Philippines Special Visa – Application, Types and Requirements

Three main types of foreigners live in the Philippines – investors, business owners, and retirees. They are the Philippines Special Visa holders. These foreign nationals live there, not only because it is a beautiful country with more than 7,000 islands – although some of them are not inhabited – or because Filipinos are some of the friendliest people on earth. Moreover, they prefer the Philippines because the Special Visa enables them to live a relatively low lifestyle and invest their money lucratively.

The Philippines recognizes the contributions of foreign nationals to its economic growth, either through tourism or foreign investments in the country. For this reason, the Philippines grouped its visas under three broad headings – non-immigrant, immigrant, and special. This article will focus on the Philippines Special Visa.

You are qualified for a Philippines Special Visa if you are a retired foreign national who wants to live in the country, a foreign national who employs an acceptable number of Filipinos in your organization, or an investor in a Philippines company. Besides, you must submit specific requirements to obtain a Philippines Special in the above categories. You will discover more about the Philippines Special Visa – Application, Types, and Requirements as you read.

About the Philippines Special Visa

Like every other country, the Philippines recognizes the gains in creating a suitable environment for growth and development by encouraging a healthy influx of foreign nationals to salvage its economy. For this reason, the government of the Philippines devised a visa arrangement that will make it relatively easy for foreign nationals who will not only visit the country but will improve the financial strength of the Philippines, hence the Philippines Special Visa.

Therefore the Philippines Special Visa is issued to foreign nationals coming to the Philippines for business or retirement.

Types of the Philippines Special Visa

There are three types of Special Visas for the Philippines

1. Philippines Special Investors Resident Visa (SIRV)

2. Special Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG)

3. Special Resident Retiree Visa (SRRV)

The Philippines Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG)

Philippines Visa for Employment Generation is issued to foreign nationals who will employ no less than 10 Filipinos in a lawful organization.

Requirements for a Philippines Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG)

A foreign national who wants to obtain a Philippines Special Visa must submit the following documents

1. A written application addressed to the Commissioner expressing the applicant’s intention to employ at least 10 Filipino workers for regular employment

2. A duly completed CGAF Form

3. Photocopy of passport and current visa

4. If the Special Visa is for a Corporation or Partnership

4i.Certificate of Registration from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

4ii. Article of Incorporation

4iii. General Information Sheet for the current year received and stamped by the SEC

5. If the Special Visa is not for a Partnership, a photocopy of the Certificate of Registration of Business Name by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

6. If the applicant holds an elected or appointed position in the company, a true certified copy of the Alien Employment Permit (AEP) issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)

7. A DOLE Certificate proving that the applicant’s business employs at least 10 Filipinos regularly

8. A certificate presented by the applicant to prove the following:

8i. The names and addresses of the Filipinos employed by the organization

8ii. The applicant’s willingness to pay the PhilHealth and SSS contributions

8iii. That each of the Filipinos is receiving a salary that is not below the minimum wage

9. A valid Medical Certificate from the Bureau of Quarantine

10. A valid clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) if the applicant has stayed in the Philippines at least six months before the application

11. Clearance Certificate from the Bureau of Immigration

The Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV)

This Philippines Special Visa is issued to foreign nationals who want to reside in the country indefinitely. They will invest at least US$75,000 in a Philippine company or investment activity and maintain these investments for their stay.

Requirements for the Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV)

A foreign national who is at least 21 years old can apply if the following requirements are met:

1. Clearance Certificate of Good Character from the applicant’s country of residence, authenticated by the Philippines embassy in the country

2. Medical Certificate authenticated by the Bureau of Quarantine in the Philippines

3. Certification from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) showing that the applicant remitted US$75,000, which has been converted to pesos.

4. Applicant must hold a Tourist Visa with at least one-month validity

5. If applicable, birth and marriage certificates

The Philippines Special Residents Retiree Visa (SRRV)

This special visa is for foreign nationals who wish to reside in the Philippines as retirees. Unlike the Special Investors Resident Visa, the SRRV does not require a holder to go through the rigors of the Bureau of Immigration.

