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How to Retire in the Philppines
 

GNERAL NOTE :

1. It does not mean that if you can’t avail the program, you cannot purchase a property in the Philippines.

2. It also doesn’t follow that because you want to buy properties in the Philippines, you need to put your money in the shortlisted banks of PRA.

POLICY CHANGES RELATIVE TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SPECIAL REDUCED DEPOSIT

In order to liberalize the requirements of the Authority’s program and to make it more competitive with the programs of other countries and attractive to prospective foreign retirees, the following changes, pursuant to Resolution No. 24, Series of 2006, of the Board of Trustees, in the rules and regulations of the Philippine Retirement Authority for retiree enlistment in its program are hereby adopted, effective 29 May 2006.

Special Reduced Deposit – For principal applicants who are applying for Special Resident Retiree Visa, the minimum qualifying deposit is reduced as follows:
AGE : 35-49 years old
FROM : US$75,000.00
TO : US$50,000.00

AGE : 50 years and above
FROM : US$50,000.00
TO : US$20,000.00

Holding Period – Retirees enrolled under this Program may be allowed to withdraw their deposit for “conversion” into an investment after a holding period of thirty (30) days from the date of the issuance of SRR Visa.

Visitorial Fee – For every conversion of the retiree’s deposit into an investment, the concerned retiree will pay the visitorial fee as follows:
Deposit/s : US$20,000.00
Annual Visitorial Fee : US$500.00 or its peso equivalent

Deposit/s : US$50,000.00
Annual Visitorial Fee : US$750.00 or its peso equivalent

Areas of Investment – The areas of investments for visa holders under the Special Reduced Deposit Scheme shall be strictly limited to the following:
Purchase, acquisition and ownership of a condominium unit;
Long-term lease of house and lot, condominium or townhouse which should not be for a period shorter than 20 years;
Purchase, acquisition and ownership of golf or country club share/s; or
Investment in shares of stocks of corporations duly registered in the Philippine Stock Exchange
All applications for conversion of deposit shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees for its approval.

Applicability of the Program – The program is an experimental project for six (6) months and shall apply ONLY to new applicants. Previous SRRV holders CANNOT re-apply for SRRV under this Program.

About the Program  

SPECIAL RESIDENT RETIREE

The Special Resident Retiree's Visa (SRRV) entitles the holder to multiple-entry privileges with the right to permanent residence in the Philippines. The SRRV is issued by the Bureau of Immigration of the Republic of the Philippines in connection with the Philippine Retirement Authority's Retirement Program for the foreigners and former Filipinos.

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY

All foreign nationals except those classified as RESTRICTED by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) who are physically healthy and with no derogatory record and who are at least 35 years old and over, may join the Program.

AGE / DEPOSIT REQUIREMENTS

All foreign nationals below 50 and at least 35 years of age are required to deposit the amount of US$75,000.00 with any PRA shortlisted bank. Those aged 50 and above are required to deposit US$50,000.00. Former Filipinos are required to deposit US$1,500.00. The deposit amount of US$50,000.00 shall be required from an applicant who is at least 35 years of age and belongs to any of the following:

  1. Retired military personnel of governments recognized by the Philippines; or
  2. Former members of foreign diplomatic corps who have served for at least three (3) years in their respective posts; or
  3. Retired officers and employees of international organizations such as the United Nations and its affiliate agencies, the World Health Organization, World Bank, International Labor Organization and other similar organizations.

FAMILY ELIGIBILITY

A retiree can bring with him, without any additional deposit, his spouse and a child who is unmarried and below 21 years old or, if the spouse is not joining, two (2) children, provided they are legitimate or legally adopted. Additional children with the same qualifications may also be allowed to join the principal retiree under the program provided there is an additional deposit of US$15,000.00 per child. The US$15,000.00 deposit is, however, subject to the same terms as the principal deposit.

Dependents/children will continue to be members of the program and retain their SRRV even after reaching the age of 21 for so long as the required/additional deposit of the principal retiree is maintained in the bank under the PRA account or the investment has not been transferred to other countries and still subsists in the Philippines.

THE  DOLLAR DEPOSIT

The requisite dollar deposit can be opened in the name of the principal retiree under an "and/or" account with the spouse who is also a bonafide member of the PRA Program. This also applies to an applicant/retiree who is legally married to a Filipino citizen.

The deposit earns interest in the same currency at minimum LIBOR/SIBOR rate payable in Philippine pesos only. The interest is withdrawable even without PRA clearance. After six (6) months from the time it was opened in any of the PRA short listed banks as a retiree account, the deposit can be converted into active investments subject to prior clearance from PRA.

If the resident retiree decides to terminate his membership in the program, the deposit (including interest) can be withdrawn provided that the resident retiree has notified the PRA in writing, accomplished the EXIT Interview Form, submitted the Original Passport for the cancellation of the SRRV and his PRA I.D. Card and has paid all taxes and duties due on his importations (if any), through the Program.

