The Philippines has been hailed as one of the best retirement havens in the world today.  With over 30,000 retirees from 107 countries, the Philippines is now occupying the 17th spot in the list of the world’s best retirement locations, as highlighted in the 2014 edition of the Global Retirement Index of International Living magazine.

Through the Special Retirees’ Resident Visa (SRRV) privilege being offered by the Philippine Retirement Authority, retirees from all over the world, including returning overseas Filipinos, are given the option to enjoy special retirement benefits, competitive cost of living, affordable real estate, top-notch health care services and facilities and an environment and culture that facilitates ease of integration.  The program is open to former Filipino citizens and all eligible foreigners who come from countries that have diplomatic relations with the Philippines.

pra logoProcessing and Approval

Application to the SRRV program is filed with the Philippine Retirement Authority where pre-evaluation is done.  Processing time is seven to ten working days upon receipt of complete requirements. Approval will be issued by the Bureau of Immigration.  A SRRV holder may reside in the Philippines without securing extensions of his/her stay from the Bureau of Immigration.

Exemption from Travel Tax

Special Retirees’ Resident Visa holders are exempted from paying travel tax, provided they have not stayed in the Philippines for more than one year from the date of their last entry into the country.

Owning Property in the Philippines

An SRRV holder cannot own real property in the Philippines.  However if the SRRV holder is married to a Filipino citizen, he/she may construct a residential house on a parcel of land owned by the Filipino spouse.  SRRV holders who are former Filipino citizens may own/acquire land according subject to limitations provided by law. (Please see http://yourhomeinthephilippines.com/can-former-filipino-citizens-own-land-in-the-philippines for details of the laws regarding ownership of land by former Filipino citizens).

Spouse and unmarried minor children

The retiree’s spouse and a legitimate or legally adopted unmarried child under 21 years old may also be given an indefinite status if they are accompanying the retiree or joining him/her soon after the retiree’s admission into the country as a retiree.  An additional deposit of US$15,000.00 is required for each additional legitimate or legally adopted unmarried child under the age of twenty-one (21).

Benefits That SRRV Offers

Special retirement benefits under the SRRV include the following:

* Permanent non-immigrant status with multiple-entry privileges through the SRRV Visa;

* Exemption from Exit Clearance and Re-entry Permits;

* Exemption from customs duties and taxes for the importation of personal effects;

* Exemption from payment of travel tax provided the retiree has not stayed in the Philippines for more than one year from date of his last entry into the country;

* Conversion of the requisite deposit into active investments, including purchase of condominium unit;

* Interest on the foreign currency deposit is tax-free and payable to retiree in Philippine Pesos;

* Foreign currency time deposit can be converted into Philippine Pesos deposit, but interest is subject to withholding tax;

* Pension, annuities remitted to the Philippines are tax-free; and

* Guaranteed repatriation of the requisites deposit including invested profits, capital gains and dividends accrued from investments, upon compliance with Bangko Sentral rules and regulations.

Next…. Why not Retire in the Philippines? Part 2 -The Various Special Retirees’ Resident Visa (SRRV Programs)

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