Philippines SRRV Visa Update and Requirements- All Your Questions Answered (2021)

12/01/2021

Latest SRRV Updates From The Philippines Retirement Authority

Has the suspension been lifted for the SRRV Visa?

Yes. The Philippines Retirement Authority (PRA) started accepting and processing SRRVisa applications as of June 1, 2021. However, the SRRV SMILE Visa program for early retirees over 35 years old is still suspended.

Are foreigners allowed to enter the Philippines now?

The situation changes frequently, but as of October 2021, foreigners are permitted to enter the Philippines if they ALREADY have a valid visa. This means if you already hold a Section 9, Section 13, or SRRV visa, but were locked out of the country, you can now return. This only benefits foreign nationals who were residents of the Philippines, but were outside of the Philippines when the lockdowns started.

There is a potential exception for new retirees to enter the Philippines. If you complete an SRRV application, submit your original documents to the PRA, and pay the visa fee, then the PRA will petition to get you an Entry Exemption Document (EED) to allow entry into the Philippines.

Can I enter the Philippines if I am married to a Filipino?

Yes. If you do NOT already have a visa, AND you are a citizen of a country that doesn't require a visa to enter under Executive Order 408 (hint: like the United States), then you can enter the Philippines ONLY if you are traveling with your wife. The Philippine Immigration Authorities will stop you at the airport and send you back home if you travel to the Philippines without your spouse.

Are SRRV Visa holders allowed in the Philippines?

Yes, retirees who already hold a valid Special Resident Retiree Visas (SRRV) can enter the Philippines without an Entry Exemption Document (EED).

They are changing the laws. Do you know when the Philippines government will reinstate the SRRV Visa program?

The PRA has already reinstated the SRRV Visa program as of June 1, 2021. HOWEVER, the SRRV program is only open to retirees 50 years and older. The widely popular SRRV Smile Visa program for retirees 35 years old and up is remains suspended.

ARCHIVE OF PREVIOUS PRA UPDATES

Last Official Announcement From the Philippines Retirement Authority

Brief Overview Of The Philippines Special Resident and Retirees Visa Program

The Special Resident and Retirees Visa (SRRV) is a special non-immigrant visa allowing you to permanently live in the Philippines. This article is a brief overview of the Philippine visa program, benefits, documentary requirements, and visa fees. 

To get the complete list of requirements, links to application forms, checklists, and process to retire in the Philippines, read my Guide on How To Get A Philippines Retirement Visa

QUICK TIPS

Do ask for help. The Philippines visa process can get complicated. The rules and regulations change frequently. Avoid the hassle of dealing with the immigration bureaucracy by speaking with a Philippines Visa Specialist.

Don't use US Dollars. The best way to save money in the Philippines is by using Wise to transfer money and make payments in Philippine Peso. Wise offers you the best exchange rates and lowest bank fees.

Do get Travel Health Insurance. Your home insurance will not cover emergency healthcare overseas, but you can find affordable travel insurance for less than $50 that will cover your medical bills in the Philippines.

Do learn some basic Tagalog phrases. While nearly everyone speaks some English, learning some basic Tagalog is always appreciated by Filipinos. Get a FREE Language Lesson using the same learning technique used by the US State Department, FBI, and overseas military.

Do understand your potential taxes. Staying more than 180 days during any calendar year can trigger income tax in the Philippines. Get a FREE consult with an expat tax specialist to understand how taxes in the Philippines can impact you.

9 Essential Things To Know Before Moving to the Philippines
Expat Guide To Living In The Philippines- Costs, Visas, Safety, Pros & Cons
How To Ship Your Car To The Philippines & Why You Shouldn’t
How To Get A Philippines Retirement Visa For As Low As $1500
Why I am Living in the Philippines to Avoid COVID-19
Manila (Part 3)- Live Richer, While Spending Less by Retiring Early in the Philippines

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What Are The Benefits Of The SRRV?

  1. You can live permanently in the PhilippinesWhether you prefer the bustling capital of Manila, the cooler climate of Baguio, the university small-town feel of Dumaguete, or one of the 7,000+ world-class islands, with the SRRV you can stay as long as you like.
  2. No more visa runs. You have multiple entry privileges with no minimum stay requirements. You can enter and leave the country as you please.
  3. Special SRRV Only Exemptions from annual application and renewal of a Philippines Immigration Alien Certificate of Registration Identity (ACR-I Card), paying a travel tax in Philippine airports, applying for a separate work visa, student visa, or study permit.
  4. Concierge Greet and Assist Program at major Philippine airports
  5. Free assistance in dealing with other Philippine government agencies
  6. Potential discounted health insurance premiums when enrolling in PHILHEALTH
  7. Customs, duties, and TAX-FREE importation of your household goods and personal effects valued up to $7,000 USD
  8. Special retiree discount privileges and promotions from select PRA-accredited Merchant Partners
  9. Foreign-sourced pensions and annuities are exempt from income tax

