How and Why You Should Get a Special Resident Retirement Visa in the Philippines


The Philippines remains one of the most vibrant melting pot of cultures in Southeast Asia, even if our Hispanic, American, and Japanese colonizers have long since left. It seems that we Filipinos aren’t the only ones opting to spend our golden years on our blessed archipelago: about 29,000 registered foreign retirees have now made their home here.


Whether it was the weather or the low costs of living that drew you in, there’s no denying that retiring on a tropical island with great food, beautiful and loving people (!), and a seemingly endless summer paints a lovely picture. Fortunately, the Philippines has always welcomed foreigners with open arms. You don’t need a visa to vacation on our pristine beaches, and for those who want to extend their stay indefinitely, there’s the Special Resident Retirement Visa or SSRV.


The SSRV bestows upon its holder multiple entry privileges as well as the right to stay indefinitely in the Philippines.  It is issued by the Bureau of Immigration under the Philippine Retirement Authority’s (PRA) Retirement Program. Once you are in possession of one, you won’t have to set foot in the Bureau of Immigration to keep extending your permit to stay. It also brings with it other nifty benefits, such as:

  1. Exemption from customs duties and taxes for the importation of personal effects (up to around AU$7,000 worth, at least, so you won’t have to go without your Vegemite. Hurrah!);

  2. Exemption from travel tax, if you have not remained in the Philippines for more than one year since your last date of entry;

  3. Exemption from Exit Clearance and Re-entry Permits;

  4. Tax-free interest on your required foreign currency deposit;

  5. Said interest payable to you in Philippine peso currency;

  6. Conversion of required deposit into active investments, including the purchase of condominium units;

  7. Foreign currency deposit can be converted into Philippine peso currency (but then, the interest accrued on it would be subject to withholding tax);

  8. Tax-free remittances to the Philippines for pensions or annuities from your home country;

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

The most popular kind of SSRV is the SSRV Classic and to be eligible for it, you need to be:

  1. At least 50 years old;

  2. Entitled to a basic pension/retirement payout of at least USD1,000 or AUD1,322/month if you wish to apply for the SSRV as a couple and at least USD800 or AUD1,058/month if you are applying as an individual;

  3. Able to deposit at least USD10,000 or AUD13,222 in a Philippine bank.

But if you wish to retire in the Philippines at a much younger age (i.e., 35 and above), you can still avail of the SSRV if you make a deposit of at least USD50,000 or AUD66,110.


To apply for an SSRV, you need to submit the following documentary requirements to the Bureau of Immigration:

  1. Original valid passport;

  2. Accomplished Philippine Retirement Authority application form;

  3. Original copy of the DFA Medical Examination Form 11 and an AIDS test as accomplished by a licensed doctor from your place of origin and then duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate posted there (or a PRA Medical Certificate drawn up by a licensed doctor in the Philippines);

  4. Original copy of Police Clearance from your country of origin and duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate posted there (or the same issued by the National Bureau of Investigation in the Philippines, provided you have been in the country more than 30 days after your last date of entry before applying);

  5. 12 pieces of a 2” x 2” photo taken within the last six (6) months;

  6. Documents showing proof of relationships for any dependents who will be part of your application (marriage certificates if you are bringing a spouse along and birth or adoption certificates naming you as the parent or guardian for children under the age of 21);

  7. Certification by PRA Shortlisted Banks showing that you have made the requisite deposit.

Once you have submitted the complete requirements, it takes about seven (7) to ten (10) days for everything to get processed and for you to be granted the SSRV. If your application is successful, you will be given a special photo ID card and a PRA visa with a beautifully elegant tropical motif, which is then attached to your passport.


Retirement plan


Of course, you can also marry a Philippine national and be done with it, but as the SSRV shows, falling in love with the country itself is often enough reason for anyone to be allowed to live out the rest of their lives here.

Serena Estrella

Serena joined Remit back in 2016, and has tormented its Marketing Head constantly ever since. To get through the rigors of writing about grave concerns like exchange rates, citizenship requirements, and PH-AU news, she likes to blast Mozart, Vivaldi, ONE OK ROCK, and Shigeru Umebayashi in the background. She does a mean Merida voice in her spare time too.


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