Winston, are u living, working, making babies in the Phils all under a tourist visa ? Is it a pain to renew the visa, open bank accounts, rent, get drivers licence ?
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It is easy to open a bank account here. You just need to present a few forms of ID. And yes you can rent a place too. I haven't gotten a driver's license here, but I hear it's easy. However, foreigners take a big risk when driving as they are susceptible to scams by other motorists and the police.
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne
Few Western nationals apply for citizenship in RP ( Republic of the Philippines). It allows you to buy property, but visa restrictions on Filipinos are too great to make a Filipino passport a valuable travel document. Most people are happy with a permanent residency and many just do visa runs for decades.
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WHAT IS THE SPECIAL RESIDENT RETIREES VISA (SRRV)?
The Special Resident Retirees Visa (SRRV) hereinafter referred to as the Retirees Visa, is a special non-immigrant visa separate and distinct from the existing visa categories defined by the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended, and allied laws. (Sec. 1, Rule II of LOI 1470)
LOI 1470, as a supplemental statute to E.O. 1037 was passed on July 4, 1985 aimed at:
1) Developing and promoting the Philippines as a preferred retirement haven for former Filipinos and foreign nationals;
2) Attracting foreign exchange; and
3) Directing the issuance of the Special Resident Retiree Visa (SRRV).
The issuance of the SRRV to qualified PRA applicants, entitles the holder to reside in the Philippines for an indefinite period with multiple-entry privileges as long as the required minimum deposit investment subsists. (Sec. 2, Rule II of LOI 1470)
Moreover, the SRRV offers benefits which includes the exemption from the Exit Clearance, Re-Entry and Annual Registration requirements of the Bureau of Immigration, Travel Tax (provided the retiree has not stayed in the Philippines for more than a year from date of last entry) Special Study Permit, importation of household goods/personal effects worth US$7,000 for family use and other value added services.
The SRRV, characterized by its being indefinite with multiple-entry privileges, partakes the nature of a permanent and/or lifetime visa. Thus, guaranteeing the principal retiree and family members the privilege to settle permanently in the Philippines and enjoy the best quality of life in the most attractive package. This is the Authoritys international commitment and is the true meaning of Smiling at Life in the Philippines.
WHO MAY APPLY?
All foreign nationals provided they are issued an entry visa by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate and former Filipino citizens who are now holders of foreign passports both of whom are at least 35 years old.
Retirement Option and their Required Time Deposit
1. With Pension 50 years. Old and above the required time deposit is US$10, 000.00 plus a monthly pension of US$800.00 for a single applicant and US$1,000.00 for couple
2. Without Pension
* 35 to 49 years old US$50, 000.00 time deposit
* 50 years old and above US$20, 000.00 time deposit
* Former Filipino Citizens (at least 35 years old, regardless of the number of dependents US$1,500.00
* Ambassadors of foreign countries who served and retired in the Philippines- US$1,500.00
Note: The PRA Accredited banks agree to accept any acceptable foreign currency for deposit in the accounts, provided that it shall be credited to the account as the United States Dollars or Philippine Pesos equivalent
WHAT ARE THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FROM A RETIREE BEFORE HE CAN JOIN THE PROGRAM?
A prospective retiree-participant shall submit to PRA the following:
1. PRA application form;
2. Original passport with valid entry status;
3. Medical Examination Clearance -can be secured abroad (with English translation) duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consular Office. If the applicant is in the Philippines, this can aslo be secured at the PRA One-Stop Shop
4. Bank Certificate of Dollar Time Deposit inwardly remitted to any PRA accredited banks;
5. Police Clearance issued abroad translated into English and duly authenticated by the Philippine/Consulate or National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance issued in the Philippines. This also applies to spouse and dependents 18 years of age and above (Age requirement of 18 is for purpose of NBI Clearance only);
6. Photographs, 6 pieces 1x1 and 6 pieces 2x2;
7. If the spouse is also applying for SRRV, Marriage Certificate or Marriage Contract translated into English (if necessary) and duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate nearest the applicants residence if the marriage was contracted abroad. If the marriage was solemnized in the Philippines, original Marriage Certificate; and
8. If dependent/s is/are also applying for the SRRV, original Birth Certificate/s of dependent/s born in the Philippines or Birth Certificate/s or Household Register translated into English (if necessary) and duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate nearest the applicants residence abroad.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS UNDER THE PROGRAM?
1. Multiple/Indefinite entry privileges with the option to reside permanently in the Philippines.
2. Exemption from exit Clearance & Re-Entry Permits.
3. Exemption from Customs Duties and Taxes for the Importation of Personal Effects up to US$7,000.00.
4. Exemption from Travel Tax, if stay in the Philippines is less than a year from the last entry date.
5. Exemption from the Bureau of Immigrations Annual registration requirement.
6. Assistance in Obtaining an Alien Employment Permit.
7. Tax-free remittance of Annuities and Pensions.
8. Guaranteed repatriation of the deposit/investment.
The Philippines rarely makes sense. It operates on a whole different logical plane. But in this case, their logic is this- you came as a tourist to stay 21 days, didn't you? So, you should show that you are a tourist and you are going to leave the country after your stay. So, where is your return ( or onward) ticket?Philip Ratner wrote:Hi everyone,
if a tourist visa can easily be renewed several times, then why are they now enforcing that people have a return ticket for a flight withing 21 days out of the country?
That doesn't really make sense ...
This is generally to discourage bums, hobos and similar people from staying in the country.
Most tourists do go home after their vacation is over. Also, it does not say " flight within 21 days".
It just says return or onward ticket. Also, you can just get such an onward ticket to Hong Kong for less than $100.
So, a tourist goes on vacation but the Philippines wants more tourist dollars so they have a proposition for those types of scenarios in which people want to stay longer . Say, the tourist changed his mind after falling in love with the country and decided to stay longer. He called his airline and rescheduled flights. Most flights can be rescheduled up to maybe 6 months - a year. Then, he can also extend his visas up to 6 months to 1 year. Or thereabout. If they really want to enjoy more of the country- they add 2 more months. But if they want to stay longer, they pay 100 -200 dollars every month for such extensions- money for nothing to the immigration.
That's how the tourist visa thing works.
Also if you marry a local then you can probably stay as long as you like.
Also take the local police chief out for dinner... again stay as long as you like.
Marrying a local also gives you a lifetime visa ( not in Indonesia, though)
Don't know about the third one.
Things the PRA dont tell you.....With the SRRV you need to deposit a sum of money into a nominated bank, in my case it was $20,000 USD as proof of my financial Independence and willingness to invest in the Philippines - which is OK, sort of, BUT,
That $20K effectively does not belong to you anymore - you cant withdraw it but you can 'borrow' it to purchase a condo etc - However, if you do the PRA effectively partially owns your title and you cannot sell the property without their say so and they want the the title for their safe keeping. This is on top of the $1,400USD 'application' fee plus the annual 'application renewal ' fee of about $360USD.
In my case I already had just purchased a Condo apartment and had all the bank records , purchase agreement , title etc to back it up and to prove that I was very very willing to live and invest here - but this was not good enough - I STILL had to deposit about 74K peso into their nominated bank acc and basically couldn't touch it.
They want you to give them $20,000USD + $1,400USD 'application fee' + $360USD annual fee for life. The fact that I had already proven that I wanted to invest here and could prove that I was a good citizen by already purchasing an apartment, have no police record, and steady income coming into an already established bank acc here, means nothing - so its not about showing your willingness to be a good citizen and invest here rather its about your ability to grease the wheels and buy your way into getting a visa.
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