Ways To Stay Long-Term in the Philippines — Part 2

Ways To Stay Long-Term in the Philippines. 

(Updated 9 October 2019)

How long an American citizen (or most other foreigners) can stay in the Philippines is always a popular subject.  A while back I wrote an introductory article on this subject where I explained that you can pretty much stay as long as you want to in the Philippines without asking special permission from anyone.



If you haven’t read that you should read it now, because it lays the groundwork for several other more formal ways that a US citizen can live here in the Philippines.

Go ahead and click on the link now, I’ll wait right here for you *smile*.

How long can you stay in the Philippines if you are a US citizen?

Now if you read that article you’ll understand how easy it is for a foreigner to live here but as some readers have commented, renewing a Tourist Visa every two or six months, or going out of the country once a year for a new (free) Balikbayan Privilege Stamp  is not really “Permanent Residency”.

I mean, after all, it’s only worked for me for 14 years, so we couldn’t really call it “permanent”,  now could we?

You Asked, I Answered … Ways to stay Permanently in the Philippines.

I Want To keep this as short and simple as possible, but we have to make one important distinction first:

Are You Married To a Filipino Citizen (or a Former Filipino Citizen)?

If NO, then skip down to “Non-Marital-based Visas”.

If YES, you are in the right place, keep reading.

Marriage-Based Permanent Visas

These are a real blessing for living in the Philippines if you are married to a Philippine citizen.

  1. Good for life
  2. Relatively inexpensive (less than $200/300 USD total … all-in)
  3. Quite simple to get … mostly you just require a Philippine-citizen spouse.
  4. Short processing time.  A few hours to fill-up the forms and submit,
  5. You can work in the Philippines with a 13-series visa.
  6. And, did I mention it’s good for life?

Technically these are called Non-Quota Immigrant Visas

They are very similar in intent and purpose to a US Legal Permanent Resident status, or Green Card”.

The holder of a Non-Quota Immigrant Visa is allowed to live in the Philippines, for life, with many of the rights and privileges of a Philippine citizen.

There are a whole “family” of these visas, all numbered in the “13” series.  There are only two the average foreigner will be interested in, the 13(a) and the 13(g)

The 13(a)

This visa is for the legal spouse of a Philippines citizen.

The 13(g)

This visa is for the legal spouse of a former Philippines citizen.  A “former Filipino” for our purposes here would be a Filipino spouse who lost his or her Philippine citizenship when s/he became a US citizen.

A Filipino who loses citizenship because of naturalization in another country may if s/he chooses. require their Philippine citizenship, but there is no need to do this for residency purposes. They (and their spouse) can avail of a 13(g) series visa and lives, for life, in the Philippines.

Requirements for a Non-Quota Immigrant Visa

These visas may be applied for while in the USA or while in the Philippines.  Applying from inside the Philippines differs slightly, but the basics are the same:

These are the requirements:

Requirements for Non-Quota Immigrant Visa

  1. Personal appearance.
  2. US Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond authorized period of stay in the Philippines. If not a US Citizen, applicant must show proof of legal residence in the US, in addition to the valid Foreign Passport.
  3. Duly-accomplished application form FA Form No. 3.
  4. Six (6) photographs (2″ x 2″) with white plain background, signed on the front left side.
  5. Medical Certification (DFA Form No. 11) duly accomplished by any physician whose signature must be notarized by a notary public. Must be submitted together with chest x-ray in digital image (CD format) and laboratory reports (original and two copies). Medical report must be valid for at least six (6) months prior to date of filing of application.
  6. Police Clearance Certificate taken not more than six (6) months prior to date of filing of visa application.
  7. Proof of the applicant’s financial capacity (e.g. title of real estate property, investment certificate, bank certificate of existing checking or savings account, or notarized Affidavit of Support from a relative in the Philippines).
  8. Visa fee of US$150.00 (cash or money order; personal checks not accepted).
  9. Legal proof of relationship, i.e. marriage contract between the Philippine citizen and / Report of Marriage Contracted Abroad; birth certificate of Philippine citizen.
  10. Petition letter of the Filipino spouse/parent. Letter must be duly notarized if not signed in the presence of the Consular Officer.

Sounds like a lot, but it’s a hell of a lot simpler than getting a Green Card in the USA, I can swear to that,  A whole lot cheaper too.

So let me know if you want me to write more on the marital-based permanent residency visas.  (13  series Philippine visas)

Now, for all you single folks out there, or married folks where neither spouse is a Philippine citizen.

“Non-Marital-based Visas”

The Philippines has a number of visas that a foreigner can qualify for without any marital connection to a Philippine citizen.  This article is already growing long so I am going to focus on just one family o=of these visas, called the Special Resident Retirement Visa, almost always abbreviated as the SRRV.

It’s important that the “retirement” in the title of these visas doesn’t always mean “retirement” as in being old and having no job.  There are a lot of variations.

Some variants start as low as 35 years of age.  Some require an applicant to have a certain monthly income, some do not.  There is a whole agency of the Philippine government whose entire job is to process applicants for these visas and get them set up for living in the Philippines for the rest of their lives.  The agency is the Philippine Retirement Authority and its comprehensive website is here:

Philippine Retirement Authority

So now you know a number of different ways for a foreigner to come to the Philippines and live here for as long as she o he likes, even for life.



What else can I tell you about Ways To Stay Long-Term in the Philippines?