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I am a foreigner,

As a general rule, only Philippine citizens are entitled to acquire private land in the Philippines. However, a natural-born Philippine citizen who has lost his Philippine citizenship may still own private land in the Philippines subject to certain limitations.

How do I invest in the Philippines?

Foreigners may indirectly own land by investing in Philippine corporations registered with the SEC subject to the foreign equity restrictions for ownership of private land. Such Philippine corporations may then acquire the land for example, Ownership of Condominium Units.

Can foreigners directly buy Philippines properties?

Unlike private land, foreign nationals and foreign corporations may directly own a condominium unit. However, the land on which the condominium building stands must be owned by the condominium corporation. When a person buys a condominium unit, he automatically becomes a member of the condominium corporation which owns the land. Under Philippine law, foreigners are allowed to become members or stockholders of the condominium corporation which owns the land, but only up to a maximum of 40% of the capital stock of the condominium corporation.

The transfer of a condominium unit shall include the transfer of the appurtenant membership or stockholding in the corporation. No transfer or conveyance of a condominium unit shall be valid if the concomitant transfer of the appurtenant membership or stockholding in the condominium corporation to a foreigner causes the alien interest in such corporation to exceed 40%.

Seeking to retire in the Philippines?

Foreigners intending to retire in the Philippines may apply for the Special Resident Retiree's Visa ("SRRV"), a special non-immigrant visa issued by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration to foreigners through the retirement program of the Philippine Retirement Authority ("PRA"). For the SRRV to be issued, the PRA requires that a minimum investment shall be deposited in a PRA-accredited bank by the foreigner. It may only be withdrawn if the foreigner withdraws from the PRA retirement program. Once issued, the SRRV entitles its holder to multiple entry privileges with the option to reside permanently in the Philippines.

Other benefits under the retirement program include exemption from exit clearance and re-entry permits; exemption from customs duties and taxes for the importation of personal effects up to US$7,000; exemption from travel tax if the stay in the Philippines is less than a year from the last entry date; exemption from the Bureau of Immigration's annual registration requirement; assistance in obtaining an Alien Employment Permit; tax-free remittance of annuities and pensions; and guaranteed repatriation of the investment. The minimum amount of investment required is generally US$75,000, if the foreigner is 35 to 49 years old, and US$50,000, if 50 years old and above. The minimum investment policy doesn't only apply to foreigners, former Philippine citizens and former Ambassadors are required a minimum investment of US$1,500, while retired employees of the Asian Development Bank are required a minimum investment of US$25,000. The foregoing investment may, at the option of the foreigner, be converted to Philippine Pesos or into an approved area of investment such as investment in shares of Philippine corporations as above-discussed.

Married to a Philippine National?

Yes. But the Title of the property will be named under the spouse who has a Philippine citizen status.

Foreign ownership - by succession?

Ownership of assets (whether shares of stock or real property) may also be transferred through donation or succession.

The transfer of property by succession is subject to estate tax at a rate based on the total value of the net estate. The net estate is the total gross estate of the decedent less allowable deductions. For purposes of computing the gross estate, the fair market value of real property transferred by succession shall be the higher of the zonal value or the market value under the Tax Declaration of the real property. The estate tax imposed under Philippine tax laws shall be credited with any estate tax that the estate of the non-resident decedent may have paid to the authority of a foreign country, subject to certain limitations.

Can I own property in the Philippines?

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