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 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.

Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SSRV)

retirement visa

The Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) is a special non-immigrant visa for foreign nationals who would like to make the Philippines their second home or investment destination. Enjoy retirement in the Philippines, low cost living and house help, good medical care, beautiful beaches, most westernized country in Asia, and everyone speaks, or comprehends English. Come and retire in the Philippines, the Pearl of the Orient Sea. World renowned tourist destinations to visit, with two islands Boracay and Palawan chosen by multiple travel magazines as being in “The Best Island in the World” top ten.


1. Indefinite stay with multiple-entry/exit privileges;
2. Exemption from:
• Philippine Bureau of Immigration ACR-I Card (Annual Report)
• Customs duties & taxes for one time importation of household goods & personal effects worth up to US$7,000.
• Travel Tax, if retiree has not stayed in the Philippines for more than 1 year from last date of entry

3. Access to the Greet & Assist Program at selected Philippine airports;
4. Free subscription to the PRA Newsletter;
5. Discount privileges from PRA accredited Merchant Partners;
6. Free assistance in transacting with other government agencies;
7. Entitlement to PHILHEALTH benefits & privileges.


For active/healthy retirees, 50 years old and above who opt to maintain their Visa deposit of US$20,000.00 in any of the PRA Accredited Banks.


For active/healthy retirees, who opt to use their Visa deposit to purchase of condominium units or use for long term lease of house & lot. The Visa deposit is as follows:

50 years old & above: US$ 10,000.00 (with a pension)**

50 years old & above: US$ 20,000.00 (without pension)

*The value of the property must at least be US$50,000.00

**Required pension of at least US$ 800 for single / US$1,000 for couple


For ailing retirees, 50 years old & above, who need/require medical/clinical care. A monthly pension of at least US$1,500.00, a health insurance policy accepted in the Philippines, and a Visa deposit of US$10,000.00 are required.


For former Filipinos 50 years old and above, and foreign nationals 50 years old & above, who have served in the Philippines as ambassadors and diplomats, honorary consuls, retirees of international organizations, and former military officers . A monthly pension of at least US$1,000.00 and a Visa deposit of US$1,500.00 are required.

The Visa deposit includes the principal applicant and 2 dependents. Additional dependent, entails additional SRR Visa deposit of US$15,000 each (except for former Filipinos). CHILDREN must be legitimate or legally adopted by the Principal Retiree, unmarried and below 21 years old upon joining the program.

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.