The SRRV is a type of Visa that encourages people from outside the Philippines to retire and invest in the Philippines. The SRRV allows an Expat to gain permanent residence in the Philippines WITHOUT having to marry a Filipina citizen. If you are already married to a non-Filipina citizen, or if you are not married, but don’t want to get married, and you want to live permanently in the Philippines, this kind of Visa is probably your best option.
We will go into the SRRV in considerable detail below, but for now I just want to describe it in its simplest terms. The SRRV is under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), whose main office is in Makati Manila.
The PRA has defined certain kinds of investments, and has a list of partners offering such investments, such that if you agree to invest in a PRA approved investment they will give you an SRRV.
So to simplify even more to its most simple essence, it’s basically this:
Invest money in the Philippines, get an SRRV visa – it’s that simple
The minimum investment to obtain an SRRV depends on your age and circumstances. The PRA lists three cases, each case having a different minimum investment. These cases are described as follows:
Minimum investment: $50,000
Minimum investment: $10,000 dollars
Types of PRA Investments the PRA lists the following categories of investments which may qualify:
Living in a PRA Approved Residential Community Please keep in mind that you can’t just purchase any condominium, or construct on any leased land, it must be a PRA approved investment.
For practical purposes what this really means is this: You pick out a residential community/facility approved by the PRA and you buy a share or lease a condo, which allows you to live and play in this community. Different communities have different arrangements. But in all cases the bottom line is this: You have to fork out some good money, usually at least fifty and more typically one hundred thousand dollars or sometimes even more.
What are these communities like? Typically they are very upscale gated and guarded communities on the outskirts of a major city. They usually contain a golf course, tennis courts, a swimming pool and other facilities such as workout room, a restaurant and a bar. Basically it amounts to living in a country club. In style...
If you want to live in a city without living in a country club type atmosphere, there may also be PRA approved condo units. Again, talk to a PRA office for details or ask us here at Philippines Exclusive and Exclusive Hot Properties.
Country Club Share This category is officially listed as “Purchase of Proprietary Membership/Golf shares in golf clubs” on the PRA web Site. Suppose you want to avail of the SRRV without committing yourself to living in a PRA approved community. What if you want to play at the golf clubs and tennis courts of such a community without actually living there? Many of the communities allow you to buy a “use of facilities” share. What this means is that for a certain amount of money you buy a share in the community which allows you to use all the facilities without having to live there. A typical share at a decent community with golf, tennis and swimming might cost in the neighbourhood of $10,000 Dollars.
There is one problem however. That $10,000 investment may not be enough money to qualify you for the SRRV. As described earlier, depending on your circumstance, the minimum investment is 10, 20 or 50 thousand dollars. If you are in case 3 as described above your minimum investment requirement is only $10,000 and the “use of facility” share may be perfect for you. However, even if your minimum investment is (for example) $20,000 dollars, there is no reason you can’t invest $10,000 in your golf share, and another $10,000 in some other PRA approved investment.
Bank Deposit SRRVThe PRA gives you another option, for those that don’t want to live in a PRA community or buy a PRA approved country club share. Simply open up a special PRA bank account in a PRA partner bank and deposit the appropriate amount of money.
For example, suppose your minimum investment is $20,000 dollars because you are over 50 but have no qualifying pension fund. Simply open up the PRA approved bank account, deposit $20,000 into this account and the SRRV is yours! So very simple! Later on if you decide you want to buy into golf shares or live in a PRA approved residential community you can transfer your bank account investment into your new PRA approved investment
What is the downside of an SRRV visa? Actually, if you leave money out of the discussion, there is no downside. The SRRV visa is a wonderful great fantastic thing. Extremely easy and quick to obtain and no reason to feel pressured into marriage!
Of course not everybody can leave money out of the discussion. The problem with the SRRV is that you have to put money aside and that money is basically untouchable so long as you want to keep your SRRV.
If you buy into a golf share, or you live in a condo in a residential PRA approved community you can argue that your money is being used towards a good purpose. However if you use the bank account method then that money is just sitting there, basically in escrow and you can’t touch that money so long as you want to keep your SRRV.
What happens if you really need that money? Can you get it? Yes, but perhaps not immediately. You have to go to a PRA office and file an application for release of the funds. Once the release is approved you lose your SRRV. So basically, in the case of a bank account, if you want to live in the Philippines the rest of your life, it’s the equivalent of buying an SRRV for ten or twenty thousand dollars. I guess the bank account does make some interest, but I don’t think this amounts to very much.
In the case of a golf share or residence in a condo, if you want your money back you have to do two things. You have to find a buyer for your share, and you also have to file an application for release of your investment once a buyer is found. Of course, as in the case of the bank account, you will lose your SRRV.
There is one other way to get your money back without losing permanent residence. Suppose you come to the Philippines as a single man and invest, for example, $20,000 in a PRA bank account.
Now suppose at a later time you fall in love and decide to marry a Filipina woman. Having an SRRV visa does not prevent you from also applying for a spousal permanent residence visa. Once you get the Spousal permanent resident visa you could withdraw your money from the PRA bank account. You would lose your SRRV visa, but it would not matter because you would still be entitled to permanent residence via your Spousal visa.
What Are the Steps for Obtaining an SRRV Visa? Basically the process starts with you contacting a PRA office. From everything I have heard the staff at the PRA offices are extremely well trained and helpful, and will hold your hand throughout the whole process. I have even heard they will pick you up from the airport or your hotel and bring you to the office.
Once at the office you will start the application procedure. Of course make sure you have all needed documentation such as passports, bank account information, proof of pension, etc. etc. etc. Don’t error on the side of not bringing enough. Bring everything with you that could possibly be of use in the application procedure.
As part the application procedure you will also have to take a medical exam.
If your choice is simply to get an SRRV via bank deposit they can help you to do that immediately, and the SRRV can be in your hands in a relatively short period of time. If your choice is to find a golf share or residence they can probably help you with that as well.
Once you are an SRRV Visa holder, it opens the door to vast opportunities and benefits.
As an SRR Visa holder, the PRA can assist you in obtaining basic documents from other government agencies. These include, but are not limited to:
Note: The required investment money (US$ 50,000 for 50 years old & above, $75,000 for 35 to 49 years) to avail of the Special Resident Retirement Visa (SRRA) must be deposited in a bank accredited by the Philippine Retirement Authority. This deposit can be withdrawn after 6 months but must be invested in the Philippines. It can be used to buy properties (condominiums) stocks, securities, etc.
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