Under PRA rules, should the resident retiree suffer an untimely demise, the surviving spouse who is a holder of SRRV has the option to become the principal retiree using the original principal dollar deposit as his/her qualifying deposit. If he/she chooses not to, the law on succession shall apply.


DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENT
A prospective member should submit the following documentation to the PRA:

  1. Accomplished Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) Application form.

  2. Valid passport

  3. Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Medical Examination Form #11 accomplished by a licensed physician from the applicant place of origin, duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy Consulate or PRA Medical Certificate (RSSC Form #002) accomplished by a licensed physician in the Philippines.

  4. Certification by a PRA shortlisted bank of the requisite deposit amount of US$1,500.00, US$50,000 or US$75,000.00 whichever is applicable.

  5. Police Clearance issued abroad and duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate, or National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in the Philippines.

  6. Photographs, 1x1 and 2x2, six (6) pieces each.

  7. If the spouse is joining the applicant, original copy of Marriage Contract if the applicant's marriage was solemnized in the Philippines or original copy of Marriage Certificate duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate nearest to the applicant's residence abroad if the marriage was contracted abroad.

  8. If dependent/s is/are joining the applicant, original copy of Birth Certificate/s of dependent/s born in the Philippines or Birth Certificate/s or Household Register duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate nearest the applicant's residence abroad.

  9. Payment of a total of US$2,000.00 (for 35 to 49 years of age) of US$1,500.00 (for 50 years and above) as service and processing fees and US$1,500.00 for former and overseas Filipinos.

ADDITIONAL FEES

  1. The amount of Php 7,600 charged by the Bureau of Immigration for  change-of-admission status of the principal applicant into a special resident retiree is included in the US$1,500.00 or US$2,000.00 service/processing fee but the additional fee of 7,600.00 for the spouse and for each dependent shall be for the account of the applicant. Likewise, the amount of Php 500.00 is charged as express lane fee for every endorsement to the Bureau of Immigration. US$15.00 per year is charged for every PRA ID card of each applicant, spouse and dependent effective August 16, 2001.

  2. Service fee of US $100.00 for each dependent (spouse and children) effective April 1, 2001.

  3. If the visa is issued by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate abroad, the applicant and his spouse and dependents shall pay the corresponding visa fees.

  4. The Retiree pays the visitorial fee of one percent (1.0%) per annum of the Philippine Peso equivalent of the requisite dollar deposit converted into actual investment effective September 15, 2001.

BENEFITS

A resident retiree or holder of the SRRV is accorded the following benefits:  

  1. Permanent, non-immigrant status with multiple entry privileges through the SRRV.

  2. Exemption from customs duties and taxes for one time importation of personal effects, appliances, and household furniture worth  US$7,000.00 which should not be of commercial quantity and must be availed of within 90 days upon issuance of SRR Visa.

  3. Exemption from exit clearance and re-entry permits.

  4. Exemption from payment of travel tax provided the retiree has not stayed in the Philippines for more than one  (1) year from date of his last entry into the country.

  5. Conversion of the requisite dollar deposit into active investments, including purchase of condominium units.

  6. Interest on the foreign currency deposit is withdrawable anytime and payable to retirees in Philippine pesos. 

  7. Foreign currency time deposit can be converted into Philippine peso deposit after the issuance of SRRVisa with interest subject to 20% withholding tax.

  8. Pensions and annuities remitted to the Philippines are tax-free.

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

  10. Exemption from securing the Student's Visa/Special Study Permit. 


INVESTMENT OPTIONS AND TERMS

Resident retirees may avail of the following investment opportunities:

  1. Purchase of a condominium unit.

  2. Formation of a new corporation and registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  3. Purchase of share of stocks in existing corporations registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but not those traded in the Stock Exchange.

  4. Lease of a parcel of land or house and lot.

  5. Construction of a residential unit on leased parcel of land.

  6. For former natural born Filipinos, purchase of a lot not exceeding 5,000 square meters in urban areas or three (3) hectares in agricultural areas, for business and other purposes.

  7. Purchase of proprietary/membership shares in golf clubs.

The above investments cannot be sold, transferred or encumbered without clearance from PRA.

                                                                        
BENEFITS AND OBLIGATIONS

Foreign nationals are not allowed by the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines to acquire land except through hereditary succession. However, under existing investment policies and subject to foreign equity restrictions foreigners are allowed to invest in corporations registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and which may own real property.

In case of sale or liquidation of the retiree's investment, he has the option to (1) re-deposit in his name and or his spouse under the PRA account, the proceeds of the sale either in Peso or in foreign currency, or (2) re-invest the same in another allowable investment outlet.

A retiree is given ninety (90) days from the issuance of his SRRV to avail of tax-free importation of US $7,000.00 worth of personal effects/household goods. The period may be extended for another sixty (60) days upon the request of the retiree through the PRA or The Department of Finance. He may dispose of his personal effects/household goods within three (3) years from the importation. The taxes due must be paid if he decides to dispose of his personal effects/household goods within three (3) years.

