For those who are planning to stay or retire in the Philippines indefinitely, there is a special visa program for you to avail of - The Special Retiree Resident Visa or SRRV. It is a special non-immigrant visa issued by the Bureau of Immigration through the retirement program of the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA). It is available to foreigners and former Filipino citizens. It entitles the holder to multiple-entry privileges with the option to reside permanently in the Philippines.
If you are at least 35 years old and wish to stay in the Philippines without securing extensions of your stay from the Immigration office, you are entitled to apply for a Special Retiree Resident Visa. Your spouse and an unmarried child under 21 may be given an indefinite status if they are accompanying or joining you soon after your admission into the country. After 10 years of continuous residence in the Philippines, you may apply for Naturalized Philippine citizenship. This may be reduced to 5 years provided certain conditions apply.
There is a required Time Deposit in US$ (or Peso equivalent) in a bank accredited by the PRA. Additional deposits may be required for additional children under 21 years old. After 6 months, the retiree's Dollar Time Deposit under the PRA may be converted to any other acceptable foreign currency time deposit. The interest, however, is subject to 20% withholding tax. Or, after one month from the date of issuance of the SRRV, it can be converted into investment, such as:
- Purchase of condominium unit(s)
- Long term lease of a house and lot, condominium or townhouse unit(s)
- Construction of a residential unit on a leased parcel of land
- Purchase of Proprietary Membership/Golf shares in golf clubs
- For former Filipinos, purchase of a lot not exceeding 5,000 square meters in urban areas or 3 hectares rural areas to be used for business or other purposes.
Note: A retiree who has converted his dollar deposit into an active investment may opt to substitute the same with another form of investment that is allowed under the PRA program.
Former Filipino citizens and foreign nationals except those classified as restricted by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and the Bureau of Immigration are eligible to apply for the SRRV. Also, he or she should be:
- At least 35 years old
- Without criminal record
- Meeting medical standards
- Meeting the investment requirement
In order to process your SRRV application, you must personally appear at the PRA office located at the 29th floor Citibank Tower, Paseo de Roxas in Makati City.
Once you are an SRRV holder, it opens the door to vast opportunities and benefits, including:
- Option to retire permanently - you may live, work and study in the Philippines
- Multiple entry priviledges - you may travel outside the Philippines and re-enter anytime
- Exemptions from:
- Income tax over your pension and annuities,
- Exit and re-entry permits of the Bureau of Immigration,
- Annual registration requirement of the Bureau of Immigration,
- Customs duties and taxes with regards to the importation of household goods and personal effects up to US$7,000
- Travel tax, if your stay in the Philippines is less than 1 year from the last entry date,
As an SRRV holder, the PRA can assist you in obtaining basic documents from other government agencies. These include, but are not limited to: Alien Employment Permit, driver's license, tax exemption/extension certificate, tax identification number, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance.
For further information, check their website: http://www.pra.gov.ph/