The Philippines is well-known among expats for offering many investment opportunities, thanks to improving infrastructure, quality workforce, and readily available resources. However, the country has also made a name among expats for offering retirement destinations unlike any other. This means foreigners are doing business in the Philippines and permanently settling down in the beautiful country.
The Filipino government has paved the way for several ground-breaking policies to ensure an excellent retirement environment for expats. If you wish to avail yourself of the country’s benefits, such as low cost of living, cheap health insurance, etc., you can get your hands on the Philippines Special Retiree Resident VISA or the SRRV.
The SRRV VISA holder can reside in the country indefinitely without going to the Bureau of Immigration to secure extensions. A resident retiree can also fulfil their wishes of starting a business in the Philippines. It is not limited by the Constitution, pre-existing laws, or the Philippine Investment Act of 1991. Read on to learn more about the SRRV VISA and its desirable features!
What Are the Different SRRV Categories and Subsequent Fees?
The Philippine Retirement Authority or the PRA offers four different SRRVs to successfully accommodate people of different ages, nationalities, types of investors, and retirees. Let’s take a look:
Any healthy and active individual can deposit $20,000 in an approved Filipino retirement account and get their hands on the Smile VISA. Anyone between the ages of 35 to 49 can apply for the Smile VISA.
It is important to note that the SRRV Smile does not allow VISA holders to pour their resources into investments.
This VISA is most popular with foreign retirees due to its flexible nature. Anyone between the age of 35 to 49 can deposit $50,000 to get the Classic VISA. Meanwhile, a person aged 50 or over the age of 50 can obtain this VISA with a deposit of $10,000, provided that they can guarantee a monthly income of $800 for individuals or $1000 for couples. If they fail to prove the latter, they can still get the VISA with a deposit of $20,000.
This VISA is applicable for former Filipinos who are 35 years of age or older and foreigners aged 50 or above who have held positions of diplomats, ambassadors, officers, or staff of international organizations (such as the UN or the Asian Development Bank).
●SRRV Human Touch
This VISA applies to retirees aged 35 years or above who require medical and clinical services. This VISA program is no longer different from the basic retirement program, except the non-convertible deposit in this scenario has been reduced to $20,000.
What Are Some of the Privileges Included under the SRRV?
From setting up a business in the Philippines to becoming a permanent resident, the country has witnessed a steady influx of foreigners over the past years. Here are some privileges that are allowed under the SRRV VISA:
- Expats can include their spouse and one unmarried child (below the age of 21) in their original application for the VISA. They can also add more dependents with an extra deposit of $15,000 per person.
- The country does not have too many restrictions on nationalities.
- No exit clearance or re-entry permit is required.
- VISA holders need not pay more than $360 (covers three family members) annually or obtain any extensions to live in the country for an indefinite period.
- VISA holders need not obtain the ACR I-Card or the Alien Certificate of Registration Immigration Card from the Bureau of Immigration.
- Expats don’t have to pay any Travel Tax if they have stayed for less than a year since they came into the country first.
- Guaranteed return of the deposit in case expats choose to cancel their VISA.
- SRRV holders can become permanent residents, given that they have stayed in the country for ten years or more. They can also get it down to five years if they have held a government position, introduced a new industry or invention, married a Filipino national, taught in the country for two years or more, or were born in the Philippines.
- And so forth
What Are the Investment Options Available to Expats under the SRRV?
It is not unlikely for ex-pats to consider setting up a company in the Philippines or converting their deposits into investments. There are a couple of areas where expats can invest and reap huge benefits from.
They can invest in a condominium unit as the country boasts Asia’s highest rental yields at an average of 7.5%. Investors can also pour their money into a long-term lease no lesser than 20 years for a house and lot, condominium or townhouse. Finally, they can also buy shares in a golf or country club with their deposits.
Generally, Filipino nationals are the only ones who can own lands in the country. However, if you wish to own land without getting married to a Filipino citizen, you can invest in corporations registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC.
What Are the Documentary Requirements for an SRRV VISA?
Expats must keep the following documents handy at the time of applying for the SRRV VISA:
- A completed and notarized application form
- Passport along with the current VISA
- Medical Examination Clearance (The exam must have been conducted by a licensed physician from a foreign country and authenticated by the Philippine embassy; it can also be a PRA medical certificate completed by a licensed physician in the Philippines)
- Police clearance from their country of origin; If you have stayed in the country for more than 30 days before applying for the SRRV, you will have to get a clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation
- Marriage contract
- Birth certificate
- Six copies of 1” x1” and six copies of 2” x2” pictures
- Certification of dollar time deposit from the bank
Compared to other countries, the Philippines offers a much better environment for expats. Besides being naturally attractive, the government also ensures a low cost of living. If you wish to learn more about how to start a business in the Philippines or other details, contact us today!