Foreigners looking to spend a considerable amount of time in the Philippines may be issued different types of special resident visas, depending on the purpose of their stay in the country.
To note, there are three different kinds of Special Resident Visas available for foreigners. These are the following:
- Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV)
- Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV)
- Special Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG)
Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV)
To be able to avail of the benefits of the Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV), the foreigner holder of the visa must have investments that are located within the country. This is through the Board of Investments in coordination with the Bureau of Immigration..
There are a number of requirements that one must have to be able to apply and subsequently be approved of an SIRV:
- The foreign applicant must be at least 21 years old;
- The foreign applicant must not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;
- The foreign applicant must have invested at least US$75,000;
- The foreign applicant must not have been confined for any mental illness; and
- The foreign applicant must not have any dangerous, loathsome, or contagious disease.
Once the above requirements have been met, the foreign applicant who has been issued an SIRV may now be allowed to stay in the Philippines for an indefinite period of time. They are also given multiple entry privileges. Another benefit that can be given to a holder of an SIRV is the exemption from the Exit Clearance and Re-Entry requirements of the Bureau of Immigration and Alien Certificate of Registration.
The SIRV visa is either probationary or indefinite. For a probationary visa, the validity of the visa shall be for 6 months. For an indefinite SIRV, the validity shall be indefinite for as long as the required number of investments are made.
Expounding further on the investment requirement, the above-mentioned US$75,000 investment must be deposited in a Time Deposit in an accredited depository bank. The said time deposit must have a minimum maturity period of 30 days and a maximum maturity period of 180 days. Within 180 days from the date of issuance of the probationary visa, it is a must that the foreign investor has already converted the deposit amount into an investment in an eligible domestic enterprise. After which, the said investment shall be reported to the Board of Investments.
There is a limit to the eligible forms of investment. For example, in case of investments in a Filipino corporation, only those whose investments or shares of stocks are in existing, new, or proposed corporations shall be considered and these should be in the manufacturing and service sector, or are publicly-listed companies, or any companies whose industry in within those listed in the Investment Priorities Plan of the Board of Investments. Investment in condominium units, partnerships, or corporations engaged in wholesale trading shall not be accepted.
Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV)
For any foreigner or former Filipino citizen who is now a holder of a foreigner passport and wishes to reside in the Philippines for an indefinite period of time, the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) is the visa for you. This type of visa is given by the Bureau of Immigration through the Philippine Retirement Authority. Provided that you can fulfill the requirements needed. A holder of this special non-immigrant visa is entitled to the following benefits:
- Ability to reside in the Philippines with multiple-entry privileges;
- Exemption from the Exit Clearance, Re=Entry and Annual Registration requirements of the Bureau of Immigration;
- Exemption from the Special Study Permit or Student Visa;
- Exemption from customs duties and taxes for one-time importation of personal effects and household goods provided that it shall amount to US$7,000 and is not of commercial quantity;
- Exemption from the Alien Certificate Registration Identification Card;
- Remittances to the Philippines of pensions and annuities shall be tax-free;
- When securing documents from different government agencies, there shall be free assistance
For non-former Filipinos, the applicant must be at least 50 years of age and have deposited the required amount needed in a Philippine Retirement Authority-approved bank. The deposit amount shall depend on the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa program chosen by the applicant. To date, there are four SRRV options that one can choose from: SRRV Classic, SRRV Smile, SRRV Courtesy or Expanded Courtesy, and SRRV Human Touch.
Special Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG)
If you are a foreign national who wishes to do business in the Philippines with a workforce of at least 10 employees, then the Special Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG) is the visa that you must avail of. This kind of visa is given by the Bureau of Immigration, upon the approval of the Department of Labor and Employment. For the foreign national to be able to apply for this visa, there are a few conditions that must first be met and sustained year on year:
- The foreign national must intend to stay in the Philippines for an indefinite period;
- The foreign national’s business must have employed at least 10 Filipinos, following the rules and regulations of the Philippine Labor law and special laws;
- The foreign national shall directly or exclusively engage in business that is viable and sustainable in the Philippines and shall have the authority to hire, promote, and dismiss employees, as well as exercise or perform management acts;
- The foreign national must not be a risk to the national security of the Philippines
Those who are granted the Special Visa for Employment Generation are subject to a conditional extended stay in the country and multiple entry privileges. These privileges can be extended to their spouse and dependent unmarried children, whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted, who are below 18 years old.
It is important to note that the requirement of employment of at least 10 workers is mandatory, failure of which shall terminate the benefits that come with the Special Visa for Employment Generation. Reasons for non-compliance must be submitted to the Bureau of Immigration if the required number of employed workers is not met.
Need further information and assistance regarding the application? Talk to our Visa team at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law to know more about the requirements and process. Call us today at (+632) 478 5826 or send an email to [email protected] for more information.