Metro Manila, Philippines.


Retirement visa, citizenship with Philippine real estate purchase


DUBAI – Did you know that your real estate purchase in the Philippines takes you just a few steps to getting a multiple entry visa then permanent residency there?

The Philippines’ Special Retiree’s Resident Visa “Classic” has few restrictions on nationalities and gives you flexibility, making it the most popular visa for retirees.

Applicants as young as 35 to 49 years old can obtain this visa with a deposit of Dh184,000; while anyone 50 years old or older can get the visa with a Dh37,000 deposit combined with proof of guaranteed monthly income (or social security pensions) of Dh3,000 for individuals or Dh3,700 for couples. Applicants 50 years old or older can also make a minimum deposit of Dh73,000.

This visa is unique in that it allows anyone to convert a minimum Dh184,000 deposit into an investment, including purchase of real estate that should be ready for occupancy. Allowances and privileges include:

– Guaranteed repatriation of your deposit if you cancel

– Permanent residency, which means no need to get extensions for your residence beyond paying Dh1,300 annually, and this covers three family members

– Include your spouse and one unmarried dependent below 21 years old with the original application. You can add as many dependents with a deposit of Dh55,000 for each dependent. Your dependent children don’t need to get study permits or visas anymore.

– One-time tax-free importation of household goods and personal effects up to maximum Dh26,000.

– Philippine government assistance for documents specially employment permits, drivers’ licenses and tax exemption or extension certificates

-PHILHEALTH benefits and privileges

– Tax-free remittance of your annuities and pensions

– Tax-free paid interest on your foreign currency deposits

You also won’t need to apply for exit clearances and re-entry permits, or get the ACR I-Card (Alien Certificate of Registration Immigration Card). Travel tax? If your stay is less than a year from your last entry, you don’t need to pay travel tax.

Ultimately, you can apply for Philippine citizenship after residing in the country for ten continuous years, shorter if you were, in fact, born in the country; or held a government office in the country, established a new industry or introduced a useful invention, married a Filipino, or taught in the country for a minimum two years.

Is retiring in the Philippines right for you? Each year, indices on global retirement rank the top retirement countries in the world based on cost of living, fitting in, entertainment and amenities, climate and health care. In 2018, the Philippines made the rank.

You can live comfortably for Dh3,000 to Dh3,700 per month. A bonus: household help is affordable. Enjoy a 3-course meal at a mid-range restaurant for Dh25, a spa treatment for Dh37, watch an international movie in a cinema for Dh18, get a sports club membership for Dh125 per month.

You can live in an apartment in the big cities (purchase price Dh15,000/sqm in city centre; Dh7,000 outside the centre) or a cottage by the sea.

The Philippines is known for its tropical climate and natural beauty: lush mountains, colorful coral reefs and its many beaches are the biggest draw. To name a few: Boracay, with its white sand and crystal-clear blue water; El Nido in Palawan, a richly bio-diverse area where limestone cliffs rise from the sea; and Siargao Island, covered with coconut palm trees, with waves that attract surfers all over the world, rockpools, waterfalls and lagoons.

English is widely spoken, making it easy to get by day by day and form new friendships with Filipinos who rank in any index as one of the friendliest, most hospitable in the world. There are also large non-Filipino communities in the cities and beaches; and voluntary organizations where their information is online.

You’ll be taxed only on income you earn within the Philippines. Paycheck income is taxed from 20 percent to 35 percent; passive income at a maximum of 20 percent. If you’re in full retirement, you won’t get taxed on your pension, individual retirement account or on other retirement plans.


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