The Philippine visa of interest here is one of four of the same series of visas. It is the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV). The government department responsible for administration of the issue of these visas is the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA). The department is very efficiently run and maintains good contact with applicants during the application process.
The Philippine Retirement Authority SRRVs provide a path to permanent residency which is both clear and certain. The Authority's site is less than perfect but it is perfectlypossible to make the initial application on line. The Philippines maintains many embassies and consulates abroad and most deal with visa and document authentication matters. Working with the Philippine Retirement Authority is much easier than conducting business through embassy, consulate or government department web sites or with these places directly or in person. The Authority is a government owned and controlled corporation and is attached to the Department of Tourism. There is a once only application fee of $US1400 for membership of the P.R.A. and the initial cost of the residence identity card. Its annual renewal is $US360. The Philippine visa, which ever variant is sought, is readily obtainable via the PRA. This department remains available and helpful after the granting of the visa.
There are four available SRRVs(Special Resident Retiree's Visa) for appropriately qualified retirees for the Philippine visa.
for active/heathy principal retirees 35 years old and above who would just like to maintain their Visa deposit of US$20,000 in any of the PRA designated banks.
for active/healthy principal retirees who would opt to use their Visa deposit of US$10,000 or US$20,000 (50 years old & above) or US$50,000 (35 to 49 years old) to purchase condominium units or use it for long term lease of house and lot (both of which are ready for occupancy).
for ailing principal retirees, 35 years old and above, who are shown to have medical/clinical needs and services. Under this option, the retiree only needs to have a Visa deposit of US$10,000, a monthly pension of at least US$1,500.00 and a Health Insurance Policy. Only one dependent may accompany the applicant.
for former Filipinos (35 years old & above), and foreign nationals (50 years old & above) who have served in the Philippines as diplomats, ambassadors, officers/staff of international organizations. The visa deposit is US$1,500. This visa has recently been expanded to include foreign nationals of high academic and/or professional achievement (eg Nobel Prize winners).
None of these visas lead to an entitlement to claim citizenship of the Philippines. Clearly most retirees would be looking to the SRRV Classic class of the Philippine visa. For retirees over the age of 50 who have a qualifying pension the deposit of $US10,000 is one of the lowest such lodgments available from any country as a residence visa qualification. It is especially attractive because it is possible to use this deposit as part payment for a residential property exceeding $US50,000 in value. Sale of any property bought with the help of the deposit will require its re-deposit in the Philippine Development Bank. This last benefit is what distinguishes this visa from the SRRV Smile visa.
If application is made on line the P.R.A. maintains an excellent e-mail contact service for providing information and guidance throughout the application process. Dealing with the staff at the Authority is both easy and a pleasure. Responses are precise and prompt.
The usual documents are required to support an application for a Philippine visa:-
A completed SRRV Application Form (downloadable at www.pra.gov.ph). Information must be type-written and all information requested must be supplied.
This may be secured from the country of origin. However, the document must be translated in English, if necessary, and MUST BE authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consular Office nearest the place where the Certificate was secured. The applicant may opt to secure the Medical Certificate in the Philippines from any licensed physician/clinic/hospital. If the certificate has been secured in the Philippines, there is no need for any authentication. A Medical certificate is only valid within 6 months from the date it was secured. PRA may accompany retiree applicant in a PRA accredited clinic.
The applicant needs to secure this clearance from the country of origin. The document must be translated in English, if necessary, and MUST BE authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consular Office nearest the place where the Clearance was obtained. A Police Clearance is only valid within 6 months from date on which it was issued.
NBI Clearance (Philippine document) is needed when an applicant has stayed in the Philippines for more than 30 days from date of last entry and prior to application for the SRRV. The NBI Clearance is only valid for one (1) year from date it was issued. The PRA may accompany the retiree applicant to the NBI Main Office.
The Bank will send PRA the notarized Bank Certificate after the remittance has been received by the Bank. The amount of the Visa deposit depends on the SRRV Option that the applicant has chosen. In cases where an applicant will be joined by more than two dependents, an additional visa deposit of $US15,000 for each additional dependent must be remitted under the name of the Principal Applicant.
An applicant whether Principal or dependent MUST be in the Philippines for the duration of the SRRV application. Where the Temporary Visitor's Visa expires while the SRRV is being processed, the applicant must have it extended. PRA may assist in the extension of the Temporary Visitor's Visa. An applicant must have a Temporary Visitor's Visa in order for PRA and the Bureau of Immigration to accept the application for the SRRV. Other visas, except for the Balikbayan Visa which is being issued to former Filipinos and their dependents, must be downgraded to TEMPORARY VISITOR'S VISA. PRA may assist the applicant in downgrading the current visa to Temporary Visitor's Visa.
2x2 (12 pieces).
For Principal applicants joining under the SRRV Classic With Pension Scheme a certification of retirement benefits, equivalent to $US800 per month or $US1,000 per month for a couple), issued by the concerned government and/or private entity authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consular Office is needed.
All of the above documents must also be secured by the joining spouse except for the bank certification.
Proof of Marriage (Marriage Contract, Marriage Certificate) which must be translated in English, if necessary, and MUST BE authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consular Office nearest the place where the Certificate/Contract was secured.
All of the above documents must also be secured by the child applying for inclusion except for the bank certification. Dependent child below 18 years old does not need to secure the Police or NBI Clearance.
Proof of Relationship to the Principal Applicant (Birth Certificate, Family/household Register) which must be translated in English, if necessary, and MUST BE authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consular Office nearest the place where the Certificate was issued.
All original documents must be submitted along with 3 sets of photocopied documents. The processing time for the application for the Philippine visa is usually 10 - 15 days which includes time to laminate the SRRV sticker in the applicant's passport and issue the P.R.A. ID card. The P.R.A. services and operations are as efficiently performed as any government department in any country.
There are some specific and extra requirements for applicants for the Human Touch and Courtesy variations of the Philippine visa. These are given clearly at the PRA web site. They are of no concern to applicants for the SRRV Classic or Smile classes of the Philippine visa.
The author has personal experience of the PRA and its services and is impressed by them. This praise comes from a background of experience of working in the civil services of both First and Third World countries and being a consumer in many others, including the U.S.A. The latter it must be said does not rate highly for the performance of its government services.
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