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The Ultimate Guide to Residency in the Philippines

In this day and age, Philippines has opened its arms and embrace different types of business all over the world. There are several foreigners and businessmen working in the Philippines that find interest in becoming a permanent resident here in the country. Even the foreign students who are staying in the said country for educational purposes have desires in living and becoming citizens in the Philippines.

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Philippines

A monthly pension of $3000 is sufficient to afford a comfortable and easy life for you. On an average of $150 to $200, you can already get a comfortable apartment, a 3-bedroom townhouse or a bungalow. You can already buy a week’s supply of fresh vegetables, fish and meat with a $50-$70 budget.

Electricity, water and cooking gas utility bills will cost you around $120. Even the cost of transportation in the Philippines is low. It’s even enough to pay at least $5,000 for a second-hand car in a good running condition. You can consider not buying a car in some big cities since public transportation is easily available. Rides in tricycles and jeepney’s cost $.20, for trains and buses, its $0.25 and $0.35. A cab ride pays $1 for the first 400 meters, with the next 300 meters charged $0.080.

Culture

Filipinos are well-known for their world class hospitality, and it is the X-Factor of the Phillipines. According to surveys, Filipinos are among the happiest and friendliest people in the world. Foreigners feel appreciated and wanted for the warm and welcoming attitude of the Filipinos. Having respect to the elders is one of the most remarkable Filipino values. Family, friends and neighbors are always important. A generous and peaceful demeanor goes with the smiles and services of the people. Also, they are willing to help once called for assistance. Several tragedies of typhoons, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes have assailed the Philippines. However, the Filipinos have remained strong and resilient. Despite the repercussions, they were able to stand up and recover.

Eco-tourism Destinations

The Philippine archipelago has more than 7,000 islands. You can explore and have fun in the country’s great beaches, amazing diving spots and interesting natural attractions. You can also travel around and witness the sights of the richness of the Philippines biodiversity and natural wonders if you want to feel closer to the mother nature. Not only that, but you can enjoy the sea, the sun and the sand of nice beaches in the country’s 36,289 kms coastline. In the 5th longest coastline in the world, you’ll delight in the wonderful white sand beaches of Boracay, Camiguin Island and Puerto Galera. Surfers or surf lovers can indulge their hobby in the giant waves of Baler, Catanduanes, Pundakit and the surfing capital of the Philippines, Siargao Island. For those who prefer to live in cooler place, Baguio city, Tagaytay city or Sagada mountain province are ideal locations for you.

It is truly more fun in the Philippines and retirement too. So, here’s a comprehensive, successful and easy steps on how to get a permanent resident visa as a foreigner if you are moving to the Philippines indefinitely.

What are the requirements to get permanent residence visa in the Philippines

  1. For a foreigner who has an an immigration reciprocating to the agreement with the Philippines and is married to a Filipino, you are eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa under the permanent residents Philippines’ rights.

You need a proof of:

  • Valid marriage to a Philippine citizen that is recognize under existing Philippine law.
  • No record of any derogatory information against you in any local or foreign law enforcement agency.
  • Not having any dangerous, contagious or loathsome disease.
  • Sufficient funds to support a family and will not become a public burden.
  • Being allowed to enter into the Philippines and was authorized by Immigration authorities to stay.

Other requirements:

  • Notarized application letter by the Filipino spouse
  • Accomplished and Notarized General Application Form
  • Authenticated copy the birth certificate of the Filipino spouse
  • Authenticated copy of the Marriage Contract by the AA or  Philippine Embassy abroad (if you got married abroad)
  • Immigration Clearance Certificate
  • Copy of the foreigners passport showing the date of arrival and Visa (Balik Bayan Stamp)
  • Certification of a savings bank account with the minimum 10,000 US$ on it to prove, that you can financially support your family
  • Fee for about ₱20,000.00 (10,000 for application and another ₱10,000.00 for approval)

2. According to the Bureau of Immigration Philippines,  nationals of countries which have diplomatic relations with the Philippines are eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa. Also, if they grant the Filipinos the same immigration privileges under the principle of reciprocity which shall not be in excess of fifty (50) of any one nationality or without nationality for any one calendar year.

