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A guide to retiring in the Philippines

21 Oct 2022 - Category: Blog /
retiring philippines

Are you looking to trade dull grey skies for beautiful beaches? Do you see yourself spending plenty of time relaxing in the sun? Are you looking for a peaceful place to retire? If you’re asking yourself any of these questions then you may be interested in the Philippines as a retirement destination.

For many years the Philippines has been a popular country for tourism. However, beyond the holiday spots and resorts, the Philippines is also a great country for long-term settlement and living. The amazing culture, climate and people have encouraged many people to think about spending their twilight years across the islands of the Philippines.

To help make the process easier, we’ve put together a guide to retiring in the Philippines.

Below you’ll learn about:

Who can apply for a Philippines retirement visa?

If you are a foreign national you will need a visa to retire in the Philippines. So, before you get started with anything it’s worth knowing whether you can actually qualify for a Philippines retirement visa.

The first thing you need to learn about if you want to retire to a second home in the Philippines is the Special Residence Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) program. The SRRV program allows foreign nationals to obtain a retirement visa in a way that is relatively straightforward and inexpensive.

You are free to apply for a Philippines retirement visa through the SRRV program if:

  • You are at least 35 years old and make a deposit of at least $50,000 in a bank account in the Philippines; or
  • You are at least 50 years old and have a pension
  • You can financially support yourself and any dependent family members that may join you
  • You have no criminal record.

What documents do you need to submit for a retirement visa?

As with many administrative processes there are plenty of documents to get together and have ready before you submit your application. To apply for a retirement visa you should have the following documents:

  • A valid passport (plus an updated Temporary Visitor’s Visa)
  • Valid medical clearance form
  • Eight original ID format photographs (2-inch by 2-inch)
  • Inwardly remitted SRRV deposit
  • A completed PRA application form
  • Any relevant marriage or birth certificates for dependent spouses or children
  • Proof of paid visa fee

There may be further requirements dependent on your individual case so we’d recommend gathering as much relevant information as possible before you begin the visa application process.

How do you apply for the retirement visa?

The steps for actually applying for the retirement visa are quite simple. As we have mentioned, if you’re an expat looking to retire in the Philippines you need to register for the SRRV program.

The procedure for doing so is as follows:

  1. Make an appointment at the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA)
  2. Choose the retirement option that suits you (we will discuss this in further detail below)
  3. Gather the correct documents
  4. Send the completed application to the PRA

Which retirement option is right for you?

There are a variety of retirement options in the Philippines. For expats looking to start a new life the option you choose will depend on your retirement status, the SRRV program and your lifestyle. Here are the retirement options:

  • SRRV Classic - the main retirement option for healthy retirees who choose to use their visa deposit to purchase property or a long-term house lease in the Philippines.
  • SRRV Smile - for healthy retirees who keep their SRRV deposit in any of the banks recommended and accredited by the PRA.
  • SRRV Human Touch - for retirees in bad health over the age of 50 who will need medical or clinical care when in the Philippines.
  • SRRV Courtesy- The option for former Filipinos or foreign nationals over the age of 50 who have retired from their role within International Organisations recognised by the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
  • SRRV Expanded Courtesy - Same as above but expanded to apply to retired Armed Forces officers from countries that have military ties/agreements with the Philippines.

The benefits of retiring in the Philippines

So, why should you go through all this administrative hassle to retire in the Philippines? Is retiring to the Philippines a good idea? Here are a few of the main benefits:

  • First and foremost, the benefits of retiring in the Philippines are that it's the Philippines! The beautiful sunny beaches, the wonderful food, and the welcoming people make the Philippines one of the most popular retirement destinations in the world.
  • Indefinite stay with multiple-entry and exit allowances.
  • Exemption from customs duties and taxes for certain imports
  • Greet & Assist program at certain Philippine airports
  • Access to PHILHEALTH benefits and privileges
  • Any dependent children can study in the Philippines without needing to get a visa.

What is the best place to retire in the Philippines?

If you’ve been thinking about retiring in the Philippines for a while then you’ve probably already thought about the ideal location. Nevertheless, to give you some more ideas, below we’ve listed a few of the best and most popular places to retire in the Philippines, including:

  • Baguio City

Known as ‘The Summer Capital of the Philippines’, Baguio City is a warm and welcoming city ideal for retirees. The slow pace of life and the relaxed atmosphere is perfect for expats looking to spend their retirement years in blissful peace.

  • Makati City

Makati City, one of the few highly urbanised cities in the Philippines, is a great place for retirees who want to relax in style. The city is known for its luxurious shopping malls, restaurants and hotels and there is always something interesting to do in the evening.

  • Lipa City

Lipa, the largest city in Batangas, is more low-key than Makati. With its mix of the urban and the rural, Lipa is a great retirement destination for people wanting a combination of excitement and relaxation during their later years.

How to send money to the Philippines

Transferring money to the Philippines is easy with Small World’s international money transfer service.

You can send money to the Philippines with Small World via Bank Deposit, Airtime top-up, Mobile Wallet, Home Delivery, Cash Card Reload and Cash Pickup. All methods are simple and secure and ensure that your money get’s where it needs to be as soon as possible.

For the Philippines specifically, we are partnered with a number of local banks to ensure your money transfers go smoothly, including LandBank, EastWest, BDO Remit, Metro Bank, PNB, BPI, FILRemit and many more.

Small World enables millions to transfer money across borders everyday. So if you need to support your loved ones in the Philippines you can rely on Small World.

Your first transfer online is always free of fees!

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