A beautiful, modern country with old-world charm.
Location: Southeast Asia
Currency: Philippine peso (1 USD = approx 51 Philippine pesos)
Time Zone: GMT +8 (The Philippines and Beijing are in the same time zone.)
Population: 105 Million
Internet Speed: There are over 7,600 islands in the Philippines, so more remote areas will not have the same internet access that you’ll enjoy in big cities like Manila and Cebu. Speed Test’s Global Ranking has the Philippines in 89th place with fixed broadband speeds of 26 down and up. In Manila, Converge offers high speed internet for around $50 USD per month. If you plan to go to the outer islands, have a contingency plan, such as a dongle and a generous data plan. Even this may not yield fast service.
Visa: Americans and EU passport holders can stay for an initial period of 30 days without a visa. You can apply to stay for up to 59 days prior to your departure. Immigration offers an extension for those wishing to stay longer. Those wishing to settle in the Philippines can apply for a Special Retiree’s Resident Visa (SRRV). Those over 50 with a pension need to make a $10,000 time deposit in the Philippines and show monthly income of approximately $800 USD. Those without a pension can qualify by making larger time deposits. The visa is available for those as young as 35 years old. Applicants aged 35-49 must make a $50,000 time deposit to qualify.
Healthcare: The Philippines has universal healthcare to its citizens. PhilHealth offers insurance for both Filipinos and expats. Premiums are low, but coverage may be limited. It’s a good idea to check into other private insurance options. Expat Exchange recommends Blue Cross of the Philippines. Check out World Nomads travel insurance.
Cost of Living: The Philippines offers an incredibly affordable cost of living, though it can vary greatly depending on where you choose to live. According to Numbeo, expats who wish to live in the center of Makati can expect to pay approximately $750 per month on average for a one-bedroom apartment, while rents outside the city center can be less than half that price. Smaller cities are far more affordable. According to Investopedia, it is possible to live in the Philippines on $1,000 a month.
The information provided in this article is provided purely as a matter of convenience and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified immigration attorney before making the decision to relocate.