The Special Resident Retiree's Visa

Ready to set up a life in Palawan? It's easy to get excited - imagine living on an island paradise with a low cost of living, access to white sand beaches, clear blue water, fresh tropical fruit and vegetables, and a safe quiet place to call home away from home. Generally speaking, you can even build a brand new house here for $15,000 USD minimum.

Before getting too eager to pack your bags, we advise looking into how you'll be able to live in the Philippines care-free. In this section, we'll introduce you to one of the most popular visas for foreign residents, the Special Resident Retirement Visa.

The Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) is issued by the Philippines Bureau of Immigration under the retirement program of the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA). It gives the visa holder the privilege to permanently live in the Philippines (which of course includes Palawan). The main goal of the PRA is to attract foreign nationals and former Filipino citizens to invest, live, and retire in the country as a means of advancing the socio-economic development of the Philippines and increasing the country’s foreign currency reserve. Win-win!


From our discussions with those who have obtained different variations of the SRRV, we feel it is a safe option for foreigners who intend to live in the Philippines. Acquiring this visa is relatively pain-free (so long as you follow all the requirements), will allow you to gain multiple entry status and an indefinite stay with little hassle once the visa has been granted. So let's get started!

There are 5 classes of SRRV visas currently available. Each visa is suitable for different people in different circumstances, so it's important to read more about which visa applies best to your situation.

SRRV Smile Visa

The Smile visa is a great option so long as you're healthy and able to deposit at least $20,000 US Dollars in a PRA approved Filipino retirement account (such as this one from BDO bank). Anyone 35-49 years old can apply. Your $20,000 deposit has to be kept in the account for the duration of your visa. 

The Smile visa does not allow you to deposit your capital into an investment such as property. It's pretty straightforward - your $20,000 term deposit, along with fulfilling other requirements of the visa, allows you to reside in the Philippines each year, and you can simply pay extra for dependents.

SRRV Classic Visa

The SRRV Classic visa is the next trusted option for foreign residents. This visa allows holders to deposit their funds into an investment instead of a retirement account like the Smile visa. There are 3 different scenarios in which applicants can apply for the Classic visa:

  • 50 years old or more with monthly pension - For retiree's aged 50 and above who receive a monthly pension of at least $800 US dollars per month (for a couple it's $1,000), this visa is for you. In order to meet the requirements for this visa you'll need a minimum investment amount of US$10,000. What's great is that this visa allows your $10,000 deposit to be used for an investment such as a property lease or purchase of a condominium instead of a term deposit such as for the SRRV Smile visa.
  • 50 years old or more without monthly pension - Then you will be required to invest $20,000 USD into an approved investment instead of $10,000 such as the class above.
  • 35 to 49 years old - Applicants from this age bracket require an investment deposit of at least $50,000 dollars.

SRRV Human Touch Visa

This visa is specifically for retirees, 35 years old and above, who need regular medical or clinical care. There is a requirement for proof of a monthly pension of at least US$1,500 including a health insurance policy accepted in the Philippines, and an SRR Visa deposit of US$10,000.

SRRV Courtesy Visa

The Courtesy visa is for former Filipinos (35 years old and above) or foreign nationals (50 years old or more) who are retired officers of International Organizations recognized by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). An SRR Visa deposit of only US$1,500 is required.

SRRV Expanded Courtesy Visa

The Expanded Courtesy Visa is for foreign nationals, 50 years old and above, who are retired Armed Force officers of foreign countries with existing military ties and/or agreement with the Philippine Government. Evidence of receiving a continual monthly pension of at least US$1,000 and an SRR Visa deposit of US$1,500 is required.

For official information, click through to the Philippines Retirement Authority.

*Please note, we are not immigration lawyers nor are we directly affiliated with the Philippines government. All content on this page is for informational purposes only. Although we do our best, the above information's accuracy should be checked by all people doing research into visas and moving to another country. We advise all readers to conduct their own research and inquire directly to proper authorities as necessary.

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