Getting a Permanent Resident Visa for the Philippines

United States passport and ticket - permanent resident visa You can start the process of getting a permanent resident visa in your own country if there’s a Philippine Consulate there (there are eight in the United States, including two of its territories). You can also start the process while in the Philippines with only your passport.

There are requirements you can’t avoid. You must be married to a Filipino. It doesn’t matter if that Filipino is a dual citizen or not. You must have a source of income that doesn’t rely on the local economy.

A foreigner has the last precedence for employment in the Philippines, below the uneducated. If you’re going to retire in the Philippines, you obviously don’t need a job. You must have a valid passport. I’m going to focus on getting a permanent resident visa as an American because I’m an American.

Philippine Consulates in the United States and its Territories

You can find the addresses and phone numbers at the Philippine Embassy’s consular finder page. The consulates are in:

  • Los Angeles, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Washington, DC
  • New York, New York
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Agana, Guam
  • Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands

The consulates have their own websites and it’s wise to get up to date information from the one that’s closest to you.

Getting a Visa Extension

If you have a round-trip ticket to leave the Philippines within 30 days, you can enter and exit the Philippines with only an American passport. If you need to stay beyond 30 days, you can get an extension (called a “visa waiver” at the Philippine Bureau of Immigration office closest to you.

You can get a visa at any of the Philippine consulates in the United States. I received one good for a year at the consulate in Los Angeles a few months before I left, even though I didn’t need it.

Permanent Resident Visa Requirements

Permanent resident visas are listed as non-quota immigrant visas on the consulate websites, so searching for the details can be a pain. You can find the requirements for non-quota immigrant visas at the Los Angeles consulate’s website.

To break it down for you, you need to be married to a Filipino or a dual American/Filipino citizen and your spouse has to sign an affidavit requesting it for you. You need to be financially secure. You have to be healthy. There are other requirements and you really need to read them at the link I provided.

The fee for the permanent resident visa is separate from the card you also have to pay for – the ACR I-Card. While the visa never has to be renewed, the card has to be renewed after one year and then every five years and you can only do that at the main Bureau of Immigration office in Manila.

Every year before the end of February, you have to pay a small fee as part of your annual registration at the local bureau of immigration office. The last fee I paid was 310 pesos (around $8 USD). Your American passport must be valid always and you can renew it at the United States Embassy in Manila.

Fees

The permanent resident fee is $150 USD or the equal amount in pesos. The ACR I-Card is $50 or the equal amount in pesos.

There are a lot of “little” costs that can build up, not to mention fuel and toll fees. You can probably get everything done for less than $500 USD. I always recommend setting aside $1000 USD, if there are fees I don’t know about or other added costs.

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4 Responses

  1. Nishan Bijukchhe says:

    I am Nepali amd my wife is filipina,so what is the procedure to apply for the residence visa in Philippines?

    • RT Cunningham says:

      It should be similar to the way we do it in the US, but I’m not in Nepal. It’s best if you check with the nearest Philippine consulate.

  2. willie says:

    I’ am retiring to the Philippine (single) over 50 years old, how can I get a permanent non working visa? I have an up to date U. S. Passport a Philippine Bank account with $10,000 + dollars, a police, and medical clearance. Also a region and city I plan to live in, what else is required?

    • RT Cunningham says:

      Willie, unless you’re married to a Filipina living in the Philippines, all you can do is get extensions of your “tourist” visa. You can stay for up to 30 days on your passport alone, get an extension for another 29 days and then further extensions. Your best bet is to get a visa for as long as possible from a Philippine consulate in the United States before you leave. Otherwise, you’ll need a ticket that takes you out of the country before your initial (non-visa) period expires, not necessarily a return flight. You can get a visa good for six months or even a year, if you visit a consulate.

      There are a lot of expats living in the Philippines on visa extensions. Every so often they have to leave for over 24 hours (usually to Guam), return and start the process all over again.

      You should be able for find a good woman long before it all becomes problematic. That is, unless you want to remain single.

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