Four SRRV Visa Types

a copy of a Philippines SRRV Visa

One Visa with Four Options (Classic, Courtesy, Expanded Courtesy, and Human Touch)

1) SRRV Classic - For healthy retirees over 50 years old. SRRV Classic requires a foreign currency deposit:

  • $10,000 visa deposit if you collect a monthly pension or social security of $800+ per month or more
  • $20,000 is the requisite deposit if you DON'T have a monthly pension or social security worth at least $800 per month

 EDITOR'S NOTE : Investment Opportunity- You don't have to let your required deposit sit in the bank, you can convert your deposit into an active investment.

Allowable investments include: 

  • real estate investment (purchase of condominium unit or long-term lease of a house and land)
  • membership shares into a golf club or country club.

2) SRRV Courtesy - For healthy foreign retirees over 50 years old, who were:

  • Former Filipino Citizens
  • Foreign Nationals who worked as an ambassador, diplomat, or staff of an NGO in the Philippines. Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) recognized list below.

The deposit required for the SRRV Courtesy is only $1,500

DFA Recognized NGO and International Organizations  <click to expand>

  • ASEAN CENTRE FOR BIODIVERSITY
    (ACB)
  • ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
    (ADB)
  • FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION
    OF THE UNITED NATIONS
    (FAO)
  • INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS
    (ICRC)
  • INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
    (IFAD)
  • INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION
    (IFC)
  • INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION

    (ILO)
  • INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
    (IMF)
  • INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION
    (IOM)
  • INTERNATIONAL RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
    (IRRI)
  • SOUTHEAST ASIAN MINISTERS OF EDUCATION ORGANIZATION
    (SEAMEO INNOTECH)
  • SOUTHEAST ASIAN REGIONAL CENTER FOR GRADUATE STUDY
    RESEARCH IN AGRICULTURE
    (SEARCA)
  • SOUTHEAST ASIAN FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT CENTER
    AQUACULTURE DEPARTMENT
    (SEAFDEC)*
  • UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
    (UNDP)
  • UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND
    (UNICEF)
  • UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES
    (UNHCR)
  • UNITED NATIONS INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION
    (UNIDO)
  • UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND
    (UNFPA)
  • WORLD BANK
    (WB)
  • WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME
    (WFP)
  • WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
    (WHO)
    *
  • WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
    (WHO)

Source: Department of Foreign Affairs

3) SRRV Expanded Courtesy - Any retired foreign member of the Armed Forces from countries with existing military ties and/or agreement with the Philippine Government can apply for the SRRV Expanded Courtesy with a deposit of $1500 USD. As an example as a retired member of any branch of the US military (regardless if you served in the Philippines or not) is eligible.

4) SRRV Human Touch - This visa category is for ailing retirees over 50 years old, who need medical care in the Philippines, have a $10,000 visa deposit, are guaranteed a pension of at least $1,500 per month, and obtains health insurance accepted in Philippine hospitals. 

Deposit amounts above (except for Human Touch) are for the Principal Retiree and two dependents (legal spouse or unmarried children). If you have over two dependents, you will need to deposit an additional $15,000 per dependent. An exemption of additional dependent deposit for SRRV Human Touch and SRRV Courtesy for Former Filipino citizens.

Philippines Retirement Visa Suspended (SMILE)

October 2021 Update - The SRRV Smile Visa, targeting young expats who retired early and digital nomads 35 years old and over, was suspended on October 2020. The SRRV Smile remains suspended until further notice. Read more about the SRRV Smile Visa here.

However, all other SRRV Visas (Classic, Courtesy, Expanded Courtesy, and Human Touch) are available for any retirees above 50 years old. 

Tired of endless hours spent researching complicated visa requirements?

Knowing how frustrating it is to navigate a foreign country's immigration process, I started a new visa service to make life easier for expats who want to live and retire abroad,

I pre-screened and carefully selected partners with decades of expertise helping expats like you cut through the government red tape, clarify the visa options, and ease your worries about moving to a new country.

US Dollar Deposit Requirements

SRRV CLASSIC- With Pension: $10,000; Without Pension: $20,000

SRRV COURTESY- $1,500

SRRV EXPANDED COURTESY- $1,500

SRRV HUMAN TOUCH- $10,000

*Amounts cover you plus 2 dependents (legal spouse or minor children), except for Human Touch, which only covers 1 dependent.

Amounts must be deposited in a PRA-Accredited Bank

What taxes do I need to pay to the Philippines?

Whether you choose beaches or the city, the SRRV allows foreign retirees to stay in the Philippines indefinitely. 

