U.S. citizens may enter the Philippines without a visa and remain in the country as a tourist for a maximum of 30 days per trip provided the visitor’s passport has at least six months validity and an ongoing ticket has been purchased. If you wish to stay longer than 30 days, you can seek permission to remain in the country once you arrive or you can apply for a 59-day visa at the Philippine embassy nearest you before leaving home.
The Philippine government offers one of the best retirement programs for foreigners that comes with more benefits than any other country in the region. The country also provides the easiest path to permanent residency in Southeast Asia. The Philippines retirement program allows foreign residents to work or start a business, unlike neighboring Thailand. Once you have been granted permanent residency, you can stay in the country for as long as you want, and your visa never expires.
In addition to the ability to take a job or own a business, the retirement program also allows for the duty-free importation of up to US$7,000 worth of household belongings, an exemption from airport travel taxes, and other similar tax discounts and incentives. Further, you can leave the country and return any time you like without having to re-apply for residency.
Four types of special resident retiree visas are offered, starting with the SRRV Smile program that allows you to remain in the Philippines for as long as you want, provided you deposit US$20,000 in a Philippine bank and keep it there for the duration of your stay. This visa is available to anyone who is 35 or older. There is no minimum income requirement.
You qualify for the SRRV classic visa program by depositing US$50,000 in a Philippine bank or purchasing a condominium costing US$50,000 or more if you are between ages 35 and 49. If you are age 50 or older, you need invest only US$10,000, provided you have an individual pension of at least US$800 per month. A couple must be able to show pension income of at least US$1,000 per month.
Residency in the Philippines can lead to a second passport and dual citizenship in this country, but there are several requirements, including 10-year residence, ownership of property, and enrolment of children in Philippine schools.