If you’re a foreigner with any existing investments in the Philippines, residing in the country for an indefinite period of time is possible. All you need is a Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV).
What is a Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV)?
The Special Investor’s Resident Visa, or SIRV, is a special non-immigrant visa that entitles the holder of the required age to reside in the Philippines temporarily as long as required qualifications are met and investments continue to exist.
There are two types of Special Investor’s Resident Visas: probationary and indefinite.
A Probationary SIRV is only valid for 6 months, while the Indefinite SIRV grants its holder the right to reside in the Philippines for an indefinite period of time, so long as required investments are maintained.
What are the perks of having an SIRV?
As a holder of an SIRV, you may live in the Philippines for an indefinite period of time as long as your investments are maintained. Furthermore, as an alien settling in the country for the first time, you will be allowed to import used household goods as well as personal effects tax- and duty-free.
Who can apply for an SIRV?
You can apply for an SIRV if you’re at least 21 years of age and meets the certain qualifications needed for the issuance of the visa. Spouses of married applicants, as well as any unmarried children under 21 years, can also be issued an SIRV.
Foreigners with a clean criminal and health record, with no history of institutionalization for any mental disorder or disability, and are financially capable of investing at least US$75,000.00 in covered investments are all considered eligible applicants for an SIRV.
Applicants must deposit the required amount into Peso Time Deposit at either the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) or Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for a minimum maturity period of 30 days and a maximum maturity period of 60 days.
Upon the issuance of a Probationary SIRV, the investor is given 180 days to convert the deposit into an investment in any eligible domestic corporations, and then report the activity to the Board of Investments.
It must be emphasized that restricted nationals are not permitted to apply for an SIRV.
What are the allowable forms of investment needed for an SIRV?
Another factor that affects your application for an SIRV is the eligibility of your investments. Only shares of stocks in corporations that are either proposed, new, or existing are considered eligible. These investments can be in either of the following:
- Publicly listed companies with annotation of a lien on Stock Certificates;
- Companies involved in areas listed in the Board of Investment’s Investment Priorities Plan (IPP); and
- Companies in the manufacturing and service industries.
Foreigners who own shares in corporations that deal with wholesale trading are prohibited from applying for an SIRV.
Requirements for an SIRV
To apply for the Special Investor’s Resident Visa, you’ll need the following requirements:
- Application form, fully accomplished and notarized, with recent photographs.
- Clearance from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), together with either of the following:
a. Clearance from the central government agency of the applicant’s place or country of residence, authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or the National Bureau of Investigation’s; or
b. Clearance from the Interpol Division of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), to ensure the applicant has not been convicted of any crime that involves moral turpitude.
Once endorsement from the BOI has been received, the NICA will issue an initial clearance within 3 working days. After the grant of the Probationary SIRV, a more thorough investigation by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police should be conducted within three months.
The expiration date of aforementioned clearances should not be earlier than six months since the filing of the application.
If any derogatory record was found, the investor’s SIRV may be revoked.
- Medical certification issued by any of the following:
a. The Department of Health (DOH);
b. Any government hospital or health facility;
c. Any licensed or accredited hospital, laboratory, or medical center in the applicant’s home country.
Expiration date of the clearances should not be earlier than six months since the filing of application.
- Certification under oath from authorized officers of any accredited depository bank in the Philippines regarding the amount of foreign exchange inwardly remitted by the application and its respective conversion to pesos through the said bank.
- Certified true copy of the certificate of peso time deposit with a maturity period of at least 30 days. The certificate’s original copy will be then kept at the depository bank for safe-keeping.
- Birth certificate or family/household registry duly authenticated by the Philippine Consulate or Embassy in the applicant’s home country or in the Philippines.
- For spouses and dependent children included in the application, a marriage contract duly authenticated by the Philippine Consulate/Embassy in the applicant’s home country or in the Philippines will also be needed.
- Original passport of the applicant.
- Processing fee of US$300.00 and P10.110.00 for the Bureau of Immigration.