Should he decide to terminate his PRA membership within three (3) years following the entry of his personal effects/household goods, he is also required to pay the necessary taxes and duties. However, he may opt to ship back the items to his country of origin to be exempted from paying the taxes and duties.

OTHER OBLIGATIONS OF THE RETIREE

  1. To give the Authority a written notice of any change of information supplied in the application form (e.g. status, name and/or address) within sixty (60) days from such change.
  2. To give the Authority a written sixty (60) days notice of termination of his participation in the program.
  3. To pay the Authority, by way of visitorial fee, the amount equivalent to one percent (1.0%) of the total amount in Philippine peso equivalent of the foreign currency deposit converted into investment, to be paid in advance for 3 years on the date of withdrawal/conversion of deposit into investment.
  4. To notify the Authority in writing prior to his foreign travel by filling up and submitting a Retiree's Departure Form.
  5. Upon expiry of the one (1) year validity period, surrender the I.D. Card for a replacement of a new one.
  6. To comply with the rules and regulations of the Authority.

APPLICATION / ENROLLMENT

A retiree may apply for enrollment at:

    PHILIPPINE RETIREMENT AUTHORITY
    29/F Citibank Tower, 8741 Paseo de Roxas
    Makati City, 1200 Philippines
PROCESS OF SRRV ISSUANCE BY PHILIPPINE EMBASSY/CONSULATE
  1. Applicant/Marketer submits documents to Philippine Embassy/Consulate.

  2. Applicant/Marketer notifies PRA of application/documents submitted to Embassy/Consulate:

    • PRA Application form duly accomplished
    • Photocopy of Passport page showing Date of Birth
    • Medical and Police clearance from place of origin valid for six (6) months, duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy.
    • Certification of the Dollar Time Deposit by any of PRA's short listed bank.
    • Photographs
    • Marriage Certificate if the spouse is joining
    • Birth Certificate if a dependent child is joining.
    • Payment of service/processing fee to PRA

  3. Embassy/Consulate endorses application/documents to the Depratment of Foreign Affairs (Manila) who in turn endorses the same to PRA for evaluation and processing.

  4. PRA reviews documents. If complete, forwards recommendation to DFA Manila for subsequent transmittal to Embassy/Consulate.

  5. Embassy/Consulate abroad issues a single-entry SRRV to applicant.

  6. Applicant enters Philippines with a single-entry SRRV.

  7. Upon arrival in Manila, applicant goes to PRA office for the stamping of the multiple-entry SRRV on the passport by the Bureau of Immigration.

PROCESS OF SRRV ISSUANCE BY THE BUREAU OF
IMMIGRATION - MANILA
  1. Applicant/Marketer remits deposit requirement to a shortlisted bank in Manila.
  2. Bank credits funds to special time deposit account in the name of the applicant.
  3. Shortlisted bank sends PRA certification under oath of inward remittance of applicant's deposit.
  4. Applicant/Marketer secures Medical and Police Clearance from place of origin duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate. If Medical or Police Clearance are not secured from place of origin, PRA assists applicant to secure the same in Manila in three (3) working days.
  5. Applicant enters the Philippines as tourist.
  6. Applicant/Marketer submits all documents to PRA in Manila:
    • PRA Application
    • Medical Clearance
    • Police or National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance
    • Certification by bank of the deposit
    • Photographs
    • Marriage Certificate if the spouse is joining
    • Birth Certificate if a dependent/child is joining
    • Payment of application fee
  7. PRA evaluates and, if complete, endorses the application to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for the issuance of SRRV.
  8. Applicant is issued SRRV by BI within five (5) working days upon completion/submission of all requirements.

REMITTANCE OF DEPOSIT

The procedure in remitting your US$1,500.00, US$50,000.00 or US$75,000.00 deposit to any of our short listed banks is as follows:

  1. Go to the nearest major international or commercial bank within your locality.

  2. Inquire if that bank handles "Telegraphic Fund Transfer" to banks in the Philippines.

  3. Give the following instructions to that bank (normally a form is provided for this purpose):

    To ________________________________________________________
                              (Name of Remitting International Bank)
    Pay To ____________________________________________________
                        (Name of Depository Bank in the Philippines)
    the amount of US 50,000.00/US 75,000.00 to set up an FCDU time deposit account in the name of 

    Mr. /Mrs.____________________________________________________
                                            (Name of Retiree)
    under the (PRA) retirement program. Upon receipt of the remittances, please telephone/advise PRA immediately.

    _____________________________
              (Signature of Retiree)

    SAMPLE

  4. Retain a copy of the above Telegraphic Transfer instructions.


SHORTLISTED BANKS                                                              

  1. BANK OF COMMERCE

  2. CHINATRUST (PHILS.) COMMERCIAL BANK

  3. EQUITABLE PCI BANK

  4. METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY

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