Requirements for the Philippines Special Residents Retiree Visa (SRRV)

An applicant must be at least 35 years of age. Other requirements are

1. A valid passport

2. A valid Visitor’s visa

3. Medical Clearance Certificate

4. Police Clearance Certificate from the applicant’s country of origin and an NBI Clearance if the applicant has stayed in the Philippines for at least 30 days from the last entry.

5. Eight identical and recent passport-size photos of 2×2 dimension

6. Special Visa fee paid from within the Philippines

7. A one-time processing fee of US$1,400.00 for the applicant

7b. US$ 300.00 for each of the applicant’s dependent

7c. A yearly fee of US$360.00 for the applicant and two dependents

8. Marriage Certificate if the spouse will join the applicant

9. Birth Certificate if children will join the applicant under 20 years of age

Classes of the Philippines Special Residents Retiree Visa

Under the SRRV, there are five classes of retirees

  1. The SRRV Smile

This class of SRRV is for active retirees who will maintain a deposit of US$20,000 in any of the Philippines Accredited Banks.

  1. SRRV Classic

Active retirees will invest in the Philippines by purchasing a condominium unit or a long-term house lease. In addition, the value of the property must be at least US$50,000.00

  1. The SRRV Human Touch

This is for retirees at least 50 years of age who require medical care. For this purpose, the applicant must have a monthly pension of US$1,500, an acceptable health insurance policy, and an SRRV deposit of US$10,000.00.

  1. SRRV Courtesy

This includes former Filipinos and foreign nationals of 50 years and above, who are retired International Organizations officers recognized by the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs. A visa fee of US$1,500 is required.

  1. The SRRV Expanded Courtesy

This is for foreign nationals above 50 years of age who are retired from foreign Armed Forces with existing military ties with the Philippine Government and a monthly pension of US$1,000. A visa fee of US$1,500 is required.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is unique about the Philippines Special Visa for Retirees?

The Special Visa for Retirees is different from other countries Retirement Visa because, unlike other countries, a holder of a Philippines Retirees Visa can work, study or invest in the country. Read more about the Philippines Retiree Visa benefits here.

What business can a foreign national invest in under the Philippines Special Visa program?

A good business under the Philippines Special Visa program would include the following:

  • Construction and engineering services
  • Tourism and travel services
  • Health and social services
  • Recreation, cultural and sports services
  • Transport services
  • Financial services
  • Educational services
  • Environmental services

Under the Philippines Special Visa program, what type of business can a foreign national not invest in?

Businesses that are not considered eligible forms of investment are not acceptable—for example, retail trading like restaurant businesses, small beauty salons, barbing shops, etc.

What is the processing time for a Philippines Special Visa?

It takes about 20 working days to process a Philippines Special Visa. Still, sometimes it can take longer, especially if the applicant is required to present further documents from the above-listed.

What is the application fee for a Philippines Special Visa?

The Philippines Special Visa fee is the equivalent of US$300 in the local currency of the applicant. Therefore, each dependent will also pay an equivalent of US$300.

Visit the official website of the Philippines Bureau of Immigration for information about applying for the Philippines Special Visa.


The Philippines Special Visa is a favorite among foreign nationals because of the leisurely pace of life in the provinces. For people who want to relax and relish the beauty of nature without spending so much, the Philippines is just the place. Filipinos would go the extra mile to make you feel welcome, and their earnestness is visible on their open and smiling faces.

Furthermore, the Philippines Special Visa makes it quite convenient for an applicant because there is a Special Visa program for everyone, considering your financial capability and age. However., before you make the life-changing decision to get this special visa, you may consider first entering the country with a Philippines Tourist Visa to live among the locals for about 30 days and decide if you want to leap.

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