Because it’s a popular question on Google search, today’s post deals with the following question “Can a U.S. Citizen Permanently Live in the Philippines?”
Here’s what the Philippine Bureau of Immigration has to say on the topic:
Yes, under the
Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, Section 13 (a) you are eligible for
permanent residency in the Philippines. This visa is issued to an alien on the
basis of his valid marriage to a Philippine citizen.
To qualify for this visa, the applicant must prove that:
- He contracted a valid marriage with a Philippine citizen.
- The marriage is recognized as valid under existing Philippine laws.
- There is no record of any derogatory information against him in any local or foreign law enforcement agency.
- He is not afflicted with any dangerous, contagious or loathsome disease.
- He has sufficient financial capacity to support a family and will not become a public burden.
- He was allowed entry into the Philippines and was authorized by Immigration authorities to stay.
NOTE: This visa is only available to citizens of a country which grants permanent residence and immigration privileges to Philippine citizens.
- What countries have reciprocity agreement with the Philippines?
The following countries are those that grant permanent residence and immigration privileges to Filipinos:
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Hong Kong SAR
Northern Mariana Island
Papua New Guinea
Slovak Republic Slovenia
Trinidad and Tobago
*Limited to Filipinas married of these nationals
**Provided that the marriage took place before 24 April 2001 or the couple has been married for at least five years.
So there you have it. Not only can a U.S. citizen live in the Philippines permanently, the nationals from the countries listed above, can also have their Filipino spouse sponsor them for a Permanent Resident 13 (a) visa.
Why bother with going in and out of the country every year with your Filipino or Filipina spouse and using the Balikbayan Privilege? I would highly recommend applying for the 13 (a) if you meet all of the qualifications. Check out this previous post on the Permanent Resident 13 (a) Visa for more details.