Emigrating and retiring in the Philippines – Living abroad as a pensioner

Immigrating as a senior citizen to an exotic country is a wonderful vision. The Philippines is considered as a suitable country for pensioners abroad to enjoy their well-deserved retirement. Anyone with age-related weaknesses and diseases should seek adequate information about medical care. The best life in the Philippines is as a tourist. In this way, you will experience only the positive aspects. Thus, to have a travel insurance is sufficient, which is usually quite cheap.

To any retiree, emigration to the Philippines remains a dreamlike and above all, it is a culturally diverse country. It is cheap and you can even live with the whole family on a small pension. In an ideal case, 500.00 to 600.00 Euro per month will already do. Due to the wonderfully warm climate and the cordiality of people, life is enjoyable as a pensioner abroad. Waking up every morning under palm trees, strengthens health as well as the desire for further years of life. Anyone who wants to spend his retirement as a pensioner abroad in South-East Asia has to compare the living conditions and above all the visa regulations in the various countries.

Retiring in the Philippines offers many important advantages in emigration.

Pensioners who wish to emigrate to the Philippines are for instance allowed:

  • to take a job
  • operate a business and employ staff
  • to visit a school, or to buy an apartment or a house

On the other hand it is not allowed:

  • to purchase lands and finance it through mortgages.

Unlike other Asian countries, there are hardly any restrictions on emigrants in the Philippines. Foreign pensioners benefit from almost all the advantages that are granted to local residents. In addition, pensioners who have completed the SRRV program may import household items or facilities up to a value of USD 7,000 free of duty. There is no expiration date for the SRRV visa (Special Resident Retiree’s Visa). Once issued, just an annual notification to the Immigration Authority is required to renew the ID card at a cost of USD 10.

Retiring in the Philippines – There are a total of four different (SRRV) types of visas for emigrating and retiring in the Philippines.

  1. Emigration as Retiree – “SRRV Smile”
  • It allows an unlimited stay in the Philippines as long as a credit of    USD 20,000 is deposited with a bank in the Philippines.
  • The minimum age upon application is 35 years.
  • The bank balance must not be used to purchase an apartment or an                investment.
  1. Emigration as Retiree – “SRRV Classic” Visa
  • The pensioner may also use the required bank credit for the purchase of an apartment or for the payment of a lease.
  • Applicants between 35 and 49 years must deposit USD 50,000 with a bank in the Philippines or use directly to purchase a property that costs at least $ 50,000.
  • Applicants over 50 years of age need only USD 10,000 if they have a pension of at least USD 800 per month.
  • A pensioner married couple needs a monthly income of UD 1,000.
  • Pensioners over the age of 50 who have a lower pension can                            nevertheless apply for the “SRRV Classic” Visa if they prove to hold a credit of USD 20,000 at a bank in the Philippines.
  1. Emigration as Retiree – “SRRV Human Touch” Visa
  • It is specifically aimed at pensioners who are disabled or suffer from chronic diseases and require permanent medical care.
  • The minimum age to apply is 35 years.
  • Applicants are required to provide a credit balance of USD 10,000 with a Philippine bank and a monthly pension of USD 1,500.
  • In addition, proof of an existing health insurance is required.

For the rest, conditions are the same as with the “SRRV Smile” visa.

  1. Emigration as Retiree – “SRRV Courtesy” Visa
  • It is reserved for persons who have reached the age of fifty, who were either Philippine citizens or ambassadors, or were part of the diplomatic staff of foreign embassies in the Philippines.

The requirements with “SRRV Courtesy” Visas are identical to those for the “SRRV Classic” Visa Program.

Anyone who holds one of the four SRRV visas can emigrate as a retiree and reside for an indefinite period in the Philippines. This applies without having to leave the country in the meantime or having to submit a new request after a certain time. Ultimately, you can come and go whenever you wish.

Important: Pensions and income which is taken outside the Philippines are exempt from Philippine taxes. Interest income accruing from bank deposits can be withdrawn at any time. Who is changing plans and wishes to leave the Philippines again, will receive back the complete bank balance. The cost of applying for a SRRV Visa is a once-off USD 1,400. The application process is relatively simple and can be executed online by each applicant on his own. The help of an agency or an intermediary means, in my opinion, wasted money.

Help on emigration as a retiree under the SRRV visa program is available on the Philippines Retirement Authority website. Anyone with age-related weaknesses and diseases should seek adequate information about medical care.