Philippines Retirement Visa

The Philippines is one of the most popular retirement locations in Southeast Asia.

Being so popular also means there is a large expat and retiree community here. Many people come here to retire and will live a life that is more social and more active than they did back home.

And it’s the SRRV that makes it all possible. In this article we’ll cover all the ins and outs of the Special Resident Retirees Visa so you can confidently make plans for an enjoyable retirement in the Philippines.

The bonus is you only have to be 50 years of age to qualify.

Is the Philippines a good place to retire?

The Philippines is a fantastic place to retire. You have the beaches, the warm tropical weather and a relaxed lifestyle to go with it. Or if you prefer big city living then Manilla with an urban population of 25 million will have anything one could ever imagine.

The Filipino people are known as being some of the friendliest and most welcoming in Asia, and that’s saying something.

The fact that English is widely spoken here makes living in the Philippines an easier transition compared to countries that don’t speak a lot of English. That said, its always a worthwhile experience learning the local language. Especially if you plan to spend a lot of time in a foreign country.

As many retirees are reliant on a pension or some other form of fixed income, it goes without saying that managing the cost of living is an important part of life post work. The Philippines comes in strong on this point. You can live a good life here on even the most modest pension.

Philippines Special Resident Retirees Visa (SRRV)

The SRRV has several streams in which expat retirees can apply. The core requirements that apply to applicants include:

  • Must be at least 50 years of age
  • Medical certificate
  • No criminal record

There are processing fees of US$1,400 for the main applicant plus $300 for dependents.

There is an ongoing annual fee of $360.

The SRRV gives the visa holder the right to reside in the Philippines indefinitely. You will have multiple entry access so that you can come and go from the country as you please.

The applicant can bring their spouse as well as their children provided they are unmarried and under the age of 21.

What are the different options for the Philippines SRRV retirement visa?

The Philippines retirement visa has several different streams that applicants can apply under, they include:

SRRV Smile

This is the basic visa option for healthy retirees.

You must deposit $20,000 into an accredited bank approved by the Philippine Retirement Authority.

SRRV Classic

This stream is for healthy retirees who want to use their SRRV deposit to purchase a condo or take out a long-term lease on a property.

The required amount for the visa deposit depends on which of the below options you choose:

  • $10,000 – if you have a pension from your home country paying at least $800/month or $1,000/month for a couple
  • $20,000 – if you have no pension
  • $50,000 – if you are using your deposit to purchase a condo

SRRV Human Touch

The Human Touch stream is intended for retirees who require medical care.

Applications must provide a visa bank deposit of $10,000.

You must have pension of at least $1,500 a month and have health insurance that is accepted in the Philippines.

SRRV Courtesy

The Courtesy stream applies to applicants that are veterans of the armed forces. You must have served for a country that has military ties with the Philippine government.

Retired officers of international organizations that are recognized by Department of Foreign Affairs can also apply under the SRRV courtesy stream.

You must have a pension of at least $1,000 a month.

The required bank deposit is $1,500.

What happened to the Over 35 SRRV stream?

The Philippines was well known for having one of the most accommodating retirement visas in all of Asia. This included being able to apply for the SRRV retirement visa as long as you were at least 35 years of age.

Unfortunately, the SRRV visa was suspended for people aged under 50 in October 2020. It remains open only to those aged 50 and above.

What are the other options for retirement visas in Southeast Asia?

The over 35’s who are no longer eligible for the Philippines SRRV visa may be interested in the Philippines investment visa (SIRV). This is available to anyone over the age of 21 who invests $75,000 in the Philippines stock market. In return you receive a renewable residency permit. You can read more about that here.

Thailand has quite a good retirement visa for expats who are at least 50 years of age.

Malaysia has the MM2H My Second Home visa. This one is open to expats who are 35 and over and are willing to deposit around $235,000 into a Malaysian bank account.

Indonesia has the Second Home Visa which is open to expats who have around $130,000 to deposit into a local bank.

Will your retirement income be taxed in the Philippines?

The Philippines government operates under a territorial tax system. This is ideal for foreign expats because it means in most cases your offshore income will have tax free status in the Philippines.

Any income generated from within the country will be taxed at a maximum rate of 35%, as at the time of writing.

International taxation is complex. Any information in this article is made on a general basis only and is not tax advice. If you need taxation advice specific to your situation, you can get that here.

Who is the Philippines SRRV Special Resident Retirement Visa good for?

The SRRV is one of the premier retirement visas on offer in Southeast Asia. The low barrier to entry makes it very popular with ordinary retirees who want an affordable visa in a beautiful part of the world. It’s not quite as good as it used to be but it’s still right up there.

If you’re on limited income such as a pension, dividends or rental income, it’s hard to look past this one.

The high quality of life that is available to even those on low incomes makes it an excellent option for people who are struggling to make ends meet in their home country.

The Philippines is the kind of place where older people can come and make a fresh start, meet new people, and be accepted into a welcoming society and thriving expat community.

If you would like to speak to us regarding your options for moving out to Southeast Asia, you can contact us here.

Thanks for reading.