Retiring in the Philippines

By Atty. Mike Templo

Posted at Jun 13 2009 12:34 PM | Updated as of Jun 13 2009 08:34 PM

Retiring in the Philippines 1Most, if not all, Filipinos that I’ve spoken to abroad all dream of retiring in the Philippines.  Whether they’re an Overseas Filipino Worker or Filipino-American, they see the P.I. (as they call the Philippines), as a place where they can spend and enjoy the rest of their retired lives, early or long overdue.

Last Thursday, June 11, 2009, I had the opportunity to speak with the Chairman of the Philippine Retirement Authority, PDGen Edgar B. Aglipay.  We discussed the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa or SRRV. This special non-immigrant visa is issued not only to foreigners but also former Filipino citizens who are at least 35 years old.  The SRRV allows them to multiple-entry privileges with the option to reside permanently in the Philippines.  It also allows the spouse and children (unmarried and under 21) to join the retiree.  The visa for the principal applicant (foreigner or former Filipino) and the dependents remain valid as long as the applicant remains in good standing with the Program requirements.

Of course, to avail of the SRRV, there are age and deposit requirements.  If the principal applicant is the beneficiary of a pension and he/she is 50 years old and above, a time deposit of US $10, 000 plus a monthly pension of US$800 is required for a single applicant and US$1,000 for couple.  If the principal applicant is not receiving any pension, then a time deposit of US $50,000 is required for applicants aged 35 to 49 years old.  However, only a US $20,000 time deposit is required for applicants aged 50 years old and above. For former Filipinos, who are at least 35 years old, they are required only US $1,500 regardless of the number of dependents. This amount is the same for Ambassadors of foreign countries who served and retired in the Philippines, current and former staff members of international organizations including ADB and who are at least 50 years old. 

It is worth noting that it only takes one month from the date of issuance for the applicant to be able to touch the deposit and turn it into an investment. So you’re only separated from your money for a short period of time. Such investments include a purchasing a condo unit(s), leasing a residential property, and even golf shares.

When an SRRV visa is issued to the applicant, the benefits include the following: (1) Option to retire, study, and work in the Philippines permanently, (2) ability to exit and re-enter the Philippines multiple times, (3) exempt from income tax over your pension and annuities, (4) exempt from certain Bureau of immigration requirements such as acquiring exit and re-entry permits, annual alien registration, customs and duties tax from importation of household goods and personal effects (limited), travel tax, and I-Card.

But with these benefits accorded, there are responsibilities that follow. Among them – (1) the yearly renewal of the PRA ID Card, (2) payment of annual visitorial fee, (3) notification for change of contact information, (4) cancellation of the SRRV status.

You can catch my interview with Chairman Aglipay on Crossing Borders aired in the Philippines on ANC and globally on TFC this week.  For more information and the SRRV, visit the Philippine Retirement Authority’s website at and the Philippine Bureau of Immigration’s website at 


Atty. Michael Templo is an attorney admitted to practice law in New York State and Federal Courts and is a partner at Templo & Templo with offices in New York, USA and Makati City, Philippines.  Atty. Templo specializes in US Immigration matters.  Atty. Mike Templo is also a host for the weekly show “Crossing Borders” which airs every Thursday at 10:30PM on ANC and 2:30PM on TFC. The discussion above is not intended as legal advice, and cannot be relied upon for any purpose without the services of a qualified professional.  For your comments and questions, Atty. Templo can be reached at or log on to