More and more foreigners are choosing to move to the Philippines to work, invest or retire. Living in the Philippines has many advantages, especially with such a welcoming population.
As a country archipelago composed of more than 7000 islands, the Philippines is home to an abundance of flora and fauna, as well as beautiful landscapes, and numerous beaches.
When living in the Philippines, you can enjoy a rich and lively culture, lively nightlife, as well as varied and delicious gastronomy. The cost of living in the Philippines is moderate, which allows for a comfortable lifestyle.
As the 5th largest economy in Southeast Asia, the country also benefits from a dynamic economy and a privileged geographical position that offers many opportunities to investors and workers from all over the world.
Moving to the Philippines can therefore satisfy many profiles, but such an adventure requires taking some precautions.
Moving to the Philippines: Mandatory Steps
Visa requirements to move to the Philippines
It is important to be well-informed about the immigration formalities to be respected before moving to the Philippines: any irregular situation is generally strictly sanctioned.
European and US nationals can enter the country without a visa and stay for 30 days upon presentation of a valid passport and proof of the end of their stay. This authorization can be extended for a maximum of 29 days.
This solution is not sufficient for living in the Philippines, and obtaining a visa before the beginning of the expatriation is therefore essential.
There are several types of visas, such as immigrant visas, intended for foreigners who wish to obtain permanent residence (they may be subject to quotas), visas for students, workers, investors, or even retirees.
It is often necessary to be able to justify a minimum amount of financial resources in order to obtain them.
Other important documents for moving to the Philippines
All foreigners who are going to stay in the Philippines for more than 59 days must also obtain an Alien Certificate of Registration Identity card (or ACR I-Card). This document is mandatory and contains all the information needed by immigration services.
Registration is not a legal requirement for living in the Philippines. But it is a security measure that will also allow the expatriate and his family to benefit from easier administrative procedures:
- Registration of civil status documents
- Renewal of identity documents
- Registration on electoral lists
Working While Living in the Philippines
The economic dynamism of the Philippines is favorable to foreign workers and entrepreneurs, and many companies from all over the world are already established in the country.
Even though local employers tend to give priority to Filipino workers, finding a job is not difficult if you are fluent in English and have skills that match the needs of the local job market.
However, it is preferable to have already found a job before moving to the Philippines.
Some sectors offer particularly interesting job opportunities:
- Information technology
- Manufacturing industry.
In order to work in the Philippines, it is necessary to have a Foreign Work Permit (FWP). It can be requested by the expatriate or by his employer.
Health Coverage After Moving to the Philippines
Foreigners who move to the Philippines are generally no longer covered by their Social Security system unless they have the status of a seconded worker.
Employees and contractors and their dependents can benefit from the local health insurance system (NHIP) while living in the Philippines.
It is usually the employer who takes care of the affiliation of his employee to the social security system, but this registration does not automatically give rights to coverage. The system is poorly financed and therefore does not function optimally.
Filipino health facilities often do not meet Western standards, even if the doctors are well-trained. Most expatriates tend to turn to private facilities, which are better equipped but also more expensive.
The best solution to be well taken care of and reimbursed when moving to the Philippines is therefore to subscribe to an expatriate insurance policy before leaving.
This type of coverage not only allows you to benefit from optimal care in partner establishments and advantageous reimbursements, but also gives you access to evacuation and repatriation insurance, which is essential when you move to the other side of the world.
The contract protects the insured in the Philippines, but also during his stays in other countries, and during his temporary return to his country of origin.