. Foreign nationals who intend to apply for a 9g pre-arranged employment visa
     c. Foreign professionals who are allowed to practice their profession in the Philippines under reciprocity and other international agreements and in consultancy services pursuant to Section 7(j) of the PRC Modernization Act of 2000.
     d. Holders of Special Investors Resident Visa (SIRV), Special Retirees Resident Visa (SRRV), Treaty Traders Visa (9d) or Special Non-Immigrant Visa (47(a)2) for as long as they occupy any executive, advisory, supervisory, or technical position in any establishment.

Who are the foreign nationals exempted from securing an AEP?

     a. Resident Foreign Nationals employed or seeking employment in the Philippines (DO 41-03)
     b. Members of the diplomatic services and foreign government officials accredited by the Philippine government;
     c. Officers and staff of international organizations of which the Philippine government is a cooperating member, and their legitimate spouses desiring to work in the Philippines;
     d. Foreign nationals elected as members of the Governing Board who do not occupy any other position, but have only voting rights in the corporation;
     e. All foreign nationals granted exemption by special laws and all other laws that may be promulgated by the Congress;
     f. Foreign nationals who come to the Philippines to teach, present and/or conduct research studies in universities and colleges as visiting, exchange or adjunct professors under formal agreements between universities or colleges in the Philippines and foreign universities or colleges;         or between the Philippine government and foreign government; provided that the exemption is on a reciprocal basis (DO 41-03)
     g. Owners and representatives of foreign principals, whose companies are accredited by the Philippine Overseas Administration (POEA), who come to the Philippines for a limited period solely for the purpose of interviewing Filipino applicants for employment abroad.

Where shall an application for an AEP be filed?

An application for AEP shall be filed personally or through their respective employer with the DOLE Regional Office or Field Office having jurisdiction over the intended place of work.

In case of foreign nationals to be assigned in subsidiaries, branch offices and joint ventures, and those assigned in the headquarters with oversight functions in any of the branch offices, operations or projects in the country, they may file their application in any of the DOLE Regional/Field Offices nearest their place of work.

What is the period of validity of an AEP?

The AEP shall be valid for one (1) year or co-terminus with the duration of employment, consultancy services or other modes of employment or term of office which inno case shall exceed five years. Said AEP is valid for the position/s and company for which it was issued.

In case of assignment in the company’s subsidiaries, branch offices and joint ventures and those assigned in the headquarters with oversight function in any of the branch offices, operation or projects in the country, one (1) AEP shall be required and valid for all the said assignments irrespective of their place/s.