Required Documents To Apply For A Philippines SRR Visa

  1. 1
    Financial Deposit Into Approved Philippine Bank- For a list of PRA-Accredited banks and payment instructions, check out our complete guide to Retiring in the Philippines.  
  2. 2
    Valid Passport- with valid entry visa (9A- temporary visitor's visa or BB- Balikbayan Visa if you were a former Philippine Citizen.
  3. 3
    PRA SRRV Visa Application Form- must be typed and completely filled out. Downloadable forms are available in our FREE checklist. 
  4. 4
    Medical Clearance- A clear medical report no more than 6 months old. The clearance can be done either in the Philippines or from your home country. If from the Philippines, any Department of Health (DOH) Accredited hospital complete a PRA Medical Certificate (RSSC Form No 0012).
    If you get a medical clearance from a doctor outside the Philippines, you will need to authenticate, translate, and apostille the certificate to make it valid. Each member of your family will need a clear medical certificate.
  5. 5
    Clean Police Background Check or Police Certificate - An English translated and apostilled police clearance from your current country of residence or home country. Must not be more than six months prior to the date of filing of visa application.

 EDITOR'S NOTE : Alternative Documents To A Police Certificate- If your country of origin does not issue Police Certificates or if your current background check is expired or not properly authenticated or apostilled, you have two options:

  1. A PRA Certified clearance from Interpol
  2. A written affidavit to get a properly authenticated police clearance submitted within one year from your SRR Visa issue date AND a Philippines NBI Clearance (see below).

You can receive a waiver for the background check if you are:

  1. 6
    NBI Clearance- If you or any member of your family over 18 years old has already been in the Philippines for over 30 days, then you will need to get a clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). 
  2. 7
    Passport Photos- Eight (8) pieces. Size 2" x 2" 
  3. 8
    *Optional- Legal Proof of Relationship to Principle Applicant- If you include your spouse or a dependent child, you will need to submit Proof of Marriage or Birth Certificate (as applicable). If your documents are from outside the Philippines, your original documents will need to be translated and apostilled.

Get Organized

Get your FREE step-by-step Philippines SRRV Visa application checklist for expats retiring to the Philippines. Organize your application with the checklist. Don't miss any paperwork or forget a step. 

Basic Requirements for SRRV

SPOUSE
  • Financial Deposit
  • Valid Passport
  • Application Form
  • Clear Medical Report
  • Police Clearance
  • NBI Clearance
  • Passport Photos
  • Marriage Certificate
DEPENDENT CHILD
  • Financial Deposit
  • Valid Passport
  • Application Form
  • Clear Medical Report
  • Police Clearance * 
  • NBI Clearance *
  • Passport Photos
  • Birth Certificate
  • If 18 - 20 years old

Additional Requirements And Application Process

How To Get A Philippines Retirement Visa For As Low As $1500

Do I Need Health Insurance?

Yes. Most health insurance will not cover you for any injuries sustained outside your home country. You will either need to get PHILHEALTH medical insurance or Expat Medical Insurance.

If you retire abroad, expat health insurance is a more complete option. Expat Medical Insurance is the "normal" insurance you are familiar with to from home. Coverage is built for expats outside the US and insurance premiums are much cheaper than in the US. 

How Much Does A Philippines SRRV Visa Cost?

SRRV Visa Fees

ONE TIME PROCESSING FEE

PER PERSON

YOU

$1,400

SPOUSE

$300

DEPENDENT

$300

EXCESS DEPENDENT

$300

ANNUAL FEE

PER FAMILY

CLASSIC

$360

COURTESY

$10

EXPANDED COURTESY

$10

HUMAN TOUCH

$360

An annual fee of $360 (up to three family members) and $100 for each additional dependent.

Don't Become A Victim Of Government Bureaucracy Get A Free SRRV Checklist

The PRA can process your retiree visa application in as little as 15-days. However, missing documents or an incorrect application form can delay your process indefinitely. The SRR Visa application is filled with paperwork and required documents. To ensure you don't miss a step or form, download our FREE checklist here. 

How do I get SRRV?

Read the complete 10-step process flow detailing the application and SRRV approval process.  

Can you email me forms to start this process of SRRV?

Sure, use this link to request a copy of our FREE SRRV Checklist, with updated links to the required forms.

Can you help me apply for a Philippines visa?

Yes. I've partnered with a Philippines relocation specialist, who has been relocating and moving embassy personnel and corporate expats since 2011. If you don't want to deal with the hassle and complexity of the visa process, they can help. 

My partners are visa specialists certified by the Philippine Retirement Association (PRA) to handle your visa application, document submission, local appointments, and much more. They will simply your immigration process and make getting your visa easier.  

FAQs: Philippines SRR Visa General Questions

Is SRRV a permanent resident visa?

