The Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV) entitles the holder to reside in the Philippines for an indefinite period as long as the required qualifications and investments are maintained. It is a special non-immigrant visa issued by the Bureau of Immigration through the Board of Investments, an attached agency of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry. The SIRV is a program of the government designed to attract foreign investments into the Philippines. The holder is entitled to import used household goods and personal effects tax and duty-free as an alien coming to settle in the Philippines for the first time.
Who can apply for a SIRV?
Any alien who is at least twenty-one (21) years of age, who meets the following qualifications:
- He has not been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;
- He is not afflicted with any loathsome, dangerous or contagious disease;
- He has not been institutionalized for any mental disorder or disability;
- He is willing and able to invest the amount of at least US$75,000.00 in an eligible form of investment; and
- He is a holder of a tourist (i.e. 9(a)) visa with at least one (1) month validity.
It must be emphasized that restricted nationals are not permitted to apply for an SIRV.
What do you mean by Deposit Requirements?
The Probationary SIRV shall be valid for a period of six (6) months (i.e. 180 days). The SIRV holder is required to convert his time deposits into investments within the validity period of the probationary SIRV. It is suggested, however, that the SIRV holder convert his time deposits into investments at least (30) days before the expiration of his Probationary SIRV to allow time to prepare the documentary requirements for conversion of Probationary to Indefinite SIRV.
It should be noted that investments made beyond the six-month period (i.e. 180 days) for Probationary SIRV would be subject to payment of the penalty for late investment equivalent to P1,000 + P100 / day late as stated in no. 12(e) of the Deed of Undertaking.
The SIRV applicant’s time deposit shall earn interest based on the rates approved by the DBP, less appropriate tax thereof.
What are the Allowable Forms of Investment under the SIRV Program?
Another factor that affects your application for an SIRV is the eligibility of your investments. Ownership of shares of stock in corporations engaged in wholesale trading and investments in condominium units are no longer allowed.
For purposes of securing an SIRV, only investments/shares of stocks in existing, new or proposed corporations shall be allowed/ accepted as eligible forms of investment:
- Publicly- listed companies;
- Companies engaged in areas listed in the Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) of the Board of Investments. (The IPP is a list of priority areas of economic activities which the Government promotes for investments.);
- Companies engaged in the manufacturing and services sectors; or
- The companies whose activities fall in any of the following major sectoral classifications found under the services sectoral classification lists which are based on the UN Central Product Classification shall be deemed in the service sectors for purposes of evaluating the qualification of SIRV applicants:
- Business services (such as BPO, consultancy, etc.);
- Communication services;
- Construction and related engineering services;
- Distribution services;
- Educational services;
- Environmental services;
- Financial services;
- Health-related and social services;
- Tourism and travel-related services;
- Recreational, cultural, and sporting services;
- Transport services, and
- Other services are not included elsewhere.
- Government securities.
What happens if a Dependent Child reaches the age of 21?
Children over the age of 21 are no longer considered valid dependents of SIRV holders. The SIRV of such children would no longer be honored. It is recommended that the SIRV principal holder requests for the cancellation (if the child is out of the country) or downgrading (if the child is within the country) of the dependent’s SIRV at least one (1) month before the child’s 21st birthday. The child should secure another visa independent of the SIRV principal (e.g. study visa, employment visa, his own SIRV, etc.) if he wishes to continue residing in the Philippines.
Note that the SIRV holder is required to submit annual reports to the BOI either personally or through an authorized representative. He will not be deprived of the privilege to stay for an indefinite period as long as the investments subsist and he is updated in the submission of annual reports.
Non-compliance with any of the requirements would not cause the SIRV to automatically expire. The SIRV would be formally notified about any such findings and would be given the opportunity to address the issues. However, continued non-response to the notification letters may lead to eventual cancellation of the SIRV especially in cases enumerated in Question 25 above.
For more information about the Special Investor’s Resident Visa, you may contact our experts at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law. You can also contact us for any queries at email@example.com or (+632) 478 5826.