Retiring Philippines – Getting There

Prior to your move to the Philippines there are a few things you need to do. The first of these is to put together a folder of all the personal documents you will need once you arrive here in the Philippines (see list below). keep your records in a safe place like in a brief case or carry-on bag. Anyone with a valid passport can get on a plane and fly to the Philippines. It is not necessary to get a visa prior to departing from the US, you will receive it once you arrive in the Philippines at the customs and immigrations at the Airport. You will receive a 21 day visa there unless you are arriving with your Filipina spouse. In this case you can ASK for a Balikbayan visa good for one year, that is what I did in 2010. You must ask for this visa or you will receive only the standard 21 day visa. They will not always allow it although I have never been denied one. Also see the Q&A and 7 reasons located on the sidebar for related information.


Here’s a list of documents you should bring with you every time you fly into the Philippines and especially if you plan to remain here:

■ Original birth certificate (several copies)

■ Passport. Make sure you order a passport with additional pages for frequent travelers you will need those pages as your passport is stamped every time you renew your visa. Give yourself plenty of time to get the passport completed before booking your flight because it takes about 2 to 4 weeks just to get it. Recent IRS information states that if you owe the IRS money you may be prevented from obtaining a passport.

■ Proof of separation, death certificate

■ Military records

■ Military ID

■ Bank account info with routing number and account numbers.

To apply for a passport you can go to your local Post Office with the following documents:

■ Previous U.S. passport

■ Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state

■ Certificate of citizenship, or naturalization certificate.

■ Valid form of photo identification, such as a current valid driver’s license, government ID or military photo ID.

■ Valid original birth certificate

Passport Processing:

More retirement info here:

Once all your documents are completed and ready you begin looking for a flight. I always go to one of the Vietnamese or Asian travel companies and ask them if they have any promos going to the Philippines. I have found flights for $430 and $835 when the going rate was $1,500 on two of my trips over, so they are there.

So in summary preparing for your move.

1. get your documents together

2. get your passport

Please Join this site, the link is on the right sidebar under “Meta”. Also please leave a comment so I know you were here, and answer the questions: What did you think of the information presented on this site? and Is there anything else I should include? If you would like to include some of your own information I will post it for you, send it along with any photos to – Thanks Charles

Charles Harman 571-970-9195

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