Yes, a Special Resident Retiree's Visa (SRRV) is a multiple-entry visa allowing expat retirees to live permanently in the Philippines with no minimum stay requirements.

How long does it take to get SRRV visa?

Complete and properly filled out applications can be processed as fast as 15 to 20 working days, if you apply at one of the main PRA branches. If you apply through a satellite office, processing time can extend to 25 to 30 business days.

How do I apply for a travel exemption so I can enter the Philippines?

Submit your SRRV application and all supporting documents for pre-evaluation to srrv.preevaluation@pra.gov.ph. After receipt of application fees, the PRA can request an Entry Exemption Document (EED) for you to enter the Philippines. 


About the author

Hi, That's me. I'm Marco Sison. I am a survivor of the corporate rat race. I started Nomad FIRE to show you an alternative to the stress and grind of 70-hour weeks to pay off a mortgage, student loans, and countless bills. After getting laid off in 2015, I said screw it all and retired early at 41 years old. I have traveled the last five years to over 40 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries for 70% less cost than the US. I have been featured in: US News & World Reports, Huffington Post, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Best Life, CW Network, Dr. Wealth, and others. [view press...]

  • SIMON PRINGLE says:

    Hi Marco, I have a small property in the Philippines worth about 1.5 million pesos. Can this be used as the security instead of a $10,000 bank deposit? Thanks. Simon

    • Marco Sison says:

      Hi Simon,

      I know you are allowed to use the visa deposit for either a long-term lease of a house and lot or a condominium. I also know the visa deposit can also be used to purchase a condominium, but I don’t believe the SRRV deposit can be used to buy an existing house in the Philippines. Why the PRA specifically differentiates between a home where you lease the land, and a condo where you don’t own the land is out of my content expertise. If you like, I can put you in touch with a local visa specialist who will assist with your unique situation. Leave me a message here if you want me to put you in touch.

      Cheers,

      Marco

      • SIMON PRINGLE says:

        Many thanks for your reply Marco, I would be most grateful if you could provide links to agents who might be able to help me. Simon Pringle

  • I’m over 50, US citizen. If I apply for a new SRRV Visa will I be able to travel there? Or are they only letting in people with existing SRRV’s? Also do you have to be vaccinated in order to travel there on a SRRV?

    • Marco Sison says:

      Hi DM,

      Yes. I met with the PRA last week to address this specific topic.

      If you complete an SRRV application, submit your original documents to the PRA, and pay the visa fee, then the PRA will petition to get you an Entry Exemption Document (EED) to allow entry into the Philippines.

      I have a new partner in the Philippines accredited with the Philippines Retirement Association to assist expat retirees with the visa process. Reply to this comment, and I can help get the process started.

      • Thanks Marco,

        I’m very interested in starting the process. Any assistance you lend would be great.

        Thank you!

        • Marco Sison says:

          I sent you an email. Check your SPAM if you don’t see something from Marco in your inbox.

  • Question 1 :
    I own my company and have monthly income ongoing whether I work or not, but it’s not a pension. I have workers that run the day to day business and our company is doing well, I always get income each month well above $800.00 US dollars the srrv required monthly income minimum.
    Would that qualify for the lower $10,000 deposit? Or does it specifically need to be a pension type of monthly income to allow a $10,000 deposit for a classic SRRV?
    Do I qualify for the lower $10,000 deposit? or because it’s not actual pension, it’s an owners ongoing monthly salary, is it’s still $20,000.00.

    Question 2 :
    If in the future if I ever cancel this SRRV visa, is it easily refunded back to me? How hard is it to get that deposit back later if you cancel the SRRV visa in a year or two? Is it required to keep it the srrv for a certain number of years or can you cancel it at any time in future and get your deposit back later ? Example: If I marry a Filipina, she moves to usa, the visa may no longer be needed like before.
    Thank You ..

    • Marco Sison says:

      Hi Rick,

      Thanks for taking the time to write. For question 1, regrettably, the income limit is a documented pension (government or private) or social security. Business income, even if it’s passive, doesn’t count. Neither does savings for some silly bureaucratic reason. You could show a $1M in your bank account, and the PRA would still ask to see an $800 per month pension.

      For Question 2, there is no minimum time to cancel or even downgrade (if you get married and decide to do a 13A spousal visa, for example) your SRRV. However, your visa must have at least two months of validity left (you renew the SRRV annually). If you have less than two months left on your SRRV, you need to pay a pro-rate portion of the annual fee before canceling

      Getting the deposit back is usually never a problem, but it does take time. How much time depends on how backup the PRA is. Technically, the PRA’s documented Standard Operating Procedure is 15 to 20 business days, but waiting several months is not uncommon.

      Any other questions, please feel free to ask.

      Cheers,

      Marco

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