For the longest time, the Philippines has been a destination for foreigners for its exquisite beaches, scenic nature, and warm people. Foreign tourists flock to the memorable, fun, and exciting experience of the Philippines. While some visit solely for vacation, some remain and retire through the guidance of immigration lawyers to fully experience the beauty of our country.
Retirement in the Philippines
In consideration of the increasing number of foreigners opting to retire in the Philippines, the Philippine Government, through the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), an attached agency of the Department of Tourism, developed a retirement program for foreign nationals that will strengthen the sustainable socio-economic development of the country while also catering the needs and comfort of the retirees.
Different types of special non-immigrant visas in conformity with the different situations of foreign retirees are available through the Special Retiree Resident Visa (SRRV) Program. Aside from the benefit of indefinite stay with multiple entry/exit privileges, SRRV holders likewise get exemption from some Bureau of Immigration requirements, and customs and travel taxes, among other benefits. They likewise get investment opportunities to accelerate their stay here in the Philippines. Acquiring the services of immigration lawyers in the Philippines would ensure that benefits are promptly received and that investing is easier done.
SRRV Smile is for active and healthy retirees aged 35 years old and above. To acquire this type of visa, a deposit of $20,000 must be maintained in the retiree’s bank account which shall be from any PRA Accredited Bank.
SRRV Classic also caters to retirees aged 35 years old and above much like Smile. However, for Classic Visa Holders, the maintaining deposit varies according to the age bracket of applicants.
For ages 35 to 49 years old, the deposit must be $50,000.
For ages 50 years old and above with a pension of at least $800 for a single and $1,000 for a couple, the deposit must be $10,000.
For ages 50 years old and above without pension, the deposit must be $20,000.
The deposit may be higher than Smile, but SRRV Classic holders get the opportunity to use their visa deposit as real estate investment involving leasing and purchasing of properties such as a condominium which holds a value of at least $50,000.
SRRV Human Touch, on the other hand, is for 50 years old and above ailing retirees who are in need of medical care or supervision while staying in the Philippines. A deposit of $10,000 is to be maintained by the retiree during the whole duration of the retiree’s stay, as well as a monthly pension of at least $1,500.
Having in mind the ailing condition of the retiree, a certificate stating their medical condition shall be provided in the retiree’s application, together with a health insurance policy accepted here in the Philippines.
SRRV Courtesy is for 50 years old and above former Filipinos, retired officers of International Organizations recognized by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The required deposit for this type of visa is $1,500. Retired Diplomats with high-level positions who served in the Philippines can likewise avail of this type of visa.
To prove the affiliation with the organization, a Certification containing the position occupied or held shall be submitted by the retiree applicant.
SRRV Expanded Courtesy covers 50 years old and above retired Armed Force officers of foreign countries with existing military ties and/or agreement with the Philippine Government. A monthly pension of at least $1,000 is required. For the principal applicant and two (2) dependents, a visa deposit of $1,500 is needed. In case there are more than 2 dependents, an additional $15,000 is required with the exception of former Filipinos.
Basic Requirements for SRRV Application
Like any other visa, the SRRV requires submission of certain documents such as a valid Passport with a valid/updated Temporary Visitor’s Visa, accomplished PRA Application Form, Medical Clearance, Police Clearance from the country of origin, NBI Clearance, 2×2 photos, SRRV Deposit, Marriage Certificate for joining dependent-spouse, and Birth Certificate for joining dependent-child. Consequently, a one-time processing fee shall be paid upon the submission of the application
The process of acquiring the required documents and applying for the SRRV itself might be too rigorous and taxing for retiree applicants. Hiring the services of an immigration lawyer from the best law firms in the Philippines to handle everything, from compiling documents to submission of applications, might be the best option for retirees. Not only would it be stress-free for the applicant, but it would also provide an assurance that each step was undertaken with circumspect, and in compliance with the rules and regulations issued by the PRA.
Written by: Christine Santos