You must bring the following:

You must also meet these requirements:

  • Secure the Consolidated General Application Form (CGAF) from either at the Public Information and Assistance Unit (PIAU) at BI G/F Main Office or from the official BI Website.

  • Submit the documents to the Central Receiving Unit (CRU) for pre-screening or to the frontline officer or staff of other Immigration Offices able to process this transaction.

  • Get the Order of Payment Slip (OPS).

  • Pay the required fees. Additional of $ 50.00 for ACR I-Card

  • Submit copy of Official Receipt.

  • Attend hearing. Kindly refer this to the Official Receipt for the schedule and venue of the hearing and Image and Fingerprint Capturing.

  • Proceed to Image and Fingerprint Capturing Counter of the Alien Registration Division (ARD) and submit requirements for ACR I-Card application

  • Check website if visa for the Philippines application is already approved. If approved, submit passport for visa implementation. Claim your ACR I-Card once it is approved.

How much does it cost?

  • Principal: Php 18, 830.00
  • Dep-Spouse: Php 18, 830.00
  • Dep-B16: Php 18, 580.00
  • Dep-B15: Php 18,080.00

Benefits of a permanent visa in the Philippines?

These are the things that you can get from applying for a permanent visa here in Philippines;

  1. Easier way in getting loans and buying insurance.
  2. There’s no need for a ticket leaving when you’re leaving the Philippines.
  3. The visa is permanent after a 1 year of probationary period and there is a need need to renew your ACR I-card every five years.
  4. You are now complying under the law of the Philippines.
  5. There’s also no need for visa runs.

Philippine Tax System

Moving to the Philippines would give you questions such as their local tax system. In most of the countries, you are likely to pay income tax and other types of Philippine tax. However, under several conditions, there is a tax deduction at varied rates for different categories of foreigners. Inquiring about the rates beforehand is the best thing to do.

General tax principles

Expatriates in the Philippines are the resident aliens who are not yet citizens in the country. Meanwhile, foreigners who live in the Philippines are the non-resident aliens. You’re considered as a non-resident citizen if you are a citizen already in the Philippines but not living in the country.

Generally, the following principles apply in terms of individual taxation in the Philippines:

  • Citizens who live in the Philippines are taxable on all income derived from sources within and outside the Philippines;
  • Non-resident citizens and non-resident aliens are taxable only on their income earned in the Philippines; and
  • Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are  only taxable from their income earned in the Philippines.

In terms of businesses:

  • Domestic corporations that are created in the Philippines are taxable on all income within and outside the country; and
  • Foreign corporations, whether they are in trade or business in the Philippines or not, they are taxable only on income earned in the country.

Tax rates

It is a requirement for foreign residents to pay taxes on their net taxable income at different rates ranging from 5% to 32%. This is standard for all taxable individuals. In their case, the employer deducts taxes at the source. Hence, they do not have to go to the Tax Office.

In short, tax rates in the Philippines vary from 0% to 32% depending on the amount of income:

5% – 0 to Php 10,000

Php500 10% of the excess over Php10,000 – 10,001 to 30,000 pesos

Php2,500 15% of the excess over Php30,000 – 30,001 to 70,000 pesos

Php8,500 20% of the excess over Php70,000 – 70,001 to 140,000 pesos

Php22,500 25% of the excess over Php140,000 – 140,001 to 250,000 pesos

Php50,000 30% of the excess over Php250,000 – 250,001 to 500,000 pesos

Php125,000 32% of the excess over Php500,000 – more than 500,000 pesos

Most foreigners in the country are classified as resident aliens due to the duration of their stay and employment period in the Philippines. Hence, as foreign residents, the income they get in the country is equal to the same way as those of Filipino nationals.

Conclusion

These are the important things you need to learn about the Philippines and how to get a permanent residency in this country. A lot of retirees have been coming and settling in the Philippines after retirement. This is because the country has a great tropical weather and of course, your retirement money can go a long way with the cheap cost of living.

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